Crossedleg Gestures

Like arm barrier gestures, crossed legs are a signal that a negative or defensive attitude may exist. The purpose of crossing the arms on the chest was originally to defend the heart and upper body region and crossing the legs is an attempt to shield the genital area. Crossed arms also indicate a more negative attitude than do crossed legs, and the arms gesture is more obvious. Care should be taken when interpreting crossed leg gestures with women as many have been taught that this is how to...

Territories and Zones

Thousands of books and articles have been written about the staking out and guarding of territories by animals, birds, fish and primates, but only in recent years has it been discovered that man also has territories. When this is learned and the implications understood, not only can enormous insights into one's own behaviour and that of others be gained but the face-to-face reactions of others can be predicted. American anthropologist Edward T. Hall was one of the pioneers in the study of man's...

How To Tell Lies Successfully

The difficulty with lying is that the subconscious mind acts automatically and independently of our verbal lie, so our body language gives us away. This is why people who rarely tell lies are easily caught, regardless of how convincing they may sound. The moment they begin to lie, the body sends out contradictory signals, and these give us our feeling that they are not telling the truth. During the lie, the subconscious mind sends out nervous energy that appears as a gesture that can contradict...

Shaking Hands

Shaking hands is a relic of the caveman era. Whenever cavemen met, they would hold their arms in the air with their palms exposed to show that no weapons were being held or concealed. This palms-in-air gesture became modified over the centuries and such gestures as the palm raised in the air, the palm over the heart and numerous other variations developed. The modern form of this ancient greeting ritual is the interlocking and shaking of the palms which, in most English-speaking countries, is...

Territory And Ownership

Property owned by a person or a place regularly used by him constitutes a private territory and, like personal air space, he will fight to protect it. Such things as a person's home, office and motor car represent a territory, each having clearly marked boundaries in the form of walls, gates, fences and doors. Each territory may have several sub-territories. For example, in a home a woman's private territory may be her kitchen and laundry and she objects to anyone invading that space when she...

The Standard Leg Cross Position

Theratetart

One leg is crossed neatly over the other, usually the right over the left. This is the normal crossed-leg position used by European, British, Australian and New Zealand cultures and may be used to show a nervous, reserved or defensive attitude. However, this is usually a supportive gesture that occurs with other negative gestures and should not be interpreted in isolation or out of context. For example, people often sit like this during lectures or if they are on uncomfortable chairs for long...

Personal Space

Most animals have a certain air space around their bodies that they claim as their personal space. How far the space extends is mainly dependent on how crowded were the conditions in which the animal was raised. A lion raised in the remote regions of Africa may have a territorial air space with a radius of fifty kilometres or more, depending on the density of the lion population in that area, and it marks its territorial boundaries by urinating or defecating around them. On the other hand, a...

Pointers

Have you ever had the feeling that someone to whom you are talking would rather be elsewhere than with you, even though he or she seems to be enjoying your company A still photograph of that scene would probably reveal the following 1 The person's head is turned towards you and facial signals such as smiling and nodding are evident. 2 The person's body and feet are pointing away from you, either towards another person or towards an exit. The direction in which a person points his or her torso...

Summary

If you want a person to have rapport with you, use the triangular position and, when you need to exert non-verbal pressure, use the direct body point. The right angle position allows the other person to think and act independently, without non-verbal pressure from you. Few people have ever considered the effect of body pointing in influencing the attitudes and the responses of others. These techniques take much practice to master but they can become 'natural' movements before long. If you deal...

Palm Power

Dominant Female Body Language

One of the least noticed but most powerful non-verbal signals is given by the human palm. When used correctly, palm power invests its user with a degree of authority and the power of silent command over others. There are three main palm command gestures the palm-up position, the palm-down position and the palm-closed-finger-pointed position. The differences of the three positions are shown in this example let's say that you ask someone to pick up a box and carry it to another location in the...

Gestures in Context

In addition to looking for gesture clusters and congruence of speech and body movement, all gestures should be considered in the context in which they occur. If, for example, someone was sitting at a bus terminal with arms and legs tightly crossed and chin down and it was a chilly winter's day, it would most likely mean that he or she was cold, not defensive. If, however, the person used the same gestures while you were sitting across a table from him trying to sell him an idea, product or...

Round Table Informal

King Arthur used the Round Table as an attempt to give each of his knights an equal amount of authority and status. A round table creates an atmosphere of relaxed informality and is ideal for promoting discussion among people who are of equal status as each person can claim the same amount of table territory. Removing the table and sitting in a circle also promotes the same result. Unfortunately, King Arthur was unaware that if the status of one person is higher than the others in the group it...

Gestures With Glasses

Almost every artificial aid used by man gives its user an opportunity to perform many revealing gestures and this is certainly the case with those who wear glasses. One of the most common gestures is placing one arm of the frame in the mouth Figure 127 . Desmond Morris says that the act of putting objects against the lips or in the mouth is a momentary attempt by the person to relive the security he experienced as a baby at his mother's breast, which means that glasses-in-mouth is essentially a...

