The Linda B James Blog

Hidden in Plain Sight - Detecting and Decoding Deception

Mar 19, 2016 12:24:51 AM / by Linda B James

"The truth is often overlooked because it is hidden in plain sight.”

-- Linda B James

People are like onions; there are many layers to the face. Looking from the outside in you can not see the complexity of a  person’s psyche. It is not what a person says but what a person does that reveals the truth. Our physical behaviors reveal our unspoken clues, intentions, and unconscious attitudes. 

Body language is cultural. When you are observing one’s body language, be sure you look at the big picture. One or two gestures may not indicate what’s in a person’s psyche. You want to look at gestures in clusters and the consistency of the gestures. Adults are better liars than children.

If you play poker, such gestures are referred to as "tells." So let’s look at some of the tells.

  • Direct eye contact can indicate trust. Widening of the eyes indicates interest.
  • Crossed arms can indicate boredom or being protective or a person simply might be cold. Uncrossed legs, for the most part, means that a person has an open attitude. Ankle lock generally means that a person is defensive.

Here is the list of common gestures that might indicate if a person is lying.

  1. The mouth: If someone covers their mouth when they are speaking, it can be a sign that a person is lying and that unconsciously they’re trying to stop themselves from speaking. This can be conveyed in two ways: A person uses a closed fist to cover their mouth. They can use a few fingers to cover their mouth or they can use their entire hand to cover their mouth.
  2. The nose: If you’re speaking with a person and they touch or scratch their nose several times while they’re talking and in an imperceptible manner, again it’s an indication that the person might not be telling the truth.
  3. The eyes: This gesture can vary between males and females. Men oftentimes will rub their eyes aggressively when they’re lying. On the other hand, women will rub underneath their eyes when they’re lying. They will not make eye contact. They look up and beyond you while talking.
  4. The ear: If you notice that an adult is tugging at their ear, it may be a way to stop them from listening to the lie that they are communicating to you.
  5. The collar pull: Tugging or pulling at your collar as though you’re trying to get some air and relax can be an indication that a person is uncomfortable and stressed because they are lying.
  6. Fidgeting: Can’t stop moving and fidgeting. They may appear to be very uncomfortable engaging in the conversation.

 To your success,


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Topics: Business & Career Success, Personal Growth, Mental Toughness

Linda B James

Written by Linda B James

Radio/TV personality, speaker, media coach and lifestyle expert. Known as The Lady With The Moves and the author of the Simple Treasures series.