Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How To: Recognize A Liar’s Body Language

From Healthbolt:

Really good liars are everywhere, but they can’t control what they don’t know they’re doing. Here’s some stuff that most people will automatically do when weaving a yarn.

  1. If the liar actually believes they are lying, and that it is wrong, then watch for negative self evaluation gestures. These are usually touching of the nose or ears. Yes it sounds silly. Yes, we almost all do it. No, we don’t realize it.
  2. Eye contact almost always weakens during the actually telling of the lie. Except if someone’s doing that “look in my eyes and tell me” thing. In which case eye contact is mandatory.
  3. Most liars tell lies “palms down”. It’s a subconscious move that is defensive and deceptive. Showing someone your palms makes you feel vulnerable.
  4. Most liars are also slouchers. Our backs naturally straighten when we are proud and confident. Liars faking confidence, are rarely either.
  5. Humans eyes generally move up and to left if their brain is doing visual or audio construction. They will generally move to the upper right when doing recall. Just remember: Liars go Left, the Righteous go Right. (Remember the Visual Remembered and Visual Constructed Eye Movements from NLP Eye Accessing Cues post, though you have to know beforehand which side is which as it can be different, for instance in left and right handed people but other factors too)

None of these mannerisms on their own is a solid lock. But if you get someone presenting 3 or 4 of them, they’re selling you something you shouldn’t be buying.

Never take your assumptions for absolute truth!


Christopher Knowles said...

6. They work in government, investment banking, insurance, or the news media. That's a dead giveaway.

JJ said...

I've heard about this once before but what troubled me then was: My left and right, or yours?

I assume that it's for the situation where one is analyzing other, so there.

Or... maybe I was trying earlier to figure out how to lie convincingly to someone with mad Liar Body Language Skillz. Is it still impossible even if you try to model all bodily movement completely? Maybe, practice inverted skills? Has anyone tried?

Anadæ Effro said...

Thank you for putting this list of how to detect a liar's physical cues up. However, as an artist with an insanely active visual cortex my(s)elf, in recapitualting details about something, I almost always find my(s)elf looking off into left field. Something to do with being right-brained, I wager.

Other 'an 'at, please track down the Harvard educated psychologist Martha Stout's now widely acclaimed study of the personality that seemingly intrinsically has no conscience, "The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us". These individuals lie often seamlessly & w/o detection. Here's a basic mini-interview:

It's scary, sort of, to think that one individual in twenty-five is so aspected. Yikes. Thanks again for your thought provoking articles.

Gratefully dedroided,
Anadæ Effro ( :-)}