The ThumbUp Gesture

In Britain, Australia and New Zealand the thumb-up gesture has three meanings it is commonly used by hitch-hikers who are thumbing a lift, it is an OK signal, and when the thumb is jerked sharply upwards it becomes an insult signal, meaning 'up yours' or 'sit on this'. In some countries, such as Greece, its main meaning is 'get stuffed', so you can imagine the dilemma of the Australian hitch-hiker using this gesture in that country When Italians count from one to five, they use this gesture to...

Getting A Decision Over Dinner

Bearing in mind what has already been said about human territories and the use of square, rectangular and round tables, let us now look at the dynamics of taking a person to dinner where the objective is to obtain a favourable response to a proposition. Let us examine the factors that can build a positive atmosphere, discuss their origin and potential and examine the background of man's feeding behaviour. Anthropologists tell us that man's origin was that of a tree-dweller who was strictly...

Hand Gestures Rubbing the palms together

Theratetart

Recently a personal friend of ours visited my wife and me at our home to discuss the details of a forthcoming skiing holiday. In the course of the conversation our friend suddenly sat back in her chair, smiled broadly, rubbed her palms together and exclaimed, 'I can hardly wait to go ' Non-verbally she had told us that she expected the Rubbing the palms together is a way in which people non-verbally communicate positive expectation. The dice thrower rubs the dice between his palms as a sign of...

Chair Size and Accessories

The height of the back of the chair raises or lowers a person's status and the high-backed chair is a well-known example. The higher the back of the chair, the greater the power and status of the person sitting in it. Kings, queens, popes and other high-status people may have the back of their throne or official chair as high as 250 centimetres over 8 feet to show their status relative to their subjects the senior executive has a high-backed leather chair and his visitor's chair has a low back....

Faking Body Language

A commonly asked question is, 'Is it possible to fake your own body language ' The general answer to this question is 'no' because of the lack of congruence that is likely to occur in the use of the main gestures, the body's microsignals and the spoken words. For example, open palms are associated with honesty but when the faker holds his palms out and smiles at you as he tells a lie, his microgestures give him away. His pupils may contract, one eyebrow may lift or the comer of his mouth may...

Basic Head Positions

There are three basic head positions. The first is with the head up Figure 93 and is the position taken by the person who has a neutral attitude about what he is hearing. The head usually remains still and may occasionally give small nods. Hand-to-cheek evaluation gestures are often used with this position. When the head tilts to one side it shows that interest has developed Figure 94 . Charles Darwin was one of the first to note that humans, as well as animals, tilt their heads to one side...

Framework for Understanding

As we approach the end of the twentieth century, we are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of social scientist-the non-verbalist. Just as the birdwatcher delights in watching birds and their behaviour, so the non-verbalist delights in watching the non-verbal cues and signals of human beings. He watches them at social functions, at beaches, on television, at the office or anywhere that people interact. He is a student of behaviour who wants to learn about the actions of his fellow humans so...

Head Gestures

This book would not be complete without a discussion of the basic head movements, the two most widely used being the head nod and the head shake. The head nod is a positive gesture used in most cultures to signify, 'Yes', or affirmation. Research conducted with people who have been deaf, dumb and blind from birth shows that they also use this gesture to signify the affirmative, which has given rise to the theory that this may be an inborn gesture. The headshake, usually meaning 'No', is also...

Motor Vehicles

Palm Gestures

Psychologists have noted that people driving a motor car react in a manner that is often completely unlike their normal social behaviour as regards their territories. It seems that a motor vehicle sometimes has a magnifying effect on the size of a person's personal space. In some cases, their territory is magnified by up to ten times the normal size, so the driver feels that he has a claim to an area of 9 to 10 metres in front of and behind his motor car. When another driver cuts in front of...

Reinforced Arm Cross

If as well as the full arm-cross gesture the person has clenched fists, it indicates a hostile and defensive attitude. This cluster is often combined with clenched teeth and red face, in which case a verbal or physical attack may be imminent. A submissive palms-up approach is needed to discover what caused the hostile gestures if the reason is not already apparent. The person using this gesture cluster has an attacking attitude, as opposed to the person in Figure 70, who has taken a defending...

Disguised Armcross Gestures

Disguised arm-cross gestures are highly sophisticated gestures used by people who are continually exposed to others. This group includes politicians, sales people, television personalities and the like who do not want their audience to detect that they are unsure of themselves or nervous. Like all arm-cross gestures, one arm swings across in front of the body to grasp the other arm but instead of the arms folding, one hand touches a handbag, bracelet, watch, shirt cuff or other object on or...

Other Factors Affecting Interpretation

A man who has a 'dead fish' hand shake is likely to be accused of having a weak character and the chapter on hand shake techniques will explore the reason for this popular theory. But if a man has arthritis in his hands, it is likely that he will use a 'dead fish' hand shake to avoid the pain of a strong one. Similarly, artists, musicians, surgeons and those in vocations whose work is delicate and involves use of their hands generally prefer not to shake hands, but, if they are forced to do so,...

Variations of Decision Making Gestures

Someone who wears glasses often follows evaluation clusters by removing them and putting one arm of the frame in his mouth instead of using the chin-stroking gesture when making a decision. A pipe-smoker will put his pipe in his mouth. When a person places an object such as a pen or a finger in his mouth after having been asked for a decision, it is a signal that he is unsure and reassurance is needed because the object in his mouth allows him to stall making an immediate decision. As it is bad...

