Deception Tip 73 - How To Detect Deception - A Guide To Deception - Author Spencer Coffman

Deception Tip 73:

Obviously when someone leans away they are resistant, or uninterested. When someone leans towards they are interested, or invested, in the situation.


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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.

Hello and welcome to deception tip episode 73. Today, we’ve got a cool episode that is a continuation of last week’s episode, so if you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, I really encourage you to go back and listen to it. 

If you listened to it already then guess what, you’re going to get a recap because I’m going to recap it from last week so we can talk about it and build into what we’re talking about this week. Why? Because they go hand-in-hand.

Last week, we spoke of something called the bodily axis. Basically, what this is, is it’s a person’s orientation, it’s where they’re tilted, where they’re turned in space, it’s a little bit different than leaning. For example, the bodily axis in terms of body language and how we have defined it is where they are pointed.

So, are their shoulder blades towards the exit, are their legs towards the exit, is one pointed one way and one another direction, are they engaged in that conversation or engaged in what’s going on around them? 

Remember the episode last week and the example I gave you about the football players in a huddle. All of a sudden, the cheerleaders walk by and pretty soon you start to see a couple of football players heads turn towards the cheerleaders.

Maybe their shoulders turn towards it, maybe their feet turned towards it and now their torso is back towards the huddle. Either way, they have left, they have gone to be with those cheerleaders. They’re physically standing in that huddle, but their mind is elsewhere.

They’re thinking man, I want to be over there, I want to talk to that girl or man, that one is so pretty I want to ask her out, they’re thinking about something else, they’ve left, they’re gone. The same is true in any conversation or anything else like that. If you’ve lost someone, you’ll see that their body is turning in a different direction, they are pointed elsewhere, that is their bodily axis.

Remember the example I gave you about watching a movie and my friend, oh man, check your position man, that movie is good like that. I was engaged in that movie, my elbows were on my knees, my chin was in my hands and I was fixed on that movie. I was leaning forward towards the screen, my entire position was towards that movie, my axis, my bodily axis was engaged in that movie.

Today, we’re going to talk about something called leaning, which is another thing that I was doing, I was leaning towards the screen, I was leaning in. Leading is similar to the bodily axis where the bodily axis is more the pointing of the body, where it is orientated, the squareness of it. Is it squared up with the conversation? Is it squared somewhere else? Is it squared up with the exit, like I’m going to bolt out of here? Is it ready to leave?

Remember we talked about that in episode 50, towards the exit, there are different things that we’ve mentioned all throughout these podcast episodes on body orientation. So, today we’re talking about one that again is very similar to these others, however, it is more of leaning. It is like when someone is either engaged or disengaged in the conversation, they may be leaning towards you, they may be leaning away from you.

When you look at a couple, you take a look, go to a restaurant, go to a park, go to a library, go anywhere where there are other people around you. Take a look around, look for the people who are a couple, like the guy-girl relationship. Maybe you’re at high school, maybe you’re at college and you look around and the campus areas or the open areas, public space outside.

You go to a football game and you’re sitting in the bleachers and you look around and you can see, is the girl leaning towards the guy? Is the guy leaning towards the girl? Maybe she has her head on his shoulder, she’s leaning in, you can see that they’re leaning towards each other, they look like they are meshed together, almost as if they were one. Like if you had heat vision or something, you would see one spot right there instead of two.

Obviously, you would see two because they burn from the inside out on a heat vision map, so you’d see the two, little red cat-like eyes in the middle followed by the yellow. So, it would really be two, but you can see if it was an overall shape, if you just saw shapes it would look like one shape.

They’re leaning towards each other in such a way that they’re kind of melded together, that is what we’re talking about with leaning. Bodily axis is not really leaning, it’s just more orientated towards whereas the leaning is like leaning towards, almost as if they’re going to mesh.

So, here it is, deception tip number 73. Obviously, when someone leans away, they are resistant or uninterested. When someone leans towards, they are interested or invested in the situation. Here it is again, deception tip number 73. Obviously, when someone leans away, they are resistant or uninterested. When someone leans towards, they are interested or invested in the situation.

So, here we go, we’re going to break this down, we’ve got two directions that someone could lean, they could either lean away from the situation or away from the person or whatever it is, the situation is an all-encompassing term, so it’s easier to use. They can lean away from the situation or they could lean toward the situation, they could lean out, they could lean in.

If they’re leaning away that means that they want to withdraw, they want to get away, they want to leave. They’re leaning away, they’ve already started leaving, next you’ll see their axis pointing, they’re going to be going towards the exit. 

They’re leaning away, their bodily axis is pointing, boom, they’re gone, that’s the pattern, that’s the cluster. If they’re leaning toward, they’re going to be leaning in, they’re going to be invested, pretty soon you’re going to see them square up.

They’re going to be huddled in, they’ll be pointing straight onto whatever is taking up their interest. Like that movie screen that I was so invested in at that time, my hands were cradling my chin and I was leaning right into it. My eyes were laser-focused on that screen, my elbows were on my knees, my feet were flat on the floor, and I was squared up.

