Attractive = Credible?

Research showing that people who consider themselves attractive tend to be believed more easily than those who consider themselves not attractive or all that attractive. That’s probably why John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton got away with it.

Have you ever seen the movie called “Liar Liar” with Jim Carey in it? There were some very funny scenes. Jim Carey played a lawyer who was given the ability to not be able to lie. So he would have to tell the truth all the time and there were some funny consequences.

Imagine if the same thing happened to him, where he told everyone the truth. Imagine if you said the exact words that go through your mind, can you imagine the consequences?

“Thanks for pouring me my cup of coffee. Wow, what a nice tight ass you have.” I actually thought about that this week and chuckled because I knew I was going to write about it.

What about other things people might say?

“Glad to be of help, nosy neighbor with nothing better to do than poke their nose into other people’s business.”

“Good morning sir, you are a terrible boss to work for, nobody in this office likes you.”

“Thanks for the contract Melissa, may I say what perky breasts you have?”

It could be fun, and it would also cause some embarrassment.

When a partner or friend asks the classic question “Does this dress make me look overweight?” Generally, if you’re a man, you know what’s good for you, don’t you? You can say “you look wonderful, truly wonderful in him.” However, you may have been thinking: “The dress doesn’t make you look overweight, it’s all those pizzas and always the ones that make you look overweight, dear!”

If you told the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time, you might end up alone and get slapped in the face a lot. One of my favorite movies is Casablanca and you have to love the way our hero, Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart), lies at the end of the movie to protect the feelings of Victor Laszlo, the husband of his former lover. Ilsa. (played by the simply beautiful Ingrid Bergman). Lying can sometimes be noble and often allows our interactions with others to remain harmonious.

When I was young, I remember my mom telling me these were called ‘white lies’. You know what I mean by them, don’t you? Research shows that social liars outnumber those who continually tell the truth, we may even know that the social liar is lying to us.

Those three wise monkeys who would hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. Their simple gestures can tell us a lot when it comes to detecting deception. Simply put, when we speak, see, or hear lies or deceit, we may try to cover our mouths, eyes, or ears with our hands.

When I was first informed of the 7th July bombings in London last year, my instant reaction was that I put my hands to my face to symbolically stop seeing or hearing the terrible news. This is seen a lot when a tragedy occurs.

Children will often try to cover their mouths when they lie in an attempt to prevent the naughty worlds from coming out. If they don’t want to hear a parent scold them, they can cover their ears to block out the noise, and of course, if there’s something they don’t want to admit they see, they can cover their eyes.

As children get older, these hand-to-face gestures become quicker and more subtle, yet they still occur when they are lying, covering up, or even witnessing a deception.

In a book by Desmond Morris that I read called “People Observation” and in it he cites research in which nurses were instructed to lie to their patients. Nurses who lied showed greater use of hand-to-face gestures.

Let me clear something up here; when someone uses a hand-to-face gesture, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lying. It does indicate that the person might be withholding information or that you may want to consider looking at the bigger picture of their posture and mannerisms rather than just the simple hand-to-face gesture.

Today I want to give you 7 of the most common gestures that indicate deception:

1. Covering the mouth: Your hand covers your mouth as your brain subconsciously tells you to try to suppress that misleading message being communicated. Sometimes this gesture can simply be fingers over the mouth, or a clenched fist, although the meaning is generally the same.

Some people try to deceive by covering their mouth with a cough or even a fake yawn, it can be fun to watch that happen. One of my favorite movies, The Godfather, you can see that when the actors playing the gangsters are discussing criminal activities, they often use this gesture to show that they are being reserved and it is seen a lot in the wonderful TV series “The Sopranos.” “. another true favorite of mine.

If this gesture is used, it shows that they might be lying. If they cover their mouth when you talk, it could indicate that they feel like you’re hiding something. In my lectures, if I see members of my audience using this gesture, then I get worried! I may well interrupt the proceedings and ask if anyone has any questions so they can express their concern. However, I can’t say that this has happened often!

2. Touching the nose: Touching the nose can include several rubs of the nose or it can be a quick one, or one that is barely noticeable.

This gesture must be read in the general scheme of things. If you’re like me and you cut your nose hair (eeewwww!), then if it grows back, you might get an itchy nose! Or they may have a cold.

There is a lot of research that shows that the nose swells when we lie. In Chicago, scientists from the Smell and Taste Research and Treatment Foundation discovered that when you lie, chemicals are released that cause the tissue inside your nose to swell. They also showed that blood pressure rises and the nose enlarges when we lie! There is truth in the story of Pinocchio!

Increased blood pressure inflates the nose and causes tingling nerve endings in the nose, which you have to rub vigorously to satisfy. There you go

3. Rubbing their eyes: I mention that children cover their eyes before, and when an adult does not want to see something annoying, they often rub their eyes. Rubbing the eye is often the cerebral way of blocking our deception or avoiding having to look at the person being lied to.

Men often rub their eyes hard or even look away if they tell a big lie. Women are much less likely to rub their eyes; instead, they choose to use a more subtle, smaller touch under the eye.

You’ve no doubt heard that well-used phrase “lie through your teeth.” When someone lies, they often clench their teeth, put on a fake smile, and rub their eyes as a collection of gestures.

4. Ear Grabbing: Now I’m not talking about something my school’s PE teacher used to do to me when he caught me getting into mischief!

If a salesperson tells a customer that “our services are only £150”, if the person then grabs their ear, perhaps they look away and say “that sounds like a great deal”. This may well be an attempt on the part of the listener to “hear no evil.”

Trying to block out the words they are hearing by pulling on their earlobe or holding their ear. This is the adult version of a child covering his ears as I mentioned above.

Ear grabbing can often be a sign that the person has heard enough or would like to communicate. It is often experienced if someone is anxious.

5. Scratching the neck: Use the index finger mainly of the dominant hand and scratch the neck. We usually scratch about 5 times or so when we do it. This gesture shows doubt and is often present when someone thinks they disagree with what they just heard. Watch for this gesture along with verbal communication, usually someone trying to get out of something or politely disagreeing.

6. Neck pull: Surely you’ve heard the expression “warm under the neck.”

Once again, Desmond Morris pointed out that lying often causes a tingle in the delicate tissues of the neck that needs a touch or scratch to satisfy. Increased blood pressure from deception often causes sweat to form on the neck, especially if the person lying suspects that the other person knows!

7. Putting fingers in the mouth: This tends to happen unconsciously and is seen by many as an attempt to return to the safety of suckling from the mother’s breast and this often occurs when we are under pressure. Children often suck their thumbs or carry a blanket to replace their mother’s breast, then as adults they tend to put their fingers in their mouths or cigarettes, pens, glasses or chew gum frequently.

Fingers in the mouth tend to indicate a need for reassurance.

So there you go, see what you can detect in others when you’re out in the world. Be sure to remember that these things need to be noted in the larger scheme of behavior and manners, they are not black and white. If someone is scratching their nose in front of you, look at the context, their other gestures and mannerisms before you yell “liar” in their direction.