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Identifying Deception through Nonverbal Communication

Deception is common as human communication. Learn how a person perform deception by watching the following Video

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Nonverbal Communication Anger

The picture shown the boy is lowered his eyebrows which we can interpret as anger and concentrate in what he is doing. When a person is angry, his facial muscles contract and the eyebrows are lowered. Interpretation of lowered eyebrows is always as disagreement. The person inside this picture is angry as he is arguing with his friend. As we are arguing with people, our emotion is negative and we try to be offensive which shows that we are angry.

Next, by observing people chin, we can also know what his emotion. The chin position is at lower face position. The forward chin is the first indicator of anger. It creates threatening or hostile act to others. The chin is lifted also can indicate that the person is sending the message which he or she think the message is better than anyone else. This is also shows a confident sign. This forward chin also will occur when a person is arguing with other people. When we are arguing, we tend to stand firm with our position and confident with our opinion which unconsciously we will lift our chin upward when we are sending our message.

The angry effect is enhanced when the index finger is pointing toward subject. The thrusting of finger with eyes which is indicating the person is anger. This non-verbal communication is unconsciously happened to show that the person is sending the message toward the particular subject.

In conclusion, after analysis the person eyebrows, chin and index finger, we can sure that he is angry when he is arguing confidently with his friends.

Nonverbal Communication Anxious

In picture 2, we can observe that the person furrow his forehead. He is uncertain what is going to happen on him. The furrowed forehead shows that he is not sure as he is a minor but he plans to buy alcohol which is not eligible at his age. As he is scare and uncertain, his forehead furrowed.

When a person is engaging a negative situation or dislike circumstances, his pupil will constrict to show that he is not interested in what he sees.

When he enters the shop, he is going to buy beer. He is putting himself at risk which he himself also scare about to be caught by workers. Once he feels scare, his chin move downward and recoil. The recoil of chin indicate the person is afraid or being threatened by situation.

The person inside the picture is scare because he is trying to buy some beer which is not allowed by law. He is scare because he takes risk to against the law. However, he is not sure he will successful buy the beer without get noticed by sale people. He is anxious at that moment. His body languages truly reflect his emotions.

Picture 3 show the boy’s eyebrows raise upwards which shows that he is surprise. The more surprise he is, the higher the eyebrows go. In the mean time, his eyes widen, follow by jaw drop.  This shows that he got surprise. The surprise is the briefest of all emotion, lasting for few seconds at most.

In the picture, the boy got surprise when he accidentally dropped few cans of beer onto the floor and beer spill out from bottler, the floor got wet. He got surprise because the incident is unexpected. The unexpected situation make people surprise only follow by other emotion.

Nonverbal Communication Surprise

Picture 4 shows that the person eyebrows are downward which can be interpreted as concentrate on something. He is looking down at the floor. After he accidently dropped few cans of beer onto floor, the shopkeeper approaches him to clarify the situation. Due to his dishonest, he lies to shopkeeper. The moment he is lying to shopkeeper, his chin recoil which indicates that he is nervous because worry shopkeeper knows about the truth.

Another way of indentifying whether he is lying is observing his arm. In the picture, his arm is putting at behind. Putting arms behind his back is a clear message to people that he is does not want other people to come close, or he does want to be disturb. This sign is isolation sign. When people put their arms behind their back, mean that they prefer being isolated at that moment.

By analyzing the whole picture, we can conclude that he is neutralize his fear and uncertain inside his heart. Neutralization is a technique engaged by eliminating ay expression of emotion, appearing as emotions as possible. He is trying to neutralize his fear as he is lying to shopkeeper. He is tying pretend calm.

Nonverbal Communication Hiding Truth

In picture 5, the person eyebrows are downward when he is speaking to the shopkeeper. This means that he is concentrating, but he is concentrating in telling lie. His chin recoiled and retracted which mean that he is anxious at that moment.

The person in the picture is having crossed arms. The universal arms-crossed-over-the-chest position is an indication that the person is defensive, disagreeable, resistant or guarded. Besides, when a person folds his arms across his chest, he has negative thoughts about the subject. When two people are having conservation, one party crossed-arm, he or she creates a negative barrier and defensive environment that make communication difficult. Cross-arm also can indicate a person is hiding the truth and he or she tries to defense what he or she speak.

Picture 5 scenario happened when the boy accidently drop few cans of beers onto floor and a shopkeeper walked toward him and ask him whether he made those cans fall onto the floor. He denied and unconsciously he became crossed-arms and his chin recoil when he was talking to the shopkeeper.

Nonverbal Communication Hiding Truth

Picture 6 is shown that the person inside the picture is tries to minimize his worry. He tries to smile to make shopkeeper think that he is a normal customer who is eligible to buy beer. However, his smiles cannot completely replace his worry face. His upper face is showing worry but his lower face is showing satisfaction smile.

This facial management technique is call deintensification method. Deintensification is used when people reduce the intensity of their facial expression of a particular emotion because they need to downplay their truly feel.

The moment he used deintensification technique to reduce his fear expression, his facial expression appear two different kinds of emotion which are fear and satisfaction. If a person does not manage properly his facial expression, affect blends would happened. Facial affect blends always appear on the face when different emotions are shown in the different area. When he is approaching the counter to pay the bill, he is worry that the counter receptionist would knew that he is underage to buy beer so he is worry but he tried to not to show worry and forced himself to smile and pretend happy or satisfy with his purchased. The affect blend happened at that moment when he tried to deintensification his fear through smiling to receptionist but he could not complete showed his confidents.

Application of the Non-verbal Technique

The application of catching people lying is very important especially some of the profession need a very concise in reading and understanding non-verbal communication. The word people spoke does not really reflect his internal heart ad his true thought. We cannot just simple belief the verbal word that people said. The professions such as lawyer, doctor, police or even bankers need to improve or master the non-verbal communication skills.  For example, as a lawyer, we need to read people mind and their thought especially when dealing with serious matter. The word that verbally spoke from client may not truly reflect their thought, but the body language of the client cannot lie. People mind will control their body movement without their control. A client is lying to a lawyer but can reveal by reading his body language. Next, as a banker, we need to read potential debtor mind through his or her body language.  People can lie through speaking but they cannot control their body acts which most the time shows their truth feeling.

Hence, the application of the nonverbal communication is very important. Nonverbal communication is the only source to give listener an opportunity to analyze speaker truthfulness.  The communication process will be more complete if we include also non-verbal communication analyze.


  1. Leow. C. S., Vincent L., & Atikah A. (2013). BODY LANGUAGE EXPOSED. FIND OUT HOW YOUR BODY CAN BETRAY YOU, UK: Human Behavior Academy Ltd.
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