Deception Tip 35 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 35:

Truthful people tend to mirror head movements of the person with whom they converse, whereas a liar takes a more statuesque pose.


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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 35 of the deception tips podcast. Thanks for continuing to listen to these podcasts, I really hope that they are helping you to detect deception. If they are, I really encourage you to take a look at all the other resources I have available. The podcasts, of course, are free, in addition, I have deception tips videos on YouTube.

It is an entire YouTube channel called the body language YouTube channel that is completely free for you to watch. All the videos are roughly about five minutes long and they are on each of these deception tips. 

So, check those out, subscribe to the channel, share them, tell your friends, etc. I’d really appreciate it and I know that you will learn more about detecting deception there as well.

Also, I’ve got some blogs, different posts, deception tips website, in addition to the deception tips blog on

Check both of those out, there are a lot of good resources there and I also have books available for you. Everything is free, however, those books, I do have a price on because I’ve got to make a little something and they are worth the money.

They aren’t expensive, and they are worth checking out and seeing more information on reading people and detecting deception. So, check all that stuff out, take advantage of those resources and learn more about how to read people and detect deception.

Last time we had an interesting episode about how liars’ lips take on a variety of different shapes or positions when they are telling lies. They can do a variety of behaviors, they can pucker them, suck them inward, bite their lips, or turn the lip corners downward. That’s only four but there are many more that liars could display and in addition to those four there is a variety of different variations of those four that could happen.

So, you need to be paying close attention because a lot of these behaviors are going to be a second or less with the exception of biting the lip. That one could be a little bit longer simply because it’s more of a stereotypical thought gesture or nervousness gesture. So, pay attention to that and in addition to biting the lips, take a look at other patterns and clusters of behavior that would go with that.

Remember back in episode 32, we talked about licking the lips which goes hand in hand with biting the lips or taking on various positions of the lips because it’s all related to the lips. So, watch for that when people are stressed or tense, dry mouth can occur, and licking the lips may happen. So, keep in mind that there are a variety of lip behaviors that can go on when people are lying.

There’s that stereotypical joke, how do you know when, substitute whatever you want to put in there, a woman, a politician, a man, takes on any variety of ways or forms depending on who tells the joke. How do you know when so-and-so is lying? Their lips are moving. The lips are the seat of all the lies. Of course, it comes from the mind, however, without the lips that would not be possible to speak that.

It’s the same as the tongue, the tongue is the root of all speech. So, the bottom line is, pay attention to all of that, pay attention to the lips, and also to clusters and patterns of behavior relating to that and you’ll be much better off at determining what each of those behaviors mean.

Today, we’re going to discuss a very cool sign of deception. One that I think you can use in everyday life and you can have a little bit of fun with it because it’s not necessarily a sign of deception it’s more a sign of truthfulness. This is a sign that you can use it as an experiment. It’s like a testing method to see where someone is on the truthfulness spectrum.

So, this one is about mirroring movements. Now, when people are being honest and truthful, we are social creatures, so we want to fit into those around us. That means that if someone displays certain behaviors, other people may want a mirror or mimic those behaviors, especially if they’re little things. Then unconsciously they’re going to copy them and mirror them to unconsciously fit in with the group around them.

However, liars are so focused on the lie and on telling whatever they want to tell, they are not focused on mirroring or on fitting in, they’re just focused on getting the lie out. Therefore, they will not typically display these mirror movements.

So, here it is deception tip number 35. Truthful people tend to mirror the head movements of the person with whom they converse, whereas a liar takes a more statuesque pose. Here it is again, truthful people tend to mirror head movements of the person with whom they converse, whereas a liar takes a more statuesque pose.

This is interesting because as I mentioned, truthful people want to mirror the head movements. So, what are head movements? What am I talking about here? I’m not simply talking about moving their head, bobbing and weaving, side to side or up and down, I’m talking about hand to face gestures.

So, this means like if you’re talking with someone and one of you itches your eye or touches your nose, pretty soon the other one will. It’s something that can hardly be helped, especially when you are talking with someone that you really want to get along with others you want to impress, or that you want to converse with.

Such as someone who you are in a relationship with, dating, significant others, or maybe it’s someone who you really look up to and admire and you want to be like them, so, of course, you’re going to start mimicking those gestures.

People want to belong, people are social creatures and we want to fit in with those around us. Now, even though you may say that you don’t, you do, unconsciously you do, you want people to like you, you want to be liked and you want to be with other people. It’s only natural, we are social creatures, it is the way it is and the sooner you accept that the better.

Now that you accept that, you can use this to your advantage when trying to find the truth. You can display some signs intentionally such as rubbing your nose or pretending you have something in your eye or touching your lips or something like that and see if other people follow those behaviors.

I’m going to talk about something that’s pretty cool and that is a cool little strategy you can use and almost like a game you can have a little bit of fun with, coming up right after this.

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It is important to watch the movements of other people but also the movements of yourself. If you are doing certain behaviors and other people are copying them then you know that they are more focused on pleasing you and on fitting in than on pushing their agenda or on telling a lie.

