Years ago I used to work out with a guy who always claimed he had great genetics.
He pretty much always had a 6-pack no matter what he did.
He was my training partner for many months. We'd do a very standard bodybuilding style split. Chest on Monday, arms on Tuesday, Legs on Wednesday etc.
He was getting back into working out and we would work the bench press on Monday. On one of his first days back in the gym he couldn't get a single rep of 225 lbs without my help. It actually took him about one month work up to a one-rep max at 225 lbs.
I went out of town for a week and when I came back he was noticeably bigger and leaner. A quizzical look appeared on my face.
“Huh?” I said to him. I didn't understand how his body had responded to well to training in such a short amount of time.
He said “great genetics.”
Then we went to the bench press and he proceeded to bench press 225 lbs for 10 reps without struggle. A week before he couldn't get 1 rep without my help. This week he got 10 reps easily.
Again I said “huh?” Nothing made sense. I said to him “a week ago you could barely get one rep and now you get 10?”
Again said he had good genetics.
I was born on a Tuesday but not last Tuesday. I said to him “you're on steroids.”
What do you think he said in return?
Actually, he said almost nothing because he could not stop laughing.
In between fits of laughter he said “I'm not on steroids, I have good genetics. hahahah!”
Again I would say “nah, you're on steroids” and he would laugh like it was the funniest thing he'd ever heard in his life.
It wasn't a little bitty laugh, he was howling with laughter. He absolutely could not control his delight.
This kind of laughter is known as “Duper's Delight”
Duper's Delight is the pleasure of being able to manipulate someone, often made visible to others by flashing a smile at an inappropriate moment.
Duper's Delight happens when the person telling a fib cannot control their happiness over pulling the wool over someone's eyes.
Here is a very famous example of Duping Delight:
The duper will smirk, smile, chuckle, or outright laugh hysterically. It happens when you, or someone else, feels unrestrained glee for getting away with it.
When Hitler so successfully lied to Chamberlain concealing that he had already mobilized the German army to attack Poland, he asked for a time-out from their meeting. With his generals who had been witnessing his most successful lies, Hitler went into an anteroom, where he reportedly jumped up and down with joy, and then having reduced his duping delight, he returned to the meeting.” (source)
Not all “dupers” will laugh uncontrollably, but then again many dupers will laugh uncontrollably, like my friend who denied steroid use while laughing hysterically.
You have most certainly been guilty of duper's delight at some point in your life.
If your girlfriend ever asked you some question about faithfulness and you gave her a little white lie and she responded “you smiled when you said it” then you showed her a little bit of duper's delight.
Not all lies are harmful therefore it is not necessary to be ashamed of duper's delight, but it is important to know if you want to know if other's are being honest with you.
Someone who is laughing or smirking at you is most certainly not being honest. An honest person will not feel delight at being accused of something they did not do, they will try their hardest to prove to the other person that they are truly innocent.
It is important to remember that not all lies are aimed to hurt another person. There are “little white lies” or jokes that are just to help another person feel good or to make a little joke.
There are 2 forms of Duper's Delight :
- Benign Duper's Delight (non-harmful lies) – these are lies aimed to entertain or produce humor
- True Duper's Delight (harmful lies) – these are lies aimed to deceive
Benign Duper's Delight (comical)
We have to remember that not every lie is harmful.
If you've ever seen the outtakes on a movie set when the actors cannot quit laughing uncontrollably, then you have seen this form of benign duper's delight.
An actor of course is a professional at telling lies and many times they cannot control their glee at “pulling the wool over someone's eyes.”
Of course acting is a benign form of lying, but these movie outtakes are often a very good way to see Duper's Delight in action.
Not every “duper” will laugh hysterically, many will have only a barely perceptible smile at an inappropriate moment. The duper can tell a lie/fib that is actually intended to harm or one that is intended as benign humor.
This video will show you a benign/humorous form of Duper's Delight. Press the play button and this video will start at exactly 4:50. At the 5:01 mark you will see a comical “duping delight” smirk.
That was an example of a humorous “jokey” form of duper's delight, something not intended to cause true harm and not intended to “get away” with anything.
True Duper's Delight (harmful lies)
Again, it is very important to remember that not every lie is designed to hurt, many of the lies we tell are designed to help. Such as telling your wife that she doesn't look fat in those jeans.
When we look at true duper's delight, a lie that is harmful, we have to be objective and leave our own emotions out of it.
WARNING: If you research “duper's delight” online you have to beware the source. Many of these people who expose duper's delight are nasty people. They want to accuse people of being narcissistic but this is nearly always a projection. I would personally recommend you do not watch any video that accuses another of being narcissistic. These types of videos are very nasty and mean-spirited. I had a very hard time finding examples of Duper's Delight that were not created by mean-spirited and nasty people.
Below is a good video that is objective and un-emotional and will show you several examples of Duper's Delight.
It will show you several other examples of how to spot a liar.
This video is nearly 19 minutes long so watch it only when you have the time. If you do not want to watch the video, check out Vic's Notes below.
One important note from the video: Lying is a cooperative act.
If you got lied to it is often because you accepted the lie.
Body Language of a Liar
These are a few ways that liars will use to cover-up their lies.
The body language of a liar will often be a big tell.
Tongue in Cheek
Someone who isn't being 100% honest will often have a hard time not laughing.
They will often place their tongue in their cheek in an effort to stifle a smile or laughter.
This is the origin of the phrase “tongue in cheek.”
Here is a literal example of a tongue in cheek:
Please note that I am not accusing Mr. Obama of being a liar. Only that this photo perfectly represents what I term “tongue in cheek.” I have no idea the backstory of this photograph.
