What we say and what we do are entirely different things. Our body language holds more truth than our verbal presentation, and one can easily read the hidden signs with a close study.
Have it in mind that every person has their unique baseline behavior, so it’s not wise to assume everybody falls within a circle.
How can you tell if a person is lying, tired or worried when they try to make you believe otherwise? These are nine body languages that can help you read a person easily;
Table of Contents
- 1. Handshake
- 2. Smile
- 3. The hands
- 4. The emblematic gesture
- 5. The Palms
- 6. The position of their hands
- 7. Estimating stress level
- 8. The legs
- 9. Postures
You can get the first impression about a person by how they shake your hands. Profilers discuss three types of handshakes;
- Neutral: When the hands of both parties are in the same position.
- Humble: When the person’s palm faces up.
- Dominating: This when the person’s hand is facing down.
Carefully study how a person presents their hand to shake you. If the person displays a dominant style of a handshake, then it is very likely that the person may find it hard to put someone else’s opinion into account and would prefer you respect their own opinion instead.
A neutral or humble handshake, however, is more desirable in knowing people you can convince about something, especially if you are into networking or marketing.
Politicians commonly exhibit the dominant form of handshake as they want to express their domineering position. They could pat your back after they shake your hand, for special effect.
This can cause a person to lose their confidence and accept that the domineering handshake is superior. Please, have it in mind that this gesture isn’t to manipulate anyone.
You must have seen a zillion smiles from different people and not really paid attention to know which is real or fake. Recognizing a genuine smile from a fake one is easy, and these are the two types;
Fake smile: The muscles responsible for laughter are used, causing the corners of the lips to move away from each other but never really affecting the upper part of the face.
Real smile: The facial muscles (risorius) responsible for pulling the angle of the mouth outward are used. The upper part of the face and the skin under the brows go down a wee bit. You can be comfortable around a person who you notice smiles sincerely towards you.
3. The hands
It’s been said that closed hands indicate bad mood or anxiety.
- Hands held together
- Clenched fists
When a person has their hands clasped together, this means it is difficult to reach a mutual understanding with them. Also, the tension may be as a result of insincerity that needs the backing of specific emotional efforts.
Understand that the lower the person has their hands held together, the more serious it is. You could try helping the person relax as this is a sign that they are uncomfortable.
4. The emblematic gesture
We all have gotten used to popular gestures and have also come to understand their meanings. These are referred to as emblematic gestures. Pay close attention to how people use them to communicate;
- The gestures should be in line with what the person is talking about.
- Emblematic errors can easily make lies detectable, especially if the gestures don’t tally with their facial expressions.
This time, what you should be looking at is their body. If you notice a person giving the “thumbs up” sign with pursed lips, then you need to be careful with the person. It is possible the individual isn’t honest with you.
Also, a person might be saying “yes” and have their shoulders shrugged. This is another sign to be wary of dishonest people.
5. The Palms
Palm placed on the forearm is a sign that a person is doing their best to hold in negative emotions. This is a subconscious gesture to stabilize and calm their mood.
The thumb: If you notice a person has their thumb pointing up when they have their hands around their arms, then know that this person is full of confidence and rarely losses self-control.
Palms together with the hands down is a clear indication that the person is stressed or anxious. The calm effect we feel as children when we hold our mother or father’s hands turns into an unconscious act when we get older.
We, in turn, try to calm ourselves by holding our own hands if there is no one to hold.If this is the case, try calming the person down by making them feel comfortable.
Offer them a sit and start a conversation with a subject that they are familiar with and smile at them, so they understand you are friendly. Hands on the knees can signify disinterest in a conversation. Behavioral experts refer to this behavior as “seated readiness.”
People get uneasy when they are engaged in a conversation they aren’t uncomfortable with the subject and would exercise disinterest almost immediately.
You could make the person feel more relaxed by changing the subject and talking about something else.
6. The position of their hands
We show some degree of vulnerability when we hide our hands behind our back. People do this consciously or unconsciously to show confidence or superiority. It is possible they have nothing to hide, and they are only expressing their honesty.
7. Estimating stress level
Simple body movements like adjusting the hair, or touching your tie even when there is nothing wrong with it indicates an anxious and worried person.
It means the person is nervous at that very moment and is subconsciously trying to distract themselves.
- Women often touch their neck, hair, clothes like scarfs and adjust their skirts if any.
- Men would tug on their tie or faces.
By doing this, it helps them calm down and stabilize their heart rate. Playing with a pencil (rolling or tapping with it, tapping a foot, and whistling, are clear indications of a nervous person indulge the person in a positive conversation and watch how fast they relax.
8. The legs
The first thing people look at in a person, especially men, is their legs because they are the most honest parts of a person. You can tell a lot from a person’s legs with the shoe they wear.
Foot-tapping and leg-shaking is usually a sign that a person isn’t comfortable.
There are, however, some exceptions. Take for instance;
- You could tap and shake your legs out of excitement of good news, or something exciting is about to happen.
- When a person suddenly stops shaking their legs, it could mean the person’s mood has changed, or the person is tired of shaking their legs.
It’s usually a mix of different possibilities. Study this sort of changing especially informal gatherings. This would give you subtle information about where your conversations should be directed.
Also, when you notice a person who has their legs crossed suddenly starts touching their knees, then it’s time to adopt another strategy because this is a clear sign the person is losing interest in what you are doing or saying.
Legs crossed: It is often difficult to stand with our legs crossed. This means anyone who tries to consider this position is extremely comfortable and isn’t thinking about any danger.
Legs open: This signifies alertness, and the person is trying to maintain some level of confidence. Nonetheless, the wider the legs from each other, the more troubled they are.
When the heel is in the ground with the tip up, it means the person is happy and in a good mood. They are probably concealing good news, but their legs tell it all.
When the heel is off the ground with the tip down; this is a clear indication is anxious about something. They are either anticipating something or want to do something that is totally different from their current state. They might also be looking for the courage to do or say something when they are in this position.
Do you know any other tricks that help you know if a person is honest with you or not? Would you like to share in the comments? Please do!