3 Things About Liars You May Not Know. Most people are under the impression there are specifics they can count on when sussing out liars. Oh but if that were true!
There are no true “absolutes” you can count on. However, there are cues you can score well with if you focus on the situation, what’s happening in real time, and when the cues are leaking.
For example, I have what is called a “Speaking Reel”. That’s a very short, 2 minute video, showing me speaking at different events for different companies etc. The last thing it shows is 20 seconds of my TEDx Talk “How To Kill Your Body Language Frankenstein And Inspire The Villagers”. When TEDx released the video on YouTube my wife watched it and said “Well, what do you think?” And I said “I can’t believe how many times I was licking my lips and touching my mouth!”
Usually when I do that, I’m nervous. REALLY nervous. However, in this situation, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I never even thought about being nervous. When somebody is monkeying around with their mouth, most people think it’s do to nervousness, not excitement. That’s because most people see that situation as one to make a person nervous, so it makes sense.
Let’s take that line of thinking into a different situation. When I’m trying to find out if a suspected embezzler has taken money or not, I start looking at everything. From what the time is, to what they ate for breakfast. Where did they park? Is someone waiting on them? Do they have an important meeting or appointment after speaking with me?
I need to know these things so I will have an idea of how much, and what all, is going on in the periphery of this specific situation. Because I will begin wondering why I’m seeing new Adaptors and cues when up to this point all has been fairly calm.
In that situation I can ask them “Do you have something important going on after this?” But out in the wild you can’t always ask the person you’re talking to “Hey, what are you doing after this? What have you got, a parent teacher’s meeting? An interview for another job? What? Why are you so nervous right now?” You’ve got to be very careful. Especially when you see some cues you’ve always counted on as “absolutes”.
Like I said earlier, there are some cues you can lean a little bit on to say “Eh… This might be horse poop.” And there are several things liars are more apt to do than those telling the truth. So, what are those 3 Things About Liars You May Not Know?
#1 The quick shoulder shrug: More often than not, I’ve found this to be more of an “I’m not confident about that” cue. Especially if the person is being asked a question. A person that isn’t lying may do the same shrug, but they may not be sure of how to say what they are going to say. You’ll see that quite often so be careful. The liar will most likely keep staring at you after they answer to make sure you believe them. Liars will quite often quickly shrug their shoulders, or just a single shoulder, when they aren’t being honest.
#2 Not Breaking Eye Contact: The reason someone lying to you does NOT break eye contact, is the reason mentioned above. The liar will watch you much more closely than someone telling the truth. Because they want and need to make sure you are believing their answer. The person telling the truth, depending on the situation, usually doesn’t care whether you believe them or not. They aren’t thinking that it’s important for you to believe them. They’re just talking. Liars are more prone to keep eye contact when answering.
#3 Moving Back and/or Away: The one thing that just jumps out at me when someone is telling me something or when someone is answering a question, is the sometimes subtle movement away from me or the person they are giving the information to. Just because they move back a little bit doesn’t mean anything. It’s when they move back and how. It’s not right after the question is asked. It happens during the answer. Liars are apt to move back, distance themselves from the lie they are telling more often than someone being honest.
As someone begins doing little things you haven’t seen during the entire conversation up to that point, there’s no reason not to wonder what’s happening. Why are they doing those things? Is it something you said? Is it something they just remembered? Is it something they said? Is it something you didn’t say?
When I begin seeing cues and tells and Adaptors, I begin looking for the things I can usually rely on that will tell me if that person is being honest. The first thing I do is make sure I take everything in the “Big Picture” of the situation into mind. Then I start looking for the Quick Shoulder Shrugs, NOT Breaking Eye Contact, and Moving Back or Away as they answer questions or make statements.
Those are the 3 Things About Liars you may not know. Is there something you count on, that works more often than not, when looking for deception? Let me know @ScottRouse3.