Are You Lying To Me?

I have recently finished my dissertation and I thought I’d share with you what I learnt and some useful tips based on previous research on how you can tell if someone is lying to you.

In my research I have found that women are better at detecting deception than men, this is supported by  various other research and that men are usually over-confident in their ability to detect deception. Males are more likely to lie than women, this may be why women are better at detecting deception because they are more frequently lied to.  So, how do you know if someone is lying to you? Is it eye contact, fidgeting, longer responses, the use of ummm, ehhhh?

1. Eye Contact

It is common to believe that breaking eye contact is an indicator of deception, however this is not true. This is mostly true for children but not adults. You will find that some people who want to deceive you will hold your gaze, whereas some will look right. Why right? The right part of the brain is the creative side, so when one is making up a story or providing false evidence they will look left as they are activating their creative side of the brain to elaborate a story. However, this is not true in all cases, more often than not people will hold eye contact more when lying.

2. Reversing Events

Let’s say you ask someone what they were up to earlier and they tell you in detail. Fine, but what happens when you ask them to tell that story again but in reverse? Usually if someone is telling the truth it is quite simple to repeat it backwards, there may be some slight pauses as someone does it but its like doing the alphabet backwards it does require some thought. But someone who is being deceptive will usually miss out some information or put it in the wrong order, as people will rehearse it forward so much that when asked to do it backwards they won’t be able to.

3. Content of Lie

Usually, the typical things to look for is the way in which people tell a lie and the words that they choose to use. Firstly, liars will tend to use less first-person pronouns, this allows the liar to take less owner-ship of their story it helps make them feel less guilty about lying, trying to distance themselves from the situation or the lie. Secondly, a liar will tend to use more negative emotive words such as, hate, anger , sad. This is due to the fact the liar is feeling guilty and anxious so they are letting their unconscious leak through their speech. Lastly, pauses where pauses should not be. When recalling information some pauses are required, but where one should not be pausing could indicate that they are lying.

4. Body language

Some believe that fidgeting is an indicator of lying, which it could be as lying makes people feel anxious. However, most people will not fidget or move. The most common indicator of lying is touching the face especially the nose. Something to do with a specific type of tissue in the nose that itches when one get anxious or excited. Also, if someone does not believe what they are saying is the truth, they will usually take a step back away from the person they are lying to in order to distance themselves.

 

To summarise:

-It is difficult to catch a liar, trained police investigators have been shown to be no better than laypeople at detecting deception

-These 4 points are not set in stone, most research disagrees with each other, these are just some points. They may not hold constant as it is all dependent on the person, the situation and the lie. Therefore do not quote me on anything and please feel free to let me know if you have differing views on these.

-For high stake lies (such as money, crime etc.), these points may become more visible as the  consequences for being caught out are higher and therefore a person may be more anxious or nervous. Whereas for low stake lies this would be the opposite.

– It is very difficult to detect deception as we are scared of the truth as we know it can hurt us, upset us. It’s something we don’t want to know therefore we are more likely to take false information as the truth in order to protect ourselves.

 

 

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Shit Said To People With Depression.

‘Everyone gets depressed sometimes’

Fair, I get that. Life can be hard, stressful and  frustrating sometimes, but do not invalidate my thoughts and feelings by telling me that ‘everyone’ feels like this. Telling me that life is hard suggesting that I don’t have an illness. An illness that handicaps me to the point I cannot function. I cannot find the motivation or energy to maintain a part time job, to go out an socialise with my friends. To do the basic things that occur everyday. Everyone feels down sometimes, but do they just ‘feel down’ for months on end? I didn’t think so.

‘Have you tried exercising, getting out and doing more?’

Depression is the most draining, exhausting, irritating thing to come over anyone.  It consumes you. Every day things drain you concentration and take all your energy away from you. It isolates you from the outside world. Trying to find motivation even to carry out every day tasks is a challenge, let alone going outside and exercising or hanging out with friends. You lose your drive, your appetite, your joy for things you use to enjoy. Depression usually goes hand in hand with anxiety, anger, dark thoughts. To have to fight with your own thoughts and feelings, you often don’t have energy to go out and do more. Yes, this may elevate some of the symptoms of depression but sometimes it is not that easy to gain the motivation and energy to pursue exercise.

