So you’ve been chatting with someone on the Internet and now you’re going to meet in person. You’re remembering how the chainsaw murderer is always described as “a nice, quiet neighbor,” or how that last “hottie” turned out to be married and broke your heart, and you’re wondering how to tell if you can trust them.
INVESTIGATE & GET HELP
It’s smart to take care or yourself. TheCloser is a great resource when you’re dating. They perform discreet investigations, offer resources, articles, advice, products and ebooks; and coaching on how to get over the affair, how to choose the right person for you, help with crafting your online dating profile, relationship and safety tips and more. You can find out whether the person is married, where they’ve lived and with whom, criminal background, sex offenses, bankruptcy and so forth, so why not? It’s worth the money. (You can also use this for the workplace, for instance, to find out if the person you’re about to hire has sued former employers.)
OBSERVE NONVERBAL BEHAVIORS
When you’re with the person, observe their nonverbal behavior. We communicate 90% of any message nonverbally – through gestures, expressions, posture, the tone of voice, etc. If what they’re saying (“I’m single”) doesn’t jibe with their nonverbal (“I’m guilty”), go with the nonverbal.
The reason it’s such a giveaway is a lot of our nonverbal behavior isn’t under our control –- the widening of our pupils, the Adam’s apple jump in men, even a case of the hives – there’s nothing we can consciously do about it.
THE GUT FEELING
Many of these nonverbals (like the Adam’s Apple Jump) are muscular contractions originating unconsciously from the vagus nerve, ( ) the longest cranial nerve in the body that runs from our brains to our gut (intestines). It’s the origin of the term “gut feelings,” and why the gut is called “the second brain.” If you’re nervous before giving a speech, for instance, you might get a pounding headache, or you might throw up. It’s also why medications like anti-depressants (acting on the brain) cause side-effects like diarrhea or constipation acting on the intestines).
TEN SIGNS THEY’RE LYING
- Eye Rubbing. When someone strikes their eye with a forefinger, it indicates deception. They can’t “look you straight in the eye.”
- Averting the eyes. If they can’t maintain eye contact, it’s usually a sure sign of deceit, guilt or lying. A hard stare is also a bad sign – intimidation, coldness. It can be a sign the person’s prone to physical violence.
- Touching the nose. As well as indicating possible cocaine usage, stroking or touching the nose is a desire to cover their mouth once removed and indicates deception. Watch out.
- Finger Motion, Hands Hidden from Sight. You can’t trust this person is really interested in you. The hands are mimicking the desire to run away. Hands hidden is sly and secretive, meaning they don’t want to touch you or communicate with you.
- The Neck Area. If they scratch their neck just under the ear, with the forefinger they’re probably lying. When someone lies, their body temperature rises, so they may reach up to loosen their collar. With men, it can also be related to the Adam’s Apple jump, which signifies anxiety, embarrassment, and fear. (present in women, too, but not as noticeable)
- Closed Fist. This means the person has something to hide, just as an open palm shows and open, honest attitude.
- Hand Gestures. Liars don’t generally have a lot of hand gestures tied to speech patterns, but according to one expert, they will scratch – usually five times in a row.
- Stoney Face, “Hidden”. Expert liars have learned to control a lot of the “giveaways” like expansion and contraction of the pupils. So have lawyers before the jury, therapists with clients, and poker players at the table, so some of it can be learned. But a good guy or gal who’s interested in you will want to reveal themselves to you. If they look like they’ve got on a mask, they probably do. Wonder why.
- Voice. When someone lies, the pitch goes up. They may also pause “too long” to answer an “innocent” questions. Talking too much or too fast may be an indication of guilt.
- Trust Your Gut. Dating is stressful in itself, especially if you’re really interested in the other person. But trust your gut. Check in with how they’re making YOU feel.
There’s one time when even experts misread people. A very honest, sincere person who’s asked something like, “Did you steal office supplies?” or “Are you lying about being single?” may show a lot of agitation, mimicking some of the above-signs. They’re often over-anxious, and are very upset at having been “accused.”
Watch for a big switch when a certain topic comes up. A woman who’s cheating on her husband, for instance, may be chatting easily with you, and then you ask her why there’s a line on her fourth finger, left hand, or why you can’t pick her up at her house next time, and she suddenly:
- Shifts dramatically in her chair, flipping her head to the side
- Freezes like a deer in the headlights
- Clears her throat or coughs, to buy time, or even chokes
- Looks away, blinks rapidly, covers her mouth, scratches
- Answers in a way that sounds like a memorized speech, or it too pat
TRUST YOUR GUT
Dating is stressful in itself, especially if you’re really interested in the other person. But trust your gut. Check in with how they’re making YOU feel. A person who’s sincere and anxious should make you feel protective (if you like them) and turned-off or disgusted (if you don’t), but you shouldn’t feel fear. If you feel fear, like the hair stands up on the back of your head, or your palms start to sweat, trust your instincts. That’s what they’re there for, to keep us safe.
Emotional intelligence is the interface between thinking and feeling, and one of the competencies is intuition. When you’re dating, you need to have a lot of EQ! Don’t get swept away by your feelings, and forget to use your head. She might be just another pretty face, and married at that, or worse, a Fatal Attraction looking for a place to happen.