Millions of Americans will be watching fired FBI Director, James Comey’s, testimony before the Senate Panel tomorrow. He's expected to talk about reports that President Donald Trump asked him to drop his probe into fired National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia.
Watching Comey's body language can give you a sense of what might be happening. Just realize that there isn't one universal body language sign of lying. There isn’t a Pinocchio effect where your nose grows every time you lie.
When you're feeling stress, nervous or anxious, your body will show what you’re feeling. So not all signs of stress or nervousness are signs of lying.
Let me give you a few examples:
1) Your face can leak hidden emotions by showing microexpressions. Micro-expressions are facial expressions that occur within a blink of an eye or in less than 1/25th of a second. So you might try to hide your anger but the rapid fire of your furrowed brow and glaring eyes will give you away.
2) If there’s an incongruency in what your mouth says vs what your body shows. People will believe your body language. Example, saying yes, but shaking your head no.
3) When you’re uncomfortable, you can self soothe by touching a part of your body. You can rub your arm or cross your arms or rub your fingers together as Comey does in this clip.
Not only will your body reveal your feelings, but your words can suggest that there's more to the story.
When you watch Comey’s testimony, listen closely to what he’s saying.
Let me give you a few examples.
1) Using qualifiers such as “think”, “maybe”, “perhaps”, possibly”. When you use these words that you’re revealing doubt because you’re not 100% sure.
2) Listen at his verb tenses. You’d expect for him to use past tense when talking about something that occurred in the past. If you hear present tense about something that allegedly happened in the past then that’s not recall. That’s creating in the present.
3) Ask yourself what information is he leaving out? Is he completely answering the question? Many times you’ll leave out information that you don’t want people to know. So you might be telling a part of the truth. And what they say is truthful; it just isn’t the complete information. So then you get into the issue of lies by omission.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.