Clusters Circumstances and Gestures in Daily Encounters

Hand Face Gestures Body Language

Figure 165 A good example of an openness cluster. The palms are fully exposed in the submissive position and the fingers are spread wide to give more impact to the gesture. The head is in the neutral position and the arms and legs are apart. This man is communicating a submissive, non-threatening attitude. Figure 166 This is a classic deceit cluster. As he rubs his eye he looks away towards the floor and both eyebrows are raised to the disbelief position. His head is turned away and down,...

Controlling A Persons Gaze

Gaze Body Language

It is worth discussing at this point how to control a person's gaze when you are giving him a visual presentation using books, charts, graphs and so on. Research shows that of the information relayed to a person's brain, 87 per cent comes via the eyes, 9 per cent via the ears, and 4 per cent via the other senses. If, for example, the person is looking at your visual aid as you are speaking, he will absorb as little as 9 per cent of your message if the message is not directly related to what he...

Intentional Use Of Palms To Deceive

The reader may ask, 'Do you mean that if I tell lies with my palms visible, people will believe me ' The answer to this is yes - and no. If you tell an outright lie with your palms exposed, you may still appear insincere to your listeners because many of the other gestures that should also be visible when displaying honesty will be absent and the negative gestures used when lying will be visible and therefore inconsistent with the open palms. As already noted, con men and professional liars are...

Folded Arms Gestures

Hiding behind a barrier is a normal human response that we learn at an early age to protect ourselves. As children, we hid behind solid objects such as tables, chairs, furniture and mother's skirts whenever we found ourselves in a threatening situation. As we grew older, this hiding behaviour became more sophisticated and by the age of about six, when it was unacceptable behaviour to hide behind solid objects, we learned to fold our arms tightly across our chests whenever a threatening...

The Competitive Defensive Position B

Body Language Territory

Sitting across the table from a person can create a defensive, competitive atmosphere and can lead to each party taking a firm stand on his point of view because the table becomes a solid barrier between both parties. This position is taken by people who are either competing with each other or if one is reprimanding the other. It can also establish that a superior subordinate role exists when it is used in A's office. Argyle noted that an experiment conducted in a doctor's office showed that...

Headrubbing And Headslapping Gestures

Theratetart

An exaggerated version of the collar pull gesture is the palm rubbing the back of the neck in what Calero called the 'pain-in-the-neck' gesture. A person who uses this when lying usually avoids your gaze and looks down. This gesture is also used as a signal of frustration or anger and, when this is the case, the hand slaps the back of the neck first and then begins to rub the neck. Let us assume, for example, that you asked a subordinate to complete a certain task for you and that the...

The Ring or OK Gesture

The Sign Japan Means Money

This gesture was popularised in the USA during the early nineteenth century, apparently by the newspapers that, at the time, were starting a craze of using initials to shorten common phrases. There' are many different views about what the initials 'OK' stand for, some believing it stood for 'all correct' which may have been misspelled as 'oll korrect', while others say that it means the opposite of 'knock-out' that is, K.O. Another popular theory is that it is an abbreviation of 'Old...

Who Reaches First

Although it is a generally accepted custom to shake hands when meeting a person for the first time, there are some circumstances in which it may be unwise for you to initiate the handshake. Considering that a hand shake is a sign of welcome, it is important to ask yourself several questions before you initiate one Am I welcome Is this person glad to meet me Sales trainees are taught that, if they initiate the handshake with a buyer on whom they call unannounced and uninvited, it can produce a...

Zone Distances

The radius of the air bubble around suburban middle class white people living in Australia, New Zealand, England, North America and Canada is generally the same. It can be broken down into four distinct zone distances. 1. Intimate Zone between 15 and 45 centimetres or 6 to 18 inches Of all the zone distances, this is by far the most important as it is this zone that a person guards as if it were his own property. Only those who are emotionally close to that person are permitted to enter it....

Male Male Aggression

Theratetart

Figure 105 shows two men sizing each other up, using the characteristic hands-on-hips and thumbs-in-belt gestures. Considering that they are both turned at an angle away from each other and the lower halves of their bodies are relaxed, it would be reasonable to assume that these two males are unconsciously evaluating each other and that an attack is unlikely. Their conversation may be casual or friendly but a completely relaxed atmosphere will not exist until their hands-on-hips gestures cease...

Deceit Doubt Lying

How can you tell when someone is lying Recognition of the non-verbal deceit gestures can be one of the most important observation skills one can acquire. So what deceit signals can give people away One of the most commonly used symbols of deceit is that of the three wise monkeys who hear, speak and see no evil. The hand-to-face actions depicted form the basis of the human deceit gestures Figure 53 . In other words, when we see, speak and hear untruths or deceit, we often attempt to cover our...

Perceptiveness Intuition And Hunches

From a technical point of view, whenever we call someone 'perceptive' or 'intuitive', we are referring to his or her ability to read another person's non-verbal cues and to compare these cues with verbal signals. In other words, when we say that we have a 'hunch' or 'gut feeling' that someone has told us a lie, we really mean that their body language and their spoken words do not agree. This is also what speakers call audience awareness, or relating to a group. For example, if the audience were...

