Laughter Stress and Lying


Laughter Stress and Lying

Laughter, which is normally an uncontrollable limbic brain response, can be used consciously by a liar to cover up their lie. For a liar it can be a sound effect they know is normally associated with happy, guilt free honest people so it make a great cover sound.
However, not all laughing is a sign of dishonesty. In fact we laugh when we are anxious. I was in the break room of a consulting company I worked with talking to several female support staff members. Two male consultants joined our circle and proceeded to tell a few off color jokes. I glared at them, but the five female support staff members laughed! It was to me obvious a nervous laugh to cover up the face that they were uncomfortable. The men left. I talked with the women and said I wanted to inform the guys about what they had done. They gave me permissions and I went immediately to the men and told them what I saw and how inappropriate their humor was. They were gob smacked. They said, “But the women laughed! I shared how cover the women’s cover laughter was meant to ease tensions. So know that a nervous laugh can actually be a defense mechanism to deal with how uncomfortable you are. Yes, you can be absolutely mortified about something being shared and you can laugh like it pleases you to cover up your mortification.


 Yes, I could have said something in front of the women, but I didn’t want to point out their nervous laughter and make them MORE uncomfortable. I wanted their permission. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com.