Last week I told you about a chunky honey that needed some loving, and how it all ended with a sexual mishap, and a unexpected offspring that was an article about body language in the work place. This week, as promised, I have some more useful tips which will help you gain an advantage in the big bad world of work. Today we will focus on deceit and doubt gestures that are commonly seen around the office.
The Mouth Block
It you ask a small child a question and they lie to you, it is very obvious they are doing so. They fidget a lot, avoid looking you in the eye, and usually cover their mouth. This mouth cover can also be observed in adults when attempting to be deceitful. Basically what happens is some of the fingers of the hand covers the mouth, and the thumb is pressed tightly against the cheek. This action occurs because the brain sub-consciously instructs the hand to hide the deceitful words being said. A fake cough can also accompany this gesture. This fake cough is an attempt by the brain to disguise the gesture. However, it is still very obvious.
Touching the Nose
The nose touch is a more sophisticated version of the mouth block, because as the negative thought enters the mind, your subconscious instructs you to suppress it by covering the mouth. Instead, in an attempt to appear less obvious, the hand is pulled away from the face and a quick nose rub occurs. Many people say "well maybe I just had an itchy nose." This does not make much sense though, because if you look closely, the action the person takes does not coincide with a scratching motion, but instead a rubbing motion – or a very light touch on the tip of the nose. Some psychologists have also theorised that an attempt to be deceitful may cause very delicate nerves in the tip of the nose to activate, hence the action that follows.
Rubbing the Eye
This gesture is an attempt by the brain to block out the lie or deceit. It means that you do not have to look into the face of the person whom you are lying to. Men usually rub their eye vigorously if the lie is highly weighted, and usually direct their gaze downwards towards the floor. Women usually rub very lightly and look upwards towards the ceiling. I don’t mean to be sexist here, but the apparent reason for this is so they do not smudge any makeup they may have on (I just researched it, so don’t shoot the messenger).
Pulling the Collar
Recent research on body language has revealed that the act of being deceitful or telling a lie may cause nerve endings in the neck area to activate. Accordingly, a scratch is required to satisfy the tingling sensation. This knowledge seems to offer a reasonable explanation as to why people often pull their collar when they tell a lie and feel as though they have been caught out. This action is also used when a person is feeling frustrated or angry. If you see someone using this action during a conversation, a question like "Could you say that again please," or "can you repeat that please" may catch the would be deceiver out.
The more you observe others and yourself, the better you will become at reading and understanding people’s intentions by their body language.
This is a guest post by Chris O’Hara.