Deception Tip 2 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 2:

Dilated Pupils are a sign of arousal or keen interest. Beware of pinpoint pupils when others are speaking.

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Podcast Transcript

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.

This is episode 2 of the Deception Tips Podcast. Last time we talked about how deceptive people will often fold their arms in an act of defensiveness. It’s when they are closing their body so that you can’t see what is going on in their unconscious projections on their body. 

They are being defensive and are defending those symbols that they will have shown you that give away their lies. We discussed the importance of patterns, or clusters of behavior, and how the unconscious is ALWAYS truthful.

So there will definitely be more than one sign of deception. There will ALWAYS be many signs and there will be clusters. Therefore, you need to always look for behavioral clusters rather than individual behaviors. 

Use those individual behaviors to kind of heighten your senses or ping up your antennae and then you can start looking for another behavior, and another behavior, and another behavior, and build that cluster so that you use one behavior to see it and as you see more, now you know it is a cluster and then it is indicative of deception.

In this episode, we’re going to cover a sign of deception that is a little bit less obvious than arm folding. In addition, it is a very telltale sign of emotion as well as deception. In fact, it is only when it shows up with other behaviors, as in the part of a cluster, that you can classify it as indicative of any emotion. So it can only show up with other behaviors, which means you need to see it as part of a cluster in order to classify it as an emotion, whether it is deception or something else.

Alright. Here it is. Deception Tip number 2: Dilated pupils are a sign of arousal or keen interest. Beware of pinpoint pupils when others are speaking. Let me say that again. Dilated pupils are a sign of arousal or keen interest. Beware of pinpoint pupils when others are speaking. 

When pupils dilate, it means they expand. You know this. They’re getting bigger. Why do they get bigger? When pupils dilate, they are getting larger to let in more light. They are going to open up so they can see more of what’s in front of them. Because, with our eyes, we don’t see with our entire eye.

Our pupil is a direct conduit right to the back of the brain and that is what we see. So when the pupils get bigger, our eyes are opening up and we’re taking in more of whatever is in front of us. It’s because people LIKE what they’re seeing and they want to see more of it. 

They want to take it all in. They’re going to experience this as much as they can. They’re going to open their eyes up. They’re going to get the vivid detail. They want to see it, they want to take it in, and they want to remember it.

Now that’s not the only reason pupils may dilate. In fact, there are several reasons. This is why it is essential that you look for clusters of behavior. As you know, pupils can dilate with a change of light. Have you ever turned on your bedroom light in the dark and, all of a sudden, your pupils will move? 

Oftentimes that’s an excellent way to check for concussions. The doctors have their little lights and they check the dilation of their pupils to see how your brain health is. Those lights can significantly affect, instantly, how your pupils open and close, or dilate and un-dilate. 

So if you’re not paying attention to the lighting and you see someone’s pupils dilate, you may think that it was indicative of emotion, when in reality, it was just the light that was just maybe getting brighter or darker wherever they happen to be looking.

Another reason that pupils may dilate is due to chemicals or fumes or certain medications people may be on. Any kind of intoxicating external stimuli, such as any drug, or smell. It doesn’t need to be any kind of illegal thing, but anything where people are smelling something foreign and it’s getting into their body, that could dilate their pupils, such as paint, markers, any kind of painkillers, or especially illegal drugs. 

So you need to be very aware of your surroundings to see what is going on around you when you’re looking at the pupil’s dilating. Because if you’re not aware of what’s happening, or what their situation may be, then you could very easily mistake the dilation of a pupil for something that it’s not.

Now when pupils dilate, the main thing is, it is a very good sign of attraction. As we said before, when a pupil dilates, whatever they’re looking at, they LIKE what they’re looking at. Their eyes are getting bigger so that they can see it more, they can take it in. So if someone’s eyes are dilating there’s really not any other reason other than they like what they’re seeing. They like you, or at least the sight of you.