Covering the mouth or closing the eyes to say yes or no
A liar will often put a hand over his mouth to give his yes or no answer.
A liar will often close his eyes when he says yes or no.
This doesn't always indicate a lie, but it certainly a psychological thing that humans do when we tell lies.
A deceptive person will often hide her mouth or eyes when she’s being untruthful. There is a natural tendency to want to cover over a lie, so if a person’s hand goes in front of her mouth while she’s responding to a question, that’s significant.
Similarly, there’s a natural inclination to shield oneself from the reaction of those who are being lied to. If a person shields her eyes while she’s responding to a question, what she might well be indicating, on a subconscious level, is that she can’t bear to see the reaction to the whopper she’s telling.
This shielding may be accomplished with a hand, or the person might even close her eyes. We’re not referring to blinking here, but if a person closes her eyes while responding to a question that does not require reflection to answer, we consider that a means of hiding the eyes, and a likely deceptive indicator.” (source)
Saying yes while shaking head no
If the words do not match the body language we know something is not right.
If you've ever asked your girlfriend what's wrong and she says “nothing is wrong” while also scowling and folding her arms we know she is not telling the truth.
If your salesman says yes to your question but shakes his head no at the same time, he is either unsure of the answer or he is not being truthful.
Too Much Detail
The more detail, the bigger the lie.
Liars will often go out of their way to try to convince you of their innocence.
They will spin story after story, giving you meaningless detail after meaningless detail.
If you ask a question and then get nothing, you know the other person is thinking of what lie to say.
Or, a liar will often start a sentence with some form of “time-grabber” that will allow them to get more time to think of what to say.
Some examples of “time-grabbers” include:
- “So … story begins”
- “I swear to God that …. story begins”
- “Well, you know, it's because … story begins”
Not every “time-grabber” is proof of a lie, but it is helpful in determining the truth.
Showing the palms of the hands shows us open honesty.
This is why we wave to people and why we shake hands.
A hidden hand behind the back indicates to us that a person may be trying to double-cross us.
Think about when you were a child and you made a deal with your friend, but kept your fingers crossed behind your back.
The hands come out symbolically from the heart; hands and arms symbolically express the emotions of the heart. Liars tend to keep their hands hidden and still. They stick them in their pockets, clench them together or hold them behind their backs. Imagine that the person who you suspect of lying has the truth in the palms of their hands and see if they show it to you.
It is not surprising that one of the first things we do to start a business interaction or close a deal with a customer is shake hands. My three years of academic research on handshakes show that the single most important factor in the handshake is palm to palm contact. Research also shows, when you’re the customer and don't get it, you wonder what the person is hiding, you are uncomfortable for the rest of the interaction and you are less likely to purchase.
When people are trying to hide their true feeling or the truth they may stick their hands in their pockets, clench them together, or hold the behind their backs. To spot liars — look to see if the hands are open and “above board.” Because people do hide their hands when they are nervous, if you see hidden hands ask yourself why they are nervous.
Don't look like a liar by using your hands normally as you speak or if that is not normal loosely at your sides. And try not to clasp your hands together. Body language is highly symbolic and it will look like you are hiding your own hands for comfort.” (source)
This is why we refer to the men who rule the world in the shadows as “the hidden hand.”
A person telling a lie will try to convince us it is the truth by smiling. This is a fake smile, or a “smile mask.”
A fake smile is very easy to detect if you know what to look for.
A real smile will show crow's feet around the eyes, the eyes will light up, the forehead will show wrinkles, the eyebrows and the cheeks rise.
A fake smile is a smile that appears only on the mouth and nowhere else. Just the corners of the mouth will turn up, nothing else on the face will change.
A smile mask is used to hide deception, anger, fear, disgust, distress, contempt etc.
Tight lipped people are are trying to hold the truth in.
Humans have a remarkable need to tell the truth and lying can be very hard to do. The truth always has an urgent need to come out.
Often a person who is being dishonest will literally press their lips tight against each other in an effort to keep the truth in.
This is the origin of our phrase “tight lipped.”
Please note that I am not accusing Mr. Weiner of being a liar. Only that this photo perfectly represents what I term “tight lipped.” I have no idea the backstory of this photograph.
Distancing language serves to distance you from the target of the lie.
Instead of saying “No, I didn't have sex with Monica” a liar will use distancing language.
Here is a famous example of distancing language:
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman… Miss Lewisnky.”
Note the italics for use of distancing language.
A liar will often literally point at another person or object.
This serves to remove the focus from the accused liar and place focus on another thing or individual.
This is why we get disgusted when people point the finger at others rather than take responsibility for their own actions.
Gaslighting means to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Essentially it means someone gets you to question yourself rather than question them.
Here is an example: If you think your wife is cheating on you, she may “gaslight” you by turning it around on you and questioning your trust in her.
The question of her cheating vanishes and the big issue becomes your trust in her. She labels this your “trust issues” and gets you to focus on this rather than on her obvious inappropriate behavior.
A great “gaslighter” will get you to forget all about her inappropriate behavior and even get you to apologize for your own “trust issues.”
She will turn around the real issue, her cheating, and make you believe in the non-issue of your trust in her.
These are but a few ways you can help to spot a liar and keep yourself protected.
Be on the lookout for these signs:
- Duper's Delight
- Tongue in cheek
- Covering the mouth or eyes
- Saying yes while shaking head no
- Stories with too much detail
- Delayed response to questions
- Hidden hands
- Fake smile
- Tight lips
- Use of distancing language
- Finger pointing
There are many other ways to detect a liar, and none of these ways are foolproof, but these tips will serve as a useful guide.
Do you have any techniques or tactics to detect liars?
Let us know in the comments.