Deception Tip 56 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 56:

Liars may lock their ankles together and tuck their feet back under the chair, combining the “X” with backing away.


Listen To The Podcast!

E56 – Ankles Backing Away – Deception Tips Podcast – Click Here To Subscribe

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 56 of the Deception Tips podcast. Last time, we talked about behavior that was related to the hands and it was a grooming gesture, also a preening gesture. 

People do these when they want to make themselves appear a little bit better or a little cleaner, professional, neat or choose any words you like, than they were before. It’s also something that happens when they’re either nervous, bored, or any of those types of deals.

When all of a sudden, they have nothing to do but look at themselves and see all the things that are wrong with them. We talked about this relating to the hands and that people will try to make their hands a little better such as biting their fingernails or cuticle picking, things like that. 

This behavior is indicative of tension and anxiety and I hope that over the last week, you have taken the time to observe other people a little bit and see if you noticed anybody using grooming gestures on their hands.

Maybe you yourself are a nail-biter or something like that and you’ve noticed it on yourself. Hopefully, you’ve done a little introspection and examined why you were doing it, what was the cause? Was there something going on around you? Were you thinking about something? If you saw it on other people, I hope you took the time to think about why it might be happening on that other person because those types of behaviors are due to stress and anxiety.

If you remember it was the third one about our hands that we’ve talked about. We also talked about ‘Wringing the Hands’, which was in episode 51, and ‘Massaging the Hand’ in episode 52. 

So, if you don’t remember those, go back, have another listen, or check out the video on YouTube, also the material in the blog or the books. Check out any of that stuff to refresh your memory and stay sharp.

Today, we have a different sign of deception, of course, we’re switching to a new gear that is also related to about four or five past episodes that we’ve discussed. Today we’re talking about something that’s happening on the legs, remember the legs are a very popular area for deception to occur. Why? 

Well, the reason is that most people know that when talking with each other they like to watch the face, it’s polite to look people in the eye, maintain good eye contact, etc.

Therefore, the legs are usually under a table due to the fact that people speak sitting down across the table or at a desk or something like that. In addition, because people know that we’re watching each other’s faces, the legs are a very popular place for body leakage to occur. Why is this? Well, remember there is that battle between the conscious and the unconscious.

The unconscious is fighting for the truth, it is trying to leak as many signs of deception as possible, as many truthful body language indicators. The conscious is trying to stifle those or mask them, hide them somehow. So, those two come up with a middle ground and the conscious says to the unconscious, who is trying to leak these behaviors, all of a sudden, the unconscious puts something to the legs.

The conscious says that’s fine, I’ll allow it because I know that consciously, we watch each other’s eyes or faces. So, the unconscious gets a little satisfaction that it gets to leak a behavior, the conscious is happy because it thinks no one is going to see the behavior. 

However, you can trick all of that and watch the legs, we talked about that in episode 47. Keep in mind I speak about the conscious and the unconscious almost like they’re two separate people fighting it out, it’s one mind, it’s the same thing.

It’s separate realities or dimensions of your mind so to speak, so keep that on your radar as well, it’s something that’s going on but it’s not two separate entities, it is one and the same. So, today we’re going to dive into, as I said, a behavior relating to the legs. We talked about several of them before, I’ll recap them in a little bit but first I need to tell you about the deception tip today.

So, here it is, deception tip number 56. Liars may lock their ankles together and tuck their feet back under the chair combining the X with backing away. Here it is again, deception tip number 56. Liars may lock their ankles together and tuck their feet back under the chair combining the X with backing away. So, let’s break this down, there is a combination of signs that we’ve already talked about built-in to this one, so this could potentially be a cluster or pattern of behaviors.

However, because it is all related to the legs, it’s in one area, one instance and it’s like one gesture, it’s not really considered a pattern or cluster. It’s like if someone folds their arms and curls up a little bit and leans back, that could potentially be three separate signs of deception.

It could be arm folding that we talked about in episode 1, it could be taking up less space which we’ve talked about before and it could also be the backing away. So, it could be three different signs there but because it is altogether a little bit it’s only considered one sign. The ‘Take up Space’, we talked about in episode 40, and the ‘Backing Away’, we talked about in episode 29. So, if you want to refresh your memory, go ahead, hit those up, and check them out.

Today, it is the legs and the different behaviors, what are those three different behaviors? We have ‘Locked Ankles’, we have Yuck their feet with an X and then tucking under the chair which is backing away. So, ‘Locked Ankles’, we’ve got ‘The X’, and then we’ve got ‘Backing Away’. We’re going to talk more about where those happen and where we went into each one of those a little bit more coming up right after this.