Combine that with the clusters of likeness, such as short shallow breaths, typically breathing through the mouth only. Almost like hyperventilating. It’s short, shallow breathing. It’s a passionate breath. In addition, lips tend to get bigger. They bulge, they swell, and they start to kind of puff up. 

People start to stare at lips, and other signs. All of these signs are very, very telltale signs of attraction. When someone is staring at lips when people are breathing through the mouth, shallow breaths, pupils are dilating, it’s instantaneous, it’s very obvious that they like someone.

However, it can be hard to see if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Or if you mistake one thing for something else. This is why, again, I can’t say this enough, you need to look for this behavioral pattern, not only the eyes dilating. If you start to see several of those signs, then it is very clear someone is definitely attracted to you.

When detecting deception though, people are more apt to tell you the truth if they like you. They don’t need to love you, by showing all these signs, but dilated pupils and leaning in towards you, or towards the conversation, is a very good sign. 

That’s a good goal for you to have when you are trying to get some information from somebody, or when you are speaking with someone. If they’re leaning in, if their pupils are dilating, then you know you have their attention, they’re invested in the conversation and they’re not bored out of their minds.

You can apply this to anything. Talking to somebody, a neighbor, a friend. If you see their pupils are dilating, they’re facing you, they’re leaning in, they’re squared up with you in the conversation. You know you’re not boring them. Business meetings, sales deals. 

If people are leaning in, invested, dilated the pupils, you know you have them. If they start wandering off, looking elsewhere, you’re losing them. So use that in any negotiation that you have in life. It doesn’t just need to be in interrogating someone for the truth. It can be in ANY interaction you have with someone else.

If you can get people invested and interested in what you have to say, then they will be more apt to answer truthfully. You need to get them invested in what is going on. That doesn’t mean invested by money, or a lot of time, it means getting their body engaged. 

That doesn’t mean physically, it means if they’re sitting there, they’re squaring up with you, they are leaning towards you, or the table, or wherever this negotiation is happening, get them in. Then they will be more apt to answer your questions truthfully because they are invested, unconsciously, in the situation.

There is a big reason why the majority of business deals are closed on the golf courses because the people are invested. How long does it take to play 9 or 18 holes? A long time. They worked through, you’re getting engaged, you’re investing, you’re building a bond, you’re playing a game. 

Questions start happening, people start answering truthfully because they’re invested in the situation, they like the situation, it’s a beautiful day, they like what’s going on, their pupils are dilated because of the light, because of the situation. They’re playing a good game of golf, they answer questions. When we come back, we’re going to look at the other side of the coin. So stay tuned.

Spencer Coffman has been studying body language since 2010. He’s certified at the expert level in subtle expression and micro-expression training. Download his books on

When someone has dilated pupils, they like what’s going on. They like you, they like what they see. What happens if they don’t have dilated pupils? If their pupils shrink? Assuming there’s nothing else going on in the environment, such as lighting changes, a chemical presence, etcetera, if someone’s pupils shrink, they probably don’t like you at all. They don’t like the situation. In fact, when pupils narrow, people are trying to see LESS of a situation. They’re shrinking the visual influx of unlikeable stimuli.

This may be accompanied by squinting, averted eye contact, looking away, even turning away, sitting with themselves, facing away from you, or turning in the direction of an exit. They don’t like what’s going on. It doesn’t mean they hate it, but it means you’ve lost them. They’re gone, they’re moved on to something else.

Now, this is important. When pupils dilate and get bigger, it doesn’t happen and stay dilated forever. And the same thing when they shrink. When someone’s eyes narrow, it doesn’t happen, they don’t stay tiny. 

This is why it’s important that you pay attention to everything that is going on because usually, this is going to be a split-second occurrence. If you say something and the other person doesn’t like what you say, the pupils may only shrink and go back to normal in a matter of a fraction of a second.

So if you’re looking at them and paying attention, you’ll be able to see that quick pupil movement and you can reason in your mind, “Okay, the pupil just shrunk, it got bigger. There was nothing else going on, the lights didn’t get down, there’s no reason for that pupil to shrink and come up.” That means whatever you just said, they were not receptive to.

