Tag Archive for Gestures

How To Accurately Read Lies

By now we know that liars are practiced, we all do it, and we do it regularly. Sometimes we don’t even realize we do it and other times those around us don’t care to know. What we do know is that most liars feel only mild feelings of guilt and fear. Thus, we should only expect very subtle clues to deception and nothing more. It has been shown through the research that looking for full blown signals of lying is both misleading and even unhelpful. Liars as it were, are only slightly more apprehensive than truth tellers with both feeling nervous and anxious when faced with scrutiny.

My advice to read people is to watch for the little stuff, the microexpressions, the small gestures and the ones that happen instantly, and then hone in on it. Keep in mind too, that you won’t be able to detect lies much better than about seventy-five percent of the time anyway, which is on par with the CIA minus of course various lie detection machines which we discussed as being impractical and requiring cooperation that you are very unlikely to garner, even if provided with access.

The top lie detectors all seem to have one trait in common, and that is skepticism. They know or assume that someone is lying so they view them through that window being careful to watch and recall any cues that tip the scales toward deception. Looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses will lead to rose-coloured predictions about people and this is all just dandy, if you aren’t interesting in uncovering bad things around you. You also must be aware of a person, from their face to their toes and be willing to look them over and actively observe them. If you’re goal is to make friends, then by all means avoid filtering and analyzing the body language around you. In fact, I would advise body language readers to relax their skills when around family and friends, or at least keep it secret!

It is not safe to immediately peg someone a liar based on one or even a handful of cues just by the nature of the trade. Reading lying correctly is a long term comparison of the facts seeded with emotional, fearful and stressed body language from one moment to the next that can only happen over time. Success will come by looking at the full picture and comparing the parts to the whole and digging deeper when discrepancies happen between expressive behaviours and the words said. No doubt, lie detection is difficult, but the body language in this chapter coupled with how it is framed, that is the lie detection theory and it’s limitations, will help increase your odds significantly.

Nose Language


When people are stressed, blood flushes into the skin.  Our hands are then drawn to the areas most affected due to increased sensitivity and heat so we tend to point out our stress.  Enlarged capillaries in the nose can induce our hands in it’s direction to sooth it.  As blood flows to the nose, it enlarges, giving credence to the ‘Pinocchio effect.’

Nose touching might also stem from lying. It can happen as a quick but purposeful touch, the finger might graze the side of the nose, or it can be a persistent rubbing. Sometimes the touch is quick and dirty in an up and down motion, other times it is a brief almost unnoticeable touch to the base of the nose or its side. Face touching can come in two forms, one that serves a real function to alleviate an itch, and one that is the result of negative feelings such as being uncomfortable and stressed. Face touching that is due to an emotion is meant as a fix behind the sensation, the emotion, and not due to any physical need.

In order to appear more honest in front of others, either reduce or eliminate all face touching, make them appear more natural, or make them consistent in affect across all situations. Itching is usually a repetitive isolated gesture, which happens regardless of what is said, and happens at times when it would be impossible to assume a connection to what is being said. For example, saying something of questionable truthfulness, then brushing the side of the nose with an index finger is likely to raise suspicion, whereas bumping the nose when not speaking or when describing insignificant details would go unnoticed. Always try to make gestures appear natural and functional instead and also be particularly conscious of nose and face touching when you think someone is trying to peg you a liar. Over time it is your baseline that will give you away, so if you remain consistent across all situations, you’re less likely to give up tells. Most will find that their minds are more active and busy during lying, so it’s easier to avoid gestures altogether instead of adding honest gestures. This makes eliminating face touching one of the easiest ways to appear honest with minimal effort.

The Most Common Gestures Associated With Liars

As we have seen liars are difficult to detect and sometimes body language is more of a distraction than a help, however, as mentioned throughout, most people still rely on visual cues and identify (at least in their mind) liars through their body language. While these cues are only sometimes useful in detecting lies, they are always valuable as cues to avoid if the desire is to appear honest and trustworthy in the eyes of others. In other words, here is a list of cues to avoid emitting yourself!

