Learn to Speak Body Language

Find out what 10 common poses people often strike indicate about what they are thinking. Plus, learn five ways to control your own body language.

Body language — the physical expression of thoughts and feelings — can sometimes convey messages more eloquently than the spoken word. Here are a few common movements that can help you easily decipher what others may be thinking, as well as master your own telltale body language.

Body language:
Crossed legs or arms
What it may mean:
May indicate discomfort or defensiveness

Body language:
Picking dust or lint from clothes
What it may mean:
May indicate a lack of interest or an objection to what is being said

Body language:
Frequent fingering of a collar or touching the neck
What it may mean:
May show lying, shyness, or nervousness

Body language:
What it may mean:
May indicate shyness or embarrassment

Body language:
Hands behind the head, leaning far back in a chair
What it may mean:
May signal arrogance; an “I’m in charge” attitude

Body language:
Hands on hips, legs astride
What it may mean:
A “don’t-mess-with me” pose

Body language:
Darting eyes
What it may mean:
May indicate shyness or lying

Body language:
Fidgeting with a button or twisting a ring around a finger
What it may mean:
May indicate discomfort or shyness

Body language:
Open arms
What it may mean:
May indicate a receptive attitude

Body language:
Mirroring the behavior of someone else
What it may mean:
A sign of interest or physical attraction

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