Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year – a chance to drink, eat and be merry with your loved ones – but for many Brits it’s far from that.
According to new research released this week, Brits have confessed to bluffing their way through the festive period, feigning excitement at exchanging gifts, putting a brave face on chewing overcooked turkey or dreading visiting family and friends.
Other top festive scenarios for bluffing include seeming grateful at receiving a present (27 per cent), engaging in conversations around politics (21 per cent), eating a bad Christmas dinner (20 per cent), seeing the in-laws (15 per cent), choosing what to watch on TV (14 per cent) and playing board games (12 per cent).
More than two thirds of bluffers think they’re successful at doing so over the festive period, but not all of them have mastered the art as much as they think, given that two in five (41 per cent) of the nation think they have spotted or caught at least one person trying to cover up their reactions.
Body Language Specialist Adrianne Carter said: “Avoiding eye contact, fidgeting, hiding your face and rolling your eyes are some of the tops-tells that can give away how a person is really feeling.
“A fake surprise and smile are often used to avoid hurting the feelings of the gift giver, especially if they are close friends or family and you want to try and dispel any conflict or awkwardness.
“Other festive tells include hesitation and nervousness which may come to surface when a person has a very expressive face and struggles to hide how they feel.”
A poll of over 2,000 adults, conducted by PokerStars, revealed that more than a third of those who celebrate Christmas have faked their emotions when opening an unwanted gift (36 per cent). The research found this is more common in women.
During Christmas heightened emotions and increased social gatherings, almost seven in ten say they have ‘put on a poker face’ to try to mask their true feelings. The top reasons for this are to be polite (52 per cent), maintain a happy festive atmosphere (50 per cent) and to protect someone’s feelings (49 per cent).
The research also revealed that many of us prefer white lies at Christmas as almost a third (30 per cent) said they would prefer someone to bluff their way through a situation if the truth could potentially hurt their feelings.
To help the nation become a master of hidden cues and a true pro at concealing their ‘tells’ so they can keep the peace this Christmas, Adrianne shares these top tips:
Maintain eye contact, control facial expressions, master the serene face, watch your hand gesture, posture power, manage your breathing, slow down your speech, mirror others, use props strategically and smile please!
For more information and tips on how to maintain your poker face this Christmas, head over to the PokerStars blog – https://www.pokerstars.uk/poker/learn/news/the-uks-biggest-christmas-tells-revealed/