The Collar Pull

The Collar Pull

Desmond Morris noted that research into the gestures of those who tell lies revealed that the telling of a lie caused a tingling sensation in the delicate facial and neck tissues and a rub or scratch was required to satisfy it. This seems to be a reasonable explanation of why some people use the collar pull gesture when they tell a lie and suspect that they have been caught out. It is almost as if the lie causes a slight trickle of sweat to form on the neck when the deceiver feels that you...

Status and Power

Body Language Cover Mouth

Research in the field of linguistics has shown that there is a direct relationship between the amount of status, power or prestige a person commands and that person's range of vocabulary. In other words, the higher up the social or management ladder a person is, the better able he is to communicate in words and phrases. Non-verbal research has revealed a correlation between a person's command of the spoken word and the amount of gesticulation that that person uses to communicate his or her...

Some Basics And Their Origins

Hand Gestures Meaning

Most of the basic communication gestures are the same all over the world. When people are happy they smile when they are sad or angry they frown or scowl. Nodding the head is almost universally used to indicate 'yes' or affirmation. It appears to be a form of head lowering and is probably an inborn gesture, as it is also used by deaf and blind people. Shaking the head from side to side to indicate 'no' or negation is also universal and may well be a gesture that is learned in infancy. When a...

Stalling

Like pipe smoking, the glasses-in-mouth gesture can be used to stall or delay a decision. In negotiating, it has been found that this gesture appears most frequently at the close of the discussion when the person has been asked for a decision. The act of continually taking the glasses off and cleaning the lenses is another method used by glasses wearers to gain time for a decision. When this gesture is seen immediately after a decision has been asked for, silence is the best tactic. The...

Body Language Eye Rubbing

'See no evil' says the wise monkey, and this gesture is the brain's attempt to block out the deceit, doubt or lie that it sees or to avoid having to look at the face of the person to whom he is telling the lie. Men usually rub their eyes vigorously and if the lie is a big one they will often look away, normally towards the floor. Women use a small, gentle rubbing motion just below the eye, either because they have been brought up to avoid making robust gestures, or to avoid smudging make-up....

Thumb Displays

Thumb Pocket Body Language

In palmistry, the thumbs denote strength of character and ego and the non-verbal use of thumbs agrees with this. They are used to display dominance, superiority or even aggression thumb gestures are secondary gestures, a supportive part of a gesture cluster. Thumb displays are positive signals, often used in the typical pose of the 'cool' manager who uses them in the presence of subordinates. A courting man uses them in the presence of a potential female partner and they are common among people...

The V Sign

Could leave the European wondering about what victory the Englishman meant. This signal also means the number two in many parts of Europe, and if the insulted European were a bartender, his response could be to give an Englishman or an Australian two mugs of beer. These examples show that cultural misinterpretation of gestures can produce embarrassing results and that a person's cultural background should always be considered before jumping to conclusions about his or her body language or...

Evaluation

Body Language Evaluation

Evaluation is shown by a closed hand resting on the cheek, often with the index finger pointing upwards Figure 62 . Should the person begin to lose interest but wish to appear interested, for courtesy's sake, the position will alter slightly so that the heel of the palm supports the head, as shown in Figure 61. I have attended numerous management meetings where the young up-andcoming managers have used this interest gesture to show respect to the company president who is giving a boxing speech....

The Mouth Guard

The mouth guard is one of the few adult gestures that is as obvious as a child's. The hand covers the mouth and the thumb is pressed against the cheek as the brain subconsciously instructs it to try and suppress the deceitful words that are being said. Sometimes this gesture may only be several fingers over the mouth or even a closed fist, but its meaning remains the same. The mouth guard is not to be confused with evaluation gestures, which will be covered later in this chapter. Many people...

Combination Handto Face Clusters

American Body Language Gestures Ppt

Occasionally the boredom, evaluation and decision-making gestures come in combinations, each showing an element of the person's attitude. Figure 66 shows the evaluation gesture moved to the chin, and the hand may also be stroking the chin. The person is evaluating the proposition, while making decisions at the same time. When the listener begins to lose interest in the speaker, the head begins to rest on the hand. Figure 67 shows evaluation with the head supported by the thumb as the listener...

Body Lowering and Status

Lowering Height Body

Historically, lowering the height of one's body in front of another person has been used as a means of establishing superior subordinate relationships. We refer to a member of Royalty as 'Your Highness', whereas individuals who commit unsavoury acts are called 'low'. The protest rally speaker stands on a soapbox to be higher than everyone else, the judge sits higher than the rest of the court, those who live in a penthouse command more authority than those who live at ground level and some...

Openness And Honesty

Gestures For Openness Honesty

Throughout history, the open palm has been associated with truth, honesty, allegiance and submission. Many oaths are taken with the palm of the hand over the heart, and the palm is held in the air when somebody is giving evidence in a court of law the Bible is held in the left hand and the right palm held up for the members of the court to view. In day-to-day encounters, people use two basic palm positions. The first has the palm facing upwards and is characteristic of the beggar asking for...