Not only can you listen to these deception tips you can also watch a quick video explaining each one. Subscribe to the body language YouTube channel today.

Welcome back to episode 56 of the deception tips podcast where you are learning how to read people and detect deceit so that you will never be lied to again. Of course, you will always be lied to, but you will never be taken advantage of by lies again. Why? Because you will be able to see through them and you will know when someone is lying.

Today, we are talking about the legs, we have three different behaviors that are going on in the legs that are combining into one sign that is seen as a cluster or pattern of behaviors but because it is in one isolated area it is not taken as a reliable or full pattern or cluster of behaviors. So, what are those three signs? We’ve got ‘Locked Ankles’, we’ve got ‘The X of the Legs’, and we have tucking underneath which is ‘Backing Away’.

When did we talk about those? Well, we have locked ankles which we discussed way back in episode 22. ‘Locked Ankles’ is like when someone just crosses their ankles, hooking their feet together. We discussed how they could do this when they’re seated, seated liars may lock their ankles, and how they could pull to almost release some stress or tension involved.

It’s like an inhibitory behavior, they’re trying to release something or they’re trying to not do something, maybe not run away. It is like a pacification gesture, they may want to run away but they know they can’t, so they locked their ankles together and push to release that desire to run away. Whatever it may be but that is how that one looks.

Then we have the X, when did we talk about that? That was not so long ago in episode number 49 when we talked about the calf muscle, how liars who are sitting usually, may cross their legs at the calf muscle, making an X-like position with the bottoms of their legs. It’s not the typical crossing of the legs like the figure 4 position or leg over leg like the Brits do or people in England or people in America does it as well.

It’s typically known as the British style of crossing the legs or the English style of crossing the legs, whereas the other one that you see more in America is the figure 4 position. Fun fact, back in the world wars, the American spies were caught right away for sitting with their legs in the figure 4 position because the people over there knew that no one over there sat like that.

So, they needed to retrain their spies to sit as they do over there, when in Rome type of a deal. Anyway, the next sign that we have in this little bundle is tucking the legs under the chair, which is backing away, and we talked about this in episode 29 when we discuss the ‘Stepping Backward’. Why people step backward is because if they’re given an accusation, something is thrown at them, they step backward, they get away from it, and they want to ward it off.

Usually, you see like a hand raise go up with that, like, hey, I’m innocent, don’t shoot type of behavior, so that is how that is all playing out. One thing I do want to mention when it comes to this leg behavior of crossing, locking ankles, and tucking them under, is that we’ve seen a similar thing before which I have mentioned, and it is folding the arms.

You can fold your arms and tuck back and go away and it’s similar to crossing the legs. So, the arms and the legs have similar stuff, what does it mean? Well, it could mean defensiveness, withdrawal, something like that, which is the same as folding the arms. We talked about that long ago, that was our episode number one. So, I encourage you to listen to that, listen to this, see the difference, hopefully, I’ve improved.

Anyway, moving on, we have this sign, so what they’re doing is they’re locking their ankles together, that is going to release some stress and tension because it’s locked, they’re putting tension on their ankles. 

They’re pulling them, they’re pushing them, they’re putting pressure down there which is going to release that stress, tension, and anxiety that’s building up as a result of them being in that lying situation.

In addition, they’re going to tuck their feet back under the chair, what is this accomplishing? This is accomplishing the taking up less space because they’re tucking them under. I mentioned where that was from, so go ahead and listen to that, that was episode number 40, they’re taking up less space by tucking their feet under the chair. In addition, that’s also a sign of withdrawal, they’re pulling back from the situation.

Usually, when they’re seated, they’re probably opposite of the target, so they’re pulling away from that target, they’re pulling back. Since they tucked their feet and crossed their ankles or locked their ankles, that means that their legs are also crossed at the calf muscle making that X, what does that X do? That X is like blocking perceptions.

They’re unconsciously blocking off someone else from reading their body language. It’s like in the movies when you see those vampire movies or something where people put up their arms like an X, like stay away from me or this was a holy cross. You see those kinds of a deal where they do that, that’s what this resembles a little bit, they’re warding off those perceptions by making that X.

In addition, their entire body is going to be a little bit reserved, and withdrawn, they’ve combined all three of those behaviors into one. It is a sign of deception, however, keep in mind, that this could happen under any number of circumstances. 

So, let’s say you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you may be feeling that anxiety or tension, so you’ll cross your legs, lock your ankles and tuck them back under your chair to be a little bit more reserved, withdrawn, it’s like a shyness behavior, it’s a comforting gesture.

