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Tugging at the ears helps distract the mind from emotional stress.

Tugging at the ears helps distract the mind from emotional stress.

The ear rub or pull is as gesture done as a response to greater blood flow to the ears and as a result of an increase in body temperature. Lying ear language can come in the form of a pull downward on the lobe, or as a scratch, or swipe behind the ear. When we get hot, we flush, and the neck and ears are particularly sensitive to flushing. Flushing is the body’s response to an overactive metabolism as it prepares to either fight, or take flight. When this cue is as a result of hearing a lie from someone else, or hearing something that is distasteful, it is done in an attempt to inhibit what a person is hearing by blocking the hears. Only it is not a complete blocking, but rather an abbreviated blocking so instead of covering them completely, the hand merely grazes the ears or pulls on them. Other times liars respond to the stress associated with lying themselves, so the ears are being touched to “block” the hears from hearing their own fib. When someone manages their body in this way, it tells us that they are having an inner battle with their self-image. In other words, this gesture is likely to appear only in those people that are traditionally honest. Pathological liars don’t hold a positive self image, at least not about their honesty and integrity, so feel no remorse from telling a lie and therefore go free of the stress response lying can sometimes produce.