Courtship Gestures and Signals

Albert Scheflen Photos

I have a friend named Graham who has developed an art that most males would love to acquire. Whenever he attends a social function he can quickly 'psych out' the available women, make his choice and, in almost record-breaking time sometimes as little as ten minutes , he may be seen heading towards the exit with the woman, escorting her to his car and drilling back to his apartment. I have even seen him return to the party within an hour and repeat this amazing process two or three times in the...

Inclusion and Exclusion Techniques

Body Language Three Persons

Both the open triangular position and the closed position are used to include or exclude another person from the conversation. Figure 142 shows the triangular formation taken by the first two to show acceptance of the third. When a third person wishes to join two others who are standing in a closed formation, he may be invited to join the conversation only when the other two orient their torsos towards a mutual third point to form the triangle. If the third person is not accepted, the others...

Strategic Office Layout

Theratetart

Having read this book, you should now be able to arrange your office furniture in such a way as to have as much power, status or control over others as you wish. Here is a case study showing how we rearranged a person's office to help solve some of his supervisor employee relationship problems. John, who was an employee in an insurance company, had been promoted to a manager's position and was given an office. After a few months in the role, John found that the other employees disliked dealing...

Congruence

Gestures Are Unconscious

If you, as the speaker, were to ask the listener shown in Figure 5 to give his opinion of what you have just said and he said that he disagreed with you, his non-verbal signals would be congruent with his verbal sentences, that is, they would match or be consistent. If, however, he said he was enjoying what you had to say, he would be lying because his words and gestures would be incongruent. Research shows that non-verbal signals carry about five times as much impact as the verbal channel and...

Smoking Gestures

Smoking is an outward manifestation of an inner turmoil or conflict and has little to do with nicotine addiction. It is one of the displacement activities that people in today's high-pressure society use to release the tensions that build up from social and business encounters. For example, most people experience inner tension while waiting outside the dentist's surgery to have a tooth removed. While a smoker will cover up his anxiety by smoking, non-smokers perform other rituals such as...

Chin Stroking

The next time you have the opportunity to present an idea to a group of people, watch them carefully as you give your idea and you will notice something fascinating. Most, if not all the members of your audience will bring one hand up to their faces and begin to use evaluation gestures. As you come to the conclusion of your presentation and ask for the group to give opinions or suggestions about the idea, the evaluation gestures will cease. One hand will move to the chin and begin a...

The Foot Lock

Locking Foot Body Language

This gesture is almost exclusively used by women. The top of one foot locks around the other leg to reinforce a defensive attitude and, when this gesture appears, you can be sure that the woman has become a mental recluse or has retreated like a tortoise into her shell. Viswr H-9 Siancfinp toot-lock potttfor KfW 90 Seated fool-lnck fKitfilofl Viswr H-9 Siancfinp toot-lock potttfor KfW 90 Seated fool-lnck fKitfilofl A warm, friendly, low-key approach is needed if you eventually hope to open this...

Cigar Smokers

Cigars have always been used as a means of displaying superiority because of their cost and size. The big-time business executive, the gang leader and people in high-status positions often smoke cigars. Cigars are used to celebrate a victory or achievement such as the birth of a baby, a wedding, clinching a business deal or winning the lottery. It is not surprising that most of the smoke exhaled by cigar smokers is upwards. I recently attended a celebration dinner where cigars were distributed...

Inborn Genetic Learned And Cultural Signals

Much research and debate has been done to discover whether non-verbal signals are inborn, learned, genetically transferred or acquired in some other way. Evidence was collected from observation of blind and or deaf people who could not have learned nonverbal signals through the auditory or visual channels, from observing the gestural behaviour of many different cultures around the world and from studying the behaviour of our nearest anthropological relatives, the apes and monkeys. The...

Territorial Gestures

Body Stance And Gestures

People lean against other people or objects to show a territorial claim to that object or person. Leaning can also be used as a method, of dominance or intimidation when the object being leaned on belongs to someone else. For example, if you are going to take a photograph of a friend and his new car, boat, home or other personal belonging, you will inevitably find that he leans against his newly acquired property, putting his foot on it or his arm around it Figure 130 . When he touches the...

Gesture Clusters

Victory Sign Yours Sign

One of the most serious mistakes a novice in body language can make is to interpret a solitary gesture in isolation of other gestures or other circumstances. For example, scratching the head can mean a number of things -dandruff, fleas, sweating, uncertainty, forgetfulness or lying, depending on the other gestures that occur at the same time, so we must always look at gesture clusters for a correct reading. Like any other language, body language consists of words, sentences and punctuation....

Male Courtship Gestures

Figure 119 Body Language

Like most animal species, the human male displays preening behaviour as the female approaches. In addition to the automatic physiological reactions already mentioned, he will reach for his throat and straighten his tie. If he is not wearing a tie, he may smooth his collar or brush imaginary dust from his shoulder and rearrange cufflinks, shirt, coat and other clothing. He may also preen himself by smoothing his hair. The most aggressive sexual display he can make towards the female is the...

Standard Arm Cross Gesture

Inborn Gesture

Both arms are folded together across the chest as an attempt to 'hide' from an unfavourable situation. There are many arm-folding positions, but this book will discuss the three most common ones. The standard arm-cross gesture Figure 70 is a universal gesture signifying the same defensive or negative attitude almost everywhere. It is commonly seen when a person is among strangers in public meetings, queues, cafeterias, elevators or anywhere that people feel uncertain or insecure. During a...

