Body Language Basics

People understand the concept of body language but don’t really have a one-stop source for reference. In this article, I will attempt to share body language basics. This article will not be an exhaustive or detailed description of body language basics, but it will be a good reference to turn to when you are trying to figure things out. If you notice a person consistently acting a certain way when you talk to them, but you cannot figure out why, this basic description of body language basics may help.

Keep in mind, that when evaluating body language, it is always better to look for a combination of expressions. If you base your evaluation of body language on just one expression you see, you may be entirely wrong in your conclusion. Someone that looks up to the left with their eyes during conversation may not be necessarily lying. The person could be thinking of a creative way to answer a question. Some body language basics:

When someone is stroking their chin, this could mean they are making a decision on something. Some people actually stroke their cheek or hair when making a decision. Clasping or putting the hands together upwards as if to pray, has also been used when making a decision. When a person tilts their head, this normally means they are interested in more information. Dogs and robots do this to express they are waiting for more information. My wife and son constantly bite their nails. While this normally means a person is nervous or insecure about something, it could also mean they have a bad habit.
When you notice someone pinching their nose (without hands) and/or closing their eyes, this normally means they are reacting negatively to something.

I knew a man who would close his eyes when people would talk to him, but he didn’t pinch his nose. If you knew him well enough, you would know that he was just trying to tune into a spiritual vibe for direction in the conversation. I hear that when someone touches or slightly rubs their nose, they may be lying or expressing doubt about something. I don’t know how true that is. Maybe they just have an itch.

One body language basic I believe gets a bad reputation is when someone has their hands clasped behind their back. The idea here is that they are apprehensive or frustrated about something. But in reality, I think if someone is apprehensive or frustrated, they would be in a position of readiness to do something. Instead, I believe when someone has their hands behind their back, it would most likely mean they are relaxed. When people leave the military, they have this habit when feeling at ease. Another body language basic that I believe is misunderstood, is when someone is standing with their hands on their hips. This position is said to mean one is in a state of aggression. But, once again, I believe this could be simply a position of rest or confidence.

Lastly, two more body language basics exist. If you notice someone sitting down with their legs wide open, that means they are comfortable with you. If their palms are exposed to you, that means they mean you no harm and want to connect with you. What are your basic body language expressions telling others?