Why we make the gestures that we do with our bodies, is directly caused by our state of mind at that particular point in time and place. The following is an alphabetized list of the traits we exhibit:
Aggressive, Defensive Or Hostile:
When one is feeling aggressive, defensive or hostile, eye contact is dramatically increased.
Anger, Defensive, General Unhappiness:
Knitted and downturned eyebrows, closed and defensive arms, squeezed foreheads, sad look on face are expressed in one feeling anger, being defensive or generally unhappy.
Antagonism is displayed by a tightening of the jaw muscles or squinting of the eyes. When one is antagonistic because he has become defensive, this is reflected by the jaw muscles tightening and the lips tightening as well, revealing as little as possible.
Rubbing of the palms express anticipation.
Apathy, Lack Of Interest, Listlessness, Weariness:
Strumming on a tabletop, tapping with the feet, heel beating on the floor, toe tapping and foot twitching demonstrate apathy, lack of interest, listlessness and weariness. When combined with the hand propping up the head and the eyes falling, there is total disinterest. Ever notice someone that stares and hardly blinks his eyes - this frequently reflects disinterest, especially when coupled with the head drooping.
Astonishment And Fright:
By women, when the hands come to the chest, astonishment and fright are reflected interestingly, this is one of the few gestures, that if made by a man has a totally different meaning - (see honesty, integrity and sincerity).
Authority And Pride:
When one nonchalantly places his hand in his jacket with thumb protruding, it spells authority and pride.
Hands that are clasped behind the back with the chin jutting upward, betoken one in an authority position.
Authority Subordinate Relationship:
When two people are seen by a desk, one standing, the other seated, should the one standing approach the other from behind his back, this violates the seated man's space, because the desk serves as a ‘safe zone’ which the standing man chose not to heed. When the standing man's carriage is more at ease than the one seated, his stance being domineering, this authority subordinate relationship is frequently seen between employer and employee.
Baffled, Discontentment And Displeasure:
Feeling baffled, discontentment and displeasure is observed by one's tilting the head and simultaneously lifting the nose.
Belligerence/Gaining The Upper Hand:
When one sits with his chair as a safeguard, so that a part of the chair acts as a buffer between him and his counterpart, not only does this reflect belligerence, the feeling or the desire to gain the upper hand is apparent. Closely resembling this is when one puts his feet on top of the table during a meeting between parties, often in the exact direction of his counterpart, unconsciously saying, “I am on top of you. "
Challenging Associate's Evaluation:
During an encounter, when the subject is standing, being scrutinized by his associate, stting at a table, if the subject places his hands on the table, clutching the edges, he is demanding that his view is right, challenging his associate's evaluation. This usually evokes a negative reaction on the part of the associate. He is trying to display that his viewpoint should be paramount. Whereas the associate feels, who is he to tell me how I should think.
When one who is wearing glasses, drops them on to the lower bridge of his nose, staring over them, into his associate's eyes, this associate feels that he is being closely examined. He feels that the man staring at him is trying to make him subordinate to him. This understandably usually triggers a negative response. Psychologists explain why. When two people are speaking, there is an unstated rule that their eyes are seen as the imaginary line of equality. Therefore, should ‘A’ stare at ‘B's nose, which being lower than ‘A's eyes, ‘B’ subconsciously or even consciously feels that ‘A’ feels superior to him. ‘B’ picking this up, at the very least as mistreatment.
The conceited person reveals his desire to impress by his chin being somewhat thrusted outward, arms swinging and legs taking rather large steps. Sociologists explain that in all of the aforementioned, the party believes that he is entitled to more space than the generalized other, hence the corroborating gestures.
Confidence, Delight And Satisfaction:
An upturned mouth, hand under the lapel, reflect confidence, delight and satisfaction.
Confusion Or Displeasure:
Confusion or displeasure is shown by a frown.
Contrary, Impossible To Reach, Mistrustful:
In an encounter, when one party draws his body back from the other, if there is no mitigating circumstance to warrant such a reaction, the subject has become contrary, almost impossible to reach, mistrustful.
At a meeting between two parties facing each other, should one place his leg over the arm of the chair, it reflects the desire to have more control over the other. Frequently seen as mere indifference, it is much more than that. This party has turned himself off to the other, which often evokes a negative response by the latter.
When one crosses his legs during any form of negotiation, a critical point has arisen. If this reaction were coupled with crossed arms, it would be almost impossible for his counterpart to ‘make a sale’. At this point, should this reaction be noted, it would be wise to, in any way, break the ice, so that the legs and the arms become more open and relaxed once more. At this point, the sale can be pursued.
Cynicism, Lack Of Trust:
When someone in an encounter has turned sideways, that is, his
body has turned away, yet his head veers toward his counterpart, this expresses cynicism and lack of trust. Psychologists explain that since he senses a lack of honesty, he feels that he is being threatened, therefore, he gives as little as possible for his adversary to hit.
In a meeting, when one moves forward, toward the edge of his chair, he has for all intents and purposes, come to a particular decision and is unconsciously expressing a desire to put his plans forward.
