Category Archives: body

The Standby

The person leans forward while seated. One leg is pulled back and one hand rests on the thigh.body language The Standby

Preparedness The person has a positive attitude and wants to move on.
“Where can I sign?”

Explanation
The position indicates that we are ready to go. Sales men should pay attention to this sign before they ask for a decision. If this gesture is accompanied by stroking the chin (decision-making), we are ready for the next step.

Categories body

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Adjuster

The person straightens the tie.body language The Adjuster

Discomfort The person feels insecure or prepares for an important meeting.
“I’m nervous.”

or Desire The person dresses up for the other(s).
“Look, I am beautiful.”

Explanation
The context is important for the meaning. If the person is stressed, the gesture covers the sensitive jugular notch and the neck. Then, it is a defensive pose. In the case of flirtation or an interview, we would like to look the best.

Categories body

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Turtle

The person crouches with the shoulders pulled up.body language The Turtle

Insecurity and Fear The person has little self-confidence and does not want to attract attention.
“Please let me disappear now.”

Explanation
We make ourselves small, avoid eye contact and limit our movements to a minimum, if we want to appear invisible. The head is protected by this shrunk posture. This gesture appears mostly with people who have low self-esteem. For example, shoplifters or ill-prepared speakers exhibit this body language.

Categories body, uneasy, submissive,

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Barrier

The person holds an object between himself/herself and the other.body language The Barrier

Defense and Protection The person feels insecure.
“I would prefer a little more distance between us.”

or Shyness The person feels uncomfortable.
“Take it easy, I need time to assess the situation.”

Explanation
The object acts as a barrier. It may be a briefcase, a chair, a laptop or a coffee cup. Sometimes a situation arises such that an object is in the way, but nobody put it there on purpose. Remove the obstacle in the way to create a more personal setting.

Categories body, uneasy,

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Watch Watcher

The person looks at his/her watch or a clock in the room.body language The Watch Watcher

Impatience or Boredom The person wants to end the conversation.
“I have better to do. Let me go.”

Explanation
The person shows that he/she has no time. The person is unable or unwilling to perceive more information. Take the initiative: Change the subject or end the conversation.

Categories body

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Cowboy

The body leans back and the crotch is clearly visible.body language The Cowboy

Self-confidence The person feels very safe in what he/she is doing.
“Come – if you dare!”

Explanation
The presentation of the crotch is an act of dominance and challenges the other. At the same time, it is a sexual signal that is deemed inappropriate in most cultures.

Categories body, easy, dominant, territorial

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Forward Lean

The person leans forward while the arms are open.body language The Forward Lean

Agreement and Sympathy The person has a positive attitude towards the other. He/She likes what the other says.
“I like to listen to you.”

Explanation
We lean towards people and things we like. If the other mirrors this behavior, it shows harmony. The opposite occurs when we dislike someone or have little interest in something.

Categories body, easy, open

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Hip Stem

The hands touch the hip, while all fingers are visible in the front.body language The Hip Stem

Dominance and Aggression The person has no fear and claims authority.
“This is my turf!”

Explanation
This posture makes the person appear wider. It comes across as aggressive and should only be used rarely. Yet, the gesture emphasizes authority. If the fingers and thumbs point downwards, the meaning is weakened.

Categories body, dominant, territorial

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Interlock

The person crosses his/her arms and blocks the chest and stomach.body language The Interlock

Distance and Defense The person has a distant attitude towards a person or situation.
“You can’t expect me to believe that.”

Restraint The person listens to the matter, but is not yet ready to act.
“We’ll see how things develop.”

Explanation
We protect our bodies from danger by building a shield. This self-hug soothes and prevents us from acting rash. If hands or fists are clenched, they reinforce the defensive meaning.
Caution: Crossed arms are not always a defensive reaction. Depending on the situation, they can be relaxing or caused by cold. If the hands are eased, it is only a ‘soft barrier’. If the hands are tense, it shows the greater displeasure.

Categories body, uneasy,

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Mirror

People take similar poses and mirror movements.body language The Mirror

Harmony People have the same opinion and want to reach an agreement.
“We are on the same page.”

Explanation
When mirroring, there is a dominant person who leads and a person that follows. Both synchronize their movements. Subconsciously, trust is created among the two, because the other is ‘as I am’. The opposite is the case if the body language differs greatly.

Categories body, easy, open

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Recliner

The body is open and leans back relaxed.body language The Recliner

Self-confidence The person is relaxed and feels good.
“Everything is fine.”

Explanation
An open posture makes us vulnerable. We open ourselves, if we have nothing to fear and feel confident.

Categories body, easy, open

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Shrug

Both shoulders are raised up evenly.body language The Shrug

Unawareness or Ignorance The person does not understand or does not bother.
“I know nothing about that.”

Explanation
There are two versions of the shrug: Both shoulders raise uniformly towards the ears; or the shrug is uneven. The first version suggests sincerity, the second may involve deception.

Categories body

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

The Sprinter

The person leans forward while sitting. One leg is pulled back and the hands rest on the chair or the knees.body language The Sprinter

Preparedness The person has a negative attitude and is ready to end the conversation.
“Let’s move on!”

Explanation
Also other signs, like packing up, grabbing for the jacket or collecting the handbag, suggest that the person wants to go somewhere else. If you recognize this gesture, take the initiative to end the conversation. This way, you stay in charge.

Categories body

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.

Spaces

Each situation requires a different distance to the other person.body language Spaces

Distance 0-15cm (~5″) -> very close intimate space
15cm – 45cm (5-15″) -> intimate space
45cm-1.20m (15″-4ft) -> personal space
1,20m – 3.60m (4ft-12ft) -> social space
>3.6m (>12ft) -> public space

Explanation
When looking at space between people, the rotation of the bodies towards each other plays a big role. We have no problem to stand next to someone that is 30cm (~10″) away. However, if the person faces us completely at this distance, we start feeling uneasy.
The ‘intimate space’ is reserved for people who are close to us, such as your partner or family. We allow people we like and know well, such as family or very good friends, into this space. In the ‘personal space’ we interact with friends or colleagues, e.g. at a party. In the ‘social space’ we communicate with people, we have a neutral attitude towards, for example sales man. In the ‘public space’, most people feel safest. E.g., this distance is common in lectures or presentations.

Categories body, territorial

This is one out of 63 gestures from the body language trainer.