Female Leg Cross Gestures

Body Language The Leg Twine

Men often sit with their legs apart in an aggressive crotch display, whereas women use leg crossing as protection for their delicate genital area. Women use three basic positions to communicate a courting attitude. With the knee point Figure 121 , one leg is tucked under the other and points to the person whom she finds interesting. This is a very relaxed position which takes the formality out of a conversation and gives the opportunity for a fleeting exposure of the thighs. The shoe fondle...

Arm Gripping Gesture

Negative Body Language

You will notice that this arm-cross gesture is characterised by the hands tightly gripping the upper arms to reinforce the position and to stop any attempt to unfold the arms and expose the body. The arms can often be gripped so tight that the fingers and knuckles turn white as the blood circulation is cut off. This arm-fold style is common to people sitting in doctors' and dentists' waiting-rooms, or first-time air travellers who are waiting for the plane to lift off. It shows a negative...

Cultural Factors Affecting Zone Distances

Intimate Zone

A young couple who recently migrated from Denmark to live in Sydney were invited to join the local branch of the Jaycees. Some weeks after their admission to the club, several female members complained that the Danish man was making advances towards them, so that they felt uncomfortable in his presence and the male members of the club felt that the Danish woman had been indicating non-verbally that she would be sexually available to them. This situation illustrates the fact that many Europeans...

Female Courtship Gestures And Signals

Women use most of the same basic preening gestures as men, including touching the hair, smoothing the clothing, one or both hands on hips, foot and body pointing towards the male, extended intimate gaze and increasing eye contact. They also adopt the thumbs-in-belt gesture which, although it is a male aggression gesture, is used with feminine subtlety only one thumb tucked into a belt or protruding from a handbag or pocket is displayed. Excited interest also causes pupil dilation and a flushed...

Hand Shake Styles

Pictures For Handshake Body Language

The palm-down thrust is certainly the most aggressive handshake style as it gives the receiver little chance of establishing an equal relationship. This handshake is typical of the aggressive, dominant male who always initiates it, and the stiff arm with palm facing directly downwards forces the receiver into the submissive position because he has to respond with his palm facing up. Several ways to counter the palm-down thrust have been developed. You can use the step-to-the-right technique...

The American Figure Leg Lock Position

American Figure Leg Cross

This leg cross indicates that an argumentative or competitive attitude exists. It is the sitting position used by many American males who have a competitive nature. This being the case, it is difficult to interpret the attitude of an American during a conversation, but it is quite obvious when this gesture is used by a British citizen. I recently addressed a series of meetings in New Zealand where the audience comprised about 100 managers and 500 sales people. A highly controversial issue was...

Aggressive Body Language Images

Rubbing Ear Body Language

This is, in effect, an attempt by the listener to 'hear no evil' in trying to block the words by putting the hand around or over the ear. This is the sophisticated adult version of the handsover-both-ears gesture used by the young child who wants to block out his parent's reprimands. Other variations of the ear rub gesture include rubbing the back of the ear, the finger drill where the fingertip is screwed back and forth inside the ear , pulling at the earlobe or bending the entire ear forward...

Both Hands Behind Head

Body Language Staking Claim

This gesture is typical of such professionals as accountants, lawyers, sales managers, bank managers or people who are feeling confident, dominant, or superior about something. If we could read the person's mind, he would be saying something like, 'I have all the answers' or, 'Maybe one day you'll be as smart as I am', or even 'Everything's under control'. It is also a gesture used by the 'know-it-all' individual and many people find it irritating when someone does it to them. Lawyers...

Cigarette Smokers

Cigarette Smoker

Like pipe smoking, cigarette smoking is a displacement of inner tension and allows time to stall, but the cigarette smoker generally reaches his decision faster than the pipe smoker. The pipe smoker is, in effect, a cigarette smoker who needs more time to stall in making decisions than his cigarettes allow. The cigarette ritual involves tapping, twisting, flicking, waving and other mini-gestures indicating that the person is experiencing more tension than may be normal. One particular signal...

Foot Pointing

Body Language Foot

Not only do the feet serve as pointers, indicating the direction in which a person would like to go, but they are also used to point at people who are interesting or attractive. Imagine that you are at a social function and you notice a group of three men and one very attractive woman Figure 146 . The conversation seems to be dominated by the men and the woman is just listening. Then you notice something interesting - the men all have one foot pointing towards the woman. With this simple...

The Ankle Lock Gesture

Sitting Ankles Touching Body Language

Crossing or folding the arms or legs suggests that a negative or defensive attitude exists, and this is also the case with the ankle lock gesture. The male version of the ankle lock is often combined with clenched fists resting on the knees or with the hands tightly gripping the arms of the chair Figure 87 . The female version varies slightly the knees are held together, the feet may be to one side and the hands rest side by side or one on top of the other resting on the upper legs Figure 88 ....

