Deception Tips Podcast Episode 34 – Liars Lips
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.
Welcome to Episode 34 of the deception tips podcast. Last time we talked about a sign of deception that was related to speech and how people talk. We discussed how sometimes liars will speak in the third person in order to distance themselves from the situation or the event that they are talking about.
In addition, they will do that to make sure that it is apparent that people see them as separate. They want to shed the blame or shed the association of themselves and whatever is being discussed or whatever they are being questioned on.
This also related to distancing language which was way back in episode 18, where we talked about how people use distancing language. They do so to separate themselves from the situation or person such as that person or that woman or that man or that business, things like that. They aren’t a part of whatever is going on. In the same way with the third person, they are separating themselves from whatever is being discussed.
So, one would think that you would do this instead of I would think you would do this or in my opinion they would say, well the common belief would be XYZ. It’s using a general third person statement so that it is more separated rather than speaking naturally as most people would do in saying I or one would believe by using the first person.
The first person is much more natural, and it sounds easier and it’s much easier for people to hear and not even think about it just sounds natural, so people don’t give it a second thought. However, when people speak in the third person to distance themselves from something, now it’s a red flag because it sounds unnatural. It’s not something that we are used to hearing, it’s not something that is a normal pattern of speech.
Which means that when we hear stuff like that it’s a little bit odd, it’s a little different, we’re not used to hearing those types of things. That is something that we really don’t pay much attention to unless you are aware of it. Now that you’re aware of it, you will hear it and you will pay attention to it, which means you’ll be able to detect when people are speaking using distancing language or when they are using third person language. That will ping up your sensors in your antenna to alert you of the possibility that someone is being deceptive.
Today, we have another sign of deception, this one is related to the mouth and it relates to episode 32 when we spoke of licking the lips. Now, liars lick their lips due to a variety of reasons. The main one is because when people lie, they are under a tremendous amount of tension and stress. This tension and stress is displayed or is manifested in the mouth with a dry mouth.
Usually, tension and stress are a precursor to a fight or flight response system in our physiological makeup. So, that means that when we’re preparing to fight or flight then non-essential or non-life essential productions in our bodies are going to reduce. So, that means we’re not going to be digesting food, things like making saliva in her mouth, other stuff like that that’s really not essential for a life-or-death situation.
Which means that if you’re not producing as much saliva, then your mouth is going to get very dry and then you will probably lick your lips a little bit more to keep it moist, especially if you’re trying to talk telling a lie. So, that’s something you can watch for, it’s from stress, tension, it’s licking the lips.
So, today we are going to talk about other forms of the lips which means that instead of licking the lips there’s something else that can happen, which is that their lips may take on a variety of different shapes. They will distort them or play with them, do things with them while they are lying. It’s an effort to release some of that stress and tension.
So, here it is, this is deception tip number 34. The lips of liars take on all sorts of positions. They may suck them inward, pucker them, bite their lower lip or point the lip corners downward. Here it is again, the lips of liars take on all sorts of positions. They may suck them inward, pucker them, bite their lower lip or point the lip corners downward.
Now, keep in mind that even though I gave you a few examples here, there could be many more, this is not everything. There are always more signs of deception. There are more signs of body leakage and behavioral leakage and not every single one can be cataloged and memorized because they could be a different form from person to person.
However, the base will be the same, so some people may pucker them, others may bite them or suck them inward, other people may play with them with their fingers. I mean, there are a variety of options that can happen here, but the point is you’re going to watch the lips because their lips may take on all sorts of positions.
It’s something that you can be on the lookout for when you see things start happening unnaturally or abnormally. Most of the time when you’re in a conversation with someone, they’re not going to be biting their lip or doing all kinds of stuff with their lips unless they’re nervous. Nervousness and lip biting go hand-in-hand, it’s a very common behavior.
It’s in TV shows and movies, we see it all the time. That kid is sitting there before taking his test, the biting of that lower lip, just half of the lower lip, the pencils tapping on the other half of the lip. They’re worried as heck because they want that test to go over smoothly and to be over with or they’re waiting for the test result, they’re worried about the result.
We’ve also seen it a lot on TV shows and movies where the girl is sitting there biting half her lip and the pencil is tapping and she’s waiting to talk to that guy that she has a crush on or something like that. It’s a typical situation with tension and nervousness. When people lie, obviously they are tense, they are stress and nervousness is a big part of that, so that is why that behavior can transfer over into detecting deception.
Now, I mentioned a few positions, suck them inward, pucker them, bite the lower lip or point the lip corners downward. So, we’re going to talk about all four of those and I’m going to branch off a little bit on each one and go into a little more detail with it.
So, you will know exactly what each of these four is going to look like and what might be behind them, a little background. We’re going to do all of that coming right up after this.
