Various body parts are used in the body language – the hands, arms, legs, head, and body posture. Hands can make several gestures, each with a difference in meaning; and you can express well through them. If you want to let another person know you are interested in him or in the conversation, the hands can emphasize it for you. Do not try to hide your hands from him, like putting them into your pockets. This gesture means that you are hiding something from him or you are already getting bored. Showing your palm upward or outward shows that you are comfortable and interested in your situation. Leaning your body or directing it towards that person is also a signal that you are indeed listening to him.
You can still give a good impression even in the most tense situations, like in a job interview. You simply have to avoid gestures that are giving signals that you are nervous, uncomfortable, or anxious. Never slouch, fidget, drum your fingers, shuffle your feet, or tremble. These actions take the word “confidence” away from you.
You can also speak through handshakes. A firm one with the palm pointing downwards and arm slightly extended indicates confidence or power. Meanwhile, a weak handshake pointing upward is an indication of tension or shyness. You must also be aware of the message you are trying to convey whenever you cross your arms. This is one of the actions that you must avoid. This will tell another person that you might be hiding something, lying, or being impatient.
In conversing with another person, it is a great advantage that you know their culture. Prolonged eye contact, act of raising voice volume, and touching may be rude to other countries, especially in Asia. Also, there are a number of gestures that mean differently in other cultures.
You should learn how to speak using your body. Body language is indeed much more convincing than words and is very useful in giving impressions in certain situations. But the only trick in learning how to speak and understand body language is that what books or research say may not necessarily be the intentions or real message of one person.
Consciously or unconsciously, humans can send and receive messages through body language. It is a form of nonverbal communication, which mainly involves gestures using the different parts of the body. It would truly be an advantage if you know how to read and interpret another person’s body language for the very reason that you can determine his or her mood, expressions, and desires.
There are several gestures that a person uses in different specific situations – at work, in a job interview, dinner date, or even in a casual conversation. The eyes, arms, and hands are the body parts frequently used to communicate, even unconsciously.
Through Eye Language
Your eyes can clearly express what you feel or desire. Eye contact is the most important eye body language since it could mean interest, confidence, eagerness to listen, and sincerity. The inability to hold long eye contact indicates dishonesty or discomfort.
Eye contact is the most powerful language using the eyes. It have different meanings. It can indicate mistrust from another person when he cannot take his eyes off the speaker, or it may mean that the person has a positive outlook or interest on what the speaker is saying. In instances that a person would look from one eye to another then another area, there are different interpretations as well.
Movement from one eye to another then to the forehead indicates that the person is looking at authoritative figure. Another instance is when the person would look from one eye to the other then to the nose, this means that there are no level of superiority in either party. The last case indicates a sign of romance or attraction when the person would look from one eye to another then down to the lips.
However, the eyes can be misleading, especially if there are other gestures accompanying it. Despite direct eye contact, when the person you are speaking to is still fiddling something with his hands, it means that is mind is elsewhere but you. If he is looking at you but with the arms crossed, it indicates signs of bother or defense from you. Another case is when there is eye contact but the head is slightly tilted. This indicates boredom. Lies can be spotted as well when there is excessive blinking and no eye contact.
The eyes, small as they are, have big meanings and indications behind them. Eye contact is one of the strongest eye language that one can use to say that they are interested, sincere, and attentive. Lack of eye contact and inability to prolong it may mean that the person is lying, hiding something, or is becoming bored or uninterested.
Cliché as it is, the eyes are indeed the windows of the soul. The eye body language is one of the most powerful mediums of nonverbal communication. It can either support or betray whatever you are saying. Even the slightest movement of the eye can indicate the biggest meaning.
During a conversation, it is normal to have eye contact. It means differently in specific situations. Looking at a person directly to the eye means that you are interested in what he is saying. But the inability to take the eyes of another person when he or she is talking may also indicate doubt, suspicion, or lack of trust.
Appropriate use of eye contact also includes when to break eye contact. A long eye contact has many interpretations. It may mean a focused attention or sign of attraction. But this can sometimes be uncomfortable, thus the trick is to just look at the bridge of the nose. Long eye contact may also indicate a sign of authority or domination if one can do it without much blinking. However, prolonged eye contact may also pose as a threat, so breaking it from now and then is essential. But breaking it may indicate other meanings as well, such as situations wherein one wants to end the conversation, has been insulted or found out, or is being threatened.
The eyes looking at different directions also have different meanings. When one looks up to the right, it means that he is imagining visual images. Meanwhile, when he looks up to the left direction, it means that he is trying to recall a memory. However, there are still instances where it is in a reversed order, depending on the person. Try to test him first by asking him to recall a known memory and to picture out an event.