This isn’t necessarily true all of the time because like I said unconsciously people simply want to fit in. So, it doesn’t mean that they are trying to please you all the time or look up to you all the time. It just means that they are trying to fit into that situation. So, a cool, little game that you can play, this is a game that only you are going to know about.

The other people who are participating in the game, they’re not going to know they’re playing. They won’t even know what’s going on, but you’ll get amusement out of it and it could be fun. So, as I mentioned, a lot of people who are in social situations, want to fit in, so they will mimic other people’s behaviors.

Now, this isn’t something in deception detection, this is something in life. When it relates to deception detection though, I’ll hit this really quick, this is hand to face gestures. So, when you are conversing with someone interrogating them if you throw out some of those mirror movements. The touching your face, itching your eye, your nose, things like that, and watch to see what happens.

Go ahead and touch your ear and see if they start to mirror those or feel a little self-conscious, touch their face as you did, things like that. If they do, chances are pretty good that they are telling the truth. If they sit there stone-cold then they’re probably trying to push some form of lie.

However, on the other hand of this where the fun comes in is if you are at some kind of social event or a party or anything like that, school, wherever you can play with this. Because, now that you know that humans are social creatures and that they want to fit in and belong, you can use this to your advantage and for your entertainment.

So, pick someone out of the crowd or someone somewhere who you’ve made eye contact with a little bit, can be a guy or a girl, it doesn’t matter. Look at them, make sure they’ve seen you a few times but don’t be obvious. Don’t be obvious with it like you’re staring at him or anything. You just want to glance at them, they glanced at you, you guys lock eyes a couple of times quickly, that’s it.

Not a flirtatious type or anything like that, but just a normal you’ve seen him across the room type of a thing. Then, pick an easy gesture, something like folding your arms or leaning back against the wall, something like that, something that they are not already doing. Then perform that gesture and wait for them to do it.

Essentially, if you guys have locked eyes a couple of times and you’ve made a little bit of a connection, they’ll be watching you, they’ll be looking. Pretty soon you’ll see that they’ve taken on that posture then change it up, pick a different posture, and pretty soon they’ll take on that posture.

This is something you can do from across the room or you can do it in a conversation with a bunch of other people. You can set the tone of that conversation, you can dictate that conversation non-verbally. 

Try it out, sit with your legs crossed, and pretty soon everybody else follows that behavior. Put an elbow on the table, put your hand on your head and lean on your arm, everybody else could follow that.

In suit with this, you can start to get really creative here. You can start to do behaviors such as weird things. You could pull on your ear then scratch the back of your neck then fold your arms and watch as other people start to follow that. You can get some big sequences going, you can get people to lift up their leg and touch their foot and then scratch their head like a monkey and itch their armpit.

You can get all kinds of stuff going but it might take a little time, and this is more like across the room. You can get people across the room to be watching you and to almost be a mirror image of yourself. It’s not going to be instant, you’re not going to do these crazy things and then that one is going to follow you, they’re going to be like, that dudes nuts.

But if you start out slow, start out with like a posture, then you can start out with some kind of behavior, then you can work it up from that to a couple of behaviors, then you can start going to the crazier behaviors. It’s very interesting and the whole experiment here proves that people are social creatures and we want to belong and fit in.

So, if we connect with someone, pretty soon it’s almost like you can, it’s not really brainwashing them or taking control of them or manipulating them. But this experiment will show you that people really do respond to nonverbal communication. In addition, they want to mirror the behaviors of people that they feel that they connect with or that they need to impress or something like that.

Now, going back to deception, this is why if you display certain facial, hand to face gestures or movements, the other person will mirror them. Because they feel like they need to convince you, they need to connect with you. They need to be on your good side, so you believe them which means that they are going to unconsciously mirror those behaviors that you are displaying.

When someone lies, you would think that they would want to unconsciously or consciously, please you and things like that. However, they’re so focused on the lie that they’re not thinking about the social interaction aspect of things. That’s because they’re unconscious and conscious are fighting.

So, the conscious is probably thinking that they need to please you, but the unconscious is thinking I need to get the truth out. The way to do that is to forsake those mirror movements and let them go so that way the liar is sitting there stone cold and not mimicking those behaviors.

So, then you’re wondering what’s going on, why aren’t they mimicking me because most people would because it is a natural thing to do. It’s not because you set the standard, you’re so awesome and everybody wants to be like you. No, it’s that anytime someone feels like they need to convince someone, and they need to belong to a situation, they are going to mirror those behaviors.

It’s like the famous saying when in Rome do as the Romans do. When people are being interrogated, they need to win the good graces of the interrogator so that the interrogator knows that he or she is telling the truth. Part of that is going to be unconsciously mirroring the behaviors and the gestures of the people around them in that situation.

So, as I said, you can do this as an experiment to gauge the truthfulness of a person. Of course, you’re going to want to look for other signs and other deception bodily leakage to determine whether or not people are really telling the truth.

I want to thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the deception tips podcast. Share with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the deception tips videos, take a look at the blog, and check out the books I have available 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. 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 are going to talk about a sign of deception that is really cool, it’s about copying other people and doing what they do so that you can see whether or not they’re telling the truth. Now, a person’s mind works in a strange way, we’re humanistic creatures, we’re human beings and we’re social creatures. We want to be liked by everyone else, we want to fit in with everyone else, we want to belong to a community or to a group.

So, usually, what this means is we like to mirror or copy behaviors, especially of people we like. If you have siblings and you have younger siblings or if you have older siblings, you’ll probably deny it if you have older siblings, but if you have younger siblings you’re going to know that when you were younger you were frustrated because your little brother or your little sister, why are they copying you? Why are they doing things like you? Why do they want to be like you? Well, that’s because they like you and that’s because they want to be like you, but it may frustrate you because they’re doing everything the same.

Now, if you’re a little sibling that did that with your older siblings you may deny that but it’s true, nonetheless. We tend to mirror and copy the people who we either want to be like or who we respect. Dress to be the person you want to be not to be the person you are, type of a thing, where if you dress up to be at a higher level then you’re going to become that person or you’re going to be impressed by those people.

So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today, that naturally, we mirror other people’s gestures. So, here it is, deception tip number 35. Truthful people tend to mirror head movements of the person with whom they converse, whereas a liar takes a more statuesque pose. You see there, that’s a yawn that was a fake yawn, but chances are when you see that you may yawn.

Now, that was kind of a cruel joke to play on you, but yawning is one of those head movements that we tend to mirror, and we don’t know why we mirror that one. Other ones could be things like if I go like this, pretty soon in the conversation, watching a video, you may not do the same thing. If you do, well then, that’d be pretty cool but pay attention to when you’re in conversation face to face with other people, yawn sometimes.

Fake a yawn sometimes, then you may even yawn for real a couple seconds later and see if other people around you yawn. In addition, touch your face sometimes, see if other people touch their face or pretend you have something on your lip like this. Then maybe the person you’re talking with, maybe they’re going to be like, “oh, do I have something on my lip?” They’re going to mirror that because we are naturally self-conscious creatures where we want to make sure that we look good.

Obviously, if I have something on my face, I don’t want to be talking with other people because that would be embarrassing. I guess, no one’s really going to say anything but usually when that happens sometimes other people will do that like, ‘you’ve got something right there.’ Then the person who has something there is going to do the same thing to wipe it off.

So, we’ve been conditioned to mirror those types of facial behaviors and facial movements. It’s important that when we say head gestures of the person, we’re not really talking about how we move our head or nodding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or the little micro expressions that happen with all the different muscles or eye movements, things like that. We’re talking about hand to face gestures, of mirroring those.

Now, it can even be taken a step further and say, a lot of people, when you’re conversing with other people, if you itch your shoulder or if you fold your arms behind your back or if you fold your arms this way, pretty soon the other people in your conversation circle or the three other people you’re talking with, the other person you’re talking with is going to stand that way.

So, if I stand with a hand on my hip or if I decide to stand like this, however it goes, after a couple minutes of conversation and me standing like that, pretty soon the other people are going to stand that way as well. It’s just because that’s what feels natural within the group, you’ll often find when you’re conversing with a group of people that one person sets the tone for that group.

You may not notice this now but now that you’re aware of it, you may start paying attention to it and you’ll see that the next time you’re speaking with people, you can pick out who is running that conversation. They may not be the one talking all the time but they’re silently running that conversation with their body language.

They may fold their arms, pretty soon the next person folds their arms, then maybe five minutes later another person folds their arms. You could be paying attention to this saying, wow, look at this and find out who is the leader of that conversation, body language conversation and then you can take it over from them.

It’s sort of a status type of a thing but it’s very important with deception because if someone is lying, you do not want them to be leading that body language conversation. Therefore, if when you’re speaking with someone trying to get the truth, start doing some of these things, maybe intentionally touching your face or going like that or pretend you have something in your eye and see if they mirror your behaviors.

If they do, then that’s a good sign because liars are usually so focused on their lie that they’re not using those natural behaviors. Their conscious mind and their unconscious mind are at such a battle, their conscious is trying so hard to push that lie forward and their unconscious is trying so hard to leak out all these behaviors. Those typical unconscious things like touching and mirroring behaviors don’t happen, so that is something to watch for.

If you are questioning someone and you think maybe they’re lying, start doing a few of those hand to head gestures and see if they mirror you. If they mirror you then you know that they’re unconscious is at work and it’s working as it should. If they don’t mirror you then you know that they’re unconscious is fighting to try to leak some sort of truthful behaviors so that you can pick up on their lie.

If this is your first time watching these videos, I would love to have you subscribe to the channel on YouTube, feel free to leave any comments or questions on there as well. Also, if you’d like some more information, we have tons of information available on We’ve got booksblog postspodcasts, all dedicated to teaching you exactly what everybody is really saying.

Until next time.

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