Hands Clenched Together

Negative Body Language

At first this seems to be a confidence gesture as some people who use it are often smiling and sound happy. However, on one particular occasion, we saw a sales person describing the sale he had just lost. As he went further and further into his story, we noticed that not only had he taken the hands-clenched position, but his fingers were beginning to turn white and they looked as though they were welding together. This was therefore a gesture showing a frustrated or hostile attitude. Research...

Ownership Gestures

Inborn Gesture

Management personnel are particularly guilty of continually using the following gestures. It has been noted that employees who have been newly appointed to management positions suddenly begin to use them, despite the fact that they seldom used them prior to their promotion. It would be normal to assume that the position of the man in Figure 132 reflects an easygoing, relaxed and carefree attitude, because that is in fact what it is. The leg-overchair gesture not only signifies the man's...

Seated Body Pointing

Figure 112 Body Language

Crossing the knees towards another person is a sign of acceptance or interest in that person. If the other person also becomes interested, he or she will cross knees towards the first person, as shown in Figure 144. As the two people become more involved with each other they will begin to copy each other's movements and gestures, as is the case in Figure 144, and a closed formation results that excludes all others, such as the man on the right. The only way in which the man on the right could...

Fingers in the Mouth

Morris's explanation of this gesture is that the fingers are placed in the mouth when a person is under pressure. It is an unconscious attempt by the person to revert to the security of the child sucking on his mother's breast. The young child substitutes his thumb for the breast and as an adult, he not only puts his fingers to his mouth but inserts such things as cigarettes, pipes, pens and the like into it. Whereas most hand-to-mouth gestures involve lying or deception, the fingers-in-mouth...

Gaze Behaviour

It is only when you see 'eye to eye' with another person that a real basis for communication can be established. While some people can make us feel quite comfortable when they converse with us, others can make us feel ill-at-ease and some seem untrustworthy. This has to do primarily with the length of time that they look at us or hold our gaze as they speak. When a person is being dishonest or holding back information, his eyes meet ours less than one-third of the time. When a person's gaze...

Rectangular Tables

Formal Body Language

On a rectangular table, position A has always commanded the most influence. In a meeting of people of equal status the person sitting at position A will have the most influence, assuming that he does not have his back to the door. If A's back were facing the door, the person seated at B would be the most influential and would be strong competition for A. Assuming that A was in the best power position, person B has the next most authority, then C, then D. This information makes it possible to...

Chair Location

Body Language Seating Position

As mentioned in the chapter on seating arrangements, the most power is exerted on the visitor when his chair is placed in the competitive position. A common power play is to place the visitor's chair as far away as possible from the executive's desk into the social or public territory zone, which further reduces the visitor's status. Flpire 162 hta make yuurse f ai homp1,, Flpire 162 hta make yuurse f ai homp1,,

Cheek And Chin Gestures

A good speaker is said to be one who 'instinctively' knows when his audience is interested in what he says and when his hearers have had enough. A good sales person senses when he is hitting his client's 'hot buttons', that is, finding out where the buyer's interest lies. Every sales person knows the empty feeling that results when he or she is giving a sales presentation to a potential buyer who says very little and just sits there watching. Fortunately a number of hand-to-cheek and...

Boredom

Impatience Pictures

When the listener begins to use his hand to support his head, it is a signal that boredom has set in and his supporting hand is an attempt to hold his head up to stop himself from falling asleep. The degree of the listener's boredom is related to the extent to which his arm and hand are supporting his head. Extreme boredom and lack of interest are shown when the head is fully supported by the hand Figure 61 and the ultimate boredom signal occurs when the head is on the desk or table and the...

Partial Armcross Barriers

Arm Barrier Body Language

The full arm-cross gesture is sometimes too obvious to use around others because it tells them that we are fearful. Occasionally we substitute a subtler version - the partial arm cross, in which one arm swings across the body to hold or touch the other arm to form the barrier, as shown in Figure 75. The partial arm barrier is often seen at meetings where a person may be a stranger to the group or is lacking in self-confidence. Another popular version of a partial arm barrier is holding hands...

Seated Readiness

Theratetart

One of the most valuable gestures that a negotiator can learn to recognise is seated readiness. In the selling situation, for example, if the potential buyer were to take this gesture at the end of the sales presentation and the interview had progressed successfully up to that point, the sales person could ask for the order and expect to get it. Video replays of insurance sales people interviewing potential buyers revealed that, whenever the seated readiness gesture followed the chinstroking...

Carbon Copies and Mirror Images

Examples Positive Body Language

The next time you attend a social function or go to a place where people meet and interact, take note of the number of people who have adopted the identical gestures and posture of the person with whom they are talking. This 'carbon copying' is a means by which one person tells the other that he is in agreement with his ideas and attitudes. By this method, one is non-verbally saying to the other, 'As you can see, I think the same as you, so I will copy your posture and gestures.' This...

Gripping Hands Arms And Wrists

Body Language Positions Authority

Several prominent male members of the British Royal Family are noted for their habit of walking with their head up, chin out and one palm gripping the other hand behind the back. Not only does British Royalty use this gesture it is common among Royalty of many countries. On the local scene, the gesture is used by the policeman patrolling his beat, the headmaster of the local school when he is walking through the school yard, senior military personnel and others in a position of authority. This...