‘Depression is just an excuse for weak people’

Firstly, who are you to determine whether someone is weak or strong, especially when you have no idea what they are going through. Some people may find a situation easy and others may find it the hardest thing they ever have to overcome, but that is dependent upon the person and people should be understanding enough to realise this. Do not assume everyone is as strong as you or as motivated as you. Take time to listen to people and validate how they are feeling, it could save someone’s life.

‘Well, you’re not on medication so you can’t be depressed’

Didn’t realise you were a doctor and were telling me whether I am depressed or not. That look people give you, as if to say they don’t believe you, think your being effective or over emotional. It is almost like you have to prove you’re depressed. As if my mood swings, my thoughts, my lack of passion for life isn’t enough. My choice is not to take medication, they can make you feel numb, emotionless and tired. For some that’s better than feeling depressed constantly, for some feeling numb isn’t an option, it is not how people lived their lives before depression, I’d rather ride it out than numb myself. Plus, what’s wrong with good old therapy? Research has shown that when medication and therapy are combined people improve greatly rather than on medication alone. So why not ask me if I’m getting therapy? The answer would be no, but again is that really any of your business? Maybe accept it and ask how you can help me, or consider how strong an individual I am?

‘Well I’m on a stronger medication than you, yours can’t be that bad then’

It is not a competition. Do not me that my illness is inferior to yours. Different medications are given for different symptoms of the illness to best fit the individual. I have seen recently that people do like to compete when it comes to mental health issues. ‘Well my doctor said it’s the worst case of depression he’s ever seen’, ‘Yeah, well my doctor said they haven’t seen such a bad case of anxiety and self harm in years’. Well, so if I’m not on the strongest medication does that mean I’m not depressed? Just because someone doesn’t self harm they are not depressed or feeling suicidal?

All these assumptions are reinforcing the horrible stigma that comes with mental health. A mental illness is not a fashion statement or something that makes your quirky and interesting for you to write all over your bio. It is a label that sticks with you for life. Something you have to tell employers, maybe even one day have to explain to your children. Break away from the horrible stigma society casts mental health in. Start talking about mental health.

When was the last time you asked your friends or family if they are okay? Maybe validating their feelings, telling them its okay to feel stressed and down, telling them that everything will be okay. Yeah you might get a funny look off of them, but deep down it means a lot to know that someone cares.  

 

It’s Not Abuse, I Didn’t Hit Her.

Recently in the media I have seen a lot of adverts labelled as ‘Disrespect Nobody’. These adverts are aimed at explaining what behaviour is deemed as abusive. For example, ‘You’re not going out dressed like that’, ‘I don’t want you talking to that person’, ‘Send me nudes’. I have over heard people taking the piss out of these adverts saying that’s not abuse, girls should know not to dress like a slut if they have a boyfriend, girls should know their place, well my boyfriend isn’t allowed to talk to girls, it’s not abuse is it? I do understand, telling your partner once that you don’t want them going out dressed in a certain way may not be classed as abuse. If it is said again and again and again. That’s when its a different story.

Domestic abuse is not just violent, it is not just hitting, slapping, punching. It’s psychological, it’s financial and it’s control.

Domestic abuse is when you take the control and power away from someone else. It is not always obvious, sometimes a person may not even realise it’s happening. You believe your partner is doing what’s best for your relationship, you trust, love and care about your partner. So when one day they turn round to you and say ‘do you really need to eat that?’. Some would say ‘I’d tell my partner to jog on if he told me that’. I would too. But they respond and say ‘not like that, I mean it in a nice way, I just care about you, I fell in love with you, don’t want you changing on me now’. Then it becomes a different story.

You start telling yourself, yeah I don’t really need that biscuit or those crisps. Then your partner starts telling you that he finds a certain celebrity attractive. You ask why, your curious as to what he sees, he tells you its because she’s skinny. It continues as just small comments, but gradually the messages get stronger. Your confidence slowly stripped away from you, feeling out of control, trying to please him, keep him happy, keep him interested in you.

It is difficult for an outsider to understand. ‘Just leave him’, ‘Why would you stay?’. Well, he’s already told you the answer ‘Noone else would want you, your lucky I’m even with you’. Then one morning, he has taken all your shoes. You can’t leave the house, how can you? People would stare. They would judge. Then he’s taken your bank card. He’s only looking out for you, he wants you to save so you can move in together. He’s so sweet. Then he starts getting angry at you, he’s tired from work. You should have cleaned more, you should have been more grateful to see him and he wouldn’t be angry. He punches a wall. You are the one apologising. But what next? He shoves you, he slaps you. Shouting that he doesn’t want to do this but you’ve given him no choice, he’s seen red he’s not in control of his actions.

