Deception Tip 32 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 32:

When lying, people tend to experience severe dry mouth. As a result, they may frequently lick their lips.


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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.

Welcome to episode 32 of the deception tips podcast, we’re moving right along. Last time we had an interesting episode based on the language that people use and the speech patterns that they produce, the types of word choices. 

We talked about how liars will use unconventional language in an effort to seem more intelligent and more sophisticated. Now, this is interesting because most people tend to speak with a fifth-grade or so vocabulary.

It’s usually about five sent or ten sent words, whereas liars, tend to sometimes not all the time, but they may incorporate more details like we talked about way back in episode 17 with detailed stories. 

They will often time rehearse these stories or these facts, these details, which was in episode 15. They’re going to rehearse these because normal people do not remember all of these details.

They don’t use these big words of five-syllable words or so or three-syllable words, they don’t talk like that normally. They need to make an effort to remember to use them, which means they usually rehearse them and plan them accordingly. Usually, you can pick that out because if you know the person you know they don’t usually have that big of vocabulary to speak with those large words or those intelligent words.

So, it’s sometimes easy to spot, other times it’s very difficult to spot. If you don’t know the person and they’ve rehearsed it well, then they may sound like they know what they’re talking about because they practice, so either way you need to watch for that. 

Keep it in mind when you hear those big words and look for other signs of deception around them to help you confirm whether or not a person is being deceptive by using those larger words trying to sound more intelligent than they are.

Now, today we’re going to talk about a different tip that is again, it’s related to the mouth area, but it’s not with speech. Today, it is a behavior or mannerism that can happen with people’s mouths. 

Now, as we’ve talked about when people lie, they are under a tremendous amount of tension and stress, usually anxiety, so their body is physiologically stressed. Now, when the body is stressed, it does certain things to help it to get through that stress.

Usually, this means shutting down any non-essential functions. So, your digestion will kind of stop or slow down, things like maybe movements and fine motor areas will slow down because your body is preparing for that fight or flight response. 

Now, that’s with extreme stress but even with little stress or anxiety or tension, your body is still put on that edge so that you’re prepared to fight or flight, you’re ready for battle.

Usually, what this means is things like the saliva that’s being produced in your mouth, that’s going to stop or it’s not going to stop but it’s going to be reduced. Things like thought processes that are more advanced like mathematics, things like that where you really need to think logic reasoning, those are going to stop. You’re going to recess to more of the primal and inherent characteristics and behaviors necessary for survival, you kind of moving back.

So, when people start lying, one of the signs that they’ll experience this tension and stress is less saliva, which means dry mouth. Now, this can produce a sign of deception that you will see. 

So, here it is deception tip number 32. When lying, people tend to experience a severely dry mouth. As a result, they may frequently lick their lips. Here it is again when lying, people tend to experience severe dry mouth. As a result, they may frequently lick their lips.

This is important because if you see someone licking their lips all the time, that’s something that you don’t see all the time, it’s unnatural. Normally, people don’t lick their lips during a conversation. Usually, when people lick their lips, it’s because they are hungry, they’re licking their chops, or because they’re attracted to someone and they are wetting it kind of preparing for a kiss.

Other times, it is when they’re lying their mouth is dry and they need to work up a little bit more saliva in order to continue talking. Sometimes, on rare occasions depending on where you live, if it’s in the middle of winter and their lips are chapped. 

Sometimes people keep licking them to keep them moist because they’re trying to play with all that dead skin that’s on their lips and they want to remoisten that to get it to heal a little bit.

It’s just not a behavior that you witness all the time. Sometimes when you witness it with people, usually those people look like they’re a little bit off like they’re almost a little bit psychotic, or like a schizophrenic type individual where they’re just kind of manic almost. 

Where they’re licking their lips all the time, they look like they’re just completely paranoid or hypertension which they are. I mean, it’s a tension it’s a stress release, so they’re just kind of nuts and you’re like, holy moly, this person is out of their mind or what’s going on.

They’re jittery, jumpy, a lot of times this could be like with drug people. This makes sense when you kind of look at it all from the whole perspective. People who are on like amphetamines are usually the ones that are licking their lips all the time, they’re going nuts with their tongue in their mouth, and they’re kind of jittery and jumpy.

Now, this is because when they’re on those drugs, they’re under a lot of tension and anxiety because it heightens all of those senses that produce that fight or flight, so now they’re anxious, they’re paranoid, they’re tense. 

In addition, the amphetamine reduces the saliva that’s produced in their mouth, so now their mouth is dry all the time, which means that they’re going to be continually licking their lips. So, when you put all that together, you see that.

Now, this is important to realize that if someone is licking their lips all the time, it doesn’t necessarily always mean that that person is being deceptive. It could mean that person is on some kind of drug. 

Maybe they’re on an illegal drug or even a prescription drug that’s causing the dry mouth. Anytime you watch all those previews or those drug commercials and they list the thousand side effects that come with them, dry mouth is almost always the first one.

