Deception Tips Podcast Episode 12 – Simultaneous Gestures
Hello, and welcome to the Deception Tips Podcast, where you will learn amazing cues to detect deceit that will help you read people like never before. I’m your host, Spencer Coffman. Let’s get started.
Hello out there! Welcome, once again, to the Deception Tips Podcast. This is episode number 12 of the Deception Tips Podcast. Last time, we talked about something very neat that can happen when you are trying to determine whether someone is lying or telling the truth. It was a sign of deception that isn’t really a sign. It’s more of a general sign in that it comes through speech and behavior. It’s not really an action or a body language signal, per se. It was that liars will seize any opportunity to be believed.
Therefore, it’s very likely that they will accept lies told by the target, or whomever is questioning the liar, even if those lies may be incriminating. For example, this often happens when police are interrogating suspects and they suggest that the suspect did something, oftentimes a greater crime, in order to get the suspect to admit to a lesser crime. Or they lie- the interrogators or police officers. They lie saying that they have evidence on them doing this or this.
They’re bluffing. They’re trying to get that person to confess and they often throw the book at them. They throw everything they have. They tell them, “We’ve got you on this, this. We’ve got your prints. We’ve got an eyewitness.” Whatever the case may be. They say they have something that puts you here and here, and then the liar may say, “Nope. No, it’s not that. It’s this.” Or, they sometimes say, “Alright. Well, you got me.” And, they sometimes accept these lies even if they’re incriminating.
That’s kind of a vague scenario of how that happens and, in most real-life cases, that is everyday life. Because, obviously, that is real-life as well. But, in everyday life cases, this can happen where people might say stuff like, “Oh, you did this!” But really, they didn’t do that because that would incriminate them somewhere else.
If you remember our episode from last week, we used some examples that often we said, “Well, wait a minute! You took the trash out!” Or, “You didn’t take the trash out!” And you say, “Yep! I did” “Oh. Well, when you did that you broke this.” “Okay. Wait. No. I didn’t take it out. It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. I lied.” So, sometimes if you pass a blame on someone that if they say, “Yep! I did whatever you asked me to do.” And you say, “Ok. Well, in doing that this happened. Now you need to cover for that.” They’ll say, “Wait a minute! I guess I lied. I didn’t really do that.” And that’s how you can know the truth if they did what you asked them to do.
Incriminate them with something else or say something went wrong and they need to cover for it. Oftentimes, the truth will come out. They may believe your lie even if it incriminates them somewhere. And, if they don’t, they may fess up to the truth.
Today, we are going to talk about another sign of deception because, of course, this is the Deception Tips Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about how gestures and words occur at the same time. They occur simultaneously. This is a huge thing when it comes to body language and deception. Words and gestures always need to be synchronized, simultaneous, and happening at the same time.
When people talk, if they’re telling the truth, if they’re using natural speech, their gestures will happen in synchronization with their speech. Watch some tv. Look at the news. Watch people when they move their hands and you’ll see that anytime they emphasize a point, their arms or their gestures, their hand will come down. For example, when they’re pointing with that index finger, they will point and say “you!” And their hand will move right towards- and that finger will point right when they finish that word “you.” It’s a simultaneous gesture.
So, here it is. Deception Tip number 12: Truthful words and gestures occur simultaneously. In contrast, lying words and gestures will be out of sync. Example: pointing after speaking. Here it is again. Deception Tip 12: Truthful words and gestures occur simultaneously. In contrast, lying words and gestures will be out of sync. Example: pointing after speaking.
You see this all the time when politicians speak. Typically, because politicians are always under the gun. They’re always being questioned. So, oftentimes, the best people to watch for lying behaviors are politicians. The reason is because they lie all the time. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re bad people. That doesn’t mean that they’re good people. It means that whatever they’re talking about, they may not be able to say.
They may not be able to talk about it due to national security, due to whomever is watching. Maybe they’re talking about doing something and they’re afraid that the people that are going to receive that are watching and they don’t want to tip them off. This could happen with war, or attacks, or anything like that. There are a variety of reasons that they may lie on national tv, or that they may not tell the whole truth on tv.
Generally, it’s for protection. Other times it’s for- Well, it’s always for protection. Protection of themselves or others. When they lie to cover up they’re protecting themselves. When they lie not telling the whole truth, it’s usually for protection of other people or something they’re about to do. Either way, the point is that politicians are the best people to watch on tv.
Another reason they’re the best people to watch for these lying behaviors is because when you’re watching a politician, the camera is always right on them. You can see their whole frame. You see, generally, from the torso up. So, you can see their face. You can see their hands. You can see their body. The only thing you can’t see are their legs which are a very good indicator of deception. Oftentimes, watch the legs, because most people spend more time concealing things on the face and the other parts of the body, that they forget about the legs.
But, that’s ok. You can still see many, many, many clusters of behavior watching their face and their arms and their speech and vocal patterns. So, watch political people talk. Oftentimes, you’ll see that many different signs and body language slips come out. For example, we had an example a few weeks ago about Bill Clinton when he was accused of having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. And he said- we had a little sound byte in there- and said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” And we mentioned that that is several different signs right there.
He said, “did not.” We’ve talked about breaking contractions. That’s one sign. Then another thing he did was speak in a staccato-like fashion. He didn’t just say, “I didn’t have sexual relations.” He said, “I did not have…” I mean it was a very staccato, monotone type of speech. That is also an emphasizing gesture which is another sign of deception or could be another sign of deception.
