This Is What Boldfaced Lying Looks Like Up Close. American culture teaches us to nod our head up and down to indicate “Yes” or agreement. In Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria, nodding the head upward just once indicates “No”. Shaking it back and forth indicates “No” in the U.S., however in Bulgaria it indicates “Yes”.
We’ve all done it “The American Way” our entire lives and if we were asked to do the opposite, just for half an hour, it would be almost impossible to do without making a mistake. So what does that tell us?
That tells us we do it without even thinking about it. If something is good, if something is agreeable, if we’re asked a YES or NO question and the answer is YES… we’re gonna nod up and down. Sometimes that nod is almost imperceivable by those not paying close attention. But it’s there dang near every time, large, small, or incredibly small.
Now, ask yourself these 4 questions:
–Would I ever shake my head NO if I meant YES?
–Would I ever shake my head NO if I SAID “YES”?
–Would I ever shake my head YES if I meant NO?
–Would I ever shake my head YES if SAID “NO”?
I’ll assume your answers to all 4, like mine, were “NO”. The reason for that is, you’d have to think about it. You’d have to consciously shake your head NO if you meant yes. And vice versa. Your brain doesn’t allow that to happen very often without needing you to be aware and thinking about it.
However, there are times when a person from our culture will nod their head “Yes” when they answer with “No”. And they will shake their head “No” when in fact they are saying “Yes”.
Why on Earth would anyone do that? In many cases it’s that person’s Body Language is non verbally telling you the truth, as they are verbally telling you a lie. (Remember, there are no absolutes when it comes to Body Language, so it doesn’t mean they are lying just because you observe that specific behavior. You’ve got to keep asking questions around the question they are answering, and get a better handle on what information they are actually relaying.)
Take a look at Lance Armstrong in the video above. That’s what it looks like when someone is saying “YES” as their Body Language is non verbally saying “NO”. So, what do you think? Does he LOOK like he’s being honest? Or does it LOOK like he’s being deceptive?