Depression, may cause death, all these terrible things why would you want to take the drugs? I think I’ll just deal with whatever the problem is, maybe not but in any case, dry mouth is something to watch for when people are being deceptive because of the physiological responses of lying and of the tension and stress that is produced when someone is telling a lie. Now, of course, we’re going to talk a lot more about this coming up right after this.

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A dry mouth is not a fun thing to have. That means that when you do have a dry mouth, obviously, you know that it’s not a pleasurable experience. It’s like you need some water, you need something to drink, so this can also be another sign. 

When the person who is across the table that you’re asking questions, you’re interrogating, whatever, they keep reaching for water, asking for water, maybe there’s something going on. Watch the lips, they’re licking their lips trying to moisten them.

Now, of course, the situation that you put them in, if you’re in an interrogation and they’ve been sitting in there, they don’t know what’s going on, you’re not telling them any information, that’s going to cause a lot of tension and stress and anxiety in and of itself. But then, if you add the fact that they’re lying, now it goes through the roof, so you got to pay attention to all of that.

Consider the situation, the environment because a lot of times you could be causing this tension and stress, not the fact that they’re lying. You put someone in a cage, and pretty soon they behave like an animal, that is true in more than one way. If you treat someone like a criminal, guess what, they will become a criminal. Treat them like a human being, they’ll behave like a human being.

So, if you’re trying to get the truth out of someone and you’re speaking to them, if you treat them like they are lying, and you don’t believe anything, and you accuse them of lying, they’re probably going to just start lying. They realize that there’s no use, so they’re going to say whatever they have to say to get out of there, it’s like a forced confession almost.

Whereas, if you treat them like a human being and you talk to them and you have a conversation, they’re more likely to tell you what you want to know. Why? Because you have shown them that you respect them, that you care about what they have to say, not that you’re just trying to beat a confession out of them. They want to know that you are going to use the information they give you in a way that they would want it to be used.

If you can convey that and you can relate to them, then they are going to tell you the truth a lot easier. So, this will also make it easier for you to spot signs of deception because if you create a calming environment where you can just have a conversation with them now when they start to experience stress and tension, you’ll know that, hey, it’s not the environment that’s bringing it in because you’ve controlled that variable or you’ve accounted for that variable.

So, you’ll know that it’s through something else, which means it’s something they’re thinking about, something they’re doing, something that you’re talking about. Whatever the case is, you know that it’s not your fault for bringing in that stress and tension. 

That means that you can reason that it’s something due to them which could mean that they are lying. This is excellent because if you see that then you can again look for patterns and clusters of behavior that go with that situation.

So, obviously, if you’re not creating any tension or stress yet you’re seeing them bounce their legs up and down like a maniac which is something that we talked about back in episode 30, that’s another form of stress or tension relief. 

There are other signs of stress and tension relief as well but when you see some of these signs like the licking lips because of dry mouth which is caused by stress or tension. If you see some of these behaviors, then you’ll know whether or not they are stressed because of the environment which you’ve created.

So, if you’ve set up that environment to be calming and less stressful, then you’ll know that that stress or tension that they’re exhibiting is caused by something else. 

That could mean that it is their story that’s causing it because as we’ve talked about when someone is lying, they are under an immense amount of stress. They want to make sure that the target believes their lie, they’re also trying to convince themselves of the lie.

Their conscious and unconscious are battling back and forth and are at wit’s end because the conscious is trying to tell that lie and the unconscious is trying so hard to push that truth out. The unconscious is very truthful, the conscious is self-serving. 

It’s like Freud talked about, the id, ego, and super-ego, they’re all battling each other for their own purposes. That’s what this conscious and unconscious are doing, they’re battling each other for their own purposes.

The unconscious is trying to leak so many signs of deception so that other people can pick up on it and find the truth. You are learning how to pick up on that and how to find the truth. 

So, if you can watch this, you’ll see that when people are lying, their conscious and unconscious are battling, they are trying to convince the target of the lie. They’re also trying to convince themselves of the lie, they are trying to remember the lie and make sure they tell it properly.

There is so much tension and stress going on that even when you add things in it sends them over the edge almost. So, they’re going to display all of these behaviors unless they’re either a really skilled liar and they’re comfortable with lying or they have some sort of a psychopathic or sociopathic tendency where they like to lie, and it’s natural for them. In which case, you’re going to watch for the opposite behaviors.

We’ve mentioned that a couple of times before but basically if you can factor in the environment. If you can find out whether or not they’re on any kind of drugs like prescription or otherwise because those could always influence their behaviors and how they act. And, if you can control what is going on with the questioning and everything like that, you will know that when they start displaying these signs, you’ll be able to pinpoint them to a closer result.

