Notes I took when trying to study the science of body language. It's hard to know exactly how rigorous this "science" really is, but it was interesting to research nonetheless.read more
Body Language Insights (from “Definitive Book on Body Language”). All taken with plenty of salt. When negotiating over telephone, the stronger argument usually wins but that’s not the case with face-to-face (study). Man tug at skin under neck: Self-conscious about gaining weight. Woman smoothing dress down: Self-conscious about gaining weight on thighs. Man consciously avoid staring at large-breasted woman: Unconsciously use groping gestures with hands. Women are more perceptive than men, they can more easily tell when someone’s body language doesn’t match what they’re saying. 7 out of 10 people cross their left arm over their right. Most men put on a coat right arm first; women put left arm first. Men and women pass each other on street: man turns toward, women turns away. Person with hand on face, covering mouth with index finger up, arm crossed, legs crossed, chin down: Critical thoughts about what they’re hearing. Rubbing or touching the lips in any way: Indicating a lie. Pupil dilation, sweating, blushing: Indicating a lie. Showing one’s palms: They are open and honest. Hiding one’s palms in pockets or arms crossed: Could be concealing something/lying. Women prefer to look busy as they lie (I’ve started doing this, it works well.) Palm up + request: Seems like an innocent request. Palm down + request: Seems like a command, authority. Couples holding hands: Dominant person will walk in front, with palm facing away from direction of movement. Finger pointed hand gesture: Very annoying and intimidating. Mean. Genuine smiles will have wrinkle lines beside and around the eyes. Insincere smiles will only involve their mouth. In primates, there’s a “nervous smile” that shows fear. This is why we smile when something bad almost happened. The more you smile, the more positive reactions others will give you. Smiling more on one side of the face than the other: Likely a fake smile, and possibly lying. Tightlipped smile: On women, likely means that they don’t like someone. Studies show that women laugh at men they’re attracted to, and men are attracted to women who laugh at them. Crossing one, or more arms: Person feels nervous, negative, or defensive. Crossing one’s arms will make them seem less approachable. Women fold their arms across their breasts when they’re around aggressive or unattractive men. Crossed arms in an audience will mean that the audience is not receptive or does not agree. Arms crossed, tight lipped, fists closed: Aggressive attitude. Arms crossed, holding each of your arms with your hands (self-hugging): Shows negative, restrained attitude. Nervous, needs comfort. One arm holding onto the other arm (partial arm cross): Nervous, not feeling great. Self-touch. Broken Zipper Position: Nervous, needs protection. Holding objects between you and a person indicates self-conscious or unsure of oneself. Adjusting clothing as well. Rubbing hands together: Showing positive expectancy. If it’s fast, it means the listener will benefit. If it’s slow, it means the speaker will benefit. Hands clenched together: Indicates frustration, even when smiling. Steepling (holding fingers together like a house): Confidence that they have the right answers. Placing hands on top of one another and placing face on the platform: Wants attention from courter, displaying face. Hands behind back, hands together: Confidence. Hands behind back gripping wrist: Signals frustration and attempt at self-control. Hands behind back, upper arm grip: Very frustrated. Displaying thumbs indicates superiority. Arms folded and thumbs displayed indicates closed off but also superior. Lie indicators: 1. Covering mouth. 2. Nose touch. 3. Eye rub. 4. Ear grab. 5. Neck scratch. 6. Collar pull. 7. Fingers in the mouth. Hand on face with index pointing up, head supporting itself: Indicates interested. Hand on face with index pointing up with thumb supporting head: Indicates having negative thoughts. Chin stroking: Making a decision. Pupils in both genders will increase in size when interested in the other person. Eyebrow flash: A hello, that tries to draw attention to the face. Darting eyes: Person is insecure about what is happening. Look between the eyes and the forehead if you want to intimidate or shut someone up. Extended gazing can create intimate feelings. Looking up and to the side: They’re recalling a picture. Looking to a side: They’re recalling a sound. Looking down and to a side: They’re recalling a feeling or talking to themselves. Jiggling the feet: Indicating that an individual wants to run away from what is being experienced. Leg movement is increased when lying. Uninterested woman will fold arms and cross her legs away from him. Foot forward, with one foot perpendicular to the other. The leading foot points to where we want to go, pointing at the most interesting or attractive person or at the nearest exit. Closed arms and crossed legs indicate that individuals aren’t sure about each other, while open arms and legs indicate that individuals are open and accepting. While sitting: Figure four with leg: American. Leg crossed over the other: European. Ankle lock: holding back negative emotion, uncertainty, or fear. Woman constantly crossing legs indicates she’s interested in partner, trying to draw attention to legs. Head nodding encourages cooperation and agreement. Head up position: Has a neutral position to what is being said. Head tilt position Makes you appear more vulnerable, smaller, and submissive. Head down position: Not good, they’re aggressive. Picking imaginary lint: Indicates that they have a secret opinion and prefers not to state it. Hands on hips with elbows up: Ready to dominate. Sitting in a chair with one hand between legs and one hand on thigh: Indicates readiness for action. Sitting down with hands on both knees: Indicates ready to start. Notice mirroring when people talk to each other: It indicates that they are thinking the same. In a relationship, who mirrors whom indicates who has the decision power. Limp wrist: An attempt to attract attention from potential mates. Exposing under-wrist: Powerful attraction signal. People show ownership by connecting an item or person to their body. Shorter people are interrupted more frequently than roller people. Sitting directly opposite others creates bad vibes. The left side of your face is the best side for giving a presentation. People who sit in the front rows learn more, participate more, and are more enthusiastic.