Your Body Language Frankenstein. Crushing Body Language Myths. Everyone has learned a little something about Body Language. You see a TV show, an interview with a body language expert, read a body language book, or watch a special on the Learning Channel. From that point on, as Body Language Expert and Former Army interrogator Greg Hartley put it “You begin piecing together your very own ‘Body Language Frankenstein’.”
That’s not good. Because, you begin making decisions about whether someone you know is lying to you or not. You may be under the impression the girl you’re talking to dislikes you, when in reality, she’s had a crush on you for quite some time now.
You may see an investor smile a tiny smile during a certain part of your pitch and think she really likes it. When in fact, she knows that market better than anybody and now sees you as a misguided and uniformed putz who’s just waisted an hour of her time.
You’re under the impression you’ve improved your “That’s a lie!” batting average at work, with friends, family, and business associates. You don’t realize that for some reason, people are distancing themselves from you. This is common and happens quite often. Here’s an example of why this happens. See if it sounds familiar:
You’re sure he’s listening to you intently because his head tilted to the right when you began speaking. (You saw something about this head tilting thing on Youtube three years ago. You just collected a head for your Body Language Frankenstein.)
You ask a question about his numbers and his mouth squinches up just a little before you finish the question. (A body language expert talked about the limbic system in People Magazine a few years ago. He said when someone purses their lips, they think you’re too aggressive and think it best to hold some information back. You’re pretty sure that’s what he said. You just stuck a brain in your Body Language Frankenstein’s head).
Now he’s lying to you because he looked down and to the left when answering another question. (Ah yes, you saw this one in that movie “The Negotiator.” He did say to the left didn’t he? Oh well, now you’ve got a set of eyes for your Body Language Frankenstein.).
He crosses his arms as you talk and keeps looking at the door. He wants to run away from you. (That was in that book, “Everyone Speaks with Body Language” you got at the airport that time. It’s all coming together now that you’ve collected an “animal reaction”.)
When you ask him if he goofed around with the numbers in the financials, he looks you right in the eye and without blinking says “No. I did not goof around with the numbers.” (People never look you in the eye and lie without blinking. That’s common knowledge. Or is it “People always look you in the eye when they’re lying but they blink a lot at the same time”? Oh well, you’re close anyway. Your Body Language Frankenstein now has a conscience.)
With that last question, you also noticed his voice went up at the end. You’ve heard about that one since high school. You also noticed he said “I did not.” Ah ha! He’s trying to get some time to think as well because he repeated the question back as a statement. Liars don’t contract the lie when first confronted, and since he didn’t say “No, I didn’t”, you’re sure he’s lying. (Your Body Language Frankenstein now has the power of speech.)
Some of the moving body parts, signs, gestures, and sounds, you’ve stuck on and in your Body Language Frankenstein over the years could actually be telling you exactly what’s happening with that specific person in that specific moment. While on the other hand, they could just as easily be telling you the complete opposite.
So, how do you know when a person’s body language is telling you what’s really happening? How do you get your Body Language Frankenstein to shut up and quit telling you all these things it thinks it knows? In the deception detection game, there’s a rule you must follow. It’s very simple…
THERE IS NO SINGLE MOVEMENT, FACIAL EXPRESSION, OR SENTENCE THAT TELLS YOU FOR CERTAIN, SOMEONE IS LYING OR TELLING THE TRUTH.
Follow that simple rule, and your batting average will go through the roof. What are the signs, “tells”, and giveaways, that let you know what someone may be thinking or what they may do next?
I’ll be going over a whole bunch of those in the next several posts. If you pay attention, you’ll learn the same things members of the law enforcement community know, teach, and are taught, about body language. That information will help you to become more confident with your sales approach, your pitch, your bedisde manner, and in your meetings and everyday conversations.
How? When stressed, you unconciously do things that say “I’m nervous – I don’t really know what I’m talking about – You can’t trust me – Stay away from me”. However, you’re most likely thinking and feeling the opposite. That’s normal. You can’t help it. You’re stressed.
It doesn’t mean you’re being dishonest. You may move your shoulders that way because you’re nervous. The person or people you’re speaking to don’t know that, so it makes them uncomfortable with you. I’ll teach you how to trade those moves, gestures, and facial expressions, with ones that will make you look, act, and feel confident in front of them. And in front of anyone else for that matter.
Your Body Language Frankenstein is big, very strong, and extremely persuasive. Next time we will begin the process of getting him subdued, under control, and out of your way. Then you’ll have a better understand what your body language is transmitting when you’re in a meeting, pitching your idea, talking with someone you may date, or asking for a raise, etc. – Follow me on Twitter. Get a look at my Instagram.