On the other hand, looking down may mean that one is talking to himself, but this is more evident if there is also movement of the lips. It is also a signal of guilt or submission. Looking down on another person means that he is control of the situation or is talking to someone who is under his superiority.
Lateral eye movements can also indicate signs of dishonesty, distraction, or simply checking out the surroundings. When looking from one eye to the other then going up to the forehead, it means that you are looking at somebody with superiority. When going down to the nose, you are talking to someone within the level of your status. And when looking from one eye to the other and down to the lips, it indicates a sign of attraction or romance.
Different emotions and mood can be expressed through gazing, glancing, winking, squinting, closing, and staring. Gazing indicates interest or concentration. Glancing indicates desire. For example, one glances at food. It means that has a desire to eat. Winking indicates an agreement, and it could also be a means of flirtation. A person would squint his eyes if he is uncertain or trying to evaluate or verify truthfulness. Closing the eyes means that the person wants a moment to be away from the world, or simply trying to remember. And lastly, staring indicates a state of shock, surprise or disbelief.
You can use your eyes to show affection to another person. Winking is one way to flirt. The process of looking at someone, quickly looking away, and then staring back is an obvious indication of attraction. A lingering, warm gaze is also an indicator of romance or desire.
If you know how to read and understand the eye body language, you will know what the person you are conversing with would want to tell you. And, if you know how to properly use it, you can take control of any situation or know when is the proper timing to use different eye movements or expressions.
The eyes can also perform vertical and lateral scans or movements. Vertical scan is wherein the person may be checking out the whole appearance of another, from head to toe. This is typical in meeting other people to gain the first impression. The latter, lateral or horizontal scan, may mean looking from one eye to the other or checking out the surroundings.
Looking form one eye to another may mean discomfort and can be straining; thus if you want to make an impression that you are holding eye contact, you may opt looking at the bridge of the nose of the other person. When doing this type of lateral scan then to the forehead, it indicates that you are talking to someone with superiority. When looking from one eye to another then to the nose, you are talking to someone in the same level of status.
You’re eyes can also express different feelings or state of mind. The act of winking is a signal of agreement or flirtation. Glancing means a moment of desire for the specific object. When one squints at what you are saying, it means that he is analyzing if you are telling the truth. When one wants to get away from the world even for a moment and think deeply, he would tend to close his eyes. And if the eyes would widen, it is a signal of shock, surprise, or disbelief.
Arms crossed across the chest is one of the most powerful and basic gestures used by anyone. One can form a barrier between himself and another person by crossing his arms, or it may simply mean that he feels cold. It can also indicate as a protection or defense in nervous or anxious situations.
When you are talking to someone and he would cross his arms, it means that he opposes, suspects, or doubts what you are saying. But if he is talking with his arms crossed, it means that he may be nervous, lying, or hiding something from you.
The pockets are never the right place to put your hands into. A person with his hands in the pocket may indicate that he is nervous, uncomfortable, bored, or uninterested. This gesture indicates also that he may be hiding something from you or he doesn’t want to engage in a specific activity or task.
An open palm means sincerity or honesty. A clenched fist is a very clear indication of frustration, anger, resistance, and defense. But there are times wherein it indicates confidence in one’s idea or opinion. Nervousness or anxiousness is seen in someone who is tapping or twitching his fingers. Rubbing of hands, meanwhile, may indicate extreme excitement or cold feeling.
There are many gestures that our complex body could make, and each one have different interpretations. However, there are times when a gesture does not necessarily reflect or show what you intend to say or feel inside.
Handshakes have many meanings and is used in different situations. It is used when greeting others, meeting new people, or closing a deal or agreement. You can use handshakes to make good impressions. You can show that you are confident by giving firm handshakes, with your hand pointing downwards and your arm extended. On the other hand, a weak handshake with the hand pointing upwards would indicate that you are shy, uncomfortable or nervous.
Crossing the arms would mean differently depending on who is talking. If you are the one talking and the other person crosses his arms, it means he does not believe you or was insulted by something you said and uses it as a barrier of defense. Meanwhile, if he is talking with his arms crossed, it may mean that he is hiding something from you or simply feels cold.
Other Gestures And Movements in Body Language
Nervousness, anxiety, and lack of confidence can be shown when you put your hands in your pocket, slouch, fidget, drum your fingers on the table, rock or shuffle your feet, and the like. Thus if you want to give a good impression, try to avoid these gestures; although most of the times they are subconscious actions.
Understanding and knowing how to read body language of other people can give you the ability of interpreting another person’s thoughts, and you will be able know how to react appropriately.
Be Happy – Offer Better Gestures for Better Results.