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You can tell if someone is lying from their body language...

In my initial blog, Can You Spot a Liar Part I, I discussed some of techniques to be able to determine if someone may be lying to you. The initial blog, as well as this one, was focused on the trial attorney to assist them with tips and tricks in determining if someone is being deceptive, but these tips may be beneficial to everyone.

As you may recall, I discussed asymmetry in the face when someone is being deceptive; natural truthful gestures occur on both sides. I also pointed out to pay attention to what is called a, "micro-expression", which is a very brief and subtle facial clue revealing what a person is thinking compared to what they are saying.

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Many times a person's actions can be talking louder than what their words are saying. According to Pamela Meyer (2010), there are two reasons that non-verbal behavior and gestures are more reliable than verbal. The first is that when people are preparing themselves to lie, they concentrate on what their words are saying rather than what their gestures are conveying. People believe that what they say carries more clout than what their body language and facial expressions are relaying.

The second reason is that people that are potentially lying are using less body movement or gestures. Stillness in the body when we speak is not a natural action and the more that a person is trying to speak and remain remarkably still, the more un-natural they look. This is not a normal behavior and deception may be present.

In Lie Spotting by Pamela Meyer (2010), there are eight specific body language gestures to observe for and the possible meaning behind these gestures:

1. Open Palms Open palms are welcoming and suggest honesty, where as closed palms may reveal a person has something to conceal

2. Head Nods When a person is nodding their head, when engaged in conversation, this generally means that I hear you, not that I agree with you

3. Steepling Placing fingers in a steeple gesture conveys superiority and confidence. This can be either a positive or negative gesture, pay attention to the movements that precede it to determine it's meaning

4. Thrusting Palm Handshake A move that power-players like to utilize is a downward thrusting handshake which puts the receiver in a submissive forward-down position

5. Crossed Arms Many of us may already know that this is an un-welcoming position and can mean the individual is closed off

6. Ankle Lock This position can mean fear, uncertainty and/or withdrawal. This is what may be seen in interrogations during trial or depositions (if the legs and feet can be seen)

7. Legs-apart Stance This position actually emphasizes the crotch area and can be a sign of toughness or dominance

8. Lint Picking Turning away and picking link off clothing that is either real or imagined means that one does not truly agree with what is being said and/or may have another opinion

Recognizing a person that is lying is a learned technique that we all can master, but we have to be particularly astute to the body language that others are conveying. Knowing what the body is telling us, as compared to what words are coming out of the mouth, can be an excellent tool for the attorney when dealing with individuals that they may feel are being deceptive.

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Posted in Personal Development Post Date 10/15/2019


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