Examples of Microexpression

Keep in mind that microexpressions are useful when they appear out of congruency with other gestures or language. It is when the facial expression is out of tune with what is being said. For example, telling a positive story while smiling and momentarily flashing a microexpression can mean that the person is lying. Here are some microexpressions with respect to emotions. [note that images show true expressions which might be held for a time, whereas a microexpression will not persist, only flash quickly before disappearing]


Copy of BodyLanguageProjectCom - Anger 1Anger: Lowering the brow, flaring of the eyes and tightening of the mouth.


Copy (2) of BodyLanguageProjectCom - Fear Facial ExpressionFear: Raising the upper eyelids and showing the whites of the eyes, raising the inner brow and folding the eyebrows inward (activation of the grief muscle), lowering the brow and or tightening of the eyelid. A grimace usually comes across the face.


BodyLanguageProjectCom - Surprised Facial Expression Or SurprisedSurprise: Straight upward lift of the brows.


BodyLanguageProjectCom - DisgustDisgust: Baring of the teeth, lower of the eyebrows, tightening the eyelid, and wrinkling the nose.


Copy of BodyLanguageProjectCom - ScornScorn: A combination of anger and disgust that happens by wrinkling of the nose, raising and tightening of the upper lip. To visualize this expression think of a bad smell.



Copy of BodyLanguageProjectCom - Down-Turned Smile Or Reverse SmileReverse smile: While smiling the corners of the mouth curl downwards momentarily displaying a caught/suppressed frown.


BodyLanguageProjectCom - False Smile Or Ohoney SmileFalse smile: Where the eyes play no part (no wrinkles in the corners of the eyes as in the Duchenne smile and the mouth is stretched across the face).


Doubt or disbelief: While answering a question in the affirmative saying “yes” the head is seen shaking from side-to-side in a ‘no-gesture.’


Square Tables

In a square table seating arrangement, each person is in a competitive (head-to-head) position and a cooperative (kitty-corner) position.  This can present an interesting situation.

In a square table seating arrangement, each person is in a competitive (head-to-head) position and a cooperative (kitty-corner) position. This can present an interesting situation.

Square tables present an interesting situation. If we draw on what we know about rectangular tables we know that people who sit face-to-face are in a competitive position and those to our rights and lefts are in cooperative positions. Thus, everyone is equally competing and cooperating with someone at the table completely leveling the playing field. Square tables are great for quick meetings because of this dichotomy.

Bridge is an interesting game played on a square table. In the game there are four players in two fixed partnerships. The partners sit facing each other. It is the tradition to name the players according to their position at the table. They are called North, East, South and West. North and South are partners playing against East and West. In this card game, partners are not allowed to convey information to each other by talking, gestures or facial expression. The intent of the game is to exchange information by the choice of bids or cards played, but how well does this bode with the information we know about seating arrangements? The game has done well to prevent partners sitting next to each other preventing close quarter exchanges that might go unnoticed. However, it does allow partners to face each other head-on exposing their full fronts to each other and also prevents opponents from gaining the same view. While partners aren’t permitted to use any language whatsoever to exchange cues, being students of body language and aware of it’s proficient and pervasiveness might expect something different from the game whether or not it’s ever detected. Naturally, you’ll draw your own conclusions!


Never gesture too much because subconsciously it will appear that we are at a loss for words. Don’t restrict gestures either, as they will make us seem uptight and will inhibit our speech flow and always return your hands to your lap after each bout of movement. High status individuals use gestures much less than low status individuals so keep your gestures deliberate, clear and meaningful. If possible and appropriate, mirror the subtle gestures of your interviewer to try to build rapport. The more similar you can make them think you are to them, the more confident they will be in your ability to do the job and fit in.