Open Formation

Figure 140 Body Language

In an earlier chapter, we stated that the physical distance between people is related to their degree of intimacy. The angle at which people orient their bodies also gives many non-verbal clues to their attitudes and relationships. For example, people in most English speaking countries stand with their bodies oriented to form an angle of 90 degrees during ordinary social intercourse. Figure 140 shows two men with their bodies angled towards an imaginary third point to form a triangle. This also...

Eye Block Gesture

Some of the most irritating people with whom we deal are those who use the eye -block gesture as they speak. This gesture occurs unconsciously and is an attempt by the person to block you from his sight because he has become bored or uninterested in you or feels that he is superior to you. Compared to the normal rate of six to eight blinks per minute during conversation, the eyelids close and remain closed for a second or longer as the person momentarily wipes you from his mind. The ultimate...

Steepling Hands

Steepling Hands

I stated at the beginning of this book that gestures come in clusters, like words in a sentence, and that they must be interpreted in the context in which they are observed. 'Steepling', as Birdwhistell called it, can be an exception to these rules, as it is often used in isolation of other gestures. In fact, people who are confident, superior types or who use minimal or restricted body gestures often use this gesture, and, by doing so, they signal their confident attitude. My observation and...

The Business Gaze Figure

Business Gaze

When having discussions on a business level, imagine that there is a triangle on the other person's forehead. By keeping your gaze directed at this area, you create a serious atmosphere and the other person senses that you mean business. Provided that your gaze does not drop below the level of the other person's eyes, you are able to maintain control of the interaction.

Practical Applications of Zone Distances

Our intimate zone is normally entered by another person for one of two reasons. First, the intruder is a close relative or friend, or he or she may be making sexual advances. Second, the intruder is hostile and may be about to attack. While we will tolerate strangers moving within our personal and social zones, the intrusion of a stranger into our intimate zone causes physiological changes to take place within our bodies. The heart pumps faster, adrenalin pours into the bloodstream and blood is...

Country v City Spatial Zones

Personal Space Body Language Rural

As previously mentioned, the amount of personal space required by an individual is related to the population density of the area in which he was brought up. Those who were brought up in sparsely populated rural areas require more personal space than those raised in densely populated capital cities. Watching how fax a person extends his arm to shake hands can give a clue to whether he is from a major city or from a remote country area. City dwellers have their private 46-centimetre bubble' this...

Closed Formation

Mirroring Non Verbal

When intimacy or privacy is required by two people, the angle formed by their torsos decreases from 90 degrees down to 0 degrees. A man wishing to attract a female partner uses this ploy, as well as other courtship gestures, when he makes his play for her. Not only does he point his body towards her, but he also closes the distance between them as he moves into her intimate zone. To accept his approach, she need only orient her torso angle to 0 degrees and allow him to enter her territory. The...

The Neck Scratch

In this case, the index finger of the writing hand scratches below the earlobe, or may even scratch the side of the neck. Our observation of this gesture .reveals an interesting point the person scratches about five times. Rarely is the number of scratches less than five and seldom more than five. This gesture is a signal of doubt or uncertainty and is characteristic of the person who says, 'I'm not sure I agree.' It is very noticeable when the verbal language contradicts it, for example, when...

Pipe Smokers

Pipe smokers perform a cleaning, lighting, tapping, filling, packing and puffing ritual with their pipes and this is a very useful way to help relieve tension when they are under pressure. Sales research has shown that pipe smokers usually take longer to make a decision to buy than do cigarette smokers or non-smokers and that the pipe ritual is performed most often during the tense moments. of the sales interview. Pipe smokers, it seems, are people who like to stall decision-making and who can...

Aggressive And Readiness Gestures

Aggressive Body Language

Which gesture is used in the following situations the young child arguing with his parent, the athlete waiting for his event to begin and the boxer in the dressing-room waiting for the bout to start In each instance, the individual is seen standing with the hands-on-hips pose, for this is one of the most common gestures used by man to communicate an aggressive attitude. Some observers have labelled this gesture 'readiness' which in the right context is correct, but the basic meaning is...

Interpreting And Misinterpreting

The ability to accurately interpret hand-to-face gestures in a given set of circumstances takes considerable time and observation to acquire. We can confidently assume that, when a person uses one of the hand-to-face gestures just mentioned, a negative thought has entered his mind. The question is, what is the negative It could be doubt, deceit, uncertainty, exaggeration, apprehension or outright lying. The real skill of interpretation is the ability to pick which of the negatives mentioned is...

Picking Imaginary Lint

When a person disapproves of the opinions or attitudes of others but feels constrained in giving his point of view, the non-verbal gestures that occur are known as displacement gestures, that is, they result from a withheld opinion. Picking imaginary pieces of lint from the clothing is one such gesture. The lintpicker usually looks away from the other people towards the floor while performing this minor, irrelevant action. This is one of the most common signals of disapproval and when the...

Table Seating Positions

Strategic positioning in relation to other people is an effective way to obtain cooperation from them. Aspects of their attitude toward you can be revealed in the position they take in relation to you. Mark Knapp, in his book Non-Verbal Communication in Human Interaction, noted that, although there is a general formula for interpretation of seating positions, the environment may have an effect on the position chosen. Research conducted with white middle-class Americans showed that seating...