Most of us sense when a person is lying. Subliminal cues fall into three categories:
- Verbal Language: The pace or timing of the words seems slightly off. The words don't match the expression, or the timing will be delayed.
- Body Language: Hand and leg movements will be limited and will involve movement back toward the body, as if to make the liar smaller and less visible.
- Style of Interaction: Liars tend to be defensive-they may turn away, turn their eyes away or push away.
But how do we detect the lies that we tell ourselves? Here are three cues to help you measure your truthfulness:
- Verbal Language: Your words don't match your actions. You say, "I really want to lose weight," yet by suppertime, you eat second helpings. You commit to exercising an hour each day, yet you postpone beginning.
- Body Language: Despite telling yourself that you are making changes, your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels continue to climb along with your weight.
- Style of Interaction: Defensive with family members when they express worries about your health, you provide plausible explanations for not losing weight. You joke about your weight as a preemptive effort to keep others from doing so.
For years I lived in a body of lies. I wasn't obese; I was simply short for my weight. When I weighed myself one fateful morning, the number climbed to 183, and then the scale broke. Standing on the broken scale in the harsh morning light, I admitted the truth. I was obese and woefully out of shape.
I was lucky. I made the changes before I suffered permanent damage to my health.
What about you? Are you ready to have a candid discussion with yourself about the state of your health and fitness? Will you tell yourself the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Will you commit to a lifetime of Stephen Colbert's truthiness? I guarantee you'll find the effort fun, rewarding, exhilarating and enlightening. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
Photo credit: Tara Bartal via stock.xchng