Deception Tip 49 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 49:

Some liars may cross the bottoms of their legs at the calf muscle in an “X” like position as if to block the target’s perceptions.


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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 49 of the deception tips podcast, I’m so glad you’re continuing to listen to these podcasts, we are almost to the halfway point. 

Again, we’re on 49 and we go to about a hundred and one, so that means we’re almost there, we’re almost halfway. This has been an excellent series for everybody, and I hope that you have learned a lot.

If so, please make sure to let me know on whatever platform you’re listening. If it’s iTunes or iHeart Radio, Google, wherever it may be, post a review on there and let everybody else know what this podcast has been doing and what it has been doing for you, how you’ve benefited from it, etc.

Last time, we spoke of a body language behavior that we’ve touched on several times before, we haven’t touched on it specifically, but we’ve touched on the general concept. Last time, we discussed how a slight shoulder shrug means that a person doesn’t really have a lot of confidence in what he or she just said, so it’s like, yeah, I agree but I don’t agree, like whatever they’re saying they don’t fully support or believe.

Remember that when someone shrugs his or her shoulders, it usually means they don’t know, that’s the typical shoulder-shrugging gesture. When do people do it? They do it when they don’t know, they shrug their shoulders as an I don’t know gesture. So, that means that if someone gives you a response and they shrug their shoulders with that response, they don’t know, it’s as simple as that.

Pay more attention to body language because it is more truthful than speech, so body language is where you want to fall back. If they shrug their shoulders, generally, they don’t know but what happens if they only shrug one shoulder? 

Well, that means that whatever they’re saying, they don’t have a lot of confidence in it. It isn’t that they don’t know, it’s that they’re pretending to know but they don’t fully believe it so they’re only half shrugging let’s say.

Keep in mind that body expressions and facial expressions and all of that kind of stuff must be symmetrical. So, when someone is shrugging with half of their body or with one shoulder more than the other that means it is not symmetrical and is, therefore, some form of false or deceptive emotion.

This could mean that they don’t know what they’re saying even if they say they do or it could mean that they know what they’re saying if they say they don’t, so either way, whatever it means, it means that something’s not right, that’s what you need to know. So, when someone is speaking to you and they shrug one shoulder, you need to know right there that something’s not right about that, something is a little off, so continue your line of questioning.

Remember everything must be symmetrical, if it is very true, with the exception of contempt, which is the only asymmetrical facial expression, we talked about that back in episode 19. So, keep that in mind, shoulder shrugs are typically an, ‘I don’t know’ gesture, when you see a shoulder shrug it means that someone doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about.

If it is a slight shoulder shrug on one side of the body more than the other then it is asymmetrical and everything that we have discussed asymmetricality, generally means deception, false emotion, or that someone does not believe what they’re saying. 

They do not have a lot of confidence in what they are talking about, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lying, they just don’t fully know what they’re talking about.

Today, we’re going to talk about a different sign of deception than that, however, it is still on the body, it is a form of body language. In addition, it is also one that we have discussed a little bit here and there, we talked about it in a few different episodes. 

They’ve gone way back when we talked about the locked ankles in episode number 22 on how sometimes people can lock their ankles under the desk or under their chair, sometimes they tuck them back under the chair.

That was a long time ago, hopefully, you remember that, if you don’t, I encourage you to go back and check it out and get a little refresher on that. You can do it after you listen to this broadcast but go ahead and check that out. Also, two episodes ago, in episode 47, we talked about watching the legs because we said that the legs are a very expressive form of the body or part of the body.

The reason is that most people try to mask the face and other areas that are more visible whereas the legs are a little bit more hidden. So, people don’t necessarily watch the legs or don’t necessarily try to mask the legs because they know people aren’t focusing on them, so watch those.

So, this is episode 49, here it is, deception tip 49. Some liars may cross the bottoms of their legs at the calf muscle in an X-like position as if to block off the target’s perceptions. Here it is again, some liars may cross the bottoms of their legs at the calf muscle in an X-like position as if to block the target’s perceptions.

We’ve got a lot going on this one, it’s happening with the legs, some liars are crossing their legs, that’s step one. It’s at the calf muscle, which means it’s the lower part of the legs, in an X-like position and that is more of that blocking. 

So, this is like the arm folding of the legs, they’re blocking off perceptions. It is a defensive gesture and we talked about that when we spoke of locked ankles, how they may lock their ankles and that will be in an X-like position because if they’re locked, they’re crossed.

