Hands Clenched Together

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 by Nierenberg and Calero on the

Jfet* iWr-rrdtt-rfj^ ■ hands-clenched position brought them to the conclusion that this was a frustration gesture, signalling that the person was holding back a negative attitude. The gesture has three main positions; hands clenched in front of the face, (Figure 39), hands resting on the desk (Figure 40) or on the lap when seated and placed in front of the crotch when standing (Figure 41).

There also appears to be a correlation between the height at which the hands are held and the strength of the person's negative mood; that is, the person would be more difficult to handle when the hands are held high as in Figure 39 than he would be with

Hands Clenched Together

the Figure 40 position. Like all negative gestures, some action needs to be taken to unlock the person's fingers to expose the palms and the front of the body, or the hostile attitude will remain.

Negative Body Language
Figure 40 Hand* cltnehcd in ru'idttfe position
Hands Clenched Together
Figun" 'II Morris clenched in iotiitr^[iSj'ij'L>n
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