During The Interview

Don’t be thrown off by the office set-up, as it might be created to put you at a disadvantage. For example, the chair provided for you might be shorter than the interviewees and a large desk might separate you from them. Don’t concern yourself with this, as everyone else will be viewed with the same conditions. Try your best to seem comfortable in whatever position you happen to be in. Keep your legs uncrossed and flat on the floor with your hands in your lap. Keep your back straight and head up and lean toward the interviewer slightly. Always hit on the averages, not too much and not too little. This goes for everything, appear relaxed, but not too relaxed, use gestures, but not too often and so forth. If the interviewer seems uptight, don’t try to loosen them up with jokes or banter but if they seem personable, or in the mood, it can be advantageous to discuss interests and hobbies. Office photographs can be great links to common interests to help build rapport. If a direct question is asked, answer directly, don’t appear to waste time with the interviewer. Try your best to maintain flow between the communication style of the interviewer and yourself. If they speak quickly, don’t try to keep up, but don’t lag behind either. It’s always better to speak a little bit slower and more confidently than speaking faster than your mind can think.

Maintain good eye contact while speaking and while listening allow for some periods when eye contact is broken. Never cut off the interviewer and offer plenty of cues that you understand what is being said. Speak slowly and confidently and never more than thirty seconds at a time. Nods and approval sounds such as “mhum” makes the interviewer know that you comprehend what is being said and the research shows us that this is important even for high status individuals. If you are genuinely confused by what is said tilt your head to the side to make a query face. If this body language doesn’t yield clarifying information from the interviewer, then ask to hear the information again, as it shows that you are keenly interested in learning more about the work.

To measure your success throughout the interview watch for eye contact, smiling and nodding. The research show us that successful applicants get twice as much eye contact, three times more smiling and twice as much head nodding as unsuccessful ones. Use this information to build your confidence or to ramp up your pitch if things aren’t going well.

Introduction – Chapter 14

We don’t all work in office situations, but it won’t make this chapter any less valuable to those who don’t. Throughout life we all find ourselves in business situations even if they don’t appear to be so because money or capital is such a pervasive component of our global marketplace. This chapter is all about setting up and also reading the nonverbal language of business, from selling, to buying and what’s sandwiched in the middle, negotiation! We will look at how to sell to different people without becoming their friends as well as the level of service they would prefer, how best to interact with people when standing, and through my handshake experiment we shall see the types of bad handshakes you will, or have already experienced, and as well as how to gain the upper hand. Specific handshake advice is provided to women and those with small hands so their hands aren’t totally engulfed!

There are also office tips specifically directed toward women such as why women would be better served if they played down their sexiness but still showed curves, how they can use their heels to apply “pressure” to their colleagues, and how they can “power sit” for best results. We will also find out how people that are prepared for action appear like sprinters in the starting blocks, how the “top dogs” or natural leaders actually start off that way since they already have dominant body language patterns and receive promotions for these characteristics rather than something more deserved like actual talent. We then cover how to please your boss despite his disposition before delving into interview body language and outline what homework needs to be done before arriving, how to enter the interview area, what gestures are appropriate, as well as which clothing should be removed before the interview to show belonging. We conclude our chapter on office body language with a summary of buying indicators.

Summary – Chapter 13

In this chapter we looked extensively at courtship signals. We learned that men who are not familiar with body language tend to miss the signals put out by women, but that women can be misleading or confusing as message senders, and that it is the women’s job to signal sexual interest. We talked about the most common sexual signals women use, starting with displays of submission including pigeon toes or tibial torsion, shoulder shrugs, exposing the neck or wrists, head tilt, smiling, the forehead bow and childlike playfulness. The second class of signals, we discussed where ways to create sexiness such as tossing the hair, tilting the pelvis, the parade, the room encompassing glance, grooming and preening, the leg twine and leg crossing, hiking the skirt and or dressing provocatively. The third way women use to indicate interest that we covered related to proximity such as moving closer, pointing and eye contact and crossing the legs towards her object of affection. The remaining sexual signals were rapport building. We learned that women dress more provocatively and ornament more elaborately when most fertile and receptive to male advances, that echoing and mirroring is a big component in the mating dance, and how squeezing the hand can be used as a kiss test.

