, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By: James Armstrong

Reprinted with permission from: www.esctrains.com

Happy Monday, TPS readers! Let’s take a moment to pretend that people never lie. Nothing like a good, old-fashioned game of “paralegal pretend” to kick the new work week off right. Your minute is up! Now that we’ve officially departed the enchanted land of truth telling, let’s learn a little something from a body language expert. Here’s James Armstrong, to tell you more about reading people.

Only 7% of our communication is verbal and a full 93% is non-verbal. The number 1 reason people take one of my courses is to know when people are lying to them.  In this article, I am going to give you a few tips on how you will know.

Look for Microbursts.  Micro-expressions (or Micro-bursts) are facial expressions that flash on a person’s face for a second and reveal the person’s true emotion, underneath the lie. Typically, in a person who is lying, his or her micro-expression will be an emotion of distress, characterized by the eyebrows being drawn towards the middle of the forehead, causing short lines to appear across the skin of the forehead.

Touching the Nose or Mouth.  People tend to touch the nose more when lying and a great deal less when telling the truth.This is due to a rush of adrenaline to the capillaries in the nose, causing the nose to itch. I call it the Pinocchio Syndrome.  A lying person is more likely to cover his or her mouth with a hand or to place the hands near the mouth, almost as if to cover the lies coming forth.

Check for sweating.  People tend to sweat more when they lie.  Actually, measuring sweat is one of the ways that the polygraph test determines a lie.

Watch the head.  If the head is nodding or shaking in opposition to what is being said, this can be an indicator or tell. This is called incongruence.

Watch the throat.  A person may constantly be trying to lubricate their throat when they lie by swallowing, gulping then clearing their throat. Lying causes their body to increase production of adrenaline, which gets their saliva pumping and then creates very little. While the saliva is surging, the subject might be gulping it down. When the saliva is no longer surging, the subject will begin clearing their throat.

Watch the blink rate.  The average blink rate is once every 4 seconds. During a time of lying because one lie leads to another, you are going through a process of intense concentration. This will actually cause your blink rate to slow down because of Cognitive Overload. So when you lie, your blink rate slows down.  It can also rapidly increase when being dishonest.

Watch the lips. Lip swallowing can indicate suppressed speech, where the person is preventing themselves from speaking when perhaps they know they should. This can indicate lying or disapproval. Biting the bottom lip is often a sign of anxiety. It can also be an indicator for stress during lying.

Watch the hands. If their hands are fully in their pockets they are comfortable with the situation.  If the thumbs are showing it indicates they might be hiding something.

I hope that you found this interesting.  If you have any questions, drop me a line.

There are many other indicators that will give you awesome insight into what the body is saying before the mouth opens to speak.  If interested, I would be happy to deliver a full day session at your company anywhere in North America to help you tremendously improve your corporate communication skills.

James Armstrong has spent the last 25 years working with people and studying human behaviour from the roles of Counsellor to being a Teacher. The past year, he has traveled extensively to teach people how to read body language. This knowledge helps people to establish rapport; deal with difficult people, increase sales and influence people. It also helps Hiring Managers make better hiring decisions and people to better understand various cultures.

If you have any questions, send James an email at: jarmstrong@esctrains.com


Your mission today – should you choose to accept it, is to watch all of the individuals around you like a perched owl looking down upon a prairie full of mice, to see what their body language is telling you before they even speak! Perhaps they won’t be telling lies, but aren’t really into the discussion at hand, are attempting to flee down the hall to safety, or better yet, are uttering your name in a completely panicked tone of voice from clear down the hallway after taking a phone call. (Can’t imagine that last one will happen today…about 3 dozen times…or more. Whatcha think?! Don’t answer that).

We’re officially back on our regular blogging schedule; we triple-paralegal-promise. So, we’ll see you later this week! Was that your name I just heard down the hall? Sip that fantastic beverage, and buckle up. It’s gonna be a fun one…