My shoulder blades were squared right with the screen, my knees were squared with the screen. I was open, I was engaged at that moment right there, that situation commanded my full attention. However, when it’s not interesting you may be turned elsewhere, you may be leaning back, you may be relaxed, and you may have your head pointed somewhere else.

You may be looking at the screen, but your feet may be going in a different direction because you’re not a hundred percent invested or interested in that situation. So, we’re going to talk a lot more about this and a lot more about how people can be leaning towards or away, or their axis is pointed in the different clusters and patterns of behavior that go along with this coming up right after this.

Do you ever wonder if that smile from the person, you’re interested in is sincere, or is it merely polite? Spencer knows, he’s published groundbreaking research on smile detection and his books can give you more insight into what that person is really feeling.

Welcome back to deception tip episode number 73 where we are talking about leaning. We’re talking about how a person can lean away from a situation, meaning they are uninterested, they’ve withdrawn from the conversation or the situation around them. 

They no longer really care, they might care a little bit, but they’re done, they’ve had their patience tried. They’ve been engaged in this conversation, they’ve given them a chance, now all of a sudden, they’re bored, they’re tired of it.

They say no, this is dumb, I don’t need this, it’s pointless, I’m over it, they’re starting to lean away. They haven’t left yet because maybe they can’t, maybe they’re supposed to sit there through the lecture or they’re supposed to hear out this conversation or they have to watch this training video, but in their mind, they tuned out because they don’t believe it’s worth their time.

So, they’re leaning away, they’re going to leave eventually, they just want to leave now. Then we have the other side where they are leaning in, they’re leaning toward. This is when someone is engaged in the situation, it has captivated their attention and they are interested. They want to learn more, they want to soak up this information because it’s interesting to them.

They are engaged, they want to know what’s next, they don’t want to leave, and they are focused on whatever is going on. Whether it’s a conversation, whether it is an activity or a movie or some kind of group thing, they are there, they are really there. Their body is there, their mind is there, their attention is there, they are a hundred percent involved.

They may not be doing it, but they are sitting there paying attention, participating in it rather than wandering away with their mind or their body pointing somewhere else. As I mentioned, this goes hand-in-hand with the bodily axis, so as you see when you watch these people wherever you go, if they’re really focused, not only will they be leaning but their bodily axis will be pointed that way.

They’ll be squared up, they’ll be fully engaged, and you’ll see their entire body towards that situation. If it’s a person, you watch a couple out on a date, they’re both sitting at the table, they’re both leaning in, they’re towards each other. They may have a hand across a table, maybe they’re holding a hand on top of the table, and they’re engaged with each other because they want to be there.

It could just be because they’re super attracted to each other and they’re hoping it might lead somewhere else or it could be that they’re generally interested in the topic. You’ll see all varieties, you may see two people sitting there and you’ll be like, why is that dude with that girl? Well, maybe whatever he’s saying or whatever she’s saying is so interesting that they are sticking out that conversation.

They’ve overlooked whatever reason you see for them not to be sitting there together or perhaps it’s something that you don’t even know what’s going on. Someone is blackmailing someone, someone has a gun under the table, who knows, there could be any other number of situations. You only know about 10% of what’s going on, so keep that in mind, but body language can help you understand a lot more than that 10% because you’ll be able to look at the situation.

You’ll be able to see, alright, that dude is interested in her, she looks like she’s checked out, however, there’s something keeping her there. Her legs are still squared up with that guy, but her mind is wandering, what’s going on. There’s some kind of weird relationship thing going on there, whether they’re there as coworkers, friends, they’re on a date, or for any number of reasons.

You see the body language and you can understand the general idea of that situation. This is the same anywhere, so I would encourage you to go out and practice, that means to go somewhere, go to a restaurant, and sit there. Don’t just sit there for 30 minutes while you have your meal, go sit there, get something to drink, lemonade or iced tea, if you’re cheap.

You can get it with free refills and just sit there for several hours and if they boot you out because they need the table, happily leave, don’t worry about it. Go somewhere like even McDonald’s, Applebee’s, and Arby’s, sit there, and go over a mealtime so you can sit and watch other people in their interactions. In addition, go to public places, the park the square, if you’ve got a fountain, a mall.

The food court would be the best place to go in a mall because now you don’t need to worry about someone needing your table. You don’t worry about getting kicked out, you don’t need to have anything as far as food or anything like that, so it could be a free exercise. You could go there, sit there for several hours and watch all these people in their interactions.

You can not only look for leaning and bodily axis orientation, but you can look for all of these other gestures and patterns of behaviors that we’ve talked about, so that would be excellent. The mall is great, that’s an awesome place for you to go and people watch, you can see all those other people and what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with each other.

The coffee shop would also be good, either way, get out there and practice and start to notice it on yourself. When you’re watching a movie are you leaning in, are you leaning away, do you care about the movie. When you’re engaged in conversation with other people, are you sitting there thinking like, oh my gosh, is this guy going to shut up? I’ve got to get away, when can I talk to politely excuse myself or are you listening? Are you intent, are you focused on that conversation?

