Have you ever spent time in conversation with someone, thinking they’re interested and listening intently? They may not be, despite the fact they are looking right at you. Body language can tell us so much more than words.
The next time you’re in a conversation with someone, pay close attention to their body. They could be telling you something you really need to know.
Feet Pointed Sideways
If you’re engaged in conversation with someone who has their feet pointed to the right or left, sorry to say they want OUT. They may be looking at you, smiling and nodding, but the truth is they need to leave and are too polite to tell you. If you see this, wind the conversation down. If they tell you they have to go shortly thereafter, you’ll know their body language was right on target.
Mirroring Your Actions
Have you ever sat down with someone to have a conversation and you feel safe and at ease? It could be because the person across from you is mirroring your gestures. If you cross you legs, they may cross theirs a few moments later. If you sit back, they may sit back. See if this happens with any professionals you talk to. It’s a trick of the trade that many psychologists and business people use to help you feel comfortable.
Touching Their Nose
Unless their nose grows like Pinocchio’s, when the person you’re chatting with touches or rubs their nose, they may be fibbing. Nose touching also indicates rejection or disbelief. Depending on the conversation you’re having, you’ll know exactly what they mean when they start touching their nose.
Locking Their Ankles
If the individual across from you locks his or her ankles during conversation, they may be a little nervous. Job applicants are apt to do this before and during an interview. They may be biting their nails, too. While that’s a more common sign of nervousness, locking the ankles is not. Now you know.
Hands Behind Their Head
Ever sit with someone who casually sits back, locking their hands behind their head? If you’ve experienced this, you’re experiencing someone who may be attempting to intimidate you. Those in higher up positions may do this before they drop a bomb on you. They may not even realize they’re doing it, too. Fascinating, right?
Slightly Open Arms
Some people are born huggers. They don’t even know you, yet when you meet them for the first time, they want to pull you in and squish you with love. You’ll know they want to squeeze you if their arms are slightly open and downward. Sometimes they ask for the hug, sometimes they don’t. If you’re a non-hugger, now you know what to look for so you can make a quick exit before they go in for the squish.
Some people are firm hand shakers, others, not so much. If someone offers you a quick, awkward handshake, that person may have already decided she doesn’t like you. Either that or they have no desire to get to know you further. While we want others to like us, it just isn’t always the case. Don’t take it personally. Smile, shake their hand back, and move on.
Postures, facial expressions, and eye movement can tell you a bit about the person you’re talking to. Watch for these body language cues and be one step (or one handshake) ahead of the rest.