You may feel comfortable doing that, it’s like your legs giving themselves a hug. Just like when we talked about arm folding, some people may fold their arms to give themselves a hug, it’s a comforting gesture, so keep that one in mind as well. In addition, it could also mean that they’re cold. 

When someone is cold what is the best thing to do? Curl up, you get your body close together, you reduce the space between all of your extremities, your limbs, you bring them all to the core.

So, curling up, folding the legs in, tucking, and locking the ankles could also mean that someone is a little bit chilly and they’re just curling up to bring themselves together. Again, a sign of comfort, warmth is a comfort, so that could be another comfort gesture. 

Therefore, pay attention to that, remember that not everything is a sign of deception even though it could be a potential sign of deception. Even though this is a pattern of behaviors, it’s combined into one, it’s one fluid movement or one fluid gesture, therefore, it’s not really considered a cluster.

If you saw them lock their ankles, tuck their feet back, they have the X going on and they fold their arms, curl up, now we’ve got two separate kinds of clusters being put together, that could mean something. 

Again, it could mean they’re freezing cold and they’re curling up, so pay attention to that, be on the lookout for other signs to go with these signs so that you are always looking for patterns and clusters of behavior.

I want to thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the deception tips. I hope that you’ll share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the deception tips videos, and the blog, and take a look at 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 talking about a really cool deception tip, this is kind of a recap of a few tips we’ve had before, so this is almost a pattern or a cluster of behaviors in and of itself and fancy that it happens on the legs.

So, remember when we talked about how it’s important to watch the leg because a lot of behaviors are going to happen down there simply due to the fact that the conscious knows that people are watching the face, so it is going to work very hard to mask the face. We’ve talked about that in a deception tip before and it will allow the unconscious to leak these nonverbal signs of behavior or body language or deception on the legs because it knows that the legs are usually under a table because you’re sitting down.

They may be behind the desk, they’re not in the front, they’re not seen, so you’ll see these gestures here and that is one of the behaviors that we are going to talk about today. So, here it is, this is deception tip number 56. Liars may lock their ankles together and tuck their feet back under the chair, combining the X with backing away.

So, you’ll notice there are three things here, number one, they may lock the ankles. We talked about this in deception tip number 22, Locked Ankles, how they’re going to lock those ankles and push that tension on there. So, it’s releasing that stress and that tension, locked ankles then they are going to tuck these legs back under the chair.

So, this is the deception tip that we’ve talked about with backing away, this was on deception tip number 29. So, we have the person when they’re lying, they may be backing away to get away from the accusation or ward it off. They’re going to back away from that target or from whoever is throwing something at them, they’re getting away from it, they’re backing away.

So, you’re seeing this in this tip when they have those ankles tucked or backing underneath the chair. Then the third part is the X, combining that X with backing away because they’ve locked the ankles and they’ve tucked the legs under the chair. Then if they have their ankles locked and they’re tucking their legs, chances are that their shin and calf muscle are one on top of another, so they’re making that X.

We talked about that a few times ago in deception tip number 49 when we talked about Calf Muscle and how they will put their legs in an X to ward off the perceptions or block the perceptions of the target. So, this is a pattern or a cluster in and of itself, it is locking their ankles, so they’re releasing the stress and the tension involved in telling a lie.

In addition, it’s backing away because they’re tucking their legs beneath the chair or underneath their body and sitting on them. You never know, it could be any variety like that, so they’re backing away from the situation. Then it is also in an X, so they’re crossing those legs in an X to ward off or defend themselves from the target or from their perceptions, they’re withholding.

Now, even though this is a cluster in and of itself on the legs, you don’t want to just take this and if you see it be like, “Oh my gosh, they’re lying, it’s time for me to call him out on that lie or I know for certain they’re lying.” Even though it is three gestures and deception tips put all in one, it could happen in a split second.

All of a sudden, they’re sitting in the chair, they cross their ankles, lock them up, put them under them or tuck them beneath, it can happen in a matter of a couple of seconds, so it considered a pattern or cluster of behaviors, it’s not conclusive. However, you will see other signs with this, you’re going to see other signs that we’ve talked about.

Whether they fold their arms, whether they actually back away from the situation, whether they face the exit, something else is going to happen. So, watch for that, if you see this, pay attention to other signs that you will see as well. When you see the other signs, then you can start putting it together in a pattern and 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 you may have as well. Also, if you’d like some more information, we’ve got booksblog posts, and podcasts, all available on that are dedicated to teaching you exactly what every body is saying.

Until next time.

Enjoying This Content?

Consider donating to support Spencer Coffman!

Venmo        PayPal        CashApp