So, if you know that it’s not the environment, they’re not on any drugs, now you know that it’s the story. However, if you’re in a crazy environment, the person is on three different kinds of prescription meds plus some illegal drugs, now you have no idea why they are licking their lips because it could be because they’re stressed about the situation. It could be because they have dry mouth from their drugs, it could be the prescription drugs acting up or it could be that they’re lying.

In that case, you really do need to look for patterns and clusters of behavior, but the patterns and clusters that you see could be a result of all those other variables. So, it is like anything the more variables you can control and account for the more able you will be to predict or get results on that situation with greater accuracy or greater significance.

Therefore, try to control as many variables as possible whenever you are questioning someone and whenever you are trying to find the truth. Because the more variables you control the more certain you’ll be able to be when detecting deception and when spotting patterns and clusters of behavior.

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 videos, take a look at the deception tips blog, and also examine the books that I have available. 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. They’re all about teaching you how to read people and detect deception so that you will be able to tell if someone is lying to you.

Today we’re going to talk about how Liars are under an immense amount of stress and tension, they have a lot of anxiety. Now, this is most liars anyway, most people do not enjoy telling lies, most people are not naturally good at telling lies. Therefore, when they lie, they know consciously that it’s wrong. They understand in their mind they have a moral compass and they know that they are not supposed to lie they are supposed, to tell the truth. 

So, when they lie, there’s something inside of them, this is our conscience, it’s a little voice inside our head, it’s also our unconscious mind that is pushing all of these body language signs, these truthful behaviors out. It’s a conflict between the conscious and the unconscious. You remember I’ve talked about this in a lot of these other videos, about the battle between the conscious and the unconscious and how they’re always fighting, one for a lie one for the truth. 

So, this conflict happens inside of us which therefore puts most people under a tremendous amount of tension and stress and pressure. This can be evidenced with something that they do all the time, they end up with severe dry mouth, we are going to talk about this a lot more in the future, we’ve hinted on it in the past. But today, we are going to talk about deception tip 32 which covers this completely.

When lying, people tend to experience severe dry mouth and as a result, they may frequently lick their lips. Now, this is something that you may not always catch because it’s something that happens very quickly. Usually when a liar is lying, again that stress causes dry mouth. When we’re stressed our body puts resources towards the things that are vital for life.

So, it’s like a fight or flight mode, we go into that state and all of a sudden like energy is diverted away from things like digestion, away from like our fingertips. It’s the same thing as when you start to get hypothermia, everything goes to the core so your fight-or-flight. When that happens though usually energy is diverted towards the limbs so that we can either fight or run away.

That’s the same thing with lying when people start to get super stressed and under anxious anxiety, some of them may even have like pre-panic attack symptoms and things start going on. Adrenaline rush could happen when people start lying and all of that is going to take energy away from things like normal speech production from certain behaviors.

That’s why a lot of times behaviors will be not synchronized, your facial expressions will be messed up, their voices may crack due to dry mouth. That’s what we’re talking about today, is when people are lying, and the energy is diverted elsewhere because of this tension and this stress, their mouth is going to get really dry. As a result, they could have some speaking difficulties, they may try to swallow more and that’s another sign that we’ve talked about or we’re going to talk about even more in the future, but also, they will lick their lips all the time. 

Now, this isn’t just the regular licking the lips that people use to continue in everyday conversation, this is more like really dry mouth. Some people when it gets really severe, they’ll even get white in the corners of their lips. That’s because they’re running out of glucose and it’s starting to accumulate in the corners of their lips, it’s from the stress and tension of telling those lies so you can watch out for that.

This type of lip licking is like in mid-conversation, something like that where it’s almost like their lips are chapped and they keep trying to hydrate them. But there’s nothing there because all of that saliva is being sucked inward and their body it’s not producing that anymore because it has more important things to do.

So, watch out for that because when people start to lie, if you notice that all of a sudden, hey, this guy they’re really licking their lips a lot, what’s going on? It could be some signs of deception so then pay attention to other signs of dry mouth. Their voice could crack, different things, other signs that we’ve talked about that may be with body language, contradictory behaviors, their speech patterns etc. Look for clusters and patterns of behavior that will go with that lip licking behavior. 

Now, one other thing on lip licking is there are different ways that people do it. Not all the time when people lick their lips does it mean their mouth is dry. Sometimes it could be certain signs of attraction, it could be signs of maybe they have chapped lips, maybe they have a bad habit of licking their lips all the time, maybe they’re hungry. We see that in cartoons where they licked their chops, the dog is licking his chops for that bone.

So, keep in mind that there could be many reasons for any certain behavior but if you look for patterns and clusters of behaviors then you will be able to tell with fairly certain predictions that that person is either lying or not lying. You will be much better off if you look for those patterns and clusters of behaviors.

If this is your first time watching these videos, I’d love to have you subscribe to the channel on YouTube. Feel free to leave comments or questions on there as well. For more information, you can check out We’ve got bookspodcastsblog posts, all kinds of stuff on there that is dedicated to teaching you exactly what everybody is really saying.

Until next time. 

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