This is a little bit higher up, so instead of simply locking the ankles, this is a full-on leg cross at the calf muscle done to block the target’s perceptions. This could be combined with locking of the ankles, it’s a defensive gesture because they are crossing something. So, instead of crossing the arms or folding the arms like we talked about way back in episode 1, they are crossing the legs.

It isn’t a typical leg cross like the figure four position or the over-the-leg position like you would see in England. This is more of a bottom of the leg cross, it is a blocking perception and we are going to talk a lot more about this coming up right after this.

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Once again, here we are, we are on Deception Tip 49, thank you for your continued listening. We’re talking about crossing the legs at the calf muscle. It’s an X-like position, this is a defensiveness gesture that people do when they may be withholding something or when they feel that the target, which is the person that they are lying to or being deceptive with is starting to see through them.

They’re going to cross their legs to block that out, it’s like X, like don’t come near me I’m blocking you. They don’t want targets to spot their lies and they do whatever they can, they want to hide this leakage. 

Sometimes, as we’ve talked about before in different episodes way back when we talked about bouncing the legs, this was back in episode 30 how some liars when they’re very anxious, you may see one leg bouncing up and down like a car piston bing, bing, bing, bing, bing.

Then if it gets really serious, they may have both the legs going, it’ll be like a double bass, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and their legs will be going like crazy. 

Obviously, this is a little abnormal, so someone who does this behavior may know that and they may cross their legs to prevent the other behaviors from happening. You say wait a minute, they cross their legs to prevent the other behaviors, isn’t that a conscious behavior? Yes, it is.

So, crossing their legs in an X at the bottom could be conscious and the unconscious will allow it to happen because it knows that in doing so it is also displaying a sign of unconscious leakage. So, it’s like the one up, like the physical tasks that we talked about, that was a long time ago, that was back in episode 4, how we discussed that physical tasks.

People stop when they’re telling that lie or rehearsing their story, telling their story that they rehearsed, they’ll stop that unconscious physical task and the unconscious allows that because it knows that it is a sign in and of itself. 

This is very similar, so if someone is a leg bouncer and they decide, you know what, I better cross my legs or even lock my ankles or something, that way I don’t bounce my legs, I’m getting that tension and anxiety out somewhere else.

We talked about what that is, that is a pacification gesture, they’re pacifying that anxiety or tension. It’s a double pacification, bouncing the legs is a pacification in and of itself because they are releasing that stress, tension, and anxiety, pacifying. 

Then, if they lock their ankles or cross their legs at the calf muscle, they are restricting that leg bouncing from happening and pacifying that but also pacifying the root anxiety of it by crossing and locking their legs.

They may pull a little bit on it and they may express that a little bit of pushing together on their legs to release that tension there. So, remember that this is a behavior that you may see a lot, in addition, it is one that may not always indicate deception, just like all these other behaviors we talked about, this is one that can happen all the time.

First off, this is more of a comforting gesture too, so when someone crosses his or her legs, remember when we talked about an armed folding how it could just be that the person is giving themselves a hug. So, this could mean that this person, when they cross their legs down at the bottom of the calf muscles in an X, maybe they tuck them under their chair, it might be just like a hugging gesture.

They’re giving themselves a little bit of comfort and helping themselves feel a little bit more comfortable. Keep in mind though that when they tuck it under their chair, it could also be symbolic of how liars take up less space than truth-tellers. How they want to shrink so that people do not see the different signs of deception on their bodies. Remember liars don’t want people to see everything that’s going on, so they may shrink.

Also, if they tuck them under, it could be a variation of that step backward that we talked about. In episode 40, we talked about the taking up space, in episode 29, we talked about how liars may step backward to ward off that accusation. So, if they’re shrinking by crossing the legs and tucking them under, that could also be stepping backward or withdrawing from the situation a little bit.

Keep in mind that even though there could be so many different signs that this could encompass, it’s mainly something where they are being a little bit withholding or defensive or they just feel like they want to be comfortable. 

People like to take control of their own environment, so if this is a behavior that they did somewhere else where they were comfortable and now they’re in a new environment, they may do that behavior in an effort to bring that comfort to this new environment.

So, this goes with any behavior, say someone is normally somebody who taps their fingers on the desk and at home where they feel comfortable, in their bedroom, they tap their fingers a lot. Well, when they’re in school and they feel anxiety, they’ll tap their fingers to bring the feeling of that comfort from home to the classroom. This is something that can happen when any form of body language.

So, keep in mind that even deceptive signs could be that way because if someone is comfortable doing that form of body language in another area, they may bring it with them to bring that comfort. So, that’s a little side note or tip on why some people may do certain things in new environments. 

It’s human nature, we want to familiarize our foreign environments, so we will do something familiar to us to bring that familiarity there in an effort to make us a little bit more okay with being in that new environment.