When one is feeling defensive, self-protective, he almost invariably crosses his arms and sometimes his legs as well. At times, this tense situation brings on a further reaction, such as the fists themselves being clenched. In addition to the defensiveness and self-protectiveness already mentioned, should excessive bitterness, nervousness, be present, the subject will often grab his own biceps.
Where a showdown has taken place, should one cast off his glasses, throw them between the parties, he is saying to his counterpart, “you are trying to cross over the imaginary line in
the middle and are encroaching upon my side, get back to your side. " It betokens defiance.
When one is in a predicament that he or she has found dull, or for any other reason wants to depart from, the body veers toward the exit.
Desire For Security; Reassurance:
When one restricts his hands, especially when the thumbs are rubbing, picks his cuticles, pinches his hands, touches the back of the chair, chews or sucks on a pen or pencil, or particularly by a woman, when she places her hand by her throat and should a necklace be present, feeling if it is still there, all of these gestures betoken a desire for security, some form of reassurance.
Desire For You To Be In Control:
When one extends his or her hand with the palm upward, the desire is for you to be in control. A message is being sent to you that your hand in the handshake be on top.
Desire To Control:
In a handshake, when one places the palm of his hand downward, his desire is to take control of the other. In a meeting, or especially in a clash between adversaries, where a table divides them and one puts his foot on the desk, this demonstrates his desire to be in control.
Despondency can be noticed by one who is shuffling along, hands in pockets, rarely looking up, or noticing what may lie ahead.
Disappointment is expressed by the head turned downward, as well as kicking dirt, short breaths and running the fingers through one's hair, as if saying, “something's in my hair and I must get it out. "
During an encounter, should one stroke his eye, this demonstrates disbelief and skepticism, as if saying, “I can't see a word you're saying. "
Dishonesty And Lying:
Dishonesty and lying have many indications. It must be borne in mind, the more signs, the higher the probability. In a meeting or encounter, when a party covers the mouth while speaking, appears to be sitting awkwardly, stares downward, shoulders becoming limp, swallows saliva frequently, moistens lips, repeatedly clears the throat, touches the nose, scratches the head, places a hand to the larynx, strokes the nape, all of the aforementioned are indications of dishonesty and lying. Again it must be cautioned, that when only one or two of these actions occur, the subject is not as convincingly dishonest and lying as when more are present.
Distress With Money:
Tinkling of money in one's pocket, when done in excess, demonstrates distress with money or the lack of it.
Dominance can be indicated by a handshake. When someone seizes your hand and turns it that his is on top, yours on the bottom, he is trying some sort of domination.
Doubt, Nonbelief, Strain:
When one seizes his hands tightly, or even wrings them, crosses his hands and/or legs, stares straight at his adversary, all of these indicate doubt, nonbelief and strain.
When a woman has crossed her legs, and begins a slight kicking movement, she is reflecting her desire to be elsewhere, anywhere but at the present situation.
Emotionally Upsetting Encounter:
In an emotionally upsetting encounter, women are frequently seen performing some sort of hair grooming action, expressing the feeling of hindrance, as if an impediment has arisen. Men are often seen putting one hand on the back of the neck, slightly pulling their head down, as if reflecting a beating they are taking by the opponent.
Energy, Procrastination, Psychological Nutrient:
During a meeting, should a party remove his eyeglasses, and as well, either clean the lenses, or perhaps place the earpiece in his mouth, this expresses a wish to procrastinate, signaling, “I need more time on this. " That amount of interruption may be the right amount of time that is needed. Some psychologists suggest, the reason behind placing the earpiece in the mouth may be coming in the form of a psychological nutrient, giving needed ‘energy', that is, information.
When one has his hands folded, sitting in a figure four position, with eyes scarcely open, and head tilted down, these indicate one who is engrossed.
Fascination And Interest:
When one has a hand on his cheek, sitting towards the edge of the chair, with his head slightly shifted, this cluster indicates fascination and interest.
When one is faultfinding, a hand is brought to his face, with his chin in the palm and will often have his index finger extending across his cheek. Coupling this with his body drawn back from the other, he has become contrary, mistrustful and therefore will be almost impossible to reach at this point. The only way to win him over must include his relinquishing these positions.
Feeling At Ease:
Feeling at ease is expressed by one leg tucked under the other. By women, slight balancing of a shoe on the toes, tells the person that she is interested in, that she has been made to feel at ease by the person.
Friends And Acquaintances Meet:
When there is eye contact between individuals and when smiling, only the upper teeth are visible, these are often gestures used when friends and acquaintances meet.
When a woman fixes her hair, unwrinkles her dress, turns around looking at herself, peeking sideways to see her reflection, a subtle revolving motion of the abdomen-all indicate great interest. Slow crossing and uncrossing of the legs, especially in front of a male, fondling her calf or thigh, all are dead giveaways to what is known as ‘sprucing. ’ Whoever she is sprucing up to, she signifies great interest in that person.
When one's gaze at another is averted, it shows a feeling of guilt or being uncomfortable.
When both upper and lower teeth are revealed, this usually reflects hearty laughter.
Hesitation And Misgiving:
Stroking behind or alongside the ear, especially with the index finger, signifies hesitation and misgiving.
