WASHINGTON — On a Saturday night out with friends, you lock eyes with someone across the bar. You smile, then she smiles. You wave, and her hands move to touch the dimple on her neck, directly above where her necklace rests.
Should you make the move and spark a conversation? Probably not, said Lena Sisco, president and co-founder of The Congruency Group. All signs show you’re making her feel uncomfortable.
“And that’s a good sign they’re probably not interested,” Sisco said.
Sisco is a former military intelligence officer and interrogator, who for more than a decade has trained Department of Defense personnel on tactical questioning and detecting deception. This Valentine’s Day, she is bringing her expertise in reading body language to The Spy Museum to help Washingtonians improve their love lives.
At the event, “Lips, Locks and Body Language,” Sisco will explain how to tell if your partner is lying, and how a slight shoulder shrug can bear big meaning. She’ll also go over how to indicate whether someone is into you.
“When we meet someone and we’re physically attracted to them, the body actually goes through this change,” said Sisco, author of “You’re Lying.”
“We stand with better posture and, all of the sudden, everything that’s sagging doesn’t sag anymore, and our muscles look bigger and we look younger.”
Just as important as knowing whether a spark is there, is knowing when a relationship isn’t going as well as you thought. This is where detecting deception comes in handy.
If you’re wondering whether your partner is telling the truth, Sisco said he or she should be able to answer a simple yes or no question.
“An honest person has no problem saying yes or no to a specific pinpointed question about a certain topic,” said Sisco, who spent time stationed at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“Inherently, all people want to be honest — even the bad guys that I’ve interviewed — because people don’t like to lie. It doesn’t make them feel good. So, they have a real hard time saying with conviction yes or no to a question because it makes them feel bad.”
Another thing to keep an eye on is body language, which should be congruent with spoken language. For example, the head shouldn’t shake “no” while the person’s words say “yes.”
If your partner shrugs his shoulders when he tells you he doesn’t know what he wants for dinner, that’s OK. However, if he shrugs his shoulders while swearing he didn’t go out last night, that’s more concerning.
“When people shrug their shoulders, all the time — 100 percent of the time — it means uncertainty. They’re uncertain of what they’re saying,” Sisco said.
Taking note of the power zones is another key to reading body language. These zones include the neck dimple, the bellybutton area, and, what Sisco calls, “the naughty bits.” If a person covers any of these areas up, it means they’re uncomfortable.
“It’s the way that the body goes into that ‘protect mode,’” Sisco explained.
Covering these zones can also be a sign that the person is lying.
“But a truthful person, who’s feeling very positive with positive emotions, will keep them open and exposed, almost like they’re saying, ‘I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to cover up,’” Sisco said.
Want to learn more about love and body language? Catch Sisco at the Spy Museum on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. The event is $35; tickets include a cocktail and sweet treats. She’ll even analyze your lip print and teach you how to pick a lock …
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