The next day, he’s brought you flowers. He’s crying. He’s so sorry, he never meant to scare you. He tells you that your his everything, he couldn’t live without you. Your family and friends know what’s happening. They are worried about you, scared for you.  But you tell them he’s changed, he apologised. Your friends and family do not understand why you don’t leave him. In the end, you can’t turn to them, you don’t want to show them you were wrong, weak, stupid.

This is just an example of why it is difficult, hard for people to walk away from a domestic abusive relationship. When you lack control, lack confidence, lack support. People end up dead from domestic abuse. In 2013-14 the police recorded 887,000 domestic abuse incidents in England and Wales, resulting in seven women a month are killed by a current or former partner*.

SEVEN.

Being a victim of domestic abuse is not shameful. It is not weak. Those who do survive domestic abuse may no longer trust anyone, no longer love themselves, no longer feel equal, feel that they deserve bad things to happen to them.So I fully support these domestic abuse campaigns, we need to teach the younger generation when it is abuse and when to stop. Otherwise the number of women killed a month by abuse could rise. Even when domestic abuse is not violent, many won’t call it as abuse. This needs to change and this is exactly what the campaigns message is. Disrespect nobody. Every person deserves to feel confident and in control. No one has the right to take that away.  No one.

This is to anyone and everyone who has been a victim or is still continuing to suffer. You are strong, you are beautiful. I hope that you all can find your inner strength and believe in yourself once again.

 

Source

*ONS (2015), Crime Survey England and Wales 2013-14. London: Office for National Statistics.

 

 

Working With Special Needs Children

I currently volunteer for a charity that provides respite care for children who have special needs or learning difficulties. Now, I have never worked with children before, hardly been around a child for more than an hour and even then they are related to me and their parent is in the room supervising. I mean I have no idea how to talk to children, I speak to them as if they are a puppy or a tiny baby… ‘what a cute chubby wubby’.

Obviously I know this is not correct I learnt this quickly by observing how others interacted with the children. So, slowly I began to gain my confidence when playing with the children and was able to handle the quieter children. But as soon as a more challenging child approached I would panic as they tried to strike me in the face with their sticky fist. My face, now bright red, I am stuck on how to discipline this child. I panicked. Luckily, a more experienced staff member saved me and took the child to a time out. Thank God.

My next shift, I observed most staff looking at how they handled difficult behaviour and how they dealt with the challenging behaviour. I felt confident to deal out the discipline and I felt that it was successful! For example today I had a child tell me to F*** OFF. I responded appropriately and told her we only use nice words here. The response I got was ‘calm dow porkchops’. It took every part of me not to burst out laughing. It was pretty comical. I held my composure and told her that she had made me sad which finally I had achieved an apology.

After playing on the zip wire with her I managed to acquire a rope burn, I held my hand out and told her I had hurt myself. In return she grabbed my hand and pushed as hard as she could on my burn mark whilst holding eye contact with me a vicious stare and an expressionless face. This look she had in her eyes honestly said to me ‘I’m guna end you’. I was kinda terrified. But she apologised and it was all good, yet she continued to be rude towards others. This one boy was watching her on the zip wire and said ‘i’m too big for that’, all the staff around reassured him and told him he wasn’t. But this little girl wanted to wreck his life and shouted ‘yeah you are you fat f***’. My god, I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time, but like a true professional I hid my astonishment at how much sass a little girl can have and made her apologise.

I know some of the children I work with do not know the difference between right and wrong and I know not to take anything personally and to have a poker face when the misbehave. Today, one child decided to whack a plate full of  chocolate covered cornflake cakes right out of this other child’s hand. I mean if that was in a tv show, or you had seen it yourself it was unbelievably comical. Fair play to the victim child, he stayed calm and didn’t not retaliate. Instead he picked up all the pieces and still handed them out to the staff.

I love working with these children. After every shift, no matter how draining or crazy the time is I love every second of it and I come away feeling truly happy and that those kids are happy playing in a safe environment where there’s no bullying and they can be themselves. I hope that I am making a difference to their lives and aiding them in understanding social interactions and having fun at the same time. 

