How to Read Body Language
If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then the body is the mirror of our feelings. If we 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.
So when it comes to dating, using/reading body language signals is a great tool. You can observe this by watching a couple flirting with each other.
In case you don’t think learning how to read and use body language is not important, here are some statistics about the messages we receive from someone we meet.
- 7% of the information we receive is from what they actually say.
- 38% of information we receive is from the tone, inflection and speed of their voice.
- A staggering 55% of the information we receive is from their body language.
It is useful to be able to read people’s body language, but it is equally useful to learn how to get your body to send the right signals and eliminate the wrong signals. See below for some body language signals.
Be warned: body language is very much open to interpretation. Many signals have different meanings depending on the person/situation. Keep this mind when you assess a body language signal.
Note: Look for 3 or 4 signals that convey a similar message or the oneoff inconsistent signal. Also, consciously practise reading/doing some of the signals as much as you can. Learning, as you practise, what works and what doesn’t work for you will help you gain confidence to use body language techniques consciously.Body Language Signals:
- Energetically open and possibly feeling vulnerable
- A good way to show you are approachable, especially when combined with open palms
- Defences down
- An open heart
- Palms on chest – When a person uses open palms that occasionally touch their chest, they are signalling honesty
- Outward, upward hand movements – This conveys an open and positive message
- A defence mechanism that shows the person is not open to what is being said or done
- May mean rejection
- Physically cold
- Stubborn in their outlook
5.Doodling – Bored
- Anger and to be avoided
- Physically cold
- Very tense
- Defiant or triumphant when held in air
- Wants to get away
- Thinking about something else
- Bored with situation/conversation
10.Mirroring – This is evidence of two people getting on really well.
Each person copies the other’s body language, usually subtly.
Mirroring occurs with:
- 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.
There is a natural rhythm to the process, which is the key.
- Tired and that may have nothing to do with the situation/conversation
For example, flicking or stroking their hair or adjusting a collar and/or a tie.
- Possible deception
Men do this when demonstrating their attraction to someone.
15.Nodding – The occasional nod from a listener to a speaker is a positive
message. It is an indication they are listening and are interested.
16.Too much nodding – This indicates the listener has lost interest and may be
(Probably where the saying ‘nodding off to sleep’ came from.)
17.Chopping hands down – This is an aggressive act, usually used to antagonise.
18.Body space – Respect for the other person’s body space is crucial in gaining
Stay at least one arm’s length away from them.
- An outward display of confidence
- The person is mildly stimulated
- May need to go to toilet
- Reveals apprehension and nerves
- Desperate to go to the toilet
- Has a cough/sore throat
25.Open feet – reflecting and giving attention.
- Indicates interest in the other person
- Embarrassment (usually temporary)
- Interested in someone.
- High on drugs
- A person who has an interest in someone will have an increased blink rate.
- Has an eye disorder
- Low self-esteem/confidence
uncross her legs when seated.
33.Gazing – A woman will gaze long enough for someone to notice then will
quickly look away. Her mouth may open and lips slightly wet.
34.Low voice – When interested in someone a woman may speak in a low voice.
35.Running hand along leg – sexually interested in the other person
36.Running hands along legs:
- Really sexually interested in the other person
- Getting ready to leave
- May be a drummer
- 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
41. Finger pointing:
- Sign of assertiveness
- Sign of aggression
42.Open legs – Receptive to the other person
- Sign of aggression
45.Doesn’t look you in the eyes:
- Lack of confidence
- Is being deceptive
47.Chewing fingernails – Nerves. The person is not feeling secure. If they
swallow, there may not be enough calcium in their diet.
48.Quick and animated arm and hand movements – Lying
Note: Many honest, passionate people also do this.
49.Darting eyes – deception.
50.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’.
51.People tend to look down and to the left when lying.
52.Running fingers through hair: