Deception Tip 40 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 40:

When telling lies, people may curl up in an effort to take up as little space as possible.


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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 deception tip number 40. We’ve been on a long journey to read people and detect deception so that you will never be lied to again. Today, we are going to talk about an awesome sign of deception that occurs across the whole body. 

In addition, it’s really a double sign because you can see it in both ways, it’s two different ways. If they do one thing, it means something, if they do the other, it means the opposite.

So, they are opposite signs, they are opposing signs and you can determine their behavior based on either one of these signs. However, before we get into that, we’re going to do a little recap, as usual, of last week’s episode. 

So, deception tip 39 was how liars may yawn repeatedly to convey their boredom and relaxation when they are being interrogated or when they’re being questioned.

Now, the reason that they would do this can be for multiple reasons. Number one, they could be yawning repeatedly to convey that boredom or that relaxation. So, then the thought process is that, well, if I show them that I’m bored and relaxed then they will think that I had nothing to do with it.

I’m warding off that suspicion, they will understand that I just don’t really care about whatever is going on. So, hopefully, they’ll let me go because they’ll see that I would have no reason to lie about it because I don’t really care. So, that means I would most likely tell the truth because it doesn’t affect me one way or the other.

The other reason would be to show that they really are maniacal. It could be that if they are lying, then they do this yawning as a manipulation tactic to get the target or the interrogator to believe them and to like them a little bit more.

Back in episode 35, when we talked about mirroring movements and talked about how when you mirror movement there is kind of a bond. We also touched on it last week, how when you mirror someone else’s movement or when someone else mirrors your movement then there is a bond that is starting to develop.

So, the liar may be thinking that if I start yawning and they copy me they’ll feel that empathy or sympathy, they might start to relate to me a little bit more and maybe then they’ll believe my story a little bit better and I will get let go, I’ll get away with this. The interesting thing is that the interrogators can use that to their advantage.

If they start using the yawning as a mirroring tactic to get the liar to start liking them as an interrogator, then that relationship can be developed, and the liar will be more likely, to tell the truth simply because there is that unconscious or unexplainable bond that is starting to develop between the interrogator and the liar.

So, if you are questioning someone, use yawning to your advantage, yawn a couple of times, let them copy you, and then you can start to develop that rapport. In addition, if you yawn and they don’t copy you then something might be up because that is a very normal tactic, that when someone yawns someone else is going to yawn as well. It is a very interesting thing that you really can’t control, it is a response that is unconscious.

If you yawn, someone else around you is going to yawn, someone else yawns, and you’re going to yawn. Even talking about yawning may bring out someone yawning, it is something that is unexplainable, it is something that we really don’t understand why there’s such a huge, deep psychological connection with yawning.

So, today, we’re going to move gears a little bit, we’re going to talk about a full-body deception tip. This is something that you will see across the entire body, it’s not something where it’s one specific sign. We’re not talking about like the head or the eyes or the mouth or something like that, it’s not gestures, this whole thing is a gesture and it will be across the entire body.

It may be displayed only on half of the body at a certain point in time and then spread to the rest. It’s something that you will see, it is a stark change in behavior. 

So, here it is, this is deception tip number 40. When telling lies, people may curl up in an effort to take up as little space as possible. Here it is again, deception tip number 40. When telling lies, people may curl up in an effort to take up as little space as possible.

Now, this is a little bit convoluted but basically, it means that when someone lies, they’re going to curl up into a ball. They’re going to reduce their surface area so that there is less for someone else to see. 

Conversely, when people are confident, when they’re confident and telling the truth, they’re going to sprawl out and spread out because they want people to see their entire body, they want to show everything off.

Confident people take up more space, liars take up less space, or unconfident people. So, we’re going to break it down, we’re going to talk all about this. Here we go, liars are usually very stressed, they’re very tense and most of the time they’re self-conscious. 

Why would they be self-conscious? This is because when people lie, they don’t want other people to see their lie, they want other people to believe the lie. They want to get it over with as soon as possible, they want it to be done, they do not want to continue in that lie.

Now, we’re talking about normal people here. Abnormal people are people who are sick, or those pathological liars usually called psychopaths or sociopaths. They enjoy lying or people who enjoy lying whether you call them whatever you want, anyone who enjoys lying, may continue to lie repeatedly, they don’t want to get it over with because they enjoy it.

In addition, they will not display any of these signs because they’re so practiced at lying that they’ve worked out all the kinks. If they enjoy it then they’re not going to be stressed or tense about it, which means that leakage just simply will not occur.

So, this is for normal people, with normal people, when they’re lying, they do feel a little bit self-conscious, they feel like everyone is going to know what they’re doing. 

It’s almost like when you have something, like for guys when you cut yourself shaving or for girls, if you forget to apply your makeup in the morning, you’re worried that everybody is going to notice, you’re worried that everybody will see.

When you spill a little bit of coffee on your shirt, you’re covering it up, you’re worried everyone is going to see it. The reality is no one is going to see it, most people will not. Maybe one in 10 are going to notice and the other two out of ten might notice, but they’re not going to say anything, they’ll just brush it off. Either way, the majority of people are not going to see it.

