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How to Spot a Liar by Observing Their Body Language Signals and Gestures


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It is very important to have control over body language in order to lie successfully. Using the telephone, email, or by letter are the easiest ways for a person to lie and get away with it. The mind may be capable of creating a believable and convincing story to support a lie, but the body will have great difficulties in going along with it.

The body language will betray the mind in many ways because the subconscious mind always acts independently and automatically during a spoken lie. This is the reason why many amateur liars are easily caught before they can even finished their story. No matter how convincing they may sound, people will still be able to notice those giveaway body language signals contradicting against their words.

We have broken down these signals into categories ranging from those transmitted by facial expressions which can be manipulated by the mind if it is practiced, to the hardest to control and therefore the most truthful nervous system.

Face The Facts

Facial expression is considered as the easiest to control because we are always aware of what our faces are doing. Therefore making the face the hardest part of the body to tell if a person is lying or not. But recent research has discovered that even with the high awareness of our facial movements, we have yet to master the visual expressions that can reflect our inner thoughts.

Before even the brain can send any message to the face of what it wants to say, the eyes are already sending out these little giveaways signals. These giveaways expressions are considered as reliable indicators that what is being said is in conflict with the true underlying feeling.

When looking someone straight in the eyes, most people will find it very difficult to tell a lie. They will look down, look away, or even glance at you very quickly. These gestures are most commonly associated with the term shifty-eyes that usually suggests confusion, dishonesty and deception.

You must also consider that shifty-eyes does not always mean someone is telling a lie. He or she may be worrying, under pressure, or just confused about his or her own opinions or feelings. But what you can be certain of is that this person is currently unable or unwilling to disclose his or her true feelings and thoughts, and is trying hard to conceal this fact from you.

Lying Through The Teeth

Since creation, the telephone unfortunately has been a worthy instrument used by many people to lie. But luckily, you are still able to spot a liar using your ears alone. If you observe closely and carefully how the words are being spoken by ignoring the content, you may still be able to distinguish the truth from a lie.

Recent research has shown that when a person is lying, the voice actually becomes less resonant. When we are holding back from truthfully expressing ourselves, the normal voice will flatten, losses it's depth and becomes more monotonous.

Another fact is that people actually talk less when they are lying, and tend to create more mistakes in their speech. Unless they are those well-trained smooth-talkers (e. g. salesman, lawyers, politicians), they are also more likely to slur, stutter or hesitate as they speak.

Somewhere Over The Mouth

Children often cover their whole mouth when they are lying, as if to conceal the source of dishonesty. This original childhood gesture is also one of the most used common adult gestures when lying.

When a person is lying, the brain will subconsciously command it to repress the
untruthful words that are being said. The hand will be used to cover the mouth while the thumb is being pressed against the cheek. Occasionally, some people's gesture will only be several fingers over the mouth or even a close fist, but its message remains very much the same.

On the contrary, should you see someone doing this while you are talking, he or she may be having difficulty in believing you.

Touching Pinocchio's Nose

When a person is not telling the truth, he or she will rub, stroke and scratch the nose more often than one who is being honest and straight forward. One explanation is simply that the nose is just right above the mouth, and when the negative thoughts of deception enters the mind, the subconsciously hand gesture to cover the mouth deflected to the nose.

Another ingenious reason is that lying increases tension, and tension causes an actual physical itch in the nose. Hence, the scratching of the nose may in fact be used just to satisfy the itching feeling. However, there is a noticeable difference here as the genuine itch in a person's nose is normally satisfied by a more obvious rubbing motion, as opposed to a light touch or stroke of the self-doubt nose touching gesture.

Just the very same as the hand over the mouth gesture, it can be used both by the speaker to conceal his or her own deception and by the listener who is suspicious of what is being said by the speaker.

See No Deceit, Hear No Doubt

Rubbing or touching the eye area is a very strong indication of doubt and deceit. This gesture is the subconscious way of the person's mind trying to avoid looking directly into the eyes or the face of the person to whom he or she is lying to.

When telling a lie, a woman will usually rub just below the eye gently in a small and light gesture. This is either because she wants to avoid smearing her make-up, or it might just be a typical woman's gentle gesture as how they were brought up in a feminine environment.

Compared to a woman, a man usually rubs his eyes in a more robust gesture. However, if the deception is a huge one, men and women will both share the similar gesture of avoiding the listener's gaze by looking away at the floor or the ceiling.

Coming over to the hear no doubt side, rubbing, twiddling or tugging the earlobe is a sign on uncertainty or confusion which, if performed while a person is talking, signals a lack of faith and trust in what is being said by the speaker. And again, It also means that the listener isn't convinced of the truth of what is being said by you if performed by another party while you are talking.

These ear touching gestures are actually the improvised grown-up version that originated from the both-hands-over-ears gesture used by young children who wants to block out his or her parents naggings and scoldings.

Truthful Feet and Legs

During a conversation, when someone chooses to lie about something, he or she will most often cross arms or legs concurrently. It indicates advance self-defense against any forthcoming challenge.

Other common foot signals may include constant foot tapping and feet pointing to the exit. These gestures are suggesting that the person is having a desire to escape the current situation and wants to get out. When a person is trying to get out of something, it normally leads to fabricating a small harmless lie instead of having to tell the truth in situations like not wanting to come to work, or attend a particular social function.

The Honest Posture

The body posture of a person who's lying is often stiff and controlled. The person's natural physical expression is being held back when he or she is holding back the truth.

Research confirms that people are less likely to touch or sit very close to you when they are being dishonest. There is also a high possibility they will turn their whole body away from you to hide both their face and the truth.

Further postural language which clashes with the spoken word may be seen socially when someone pretends to agree with you, the fact is that this person is just unconvinced underneath and is rejecting both you and what you are saying.

The Stressful Signals

The stress signals of the autonomic nervous system are the most reliable pointers or indicators of dishonesty and insincerity. Stress reactions such as sweating, face paling and uneven breathing patterns are quite impossible to conceal or even to fake it.

The most common and reliable indicator of lying is the dry mouth, this stress reaction will cause the liar to lick his or her lips more often, and also swallowing nervously at certain times. Occasionally, there will also be more throat-clearing than usual.

These stress reactions are caused by the heightened sense of fear of someone when he or she is lying. Such obvious stress symptoms normally only occurs in the event of dramatic circumstances.

Piecing It All Together

Judging from the body gestures that have been described here, concealment is probably the better word than lying to define the main influence behind all of them.

It will take a considerable amount of time and observation to acquire the ability to accurately interpret and differentiate the many types of gestures in a given situation.

Every nose-rubbing or ear-tugging does not necessarily mean that someone is outright lying deliberately. These so-called gestures of deceit can also be initiated from someone who is just simply expressing doubt, uncertainty, confusion, exaggeration or apprehension.

Having the ability to pick the correct underlying mood of a person's gestures is the real skill of interpretation. This can be achieved by analyzing the other types of signals right before the display of those mentioned gestures and interpreting them in context.

It is also very important to consider what culture someone comes from, the personality type and the actual situation the person is in. Some cultures may not be especially expressive, while others may be dramatically demonstrative. Always remember to consider the whole picture and not just that one or two isolated signals.

Hope you enjoyed reading and gotten a lot out from this article. If you want to keep learning more powerful body language skills to enhance your life in a positive way, you can easily do so by visiting the links here.

You will discover the secrets to have full control in any situation that can boost up your social and working life tremendously. It's now time for you to open up to success, let your body speak up for you, and change your life for the better.


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