Same thing with pupils dilating. If it dilates, usually it’s not going to stay very large unless the lighting has changed or unless there’s a chemical introduction. It’ll get bigger then go back to normal and you’ll have only a split second to see and notice that. This is why you have to pay attention to that and clusters because there will always be more than one sign.

So if you’re questioning someone, or you’re in negotiation, or a deal and that person has pinpoint pupils, then you need to use a different approach. They have the so-called “stone-cold eyes.” 

You know that saying “a stone-cold killer” They’re a stereotype for famously sitting through a movie interrogation with beady, pinpoint-pupil eyes and they’re not budging an inch. Those are those stone-cold killer eyes where their pupils are just little pinpoints and they sit there staring at their interrogator, not answering any questions. They’re cold. 

Although people can have pinpoint pupils for a little bit longer with time. That’s usually an extreme emotion of hate or disgust, loathing. Just like how if they have dilated pupils that could be attraction and arousal. If someone really hates something, their pupils are going to stay pinpointed for a longer period of time.

So if you end up running into any kind of pinpoint pupils, or even the shrinking of a pupil and then back to normal, you’re going to get nowhere fast. So you need to work on changing your tactics because clearly, or unclearly, depending on whether or not you notice it, you’re not going to get the truth. 

This is why it’s important to pay attention to these things because if you can see them, you can change your tactics very early on before the person even consciously realizes what is happening.

Pretty soon they’re going to wonder how it is you manage to always stay one step ahead of them. Well, the answer is you’re really not, you are only noticing their unconscious and, before their conscious realizes it, you’ve already switched tactics so that in their conscious mind they’re thinking “You’re the smartest person in the world. How in the heck do you know what’s happening before it happens?” In reality, you’re seeing it happen in the unconscious before it happens in the conscious.

So watching pupils is a great way to tell whether or not someone is receptive to something. Whether or not they like it. Keep an eye on those pupils and always pay attention to what’s going on in the external environment. Pay attention to your surroundings. 

Be aware of the current situation. Look for clusters of behavior before making any judgments. Because if you start making judgments on one or two things, without looking for a pattern, you might end up putting yourself in a deeper hole than if you missed the behavior altogether.

What that means is that it would have been better for you not to act on what you think you saw. It would be better for you to wait and then make sure you KNOW exactly what you are seeing before you act on it. 

Because if you do something based on a behavior you think you noticed and that behavior wasn’t existent, then you will really screw up that interaction because now that person will be acting based upon a judgment that they have no idea, consciously or unconsciously, why it’s happening.

But if you act on something you KNOW you saw and ACTUALLY happened, then their unconscious will recognize that and continue to push those signs forward, therefore making it a much much better interaction between the two of you. Therefore, make sure you see and notice behavioral patterns and clusters.

I want to thank you for listening to this week’s deception tip. And I encourage you to share it with your friends, and take a look at the Deception Tips Blog and the books that I have available. And, as always, tune in next week for a new deception tip.

Video Transcript

Hey guys my name is Spencer Coffman. Thank you for watching the Deception Tips Videos that are all about teaching you how to read people and detect deception so that you can tell if someone is lying to you. They’re some very important videos that you can use to help you better communicate with other people.

And today we’re going to talk about another sign of deception that is relating to the eyes. The eyes are one of the most telltale signs of body language, and particularly deception, and other human emotions in general.

The eyes are so called the “Windows of the Soul”. And they do express a lot of things. This is typically why poker players tend to wear sunglasses a lot, because they know
that their eyes will give out cues that other people who are poker players and other, maybe, poker players helpers, who can read them, will be able to see exactly what they have. It’s not only so they can reflect the cards and not be able to see those, but it’s also so that they don’t give out a tell by seeing if they have a good hand or a bad hand.

So here it is, deception tip number 2. Dilated pupils are a sign of arousal or keen interest. Beware of pinpoint pupils when others are speaking. Now this is very important because when other people are speaking, if their pupils they can do two things. Number one, they can be dilated. And number two, they can narrow and be pinpointed.

