The Ultimate Body Language Guide

Deceptive Body Language Guide

When a person is trying to deceive you, there are many different body signals they may use.

Language of deception

A deceptive person is concerned about being caught out — and this concern may show in their body language.


A deceptive person is usually anxious about being caught, so they may send signals of tension. This includes sweating, sudden movements, minor twitches (especially around the mouth and eyes), changes in voice tone and speed.

Many of us have hidden anxiety signals. For example: Biting the inside of the mouth (George W. Bush), patting head (Prince William), hands in pockets (Tony Blair).

These signals are almost impossible to stop as we start them very young.


There may be various signs of over-control in order to avoid being caught. For example, there may be  forced smiles (mouth smiles but eyes do not), jerky movements and clumsiness.

The person may also try to hold their body still, to avoid tell-tale signals. For example they may hold their arms in or put their hands in their pockets.


Anxiety may be displaced into actions such as fidgeting, moving around the place or paying attention to unusual places.

Reasons for deception

There are many possible reasons for deception.


Deception may be an act that is intended to get another person to say or do something.

Avoiding detection

Deception may also be self-oriented, where the sole goal is to get away with something. Perhaps by avoiding answering insinuating questions.

Interested in learning everything there is to know about body language? Check out this complete body language guide.


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