Reading people by gestures and posture

I’ve already told you how to read a person by looking into their eyes. Now I will tell you how to do it according to gestures and body position. Nonverbal, in general, is fascinating, which sometimes says more about a person than their words. For example:

  • The hands are open — the person is open to you.
  • Their first are clenched — they don’t agree with you or are angry. The more fists are clenched, the stronger the negative emotions.
  • The person rubs their chin — they are thinking.
  • The person gesticulates a lot – they are excited and enthusiastic
  • The person gesticulates TOO much — they are agitated or even scared.
  • They rub something (hair, pen, watch) — they are nervous, wary, or irritated.
  • The person often adjusts clothes or hair — they feel uncertainty.

These are the most common body language signals and their classic interpretation, but there are many more in real life. Therefore, it is best to interpret not one nonverbal element but their complex. For example, does your conclusion about the gestures of the interlocutor contradict their posture?

  • The person crosses their arms, closes off from the conversation, or defends their opinion.
  • They cross their arms and legs — the conversation is over.
  • They hold hands behind or under their head — they feel superior.
  • They tilt their head to the side — the conversation interests them.
  • They often change posture — they are nervous or tired.
  • They lock their fingers on a table or knees — they disagree with you.
  • The person is leaning on the wall — they feel insecure around you, or, on the contrary — they want to attract attention. It depends on how you and this person are close.

This information helped me often negotiate and find an approach to the right person. For example, if you see that your interlocutor is tired, offer to take a lunch break, and then you push them to a deal. That’s a success!