Then, he also used something called ‘distancing language’ saying, “that woman.” He told everybody that she was “that woman.” He didn’t say “with Monica Lewinsky” or “with Monica” or “with her” or anything like that. He used distancing language to isolate himself from her and emphasize that “No! We are apart!” That is also lying because, normally when you talk about other people, you don’t say “that man” or “that woman” unless you’re intensely emotional inside. You have some kind of anger or some kind of defensive mechanism going on.
Another thing he did, if you watch the video clip- I can’t put that here in the podcast, but you can go on YouTube and check it out- and watch many different news reports of him saying those words. And, you’ll notice his hand, his finger is pointing. And every time he’ll say “I’- his finger was “did-not-have.” Every time he says something, his arm is going up and down like a jackhammer. Oftentimes, there’s a little bit of a miscommunication between his finger and his speech. You’ll see when he gets to the end “that woman,” his hands moves a little bit quicker than his speech. There’s a disconnect there. It’s not synchronized. We will talk a lot more about this when we come back. So, stay tuned.
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There are so many other ways that speech and body language cannot be synchronized. And, you’ll often see it like in that Bill Clinton thing. I encourage you to check out that. In addition, go watch the Nixon video. When he said, “I am not a crook.” Watch his hand. You’ll see that his hand was moving at that time. “I am not a crook.” And, he said that and his arm was moving down and his finger was pointing down, but it wasn’t exactly synchronized.
There’s a great tv show. It’s called Lie To Me based on Dr. Paul Eckman. He’s the founder of all of this body deception research. Really the man that started it all and this show is based on his experience. It’s a really good show. It was on FOX for three seasons and then, for some reason, they discontinued it. Probably because they didn’t want this information out there for the general public. That’s my guess. It’s probably the case. Who knows? But, watch that show and you’ll see tons and tons of signs of deception explained.
In one circumstance, there was a guy and he was stating his innocence in anger and he said the words, “I didn’t do it!” and then he smacked the table and it was way off. It was poorly timed. Most of the time, when people talk and state something, they will smash the table when they’re talking. This is a very, very common indicator of speech and actions. You’ll notice when people laugh, or when they think something is funny, they smack their knee or they smack the table. It’s something that you’ll see all the time.
When people are laughing they hit the table or whatever they do. Notice when they do that. Usually, it’s when they’re laughing, or during their laugh, or when they burst out in a laugh like, “Ho, ho, ho!” and they smash the table. It’s not, “Ho, ho, ho!” and then they smash the table. No, it’s simultaneous. They occur together.
In the same way, when people are emphasizing points, and they’re talking, and their finger is hitting the table- like in a business meeting or at a conference meeting- and the guy says, “…and then this is what we’re going to do…” and each time his finger taps the table. *tap, tap, tap, tap* Just like that when he’s talking. It’s not, “…and then *tap* this *tap* is what *tap* we’re going to do…” No. It’s at the same time. It occurs together.
These behaviors and these gestures must occur simultaneously with speech. Anytime someone is talking pay close attention to their hands, and their arms, and the movements of their fingers, where they’re pointing, what they’re doing because they must occur simultaneously. Oftentimes, you’ll see people do things and they don’t happen simultaneously and this can be anything.
We talked about physical tasks and how people when they’re lying, they often stop doing physical tasks like making coffee. When they’re talking and working at the same time if they are able to talk and work at the same time. They can be stirring the sugar into their coffee or they can be pouring the coffee grounds into the filter and then putting the water in the coffee pot, turning it on. Whatever the case may be. They do those actions while they’re talking. It’s kind of synchronized.
Now, that’s not an emphasis gesture, such as pointing or hitting the table or smacking their leg or something like that. Or having their arm move up and down like a karate chop. If you remember the last presidential debate, there was a guy. I called him the karate man. I won’t say who he is, but you can look up the debates and you’ll see who he is. Every time he spoke he had his hand like a karate chop going down as he emphasized his points. I thought it was kind of funny. But, most of the time, his gestures were right on with his speaking. So, you know he was a pretty truthful man. Most of the time. I’m sure there were some instances.
But, the point is, these gestures often happen at the same time and it’s not that you always have to look for the pointing gestures, or the hand movements, or the smacking table, or hitting the table at a business meeting. You can look for other things- like I said: physical tasks. People that are doing something while they’re talking. Obviously, they can’t write while they talk, or type when they talk most of the time because that’s two different sides of the brain that are trying to work together and unless people are able to split that off, they’re generally going to have to stop that. But, usually, they can do things. Simple, unconscious type tasks and those should be in repetition with their speech.
So, if they’re making coffee, for example, they should be talking to you as they’re pouring water into the pot and as they’re putting the grounds into the filter and as they’re hitting the buttons. It should be happening simultaneously. But if they talk, stop, pour some grounds in there, stop, talk again, then put the water in there, talk again, then stop and put the buttons on, then that is NOT synchronized. It looks funny. It looks odd.
So, that is two signs of deception in the fact that they are not synchronized in their speech and body language- that’s one. And, the physical tasks that we talked about a few weeks ago. They were unable to perform that simple, physical task at the same time they were talking. So that could be another sign of deception unless that person is incapable of doing tasks and talking at the same time. Some people can’t even walk and chew gum at the same time. So, what do we expect from everybody? It’s really kind of tough.
This is why it is so important that you get to know the baseline behaviors of the people so you know you can see changes in that baseline. That is what is indicative of deception. In addition, always look for patterns and clusters of behavior. I know it sounds like a broken record but that is the most important thing when spotting deception.
I want to thank you for listening to the Deception Tips Podcast. I encourage you to share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the Deception Tips blog, take a look at my books, and tune in next week for a new Deception Tip.