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Alright, let’s break them down here, the first one is sucking them inward. So, this is a behavior that you’ve seen before and it’s one that you’ve probably done before. However, you may have done it with a different intention. A lot of times when people are kids, they pretend to be an old person and a part of doing that is putting their lips over their teeth, so they’re sucking their lips inward.
They have what looks like no teeth and by doing that, they do that with bringing the lips over their teeth. Then it looks like they don’t have any lips at all, it’s like gums only. That is one of the ways that people can suck their lips inward. Now, it’s not going to be for a long period of time like when you’re pretending to be an old person without teeth, it’s going to be something very quick. It’ll only be a half or maybe even a full second long where they simply pull their lips in and then they put them back out.
It’s something like that, it’s a quick gesture, it’s a quick facial expression. The other way that they could suck them in is like a fish. Now, this goes with puckering them but it’s not quite puckering and it could only be on one side of the face. So, it’s like when they are pulling their cheek inward and sucking on their cheek or if they’re sucking on both of the sides of their cheeks.
Either way, it’s very visible because you’ll see that their cheek goes from being round to all of a sudden looking sunken in or pulled in. That is one where they are releasing that stress or tension by either chewing on their cheek or by sucking on it by having something to keep their mouth and tongue occupied for a minute.
Again, this could be a very quick behavior, it could be only a second or two. In addition, it may not be the whole cheek, it could be the inside lip corners that they suck on or bite a little bit or play with while they are speaking or while they are thinking or between thoughts. It could be anything on the inside of the mouth, of their cheek that they are sucking inward to chew on or play with a little bit.
Regarding puckering the lips, this is exactly what it says. They can do it with a combination of sucking their cheeks inward and look like a fish almost. Like when you’re a kid and you suck your cheeks in and then you pucker your lips and it looks like you’re a fish, that type of behavior. It can just be a quick puckering like they’re about to give someone a kiss and in that instance, it’s going to be very quick.
The reason they do that is for some form of release, they’re moving their mind elsewhere, something like that. In addition, it could be like when you eat something very sour and your face puckers up, that is a very common one amongst liars. Usually, when we eat something sour, it’s not that enjoyable, we don’t really like it.
Most people do not like telling lies, so when they are telling a lie, they may pucker up like it was a sour thing that came out of their mouth, they don’t like it. So, watch out for all of those different ways. Any time their face or their lips are going to kind of pucker or squint, look at that and see what they might have been saying because it could be some form of deception.
The other one is biting the lower lip. We talked about this a little bit earlier with the guy waiting for his test results or waiting to take the test and it was nervousness or that girl biting half of her lip and tapping her pencil. You’ve seen that before in movies or TV shows, it’s a stereotypical nervousness behavior when they’re about to talk to their date or the person they have a crush on or something like that.
This can be done either by biting the entire lip, so like you would see all their teeth and they bite the whole entire lip or it’s like half. So, they may move their lip over a little bit to the right or left so that they bite their lower lip with their front teeth. That is how it would be displayed and this more of a stereotypical thinking gesture. It’s like one that you would see people who are in thought, they would have this.
Now, this makes sense because a lot of liars like to think about their lie and like to think about how they’re going to fool the target. So, they may do this, they may bite their lower lip by putting half of it under their two front teeth or even the entire thing under their front teeth.
This one is typically going to last a little bit longer than the others because when people bite their lips, it’s something that they do, like I said, while they are in thought. Which means that typically, it’s going to be longer than one or two seconds. They may be holding this pose for five even. It’s something that they are doing like scratching their head gesture, something to help stimulate their mind and their thoughts.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they are lying which is why you need to look for other clusters and patterns of behavior with it because it could simply mean that they are thinking about something. It could be because you’ve asked them a question, they’re calculating math, who knows.
The point is that this one is representative of thought and typically when people play with their lips and they’re in thought it’s due to some result of tension and nervousness. Tension and nervousness go with lying, so this is why it could be part of deceptive behavior, but that is also why you need to be looking for the patterns and clusters of behavior that go with that.
The last one that I mentioned is pointing the lip corners downward. Now, this is a micro-expression, it’s a very quick expression and the reason it could happen is due to the sadness or the tension in telling a lie, it could also be fear. When people point their lip corners downward, it is an unconscious gesture that is something that will happen in a fraction of a second. It doesn’t always mean lying, it depends on what else is coming with it just like any of these other behaviors.
However, this one could be sadness, fear, something like that, it could even be a little bit of anger and all of that could go with telling a lie. They could be sad they had to tell a lie, they could be angry that they had to tell it, they could be afraid of getting caught. A variety of reasons but watch out for these lip movements and then see if you can pick up any other signs of deception along with them. Any other patterns or clusters of behavior to help you determine whether or not someone is telling the truth.
I want to thank you for listening to the deception tips podcast. I hope that you’ll share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the deception tips videos, the blog, and take a look at the books I have available and as always, tune in next week for a new deception tip.