Pay attention to yourself and when you think those things because chances are, you’re going to know right away whether or not you are enjoying this conversation. You’re going to think that but then start to think about what you’re thinking, do a little introspection and say, alright, I want to leave this conversation, what’s my body doing? Wow, look at this, I’m pointing toward the exit, my shoulders are away, and I am clearly not even responsive to whatever is going on.

Start to notice that on yourself, on your own body then you’ll start to see it on other people, again, you’ve got to notice these things on yourself. Think about what’s going on in your mind and what’s bringing on these behaviors then you can start to see them on other people and you’ll start to be able to understand what they might be thinking or what’s going on in their mind, what they might be feeling when they are exhibiting those behaviors.

So, pay attention to all of that, to other people, to your own body language, your own thoughts, and use that as a form of empathy and caring about other people and what exactly they may be feeling. Not only about protecting yourself from lies but also understanding other people as well.

So, I want to thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Deception Tips podcast. I hope that you’ll share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, check out the videos, the blog, and 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 talking about a tip that is related to what we talked about last time on Bodily Axis and that was in Deception Tip number 72.

We’re talking about whether or not someone is leaning and how they’re going to be orientated to the conversation, the position or the topic based on their tilt or the way that their body may be leaning. So, here it is, this is Deception Tip number 73. Obviously, when someone leans away, they are resistant or uninterested. When someone leans toward, they are interested or involved in the situation.

So, we’ve talked about this before in Deception Tip number 50, we spoke about how someone could be leaning or orientated towards the exit and how that means that they may want to flee or get away from that current situation. This could happen when a liar is being interrogated by a target or by the person they’re trying to lie to. If the target isn’t believing the liar’s story and they are just saying, no I don’t believe this and they’re catching them in their lie, they’re making them very uncomfortable.

The liar could be shifting towards that exit, almost to try to escape and make a break for it, but they may not be. Obviously, that’s just what they want to do, they’re not really going to physically go, maybe they will but that’s what they are feeling inside. The same thing could happen when two people are having a conversation, maybe they aren’t lying, maybe there isn’t any deception going on, but the person just isn’t interested.

They may be leaning away or leaning to the other side to try to show subtly that they aren’t interested. Eventually, leaning could take the form of the bodily axis, which we talked about last time, and how all of a sudden, they could start to turn away. Maybe their feet are pointing somewhere else, maybe their shoulders are pointing, their hips are pointing and all of a sudden, they’re going to say, “Alright, catch you later” and bam, they’re out of there.

So, that’s something that you need to really pay attention to, not only if they’re going to be leaning in a certain direction but what that turns into. Remember everything that we’ve talked about is a part of a pattern or a cluster of behaviors. You can’t take any one sign and determine whether or not someone is lying, you need to look for these patterns and these clusters of behavior.

So, if they’re leaning then all of a sudden, they’re orientating their bodily axis towards something, then they’re squaring up their hips, their toes are pointed that way but their head is focused on you, you know pretty soon they need to get going, they’re out of there. If it’s a situation where you’re interrogating someone who may be lying, you’re not going to release them from that but if it’s a friend that you’re talking to you’re going to say, “Hey, do you need to get going? Okay, we’ll talk later” and you can be aware of all of this.

You’ll be able to understand what every body is really saying, not everybody, every body and you’ll know what they mean or what they unconsciously want. You’ll be able to communicate more effectively to them and discern the truth, you will be able to interpret whether or not they are being truthful with you.

When you give someone some news or you’re telling him something, if they’re really interested, you notice how sometimes you may be watching a TV program or a really intense movie and you’re leaning in. You might have your arms on the desk, or you might have your arms on your knees, and you’re focused into that movie, you might be hunched. That is your leaning toward, you want to get more, you just can’t wait.

If it’s something you’re really not interested in, maybe it’s a documentary that you don’t care about and you might be leaning back or leaning away. If you’re driving in the car with someone and there’s the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat, sometimes the person in the passenger’s seat, maybe they’re sitting on this side of their body and leaning toward the driver’s side. Their shoulders are like the something happens, and they’re disagreed then all of a sudden, they’re leaning toward the window and facing the window.

You can watch the leaning of a person’s body to tell whether or not they are interested in that conversation. Sometimes if it’s a normal conversation, you can use that to release someone from a conversation but if it’s the lying or deception type of a conversation then you know you might be onto something.

If you are starting to catch someone in their lie, they might start leaning away because they don’t care, and they’re not interested in what you’re saying because it’s going to result in them being caught. Obviously, they don’t want that, so you can use that to keep going down that road and make them a little bit more stressed and agitated to get them to finally crack and tell you the truth.

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 if you have any questions as well. Also, if you’d like some more information, we’ve got bookspodcastsblog posts, all available on that are dedicated to teaching you exactly what every body is really saying.

Until next time.

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