We always see everything on ourselves, why? Because we know our own bodies. Other people who we’re interacting with, who we talked to, they don’t notice a thing, most people are so oblivious to everyone else. Why are they oblivious to everyone else? Because they are thinking about themselves.

For the same reason, you may not notice how someone else got a haircut or they dripped coffee on their shirt because you’re thinking about the coffee stain on your shirt and whether other people are going to notice. 

They’re probably thinking about something else, I hope no one notices my black eye and I put makeup over it, or no one sees my cut on my hand or they don’t notice I wore the wrong color socks today, something like that.

Everyone is always focused on something about them that we don’t have time to notice the little imperfections in other people. Therefore, when people curl up to lie, they are so self-conscious, that they’re curling up into a ball, but they are really curling up. Whereas most people who are a little bit self-conscious, you may just cover it up with your hand or you’ll notice that your hand is in a certain spot a little bit more.

If you have the wrong color socks on, they’re very conscious about making sure their pant legs cover their socks, etc. These liars are super conscious that they cover-up into a ball, so they’re covering their entire body. We’re going to talk a lot more about this and a lot more about the other side of confident people coming up right after this.

How would you like to really know what everybody is saying? Understanding body language can help you in your career, your relationships, and everyday interactions. Get Spencer Coffman’s A Guide to Deception online today.

Once again, we’re on deception tip number 40, we’re talking about how when telling lies the people who are a little bit self-conscious and who are stressed or tense, these liars are going to curl up and take up as little space as possible so that other people will not be able to see all of the body language leakages that they are going to display.

On the other hand, confident people, they’re going to sprawl out generally and take up more space because they want other people to notice them, they want to be seen. Now, of course, there are varying degrees of this, some people who are overconfident and cocky and who are peacocking, they really want people to see, so they’re going to be very sprawled out.

However, the normal people, normal confident people, they’ll be sitting normally, they’ll be sitting with their feet up, maybe they’ll have their hands out. They’re not going to be like that arrogant pompous look who puts their feet up on the table or something like that and leans back. It’s going to be more of a regular situation of a regularly seated posture, whereas liars, definitely will curl up.

Now, as we’ve talked about many times before, seeing clusters and patterns of behavior is very important, so we spoke of a few of these things that are going to go into this curling up. Number one would be, folding the arms, we talked about that long ago in episode number one, folding the arms is a display of curling up.

When your arms are out, you have more surface area for people to see, when you fold your arms, they’re seeing less surface area because you’re hiding a little bit. Simple things like episode number 6 when we talked about covering genitals, that is covering up something. Another one with defensive barriers, they’re blocking, they’re covering things.

In addition, crossing the legs like episode number 22 with locked ankles, where they are crossing the legs, locking those ankles, hiding them, maybe tucking them under the chair, something like that. There are a ton of different signs that can go into this one, of curling up, pretty much any time someone reduces their body surface area.

Now, obviously, we’re not reducing the surface area like cutting off skin or something, we are just curling up and reducing the visible amount of our body. So, for example, if your arm is extended, they can see your entire arm plus your torso. 

If you put your arm in front of your torso, like folding your arms, they can no longer see your entire arm and they can no longer see your entire torso, so that means you have reduced the visible surface area of your body. That’s what we’re talking about, it’s reducing the visible surface area of your body.

So, when people lie and they start to curl up, they’re reducing that surface area, they’re reducing the visible surface area because the more visible surface area there is, the more chance there is for someone to notice any of these signs of deception, any of this leakage that the unconscious is going to spit out.

So, if they cover it up and reduce that surface area, there is less chance of seeing that leakage. The funny thing is, doing that in and of itself is a sign of leakage, so the conscious thinks it might be getting away with something, but the unconscious has the upper hand, they get the last laugh because they know that, hey, by doing that, it is a sign of leakage in and of itself.

Remember, the unconscious and the conscious are not two separate people, however, I talk about them like they are. They are really the same entity in one brain, but they have two separate roles and they are always battling one another. So, remember that liars are going to try to curl up for the reason of not wanting other people to see everything that is going on.

Confident people are going to sprawl out because they’re confident with the situation. They want people to see them, they want people to see how confident they are in this situation. This can go both ways as well just like we talked about with yawning, how sometimes the liars are going to yawn to repeatedly convey that boredom or that calmness.

In this time, maybe somebody would sprawl out and show that they are confident even though they really are not. They’re going to display that confidence and display that spread out behavior to show people that, hey, I’m confident about the situation, I have nothing to worry about, it could be like a false tactic, so that’s something to pay attention to as well.

Now, one thing is that this type of behavior, this type of sprawling out is usually more prevalent in men because men are typically a little bit cockier, a little bit more arrogant, a little bit more confident, they are a little bit more full of themselves. 

Whereas women are typically a little bit more reserved, they’re a little bit shyer and they’re a lot more self-conscious, they are a lot more self-conscious than men. Men don’t care, women are always thinking about what other people think about them.

So, you might typically see the men as more common and people who spread out and the women as people who are reserved. Therefore, you need to take that into account because a woman curling up into a ball or folding her arms, may be normal for women, may not curl up like a man would curl up.

