Running title: The Body Language of Liars – From Little White Lies To Pathological Deception.
I know we’re more than half way through the month of January, but since this is my first posting for the year. Happy (very belated) New Year. I missed you all. Well that’s out of the way. Let’s move on … shall we?
Something about me: I am a fan of behavioural sciences. The wonderful world of psychology. It is a powerful tool, something I learned as teen in high school (in my former country) when dealing with bullies. No, there was no time out and other such bollocks when dealing with bullies. And forget about even “talking” things out. For the most it only enraged bullies. So the best way, for me, to deal with these wanks was with fists and getting inside their heads. Most of the times fists did the talking, though I can honestly say that I have had my share of defeats and bruises, but there was always that occasion where I felt the need to psychoanalyze the poor bastard and mentally deconstruct them in front of his entourage. Sure I was probably no where close on profiling the poor sod, but when it was spoken with confidence and authority, you could see the mental shakeups happening amongst the entourage … and yes, gave me quite a bit of glee. Evil genius … hardly … but close enough.
Alas I have, once again, detoured and bared a bit of my soul to you poor unsuspecting reader. I do apologize, however, if this did give you a bit of glee then I say … carry on.
Now we have all, at some time in our lives, been lied to or deceived. Happens to the best of us. Whether it was that girl that told you, at high school graduation, that she needed to “focus on her studies and didn’t have time for a relationship” only to run off with your swim team buddy that was stupid enough to confess to you that he was now dating her. Or maybe it is that bloke, on the corner, that is begging for a few bucks to buy formula for his “child”. Or the library patron that is always bringing back items late and spins more yarns than an acre of looms in order to avoid paying their fines. Yes, we’ve all dealt lies and deception in one form or the other. Little white lies, big dark malevolent lies, and even saucy lies. Working in a public library, I deal with lies on a regular basis and with an alarming frequency that I would dare not quantify. And sadly, over the years I’ve become quite good at reading people. Truth is … living in NYC most people develop a very tuned crap and BS detector. Working with the public, in an environment such as library, over the years merely tunes that detector to scary levels. I’m talking near-Sherlockian levels. Lillian Glass is well-known among many in the news media and is often used as a consultant in analyzing the body language of celebrities that are outright lying about some misdeed or in denial about some aspect of their lives. The Body Language Of Liars, is a no-frills, straight-forward book that basically spells out in layman terms, with a clinical terms in measurable tolerances, how most people can protect themselves against various forms of deception out there (catfishing, identity theft, murder, etc.). To illustrate her theory, there are pictures of famous liars(OJ Simpson, Lindsay “gasp” Lohan, Lance Armstrong, etc.) caught in their various liar poses. The good news, is that as most read this book some of the detection methods described will be vary familiar, especially if you have kids. Others are not so subtle, but as you read about them, you’ll find your mind switching back to some instance in your life when you may have observed this but you were too caught up in whatever to even realize that you were being deceived. Had I read this book fifteen years ago, it would have made Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got” and Bruce Hornsby “Mandolin Rain” a little less sadder for me. Yeah, I missed the prom … short, sad story. Let’s move along, nothing to look at there. There are tons shady bollocks out there and even those at the most elementary level of life are not isolated from these things. Body Language is a quick read, but very informative and is probably something you’d want to include in those Stranger-Danger talks. Lillian Glass isn’t too clinical and when she does it is measured and in tolerant doses. Translation: you don’t have to be a lover of psychology to really, truly appreciate this book, and for the most it will be a sobering eye-opener. Possibly one of the few books that you should have on your shelf as personal reference that would probably save you from a world of hurt … or even worse. Six words, mates: Mandolin Rain on a rainy day.