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Reading and Understanding Body Language

Updated on November 26, 2016
How To Read People Body Language Signs
How To Read People Body Language Signs

What You Need to Know About Body Language

Do you care to know what someone's body language gesture actually means? Do you want to learn how to read people through their body signs? Reading and understanding body language is a special skill which we all need to put little effort to learn. Doing this, one can easily interpret what people might be thinking of, and at the same time making it easier to send non verbal communication to one another. Note that communication skills are essential in every sphere of human interaction, and it can take on different forms including body gestures, facial expressions, signs, speech and written form.

Through body language, you can quickly know when someone is lying, nervous, flirting, and interested. These sign examples and interpretation listed below are very essential especially for some of us working with security agencies. This non verbal communication should not be underestimated especially for job interview and when trying to detect crime.

How To Read People's Body Language Signs and Gestures

Below, find top ten tips which are good for reading people's body language for business, dating, job interview, and something else you might think of. It serves as an important guide for understanding and identifying the right business partner and to tell if you have found your soulmate.

  • Sizing up a person by looking at them from head to toe: This signal can be interpreted in different ways and one of such ways is assessing them as a potential threat. And the other meaning could be as a sexual partner.
  • A genuine smile will engage the whole face and which will include the eyes. And it is usually larger on the right side. While a false smile engages the lips and usually larger on the left side.
  • Nose: Of course nose can send different types of signals and good for reading body language in men and women. Someone may touch or slightly rub their nose or pinch the bridge of their nose and close their eyes. It means that they're doubtful about what is being said or they're making a negative evaluation of what is said.
  • People place their hand on their cheek or keep rubbing their chin when they're thinking of or evaluating a decision.
  • Eyes: The eyes can send different signals and the interpretation of some of these signs could be (a) lowering the eyes is of course a sign of submission, fear or guilt. (b) looking directly into another person's eyes without staring means self-assurance. (c) when someone blink rate increases, it indicates that the person is nervous or assessing something.

A lowered head indicates a negative signal.

  • An occasional nodding from a listener to a speaker is a positive indication that they're listening and interested while too much nodding means they have lost interest and not really listening to the message the speaker is trying to convey.
  • When someone is projecting their chin towards another person, it means defiance or aggression.
  • Head: In body language sign's interpretation, head should not be over looked or neglected because the head can send several different signals. So one need to be very careful so as not to make the wrong evaluation. The two main expressions with head are that, they are either tilted or lowered. When tilted, the person is interested in someone or something. While a lowered head indicates a negative signal that communicates acceptance of defeat.
  • Fingers: Fingers are well known for creating a nervous gestures. If someone brushes their hair back with their fingers, it can mean that the person is frustrated or that they're preening themselves because they feel attractive.
  • Continual glancing at something or someone indicates a desire for that thing or person. Also, staring is interpreted as aggression and implies a person feels dominant and powerful.

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Use the list above as a guide for easy prediction and interpretation of what someone might be thinking of through their actions. Know when someone is flirting, lying, or accepting you through signs they're sending out. Please let me know if you thought of any other female and male body language tips by leaving a comment below. Remember to bookmark this hub on how to read people and share the keys to reading and understanding body language signals.

© 2011 Oyewole Folarin

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    • profile image

      Donna Cook 

      4 years ago

      Terrific hub! As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words."

    • incomeguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Oyewole Folarin 

      4 years ago from Lagos

      @Faith Reaper, thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your thoughts. I'm happy you enjoyed my list.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Great insight here as to reading body language. I am pretty good at reading body language it seems, pretty much my entire life. It must come natural to me, but you have presented a good list there to keep in mind.

      Voted up ++ and away

      Blessings and Peace

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Fascinating stuff here. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      Rose 

      7 years ago

      Very helpful thanks

    • incomeguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Oyewole Folarin 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      @drbj, you're actually correct. It's a special that one should not undermined. Reading faces and bodies effectively is pretty good.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Reading body language correctly is a fascinating skill, IG. Thanks for this interesting hub. As an example, crossed arms in front of the person could indicate, negativity ... or hostility ... or the person is cold ... or has just realized she is braless!

    • incomeguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Oyewole Folarin 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      @b. Malin, thanks for your comment, it's helpful.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Very Interesting Hub on the Subject of Body Language...Arms Folded in Front, not a TRUSTING sign...and I hear Rubbing ones Nose after making a Comment, means they are NOT telling the Truth. Good Hub my Friend.

    • incomeguru profile imageAUTHOR

      Oyewole Folarin 

      7 years ago from Lagos

      @Emerald Strachan, thanks for appreciating the content.

    • profile image

      Emerald Strachan 

      7 years ago

      This is very interesting and accurate. I have developed those skills somewhat and just assessed myself while reading. I realized that I too do some of them at times. Very good.

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