How to Know When a Liar Thinks “I’m Going to Get Away With This!” Reply

By Chris Simmons

Every act of communication should be viewed as a distinct performance. This is especially true when a liar seeks to manipulate you with his/her deception. Generally, the deceiver will experience considerable stress and anxiety during their theatrics. However, all of their focus and attention is directed outwards towards their intended victim. As a result, they are rarely aware of all the stress indicators being given off during their act. For example:

  1. Watch for changes in their posture. Did they quickly relax when the subject changed to a new topic? Did their shoulders drop? Did their stance suddenly open-up and their gestures become bigger? If sitting, did they    ease back into their seat? If their arms or legs were crossed, did they uncross them?
  2. Did their emotional state quickly improve? Are they happier now that you’ve moved on to a new subject area? Did their smile broaden? Does their smile now show teeth when they hadn’t before?
  3. Did you notice the flash of an inappropriate smile earlier in the conversation? Known as “duper’s delight,” this is a quick smirk that crosses a deceiver’s face when they think they are “home free.” It’s an involuntary release of their inner satisfaction in believing they won’t get caught. [For an example of this response, watch this segment of the Jodi Arias trial. After answering the prosecutor’s question, she smiles and looks down (00:14-00:15) before returning her attention to the court proceedings] 
  4. If the discussion returns to the issue about which you suspect you’re being deceived, does he/she immediate become more tense, evasive, and uncomfortable? Are they quick to reply and then change topics?

Remember, a liar seeks to “sell” you on their deception and move on to non-threatening subjects. The sooner they are out of the “danger area” of the lie(s), the happier he/she becomes.