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Body Language 101

8th August 2016 11:03 am

Body language, in small or big ways, is an important part of communication. Reading and decoding each gestures and nonverbal communication helps to better relationship, career and self-confidence. Here are some body parts and their common body language interpretations to help you understand the message that they are not speaking out.


  • A person’s eyes dilate strongly when they are very stimulated and in a problem solving mode. At maximum dilation, the person is ready to make a decision which is more likely to be positive.
  • An eyebrow raise is a sign that a person isn’t threatening. When your eye brow raise someone they will often smile. This is very submissive sign or at least is perceive that way.
  • The first person to look away in an introduction is the more submissive.
  • If a person is maintaining strong eye contact they are either, interested in you of their eyes are dilated or challenging you if their eyes are constricted.
  • The most threatening look is achieved by moving narrowed eyes toward a person with little to no body movement.
  • The speed of the head movement will demonstrate how angry they are.
  • Liars maintain strong eye contact with people.
  • If someone you a sideways glance, look at their eye brows. If they are raised, they like you, if not, they don’t.
  • If a person’s blink rate increases, they are likely lying.
  • If a person’s eyes are darting around they are getting bored or nervous.
  • When first meeting a person shake hands with strong eye contact and then give them at least 3 seconds to look you over uninterrupted.
  • To build strong rapport you should look in them in the eyes for 60 to 70% of the time you are together.

Hands and Arms

  • When shaking someone’s hand, if their hand is on top they are trying to dominate and vice versa.
  • An equal handshake, in which both people shake in a vertical manor, with equal pressure, is the best way to generate good rapport.
  • Do not shake with both hands or touch any other part of the body unless you have an intimate relationship.
  • At most, a brief touch to the elbow during a hand shake has been shown to generate good feelings toward a stranger.
  • A valuable clue to whether the person is being open and honest is whether they are showing their palms or not. Honesty equals palm displays.
  • If a person says they can’t do something and they show you their hands they are telling you the truth.
  • If you are talking with your palms it will force others to speak truthfully.
  • Hands clenched in front of a person means that they are holding back a negative reaction.
  • Holding one’s wrist behind their back is an attempt at self-control.
  • If a person places their head in their open hands as if on a platter they are saying that they admire you.
  • If a person is picking imaginary lint they are a secret opinion that they don’t want to tell you.
  • Hands folded in front, hand in hand, shows they are feeling vulnerable.
  • Pointing at a person is one of the most annoying gestures.
  • Never rub your thumb to your fore-finger around people.
  • The rubbing of the hands together shows that they are expecting something positive.
  • The speed at which they are rubbing shows who they are think will benefit. If a person rubs their hands very slowly they are showing they expect results just for themselves.
  • The steeple hand gesture represents that you are confident and self-assured. This gesture should be used sparingly. If you want to guarantee a look of confidence this is the look.
  • By pressing your fore finger to your thumb you will come off as authoritative, nut not aggressive.
  • Holding hands behind the back show that you are confident and feel superior.
  • Hands on hips shows they are preparing to dominate unless the elbows are held close to the body (submissive).
  • If the person tucks their thumbs in their pants rather than rest theirs hands on their hips, they are being very aggressive.
  • Thumbs protruding from pockets shows that the person feels they are superior to others.
  • We fold our arms in front of ourselves when we feel threatened or don’t like or trust something.
  • When you fold your arms you lose credibility.
  • If you are folding your arms while grasping your biceps it show that you are feeling insecure.
  • If you clench your fists while folding your arms people will see you as being hostile.
  • Arms crossed with thumbs turned up shows that the person is warming up to you.
  • Women will often use their purse to create protection in some situations.
  • If a person puts a drink on the opposite side of the hand in which they’re drinking, that shows that they feel uncomfortable.

Legs and Feet

  • The information you gain by studying leg and feet positions is extremely useful because people have little control over them.
  • This is why most meetings feel only comfortable if the two people have their legs hidden by a table or a desk.
  • If you want to appear young and vibrant walk quickly while swinging your arms.
  • Your feet will point toward where you want to go.
  • Always offer people both coffee or tea, that makes it difficult to remain crossed up without burning themselves.
  • Another tip to get a person to unlock themselves is to ask them positive questions that get them to tell you what they are feeling.
  • Never cross your legs and then have both hands cradle behind your head. This is extremely off putting, to women specifically.
  • The jiggling of the feet is a sign that the person wants to get away from a situation.
  • Open and uncrossed legs show that you are open or dominate while crossed legs show that you’re closed off or uncertain.
  • If legs are crossed, the knee points towards what you don’t prefer.
  • Never ask a person to make a decision if they have their legs or arms crossed.
  • If a person has their legs crossed and they are holding them in place with their hands they are feeling stubborn.
  • A person that locks their ankles together is essentially biting their lip and holding back a negative emotion.
  • If person locks one foot around their call or thigh they are showing signs of timidness.
  • If a person sits oddly in a chair they are showing you that they don’t see you as important.
  • If they place the back of their chair in front of you, they are in the mood to take control of you.
  • Women speficaly cross and uncross their legs around people they like.
  • They cross their legs in parallel manor when they really like someone.
  • If a person has one foot moved closer to you, they are really feeling a connection.


  • You can check to see that smile is sincere by checking by checking for wrinkles at the sides of the eyes.
  • If you smile at a person, they will return the favor. People that smile a lot, often will receive positive reactions.
  • When a person is smiling they are often more likely to be telling the truth.
  • A false smile will often appear stronger on one side of the face versus the other.
  • A tight-lipped smile, in which teeth are not shown, tell you that the person is trying to keep a secret.
  • A smile in which the person has their head turned down and their eyes aimed upward is used to show that the person is attracted to you.
  • Laughing is attractive and makes you, as well as others, feel comfortable.
  • Laughter has more to do with bonding than humor.
  • People who smile are more persuasive.
  • Yawning is used by people to build rapport and avoid aggression.

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