What’s Grad Life Really Like

 

I don’t know what exactly I expected after finishing my degree, I guess I thought a whole world of new opportunities that I could easily grasp, and why not? I do have a degree after all. Filled with confidence as I now have a higher educational qualification I decide it is time to enter the real world of full time employment and start applying for jobs. Application after application, I was met with rejection after rejection. Turns out I do not have enough real-world experience, not just that I do not have 6 months experience within a specific setting. Confidence not yet knocked, I aim to gain as much experience as possible.

I apply for volunteering roles and other roles such as support work, health care support work, bank staff work. Again, I do not have enough experience. Now this begins to get frustrating. How on earth can I gain experience when I do not have experience to gain experience? It is a struggle and a battle. But during this struggle I continue to earn a minimum wage in a part time job. This means I can no longer afford to live in a rented house. After three years of freedom, living away from the parents, a taste of true independence it comes to an end. I have to move back in with my parents.

Think this story is similar for many other graduates, my friend has been a graduate for almost a year now, and being the first to graduate out of our friends, I think she struggled with knowing what to do. But she told me, go and get experience as soon as possible and stay positive. She has chosen to pursue a masters as she has not been able to get any experience. She studied human biology and wants to cut up dead bodies for a living, so getting experience in that has to be hard, almost impossible right? I have a lot of admiration for her, as she has emailed around twenty funeral homes and twenty hospitals looking for experience. Her efforts paid off and she was allowed one day within a funeral home embalming bodies. One day after contacting 40 establishments. Better than nothing. But this just shows how difficult grad life can be.

It isn’t the end of the world moving in with your parents but they expect you to be earning now. Expect you to do more than is actually achievable, this creates a hostile environment which is frustrating for both parties.  The world is not full of opportunities anymore, there is only a few options available to a post grad. One either has to obtain a part time job whilst volunteering to gain experience, or obtain a full time job in hope that it is within the domain of your degree (unlikely, unless your super lucky and blessed), or return to education and grab yourself a masters.

After being in education for many many years, doing another year may seem daunting. Plus, I kind of just want to be employed and earn money and feel like a true adult.  The first few months after graduating are exhausting, stressful and emotionally draining. My only advice is to be resilient, stay positive and confident, it can only get better right?

This is going to be my last summer as a care-free fresh graduate. I am going to spend it drinking, seeing my friends and trying to gain as much experience as possible by volunteering. I hope my last student loan can last me through the summer, I mean that’s what it is there for right?

I guess the moral of the story is stay persistent and confident. If anyone has advice for someone who has recently finished their degree I am open to suggestions.

Negativity is ‘Easy’?

I recently saw this quote on social media. Instantly I thought of how the negative things are easy.  I could easily stop talking to people, shave my head, take my own life, disappear.

But to get on a plane, to travel, well first I need a passport, money, transport to get to the airport. To have these things to get onto a plane I need a job and then I have to save. I think that’s why the destructive things in life seem like a better, more desirable option, simply because they are easier and quicker to achieve.

Then again I guess this quote motivates people to feel empowered:

To feel that they can achieve anything.

To feel that they do have options.

But to me, it feels as if its provoking recklessness, lack of responsibility. To change your life at any moment. Maybe, that’s my anxiety kicking in, unwilling to let me live a reckless carefree life, without overthinking or because I may not be able to deal with the consequences that would follow. I guess that is what society tricks us into thinking, that we do have power, choice and freedom. It’s hard to feel like you do sometimes, sometimes you just end up feeling restricted. Then again, isn’t having too many options restricting?

I cannot speak so quickly. I am not saying that taking your own life is easy. It is the hardest thing you could ever consider doing, to feel that you’ve been pushed, cornered forced to make this decision. As if there is no other option…

So maybe, negative is not easy in that sense. Personally for me, positivity is something I struggle with, to pull myself out of a negative mood is difficult and exhausting. I guess this photo is trying to say to those who are struggling and feeling down that;

YOU CAN CHANGE THINGS. YOU DONT HAVE TO FEEL OR LIVE LIKE THIS.

It can be a huge battle to fight negativity and to feel like you’ve won, accomplished something. There are options out there for everyone, some easier than others. Having something to aim for and look forward to. Living for the future, rather than reliving the past.

“Don’t fear the unexpected or you’ll be locked in time.”