“In A Time of Danger Read Body Language – How To” Negotiation Insight

“Hope springs eternal until reality resets it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“In A Time of Danger Read Body Language – How To”

He sensed danger. But instead of taking action, he wished upon a star. And then, that star fell on him!

In a time of danger, to protect yourself, you must be able to read body language accurately! Because that’s the one way, you’ll be able to detect the degree of someone’s truthfulness. That means you’ll be less likely to become fooled by what someone says, versus what their body language displays.  


  • Intuition

Sometimes, you’re more attuned to what’s occurring then you realize. When you ‘have a feeling’ about something, is when your awareness becomes activated. While you may call it ‘a feeling’ or a hunch, what you’re experiencing is the sensation of intuition.

Your intuition is a powerful detector when it comes to assessing someone’s truthfulness. Because there are signals that you perceive subliminally through your subconscious sensory that attempts to alert you about a present situation. And not until the sensation alerts your conscious level of thinking do you become aware that something may be awry. So, when you have a hunch about something not being right, realize that it could be a signal alerting you to avoid possible danger.


  • Small Gestures

When people are not truthful, they sense threats when questioned about the inaccuracies in their statements. If they believe their declarations may lead to some form of danger for themselves or those in their care, they may do one of two things to release that feeling. They may start to make smaller body language gestures (that’s an effort to protect themselves), or they may begin to make more significant ones (e.g., sweeping/broad gestures with their hands).

In either case, note the differences in their gestures, as they go through their story and how it alters when you question aspects about it. The fluctuation in the rhythm of their signals will alert you to when they’re straying from the truth. And that will allow you to stay clear of potential danger.  

  • Facial Actions

Hair – Note when someone speaks, and they stroke their hand through their hair to expose more of their face. Based on whether the discussion is threatening or pleasant, that body language gesture could be a sign of defiance (i.e., don’t push me – I’m prepared to defend myself and push back on you) or one that displays more openness. You can note the difference between a situation that’s pleasant and one that’s more threatening by the actions and demeanor of the people in the environment. A threatening situation contains more hostilities and negative body language signals (i.e., frowning, elevated voice, people talking over one another, etc.).   

Hands to face – When feeling threatened from lies, especially if the teller knows that the deception may lead to danger, people will tend to touch their face more than when they’re telling the truth. When being deceitful, they may place their hand over their mouth (i.e., I want to hold this lie back) around their ear (i.e., I wonder what the other person hears and thinks about what I’m saying). They may also momentarily rest their face on their hand or place their hand under their chin. Such actions denote an attempt to perform a self-comforting gesture until they’re sure that you have not detected their deception. Take note when you see these gestures. They could be signaling your attention.  

Nose – Touching one’s nose when speaking was thought by some people to be an indication that the person was lying. There’s some truth to that statement. But to discern when that might be the truth, you should observe when someone touches or rubs their nose. If they do so while experiencing anxiety and you suspect it’s due to their lack of truthfulness, note further times when they do so. If it continues, you may have captured the reasoning for their action. And that should alert you to possible danger.   

Head signals – Another giveaway sign that someone may be attempting to lead you into danger is the head signals they display when speaking. When there’s inconsistency in head movement (i.e., shaking one’s head indicating no while saying yes), be alert to the mixed message that person is emitting. Note the times when the mixed signal is displayed and when it occurs. Since the body always attempts to stay in a state of truthfulness, take your lead about someone’s believability from their body signals more than their words.  

Signs of Sincerity:

  • Pointing

Pointing to one’s self when making statements is a sign of sincerity (e.g., believe me – as the person points to himself). Just be aware that some deceitful people will attempt to use this gesture to convince you that they’re sincere. If you sense they’re insincere, ask them why they keep pointing at themselves when making statements. Observe if they respond with a curious look or if they seek further understanding of what you’re asking. Regardless of their response, you should note the degree the pointing becomes altered. That alteration will give you the insight to further assess how truthful they are and to what degree they may be attempting to pull you into dangerous territory.    


In a time of danger or uncertainty, watch someone’s body language to gather further insights about their believability. Since everyone’s body always attempts to stay in a state of comfort, displays of uneasiness will be the doorway that opens the betrayal of their deceit. And you can note their altered state by the signals mentioned (i.e., intuition, gestures, signs of sincerity).

Being able to read body language is like reading someone’s mind. Thus, the better you become at it, the better you’ll be at understanding how someone is thinking, along with what they may be attempting to do to you. That will give you a significant advantage in the interactions you have with others. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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