When it comes to body language and lying there are some misconceptions and some truth around what is really going on with a person. For example, if there were a body language cue that signalled to others that that person is lying, they would not do it. However, there isn’t one. No one piece of nonverbal communication can tell us if someone is deceiving us or just lying. People would like to lie if there were.
The only way we can tell if someone is lying to us is by looking for tell-tale signs of deception. We need to learn to read facial expressions, body movements, tone, and cadence of voice before we can make a decision if that person is lying to us. Spotting deceit requires understanding what behaviour’s a liar will exhibit as they make up their story.
It is not an easy thing to catch lies.
In this post, we will take a look at some red flags and areas of non-verbal communicant that someone might be lying. Before we get into that we need to consider some things when it comes to understanding body language. The first thing we need to think about is context. This will give us factual clues about what’s going on with a person. So what is context and why is it important to reading body language?
- Why We Must Understand Context First.
- What is A Baseline In Body Langauge?
- Quick way to tell if someone is lying by observing their body language.
- The Face.
- The Eyes
- Final Thoughts
Why We Must Understand Context First.
When it comes to context from a body language point of view we need to take into account all the facts. There is a lot of valuable data that can be extracted by analyzing context Information like what a person is doing, where they are and what they’re talking about tells us a lot about what is going on and how they are really feeling. The next thing you must do is baseline a person before you start analyzing them to tell if they are lying (Don’t worry, this isn’t complicated as it sounds.)
What is A Baseline In Body Langauge?
The baseline of a person is the set of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that are typical for them. It is how they act in everyday life and in different environments.
For example, someone who is feeling depressed might move around lifelessly with their head down. Another example of a baseline is when someone is in a social setting and feels more relaxed and happy they will use open gestures, smile more and make good eye contact.
Different people have different reactions under different conditions. So to get a true baseline, you need to see them in relaxed and heated situations, as well as in normal conditions; this way, we can also pick out inconsistencies.
This is easier said than done, so we need to work with what we have and gather information and data points by analyzing the situation we find ourselves in or the person we are trying to read. You are looking for changes from their normal behavior. For a more in-depth look on how to read body language we recommend you take a look at How To Read Body Language & Nonverbal Cues (The Correct Way)
Quick way to tell if someone is lying by observing their body language.
There’s a quick way to analyze if a person is lying from a body language point of view, but it may take a while to figure out. Having said that, if you notice a shift from the baseline and there are a few non-verbal cues shifts within a five-minute time frame, you can tell a person is uneasy.
Below are six things to look out for to tell if a person is lying or becoming uncomftable you are looking for three to five shifts in body language to really get an understanding,
“Always remember that no one piece of body language can ever tell you if someone is lying.”
- They won’t make eye contact.
- They touch their face a lot.
- They fidget.
- They avoid answering questions directly.
- They speak quickly.
- They change the subject.
Next up, we’ll look at what you should be looking for when you want to figure out if someone is lying from a body language point of view.
Liars often monitor which aspects of their words or body language people might focus on more. When speaking, they will usually answer in a manner that will seem more believable for this reason.
It is important to pay attention to the signs of deceitful behavior since words are not always the best place to look. The face is usually better for this because it connects directly to areas of the brain related to emotions and words. It’s one of the only places on the body that’s not covered.
For example, people display anger on their faces subconsciously for a few seconds, these are called microexpressions and if you can learn to read them you will have a better understanding of what is going on internally with them.
People use their facial expressions to express a range of emotions, but there’s no way of telling when they’re telling the truth or lying. Lying typically involves sending one message and hiding another. This is often done by showing one face but concealing another.
The face is one of the main areas to study when it comes to reading body language. For more information about the body language of the face, check out Body Language Of The Face (Complete Guide)
Is Yawning A Sign Of Lying?
Yawning alone is not indicative of deception. Yawning is a sign of being tired or of being done with this. Some people may use a yawn to show their frustration with questioning or to avoid answering a question.
Is Blushing A Sign Of A Liar?
Typically, people blush when they are embarrassed about something. It’s sometimes used to conceal that they are feeling ashamed or embarrassed about what has happened. It’s worth noting if you spot someone blushing, as it provides a data point that something has shifted within them and it gives us something to work with when it comes to detecting a lie.
Is Touching Your Face A Sign Of Lying?
Touching one’s face could be a sign of lying, but it could also be a sign of high stress. Sometimes, we touch our faces in an effort to calm ourselves down – this is called a regulator or pacifier in body language terms. Again it’s a data point we need to take into account when looking for a lie.
Remember that we must read in clusters of information and that no one body language action can indicate someone is lying to us.
Eye movements are one of the easiest ways to notice if someone is lying. For example, if you notice that a person typically goes to the left side of their brain to recall information, you would take that into account when analyzing all of their data. Most body language experts now agree that looking down right is an emotional recall response and one to be mindful of when studying body language.
Noticing Changes In The Eyes
The most common statement that people believe is that liars will avoid eye contact. We don’t agree with that statement. A liar will feed you information and watch you like a hawk to see if you have bought into the lie. If anything lairs will not avoid eye contact at all, it’s not in their favour to do so.
When faced with situations that cause embarrassment, people often find other tasks to focus on. This can be a way to cover up feelings of sadness, guilt or disgust. Liars do not change their behaviors noticeably when being deceptive because they want to see if you have brought into their lie.
Blink Rate Change
The most important piece of information when it comes to the eye and lying is the blink rate. You can baseline someone’s blink rate and notice an increase when they’re under stress. The average blink rate is between eight and twenty times per minute. If you see an increase in blink rate, this is a strong data point and one not to be dismissed.
The blinking reflex, which is involuntary and cannot be suppressed, is a basic autonomic behavior that does not usually command attention. We can use it to our advantage when analyzing some body language
When a blink rate changes, there’s something wrong internally. We need to be extra observant to find out what it is.
When it comes to pupil dilation, you may see the pupils become wider as they are telling a lie. This is because the liar is taking in as much information as possible. Again, we must stress that no one piece of non-verbal information is indicative of a lie. You have to read in clusters of information.
Tears happen during moments of distress, sadness, relief, or too much laughter. Some liars will use this to distract or delay their next trick in a liar’s arsenal.
Looking To The Right
Head movements are an important component of facial expressions, they are often unconscious movements that are made without any conscious intent. We make head movements in order to express our thoughts or emotions about what we see or hear in the environment.
If you see the head move to the right or the eyes move down to the right this could indicate an emotional reaction to something that was said or implied.
It’s worth noting the conversation beforehand and digging into the context a little more.
We’ve all seen someone on TV, in a movie, or in our own lives nod their head while they say “no”, which is a really big indicator, and one you can use to catch a liar.
Body language experts say that there are certain cues to keep in mind when you are trying to detect lies. First of all, be aware of their eye contact. If they look away or blink more than usual, they might be lying to you. They may also avert their gaze more than usual, which is another indication that they are not telling the truth.
If they seem to be sweating more than usual or showing signs of anxiety-like rubbing their hands together or fidgeting too much, these could also indicate that they are not being honest with you. Lastly, if the person feels uncomfortable in some way and is using more hand gestures, for instance, this could mean that something is wrong and it’s time for you to investigate further.
The most important thing to remember and if you take nothing away other than this then it has been worth your time reading “There are no absolutes in body language.” Thank you for taking the time to read. We hope you found it helpful in your quest to understand body language and lying. Until next time, stay safe.