One certainty of Christmas is that someone is going to give you a terrible present.
After you open the wrapping paper, your dreams will turn to ash as you realise that no, you don't like this ornamental tissue box, and why the hell am I friends with this person again?
However, whatever life choices you decide to make afterwards, everything hinges on the moment you clap eyes on your present.
Your soon-to-be-ex friend or imminently-estranged family member will be watching you closely to see whether you like the piece of crap they've bought you/recycled.
A recent survey said that over 96% of us would rather lie than tell a loved one we don't like their gift. If you are in the majority, here are the dead giveaways:
1. Don’t rub your head
People unsure of how to respond to a bad Christmas gift tend to smooth down the hair at the back of their head, which often turns into a head rub.
2. Smile using your whole face
A fake smile uses only the muscles around the mouth while a genuine smile involves movement of the entire face including the jaw and the cheeks.
3. Say a timely thank you
Pay attention to the timing of the smile: If someone smiles after telling you how much they ‘love’ your present – rather than at the same time – they are probably lying.
4. Stop twitching
A tightening of the jaw muscles often occurs when someone is lying – so be on the alert for increased tension in this area. Face-touching, nose scratching, ear tugging, mouth covering are also tell-tale signs.
5. Maintain eye contact
Covering the eyes, however briefly, may indicate a reluctance to look at the gift any more than they have to while even briefly covering one ear suggests a disinclination to hear what the giver has to say.
6. Stay relaxed
People being deceptive tend to ‘freeze’ up; this is meant to prevent ‘leaking’ negative emotions and could well indicate fake gift joy.
7. Don’t cross your arms
People vary greatly in the extent to which they use their arms in conversations. When faking pleasure a person who normally had fairly relaxed arm movements may adopt a defensive posture by crossing their arms and locking them in place. This is the exact opposite of the open, palms-out stance associated with truth telling.
8. Don’t lock your ankles
Legs are the hardest body parts to consciously control – making them good indicators of true feelings. A person faking delight may rub their thighs to sooth away any tension. Locked ankles and crossed legs (when seated) indicate discomfort and potential deception.
9. Move your hands!
Hands create gestures, known as “illustrators”, when speaking the truth. A lack of hand gestures, clenched fists and folded palms could portray faked emotions, so too could exaggerated gestures.
10. Dilated pupils
Slighting more difficult one to achieve. True delight is reflected by a widening of the pupils – when they narrow when opening a gift it could be a sign of displeasure.
Survey was conducted by Lastminute.com