So, for example, a man who typically is more confident, they’ll be more spread out. When they curl up, that’s going to be much more noticeable because it looks different or it looks out of place for a man. 

Whereas a woman typically sits with their legs crossed, maybe with their arms folded, they typically take up less space, or sometimes they’ll even sit on their legs. They typically take up less space, so then you need to watch for when they really take up a lot less space.

Similarly, when men are sprawled out and confident, they typically take up a lot of space. So, when a woman sprawls out and is confident now that is something that’s definitely out of place because usually, they don’t sprawl out. 

When was the last time you saw a lady put her feet up on the desk? It happens rarely, it’s something that you typically see men do, they typically throw their feet up on the desk, put their hands behind their head, something like that.

So, keep in mind the differences between men and women with this typical situation of body language poses and taking up space because there are going to be differences between men and women. So, take that into account, their normal behavior, and just look for a deviation in that. If a man scrunches up to take up less space, that looks like a deviation, if a woman takes a little less space, that could be normal but when she takes a lot less space, that could be abnormal.

So, I always pay attention to cultural rules, patterns of behavior, and men-women differences and look for changes in baseline, also look for those clusters and patterns of behavior because then you will be able to better detect deception.

I want to thank you for listening to the deception tips podcast. Hopefully, you’ll share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the deception tips blog and the deception tips videos, take a look at the books 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. 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 cool sign that is really something that you see often but you don’t really notice it often.

It’s like a lot of these signs that we’ve been talking about, they seem to be a natural part of communication and behavior and how people converse but then once you start to notice what they really mean you start seeing them everywhere and you know that they’re not common but until you get told or made aware of it you don’t see it.

It’s like the big, popular FedEx company, if you look at their logo it says FedEx. However, if you look closely there’s an arrow there, once you’re made aware of that arrow every time you look at the FedEx, boom that arrow is going to stand out big time. So, similar to all of these deception tips, you don’t really notice them at first, once you’re made aware of them you start to see them all over the place.

So, here it is, deception tip number 40. When telling lies, people may curl up in an effort to take as little space as possible. Now, there is something here that is a two-factor lie, so when people are telling a lie they try to curl up, why? Why do they try to curl up? Well, as we’ve said before, the body is a tremendous indicator of deception and leakage, so if they curl up there’s less for you to see.

So, if I’m standing like this and I’m wide, I’m broad, you can see a lot of what’s going on in my body. If I go like this and fold my arms which we talked about way back in video number one when you fold your arms now you can see less of my body. You can’t see my fingers, you can’t see my hands, I don’t do any hand gestures, you’re like what’s going on, you’re just like a statue talking, there’s something wrong? But, if I go even further and curl up and turn away, you can only see a portion of my body, it’s less and less and less.

Whereas, if people are confident, they tend to stand up, they stand up straight, they have good posture, they dominate that space they occupy. Go to any business meeting where you have a board meeting at a table and notice how people compete for the tablespace. They’ve got their binder and they open up their briefcase and they pull out some papers and their pens and this and that.

Sometimes if it’s a big formal meeting they’ve even got stacks of brochures and paper and business cards and maybe their little flags or whatever and they take up a bunch of the tablespace. Well, because unconsciously, the more real estate you occupy on the table the more important you are, or the more important people see you. Confidence, confident people tend to dominate the space they occupy, liars like to conceal so that you don’t see as much of me so you’re not seeing all of that leakage that I could potentially give off.

So, pay attention to that when you’re speaking with someone if they hide or cower or curl up. You’ve got to watch for two things, number one, are they afraid of you like you’re going to beat them or something or number two are they hiding something. So, if you’re not the type of person to hit someone or to beat someone or if you know that they’re not afraid of whatever it may be.

Maybe they’re afraid of a male presence, maybe they’re afraid of women, maybe they’re afraid of authority. Whatever that case, if you can determine that they’re not afraid of something then that means if they’re cowering, they’re hiding something which means they’re afraid of something being found. So, either way, it’s still some form of fear being put on there.

It’s also done to protect themselves from that leakage being seen because the conscious and the unconscious are always fighting. So, that unconscious is going to push out all kinds of behaviors to try to get the truth found. Shrinkage may be one of those behaviors, it’s a form of leakage that pacifies the conscious.

The conscious is saying like, “Alright, if I can tell this lie and get it out without the unconscious knowing then that’s great.” The unconscious says, “Well, I’ll one-up you, I’ll cower so that you think that there’s not going to be enough body for people to see. However, in doing that that is also a sign of leakage, so then the unconscious 1ups the conscious and both of them are for a moment at peace if you will.

So, watch for that and also determine the reasoning behind it but keep in mind that there will be other signs of deceptive behavior that happened with that. So, if you start to see that pay attention to some other signs if you see some other signs you can have some suspicion, you can know which direction to go, which questions to ask to get to the truth.

If this is your first time watching these videos, I’d love to have you subscribe to the channel on YouTube. It’s all about reading people, detecting deception, there’s a lot of information on there. Also, if you’d like even more information, we’ve got booksblog postspodcasts, all available on that are dedicated to teaching you exactly what every body is really saying.

Until next time.

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