You’ve listened to lectures and YouTube presentations about how to detect liars, attract a mate, or the importance of various postures in different settings, but you don’t use those lessons in your daily life, do you? Let’s remedy part of the problem with a review of unconscious cues that people reveal when their body language speaks the truth as their lips tell a different story.
Body language is about intention, not symbolism. It is usually involuntary, informing observers about what is truly on someone’s mind even as they declare otherwise. It’s a clue that alerts us to loving emotions and shared mindsets as well as to dangers.
Listen to Your Gut
Psychiatrist Dr. Judith Orloff repeatedly mentions scientific findings about “gut feelings” in her books. Our guts hold neurons. They communicate information to our unconscious minds with electrical jolts and specific chemistry as our eyes, ears, and skin sense our surroundings and the people or other realities involved with them. Our unconscious mind gathers the messages in order to alert our conscious thinking that something seems amiss, perhaps dangerous. Pay attention to the butterflies in your tummy and the unexpected frown on your face even if you can’t explain why they exist; danger lurks near you. When you are in the presence of someone and feel that you resonate with them, though, you probably do think alike in satisfying ways. Your neurons are signaling the reality checks to you.
A Handy Checklist
People tend to exaggerate their emotions, postures, and words when they lie or deny guilt. The overreactions illustrate the lies and a sense of guilt. The deceiver’s anger, defensiveness, and alleged surprise at your accusations are meant to deceive you. Lies might be uttered to support the deceptive body language, so here is what you need to do to identify problems in order to protect yourself:
1) Listen carefully. Make sure that the deceiver sticks to the subject instead of digressing to other issues. Distractions can leave you confused, so insist on everybody talking only about the topic to be resolved.
2) Notice if his or her fingers point to imaginary things and ideas. Those are tricks meant to confuse the listener and to help a deceptive person to succeed in their con job efforts.
3) Notice if the person is blinking in a normal fashion, not blinking at all (i.e., staring at you), or blinking excessively. That signals you to know that they’re lying. They want to make you uncomfortable enough to stop confronting them with reality checks.
4) Watch the person’s legs and feet. Rapid up-down, up-down leg movements signal distress. So do shuffled and reshuffled feet. If the person’s feet are aimed at exits, know that they want to escape reality-oriented you.
5) Watch the hands! A liar will try to conceal guilt or discomfort by touching or wiping the top of their nose. They’ll also touch their face, neck, or forehead too often to make sense in a normal setting. If their fingers play with their lips, or go inside their mouths, they are literally trying to prevent themselves from telling the truth.
6) Look at the forehead. If the person squints or furrows their brow a lot, they might be thinking too hard in order to cover up, or to prepare, lies. Ask the person to mention details of what they did, ate, saw, heard or touched as they allegedly performed some action. Details matter. If the liar needs to invent or to change some details to protect their lies, you’ll see lots of wrinkled forehead skin and tightened eyelids.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.