There are some very subtle things we convey with our body language. Most of the time we do these things without saying a word or even know that we’re doing it. In fact, one recent study found that simply nodding, tilting, or bowing your head can tip strangers off to your emotional state. Think about the last time you were riding inside an elevator. If you were doing so alone, you might have crossed your legs and leaned up against the wall. But, once a stranger walks in you probably uncrossed your legs and stood straight up. Changing your stance like that is actually a protective measure that was passed down the genetic chain by your ancestors, according to Joe Navarro, a retired FBI agent and author of the international best-seller “What Every Body Is Saying.” Women have also been known to put off their own body language signs which may indicate they like someone, such as a man they could be interested in dating. So, what other things can a person’s body language reveal? Continue reading to discover what five things your body language is telling other people.
Reaching for a Handshake – Handshakes are extremely common in the business world. Actually, they’re really common just in general. But, the handshake you give can also say a lot about you as a person. If you reach first for the handshake, you’re showing that you feel welcomed by the other person and are happy to meet them. Weak handshakes show a lack of determination and commitment and using both hands to cup a handshake shows sincerity and desire for closeness. Strong handshakes will show that you’re outgoing and confident, which is why job recruiters are always looking for strong handshakes in a job interview.
Always Smiling – Smiles are contagious and when you begin smiling it can trigger another person to smile as well. The more you smile, the more attractive people will find you. Believe it or not, smiles can draw people in and make them want to be near you. Evidence shows conclusively that smiles and laughter build the immune system, defend the body against illness and disease, medicate the body, sell ideas, teach better, attract more friends, and extend life, says Barbara and Allen Pease in their book The Definitive Book of Body Language.
Crossed Arms – Several people think that crossed arms is a sign of distance, insecurity, anxiousness, defensive, or stubborn. Although this can be true at times, there are some other ways people see crossed arms as well. According to Janine Driver, crossing your arms can mean that you’re determined. A study found that adults who were asked difficult math problems were 30% more likely to try and solve the problem while their arms were crossed. The act of crossing your arms utilizes both your left and right brain, creating higher cognitive function, says Janine Driver. Crossing your arms can also be a self-soothing measure, more of a way to comfort yourself instead of actually blocking others off.
Touching Your Face or Hair – Running your hands through your hair, especially taking the hair away from your face, is often a sign of flirting and openness, one The Hub video says. Playing with hair is not always a good sign, though. Holding hair indicates awkwardness and nervousness. Be careful, though. Touching your face during a conversation (specifically the nose) can be a sign of deception. With that in mind, it’s usually best to keep your hands away from your face and hair when talking because it can be a tell-tale sign that you’re lying.
Eye Contact – All of us know that it’s polite to make eye contact during a conversation, but there is a limit. When you give more than 80 percent, the person you are communicating with will feel uncomfortable, explains author Janine Driver. Give them eye contact, then slightly glance away. Giving 40% or less eye contact during conversations can show that you’re feeling defeated, while at the same time if you’re giving too much it can come off as aggressive. The magic number falls at around 60% eye contact. How your eyes meet with other eyes normally is an indication of confidence, interest, and honesty, according to a video by The Hub. Good, strong eye contact is one thing, a hard stare is another. Locking eyes with someone can prove that you’re trustworthy and make you seem less threatening.