We then looked at the main behaviours that can be used by women to avoid male solicitation which included facial expressions such as yawning, frowning, sneering, gaze avoidance, upward gaze, looking away, and staring and gestures such as negative head shaking, nail cleaning, teeth picking or pocketing hands and postural patterns such as arm crossing, holding the trunk rigidly, closing the legs, body contact avoidance or pulling away. These were classified into three main categories; gaze avoidance, gestures and posture patterns.

As we saw, men solicit attention from women in a different way. Men will demonstrate dominance and virility to appear sexier to women, whereas women traditionally display submission. We saw that alpha men will use the cowboy posture to draw attention to their genitals, they will and should eliminate beta male body language to attract women, use more open postures such as legs spread apart, arms uncrossed, keep their hands away from their face, hold a firm upright torso, use their arms and hands to punctuate points in speech, speak slowly with a calm voice, use fewer filler words such as “umms” and “ahhs” and generally take up more space to appear more relaxed and in control. We learned that the dominant male posture happens by placing the feet flat with the body’s weight spread evenly with hips forward and legs slightly wider than shoulder width. We then looked at how men can use negative body language to trick women into thinking they are disinterested in a cat and mouse game, how tonality affects attraction with deeper being sexier, that random smiling can bring about good things and that men should wait until eye contact is established before smiling to anchor a smile to a specific target before breaking eye contact by looking downward. In our final section we covered the tens steps to intimacy.

Eliminating Beta Male Body Language

Pockets are a great place to stash a few hands.  Only problem is that it makes us look uncomfortable.

Pockets are a great place to stash a few hands. Only problem is that it makes us look uncomfortable.

While women might become nervous as a signal of a man’s attractiveness in her eye, and use it effectively to attract his attention, she won’t find this signals attractive when done by men. To her, nervousness signals that he is a lesser man; a beta man.

Beta male characteristics includes but is not limited to fidgeting, slouching, putting hands in pockets, crossing arms, wringing the hands, talking with a hand hiding the mouth, and touching or scratching the face or neck without purpose. Men who exhibit these gestures might signal nonverbally their attraction to a woman, but the signals won’t be found to be a turn-on to women. In other words, men should drop this cue altogether because it doesn’t help their cause. Rather, they should use the dominant body language listed below to create arousal in women and thereby elicit sexual body language from them. Beta men by definition are those that come second to dominant or alpha men, both in daily life and in dating.

In the dating world, because beta men come second to alpha men are left choosing what alpha men deem less valuable. In other words, beta males get second pick (or are chosen by women second, however you want to look at things) and also miss out on dates more often than alpha males. Being beta in life, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, most people are second in lead, or worse, to someone at any one time or another throughout the day. However, in dating, it is important to be alpha to at least one woman in life! We can also add that not every woman is alpha worthy either, and this is part of the natural order or hierarchy of things. Everything balances out in the end, even if we just act out our normal selves, as there are more than enough variations of people to pair up with. The issue stems from trying to reach higher into the hierarchy and this requires behavioural modifications and work. Chances are good though, that if you are reading this book, you have a desire to improve your success in life which is why we move forward.

In closing this point, what is important in terms of beta male body language, is to refrain from showing that the weight of the world is upon us forcing our shoulders to slouch, or that life has run amuck with our self esteem, by carrying awkward postures. Having our shoulders up and back shows that we can effectively carry the weight of our predicaments, no matter what that is.

Some beta male postures:

Touching the face indicates insecurity.

Touching the face indicates insecurity.

Hand to mouth gestures should be avoided as it is a sign of low confidence and sometimes lying.

Hand to mouth gestures should be avoided as it is a sign of low confidence and sometimes lying.

Extreme anxiety causes the desire to control the pain by inflicting it against ourselves.  It gives back our sense of control over our anxiety.  People who resort to 'cutting' also seek to displace their anxiety and control it.

Extreme anxiety causes the desire to control the pain by inflicting it against ourselves. It gives back our sense of control over our anxiety. People who resort to ‘cutting’ also seek to displace their anxiety and control it.