Where were we on this? Crossing the legs can mean a number of things, can mean people are defensive, can mean they’re withholding, and can mean they need some comfort. If they combine crossing those legs with tucking them back that could further mean withholding or withdrawing from the situation. It could also mean that they don’t want people to see what’s going on.

They are tucking away, they’re crouching, hiding, taking up less space because they don’t want the target to see those different signs they may be leaking. It could also mean that they are very anxious and so crossing their legs at the calf muscle in that X position or even locking the ankles with that could mean that they are trying to release the stress or tension or they’re trying to prevent the release of that stress or tension from some other behavior on their legs.

It’s like when you are about to yawn and you stifle that yawn, this could be like stifling the leg bouncing or something like that. Maybe they think that they’re moving their legs too much and they’re feeling a little bit self-conscious, so they’ll cross them at the bottom to prevent that from happening. It could mean any number of things, but the main thing is you need to watch for patterns and clusters of behavior that will go along with this.

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 books, the blog, and also the videos 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, 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 talking about a deception tip that is on the legs.

Remember a couple of times ago we talked about how it’s important to watch the legs because you’re going to see a lot of behaviors happening there due to the fact that people mask their face a little bit more. We’ve talked about that in another deception tip, you may see a card pop up above on those tips, but we have talked about that, that it is important for you to watch the legs because there’s a lot going on down there.

Why? Because the conscious and unconscious are fighting, the conscious is trying to stifle the unconscious and it says, “Hey, I don’t want you to put any signs out on the face, but I’ll allow it on the legs.” The legs are typically under the table, they’re not really seen, no one really pays attention to them, so it allows leakage to occur there and this tip is talking about that.

It’s a certain sign that you’ll see on the legs when someone may be deceptive of course you’re going to see other signs along with it, but it is important that you watch and pay attention to this one. So, here it is, this is deception tip number 49. Some liars may cross the bottoms of their legs at the calf muscle in an X like position as if to block the target’s perceptions.

There are a couple of things going on here, they’re going to cross their legs at the calf muscle, that is the muscle directly behind the shin. They’re going to make an X like position with their legs, they’re blocking the target’s perceptions. Obviously, they’re not really blocking everything like I do with my hands here where I’m blocking you off.

If you remember in deception tip number one where we talked about arm folding that’s kind of blocking, that’s a defensive behavior, it could be withholding. Of course, it could also mean someone is simply cold or they need a little bit of comfort and they’re giving themselves a hug, but this behavior is similar to that because that is blocking or giving themselves that hug.

When you cross your legs at the calf muscle, they may be crossing them and pushing, we’re having some tension there. That could be tension release, stress release, it could also be that comfort of giving themselves a hug. In addition, if you see another tip, we talked about which was on locking the ankles, again you may see a little pop up here to direct you to that but that one is a tension gesture.

They were locking those ankles, putting some tension on there, and then you’ll see this crossing the legs at the calf muscle with that, now it’s starting to become that pattern or cluster of behaviors. If they’re sitting down, chances are they’re going to be sitting down because if they cross their legs and lock their ankles, if they do that standing, they’re probably going to tip over.

So, you see this when they’re sitting then you may also see that arm folding going on now it is a genuine pattern or cluster that you are starting to witness. When you start seeing all of that stuff you can be fairly certain that that person is being a little bit withholding, they may be defensive, they may not want to share something or maybe they’re freezing cold and they need a blanket, you never know.

Again, that’s why it’s important for you to pay attention to the environment and the things going on around them. If all of a sudden, you see that it’s 40 degrees outside and they don’t have a jacket and they’re sitting outside in a lawn chair with their arms folded and their legs crossed and their ankles locked, well they’re probably cold because they’re an idiot outside at that temperature with no jacket.

If you see someone who is in a warm room, in a comfy little interrogation center or sitting at the kitchen table and their arms are folded and their legs are locked and the ankles are crossed and all that kind of stuff, that’s a little bit more unusual, it’s a little bit more out of place.

Then you can start to poke and prod for other signs and other tips and ask them a little bit more questions to see what else you get out of them if you see any more signs of deception or anything like that. Keep in mind this is crossed at the calf muscle, you may or may not see it with locked ankles, or arm folding, if you do then it starts to become that pattern or cluster of behaviors.

So, if this is your first time watching these videos, I’d love to have you subscribe to the channel on YouTube. Feel free to comment with any questions as well, also if you’d like more information, we have booksblog postspodcasts, all available on that are dedicated to teaching you exactly what every body is saying.

Until next time.

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