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Liars and Manipulators Body Language

Liars and manipulators often betray themselves through verbal and nonverbal cues. 

Key nonverbal signals may include the macro contraction of the frontalis muscle, responsible for forehead movement, and smirking contempt. Verbally, a notable indicator is the absence of first-person pronouns in statements, which helps the speaker psychologically distance themselves from their claims.

The exaggerated frontalis muscle contraction can signal feigned interest or concern, appearing as an overdone exclamation in the speaker's expression. Smirking contempt, often a quick and subtle sign of superiority, suggests insincerity and hidden information. Verbally, liars often omit personal pronouns. For example, a guilty person might rush through a denial, saying “would never even think about murdering my wife!” These types of statements are often rushed or garbled (likely subconsciously driven) and can mask the pronoun omission. 

For future reference, a much better and more likely honest declaration would sound like this, “I did not murder my wife!” Honest people are succinct and direct, taking immediate ownership of their denial. 

Similar behaviors are often prevalent in sales, particularly when the motive is profit over genuine client assistance. Salespeople focused solely on making money may resort to these manipulative tactics, emphasizing persuasion over understanding and meeting client needs. 

I recently experienced this during a walk around a new car showroom. The salesman repeatedly engaged in prolonged elevated forehead contractions whenever speaking. He also used manipulative language, making his nonverbal signals worse and immediately presenting as a traditional “used-car-salesman.” This approach lacks ethics and misses the opportunity to build long-lasting, trust-based client relationships.

Recognizing and steering clear of manipulative behavior is essential, and your ability to swiftly identify that someone has chosen that type of communication strategy can save you a lot of time and frustration, regardless of the circumstances. 


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