So we’ll cover dilated first, then we’ll come to pinpoint. And that’s what you need to beware of. So when pupils dilate, it’s like any other form of body language or any other gesture. When something happens, there can be many different reasons for that behavior. So when pupils dilate, there could be a number of causes or reasonings for that. The most common one, is that someone has been exposed to more light or less light. When there is a varying change of lighting in the room your pupils move according to that. So if there is less light in a room, your pupils will get bigger to let in more light so that you can see better.

Conversely, if it’s really bright outside, or bright inside, or anywhere, your pupils will get a little smaller. So they will narrow, because you don’t need to let in as much light because there’s so much light around you. Also, you see sometimes people who are on certain kinds of prescription drugs. So it’s not all just illegal drugs. But illegal drugs especially, or maybe somebody has been painting and the, and they’re an artist,
and they use some really strong paints, or if they’re in cleaning and they’ve been using ammonia or something, their pupils can dilate due to that chemical reaction.

The introduction of such a harsh chemical or a strong chemical can make a person’s pupils dilate. In addition, when people see something that they like, so when they’re attracted to something, or when they see something that’s favorable or that’s beautiful or something like that, their pupils will dilate as if to take in more of whatever they’re seeing. So that is the one that you need to pay attention to when it comes to dilating pupils. When they’re getting bigger. When they expand. Because, typically if you see someone’s pupils expand and you can look around and say, “well it is kind of dark in here,” then you can eliminate that.

But if you say, “well, the lighting looks pretty good, and I don’t think they’re on any kinds of chemicals or there’s no smells in the air, or they’re not really on drugs or anything,” or you know that, then you can say, “well their pupils got bigger because whatever is happening they like it.”

Now it’s also important to look for clusters with that because if you, someone likes something, they’re typically going to be more engaged in that. So they’ll be facing it, they’ll be leaning in, they may even be opened up to it. For example, like I maybe would unbutton my jacket or I would stand with a more open posture towards that to show them that I’m really interested in whatever that is happening.

And if you see multiple signs like that, then you can go, “okay, well the pupils dilated because they like whatever they’re seeing.” So keep that in mind.

Now on the other hand, there are, it is a something that can happen that’s when they dilate instead of going and expanding, the pupils will contract. They will become like pinpoint pupils. And they get really small. Now typically, you may be familiar with this in movies or in other things where people are, they have those stone cold like, serial killer type eyes. They just have those cold eyes. They’re usually portrayed as like, gray or black or something. But they have those narrow eyes.

Or in cartoons when people get really angry, then they show their eyes would just get real small real quick. Almost really exaggerating that. But that is what to watch out for. If you see someone who has pinpoint pupils, they’re pupils get really small, then they really really do not like whatever is happening. They’re not liking what is going on there. They don’t like what they’re seeing, they may not like it. Now it doesn’t always have to be something they’re seeing, it could be what they’re hearing. Your, their, eyes could react to a verbal or a sound audible stimuli as well.

So they could hear something they don’t like and their pupils could move in addition to that. So the pinpoint pupils, now keep in mind that that could also be due to a chemical imbalance in their body or something in the environment. It could also be due to light. If you shine a flashlight in their eyes their pupils are probably going to dilate and get smaller pretty quickly so that they don’t let in so much light. So there are variety of reasons that this could happen.

This is why is it essential that you keep looking for patterns and clusters of behavior. But always pay attention to the dilation of the pupils and be thinking about what environmental or external factors could be happening that would reflect or explain those changes.

I want to thank you for watching these videos. I would love it if you subscribed to the channel on YouTube. It’s all about teaching you how to read people and detect deception. In addition, if you have any comments feel free to comment with any questions you may have. And if you’d like more information, there is a lot of information available. We’ve got bookspodcasts, ebooks, blog posts, Etc., all on that are dedicated to helping you learn what every body is saying.

Until next time.


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