Self touching is one thing we habitually associate with liars. They touch their chin, neck, nose, ears or will pull their collar away from their neck. These traits are of course related to nervousness and the mistake we sometimes make is directly associating nervousness with lying. As we have seen, not all liars are nervous. Let’s break this category down a little more.
As mentioned, men can use a variety of ways to attract subtle attention. In accordance with the rules of the mating dance, men can see these tactics to create interest and attract women. The real goal of male sexual body language is to induce a woman to look at him, to notice him, the rest is the responsibility of verbal dialogue. It doesn’t get a whole lot more extensive than that.
Once he has her eye, a man should use proper gaze patterns. Most men will make the mistake of smiling too quickly or smiling before she has even noticed him. Worse perhaps, is their grin will appear etched on their face which appears to women as gawking and is off-putting. Men should always limit gazing to three seconds or less, any longer than this comes off as staring or leering. To start, men should first try to establish eye contact, then once established, wait a fraction of a second then flash a quick smile before turning away shyly as if being busted with the hand in the cookie jar. If this feels uncomfortable, use what is called a “slow growing smile” where the smile is directed with eye contact and seems to grow in direct response to the woman.
Men should always wait until eye contact is established before smiling. This tells the target that he is smiling at her rather than smiling generally, or smiling at someone in her direction, or just smiling because he’s heard someone say something funny. Eye contact is the most reliable way to anchor a smile. The effect men are trying to convey is that he has noticed her, got caught looking, but isn’t apologetic because he sincerely finds her attractive. Whenever men hold mutual eye contact followed by a smile they should hold it for at least two to three seconds before breaking it by looking downward. Men should never look to the side when finishing an eye gaze pattern, or break eye contact immediately once established, since it will indicate to a women that he was merely stealing a look, or was just caught staring. In either case, it sends the message that no interest was present, he was just scanning the room, or he’s already in a committed relationship and was checking another women out, but isn’t capable or willing to act on his eye language.
Once eye contact is broken for the first time, it is important for the man to immediately reestablish it, followed by even more powerful smile. If this second bout yields a smile in return there’s a good chance an approach will be welcomed. Women need some time to decide if attraction is present, just like men need time to isolate interesting targets from all other women present. This is why the first sequence rarely produces a smile, whereas the second is a much better possibility. If a smile happens on the first try, it tells us that she was thinking about him even before their first glance, which is also a strong signal.
Pushing the tongue through compressed lips is used to signal a cheeky attitude when done amongst friends, but has a more sinister meaning when done in competitive situations. “Tongue-jutting” is used in this case when people think they have gotten away with something, or have been caught doing something they shouldn’t have. However, in this case the tongue usually is pushed through the teeth and doesn’t touch the lips.
The gesture will be seen at the conclusion of an episode such as signing a contract or winning a hand at poker by bluffing. Most of the time tongue protrusion happens when people feel they haven’t been caught, but sometimes it’s actually because they’ve been caught. The statement reads “I’ve gotten away with this”, “I’m telling a cheeky joke or making a cheeky statement”, “I’ve made a mistake” or “I’ve been caught trying to pull a fast one.” Tongue through the lips or teeth can happen any place at anytime but signals the same thing almost everywhere and that is that a person is doing something that is pushing the envelop of acceptability or has gotten caught doing something that is unacceptable. Obviously if we notice this tongue language we should review what has been said and suspect highly that we’ve been fooled, cheated, that we or someone around us has been made the butt of a joke, or that the tongue protruder has realized they’ve made a mistake.
The word congruence, as it relates to body language, refers to the degree to which body language cues in a person matches one another in terms of their meaning. If, for example, one is speaking honestly with the palms up (an honest gesture) we can say that the body language and verbal language are congruent. That is, honest words match up with honest body language. A child with their hands in their pockets (dishonest gesture) speaking about how they didn’t steal a cookie is incongruent since their body language does not match their verbal language.
We regularly place more importance on what words are used rather than how others gestures in their delivery, but this is a mistake. When we don’t have congruency and the verbal language doesn’t match the nonverbal gestures we should always place more importance on the nonverbal channel. Credence should almost always be given to nonverbal language over spoken words since the research tells us that it is often more accurate. When people plan lies they often rehearse the sentences and in what sequence they will deliver them, but they often ignore or disregard gestures that will accompany them. While we monitor our spoken words, our unconsciousness can leak unwanted information through our bodies. However, even if people were consciously aware that their body language gave them away, they would not know what to do since most people are completely unaware of the meaning their body conveys.
Politicians can leak information through congruency and this can give them away, although most politicians today are quite learned in body language. We should be suspicious of politicians, however, when they have their arms tightly folded against their chest while saying that they are open to change or to a door-to-door salesman that swears his life on a product but wipes downward with his hand as if to clear the lie. Another example is the cheating husband who tries to pass off a late meeting and then pulls at his neck tie, collar or scratch his neck indicating stress.
Sometimes however, knowledge about body language just comes off as less expressiveness. The body language thus tends to be much more controlled and subdued because it’s much easier to eliminate body language altogether then it is to add honest body language. However, even reduced expressiveness helps us read people because a relaxed and natural politician is more likely to be telling the truth. Therefore, even reserved body language can be a ‘tell’ to those who are in tune. Congruency therefore, is very important because it is a clear comparison between two communication channels, the verbal and nonverbal. When words are mismatched against the body language, we can be sure something dishonest is at play and these hints should instigate us, at minimum, to pay closer attention.