*The old shifty eyes cliche is just that, a cliche. An old wives tale, folklore — whatever you want to call it, the fact that you believe someone is lying just because they can’t look you directly in the eye has been proven false by people who should know.
Case in point: Me.
If I am being totally transparent with you right now, and I am by the way, if you were standing right here in front of me, and I was talking to you instead of writing for you, I would NOT be looking you in the eye. My eyes would be shifting all over the place. For the life of me I just can’t do it…unless I really put my mind to it. It’s just hard for me to grasp my thoughts and put them into words if I am looking into your face. Your eyes. Because then I stand the chance of capturing your energy, and that interrupts my thought process. I get to thinking about how you might be receiving my words, judging me, what you might be thinking (are you in agreement with me? Am I boring you? Are you even listening right now?) all of which might change the whole trajectory of what I am meaning to say. That doesn’t mean I’m lying though.
As it turns out, I’m not alone in this behavior.
5 Red Flags were pointed out as proven indicators of deception. Do you recognize any of them in your daily interactions with family, friends and colleagues? I sure do!
Being vague; offering few details
Oh yeah. Let me paint a real life picture for you: You have this feeling human resources has been trying to get rid of you. So here they go, working to build a case against you. You put your game face on and decide to confront the issue head on. You make an appointment, get there EARLY, to speak with the head of the department. You ask specific questions, but wait! The answers you get are vague and nowhere near conclusive. Quite frankly, you leave with more questions than you had when you arrived.
Repeating questions before answering them
That fool is lying and he knows it! Moreover, HE knows that YOU know it too! All you want to know is WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? Why does he feel the need to repeat the question? Because he is using the multi-tasking skills we think men don’t have. Oh, the thoughts spinning around in his head as he attempts to create a new scenario and sell it to you!!
Speaking in sentence fragments
Oh I hate this! And its a tactic that is SO overused. “Love you!” When did “I love you” become outdated? But that’s not the best example. People can still really mean they do love you. That’s just a pet peeve with me. Here’s a real example of how deception can manifest itself when people use ‘sentence fragments’.
Say you’re stopped on the road, in the car, by an officer. You are already just as suspicious of him or her, as they are of you. So you are going to answer their questions while offering as little information as is necessary. “Have you had anything to drink, sir?” the officer asks. You respond, “No, nothing.” Now you may very well be telling the truth. You just did not say, “No sir, I haven’t had anything to drink.”
Failing to provide specific details when a story is challenged
Oh you will find this a LOT with those big-mouthed people who always have so much to say. Maybe they heard something in passing, or even started a rumor themselves based on their own jealousy. When you question them on it, they get mad at you because they can’t prove anything they’ve said. Ugh!
Grooming behaviors such as playing with hair or pressing fingers to lips
Oh yes, the old hair-twirling thing. Need I say more? Nah, I think you get the picture.
So while I’ve painted pictures for you in “layman’s terms” so to speak, learn more about Mr. Geiselman’s break down of the five red flags and much more in this UCLA Newsroom report.
But wait! Before you go, please indulge me in YOUR lying behavior. We won’t know its you, I promise, but tell is what behaviors do YOU exhibit when you’re telling a lie? Do you bite your lip? Figgit? What?