What You Need To Know About Body Language

What You Need To Know About Body Language

If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then the body is the mirror of our feelings.

If you are feeling great it shows in how we hold and use our body. Conversely, if we look at someone else’s body we can often tell how they are feeling by the signals their body is giving.

Body Language Signals :


Open Arms:

  • Energetically open and possibly feeling vulnerable
  • A good way to show you are approachable, especially when combined with open palms


Palms up/Open hands:

  • Defenses down
  • An open heart
  • Palms on chest – when a person uses open palms that occasionally touch their chest, they are signaling honesty
  • Outward, upward hand movements – This conveys an open and positive message


Folded Arms:

  • A defense mechanism that shows the person is not open to what is being said or done
  • May mean rejection
  • Physically cold
  • Stubborn in their outlook
  • Hands closed – a closed heart
  • Doodling – bored



  • Anger and to be avoided
  • Physically cold
  • Very tense
  • Defiant or triumphant when held in air
  • Feet under the chair – a sign of eagerness


Looking around:

  • Wants to get away
  • Thinking about something else
  • Bored with situation/conversation
  • Stroking chin – evaluating



This is evidence of two people getting on really well. Each person copies the other’s body language, usually subtly. Mirroring occurs with:

  • Breathing
  • Gestures
  • Eye movement
  • Leaning towards each other at the same time
  • Crossed or uncrossed legs
  • Speech pattern
  • Arm movement, or no arm movement
  • Emotive energy such as being excited, relaxed, etc.

Note: If you practice this with somebody the key is to be subtle and not be a copycat. There is a natural rhythm to the process, which is the key.



  • Bored
  • Tired and that may have nothing to do with the situation/conversation



This shows someone knows they are attractive. For example, flicking or stroking their hair or adjusting a collar and / or a tie.


Ear Tugging:

  • Indecision
  • Possible deception


Puffing out chest:

Men do this when demonstrating their attraction to someone.



The occasional nod from a listener to a speaker is a positive message. It is an indication they are listening and are interested.


Too much nodding:

This indicates the listener has lost interest and may be bored. (Probably where the saying “nodding off to sleep” came from)


Chopping hands down:

This is an aggressive act, usually used to antagonize.

Body Space:

Respect for the other person’s body space is crucial in gaining their trust. Stay at least one arm’s length away from them.


Striding briskly:

  • An outward display of confidence
  • Anger


Gentle leg shaking:

  • The person is mildly stimulated
  • May need to go to toilet


Vigorous leg shaking:

  • Reveals apprehension and nerves
  • Desperate to go to the toilet
  • On toes – eagerness


Clears throat:

  • Anxiety
  • Has a cough/sore throat
  • Habit


Flushed cheeks:

  • Indicates interest in the other person
  • Embarrassment (usually temporary)


Dilated pupils:

  • Interested in someone.
  • Focused
  • High on drugs


High Blink rate:

  • A person who has an interest in someone will have an increased blink rate.
  • Nervousness
  • Assessing
  • Has an eye disorder


Backwards moving:

  • Rejecting
  • Escaping
  • Moving away – sometimes there is no hidden meaning


Slumped posture:

  • Bored
  • Low self-esteem/confidence


Drumming fingers:

  • Impatient
  • May be a drummer


Open mouth:

  • You have said something outrageous and their jaw has dropped in shock
  • The person has tried to interrupt the conversation to get a word in, but you haven’t paused
  • May be a sign of attraction


Finger pointing:

  • Sign of assertiveness
  • Sign of aggression



  • Defiance
  • Sign of aggression


Looks you in the eyes without staring:

Confident, self-assured


Does not look you in the eyes:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Is being deceptive


Standing upright:

Reflects inner confidence and comfort level


Chewing fingernails:

The person is not feeling secure. If they swallow, there may not be enough calcium in their diet


Darting eyes:



Shifting eyes:

At the very least may be a lack of confidence or at worst it is indication of a deception. Definitely means deception when combined with a nose rub and “umms” and “ahhs”

People tend to look down and to the left when lying.