Honesty, Integrity, Sincerity:
By men, when the hands come to the chest, honesty, integrity and sincerity are often indicated.
(By women, these actions reflect astonishment and fright).
During an encounter, if the subject leans forward, and especially when his jacket is open, this cluster suggests an imminent action.
When the upper teeth are exposed, should the lower lip be curved inward, it reflects the person feeling in some way inferior to the person he or she is encountering.
When one is seen as almost strangling the arm of a chair, much inner conflict is being contained.
When one frequently covers his mouth and nose, scratches his head, he is displaying insecurity.
In a teacher student situation, when the student is sitting straight with his feet squarely on the floor, being motionless, with infrequent blinkings of the eyes, he has lost any interest that he may have had.
Lost In Thought:
Those who are lost in thought are often seen with their hands clasped behind their back, head tilted downward, contemplating.
Making A Decision:
It is often noticed, that a man at the point of making a decision, will pull at his pants while sitting, appearing awkward in his chair.
In an encounter, when one shapes his hands as a pyramid and joins the fingertips, it expresses mastery over the situation. Women display mastery when they hold their hands on their laps while sitting, joining their fingers.
Meeting Is Over:
In the buyer seller situation, or in any encounter, where one has by definition the upper hand, should this party place his eyeglasses down, this often signifies, “that's it, the meeting is over. "
In a meeting, when one wearing eyeglasses drops them to the bridge of his nose, mistrust is displayed. His eyes becoming exposed, it is as if he is saying, “I do not believe what I am being led to see, nevertheless, I will check out my negative feelings and look at it in another fashion. "
More Urgent Matters:
During a meeting, should one of the parties be seen arranging papers, he is disclosing that he has more urgent matters to tend to.
Most Likely To Concur:
If you would like to know if your associate is more likely to concur, notice: is he sitting on the edge of his chair, is his coat or jacket unbuttoned, is he tilting his head to either side, these are usually dead giveaways of one's desire to work harmoniously.
Not Ready To Reveal:
When one while speaking, has his hands towering, blocking his mouth-conversation-he is not ready to reveal what is on his mind.
Not To Be Moved:
When one is seen in a straight, non-bending sitting position, one hand seizing the other, he is indicating that he most definitely will not be moved nor compromise in his opinion.
Openness And Readiness:
When two or more people are seen on opposite sides of a dividing table, and one unbuttons his jacket, especially when he uncrosses his arms and legs, these are very strong
indications of openness and readiness.
Squeezing the bridge of the nose, especially with the eyes closed, show much pondering concerning a needed decision, usually followed by opposition to the affair at hand.
Parental rebellion, such as the defiant little boy, is recognized by one thrusting his chin forward.
Hands placed on hips express preparation, especially when the feet are extended, positioning the body to act at a given moment.
Indications are that the higher a woman holds her towering hands on her lap, the greater feeling of reassurance is being evoked.
Restraint Of Strong Feelings:
When one fastens his ankles or restricts his hand, this reflects a restraint of strong feelings.
One that is secretive looks through the side of his eye to see and not be caught doing so.
A self-assured person is more inclined to have eye contact than his less self-assured counterpart, as he feels more in command, less fearful. He is often seen towering his hands, as if he is on top of a pyramid in relationship to others. His stance is erect.
Self-discipline is reflected by grasping an arm behind the back, seizing the hand tightly, as the hand grips the wrist or the arm.
Shock is conveyed when the mouth is ajar and covered.
Smiling To Oneself:
The type of smile made when the teeth are unexposed, is usually found in the person smiling at his own thoughts.
When one spruces up, this person is showing great interest in who he or she is sprucing up to. A woman shows sprucing by fixing her hair, unwrinkling her dress, turning around looking at herself, glancing sideways at her reflection, a subtle revolving motion of the abdomen, slow crossing and uncrossing of the legs, especially in front of a male, fondling her calf or thigh, her head slants, her eyes are ajar, her arms open and inclining. Sprucing signs of a man are buttoning a coat, examining fingernails, jutting the chin forward and upward, pulling up socks, rearranging cufflinks, straightening coat and tie, bending toward or placing a foot in the direction of a woman.
Strain, Stress And Tension:
Strain, stress and tension are indicated by one clearing the throat, fidgeting in the chair, appearing awkward.
In a meeting, where a desk divides the parties, one seen towering his hands on the desk is evoking a feeling of superiority.
Supremacy is observed by one who leans back with both hands behind the head, hands fastened, and legs crossed in a figure four position.
Time Is Short:
In any situation, when one party by definition has the upper hand, such as in the buyer seller relationship, should the party possessing the upper hand fold his arms, he is expressing that time is (very) short.
Touching or slightly stroking the nose, usually with one's index finger, reflects uncertainty.
Weighing A Situation:
When one strokes his chin, especially when he slightly closes his eyes, this is a weighing of a particular situation at hand, an assessment, as if he is trying to see the proper response.
Joel Engel is the author of “Handwriting Analysis Self-Taught" (Penguin Books) http://careertest.ws - http://www.learngraphology.com