12 Subtle Body Language Signs That Can Reveal A Lot About Someone
Here are 12 subtle body language signs that can actually reveal a lot about someone… according to this Ask Reddit thread at least. Read and learn:
Leaning Very Close Might Mean They Feel Dominant
RamsesThePigeon: "I don't know" gets used in many different contexts, and each of them - when combined with the offering of that sentiment - communicates a lot about an individual's emotional state, focus of priorities, and even their personality. When admitting to a lack of information, the tone and the delivery are the most important elements... and the easiest way to gauge their meaning is to first categorize those aspects as being either positive or negative. A positive response (like a warm, open expression and a willingness to incorporate your curiosity) could indicate that the individual in question is comfortable with the topic at hand and interested in exchanging perspectives with you. A quick, dismissive retort that is immediately followed by a return to their primary point - them maintaining control - probably shows a lack of confidence or irritation at having been challenged. There are many other ways that the concept of not knowing gets used, though. When asking someone's opinion of something, for instance, they might answer by looking away and muttering "I don't know." That behavior probably suggests that they're either unenthusiastic about the topic or uncomfortable with the person to whom they're speaking. A thoughtful, measured response accompanied by a smile and a tilt of the head could show an interest in the subject and an eagerness to further explore it.Really, all of it comes down to details built upon details. Much like a single word or punctuation mark can change the entire meaning of a sentence, a single expression or inflection can alter the message inherent in a person's demeanor. Listing every possible scenario would probably be impossible, but you can usually get a decent reading by looking at nonverbal language in terms of negative and trending downward, negative and trending upward, positive and trending downward, or positive and trending upward. Besides... if you can't tell how a person feels about something, it is okay to ask. Just don't be surprised if they answer with "I don't know."
All of this. Can't say it any better!
How Someone Says 'I Don't Know' Means A Lot
4nalBlitzkrieg: The way they lean towards or away from you and how close they stand. Someone once pointed out that my principal likes to get close and lean forward until the other person steps back, to assert dominance.Of course, leaning close to someone when speaking is not always a sign of dominance.
Some people just look to be close!
Copying Body Language Could Mean They Like You
883Guy: If you're having a conversation with someone and they start to copy your body language it means the like you. You can check this by changing your position and see if they do too in a few minutes.I've heard this before, and it has a certain level of truth to it. We naturally and sub-consciously pick up on what other people do when we like them. However, it doesn't always mean we romantically like them.
Pulling On Clothes Means You're Insecure
inkjetneo: People who are insecure about their weight constantly pull their shirt away from their body. As someone who has dealt with a lot of body insecurities, I can confirm that this is true.
More Sociable People Are More Open
Serviros: As someone who studies and practices body language in negotiations: You can't learn about someone solely based on body language. A person is much more then the feeling he has, it's more about how he expresses them. There's no shortcut for learning who someone really is, you need long term relationships for that. Most of the time people are not what they seem to be, or what they want to be perceived.You can however tell some basic traits like personality traits such us directive, sociable, analytical or relater.Sociable people tend to expose themselves more by opening arms, exposing neck, body and eye contact. Directive positions himself strongly, arms crossed, jaws shut tight, hand gestures usually have a pointed finger. Analytical tends to keep their hands hidden behind the back or in their pockets, head lowered, frowns a lot, make little eye contact, few words and more head movement. Relater smile a lot, they are very affirmative, their posture is similar to the socializer, but they are less dominant, head low but good eye contact. Interesting!
Feet Are A Big Indicator Of What They're Thinking
Corinath: OH MAN. This is it. This is my time. I've been studying body language with people for about five years. Here are some basic observations. List format, ACTIVATE!As a preface, there are nuances person to person. So, while there are some things that apply to all people in general despite a lack of visual conditioning (like a blind person naturally smiling despite never having seen a smile), there are others that are nuanced by personality. As such, you should never rely on a singular body language indicator. Rely, instead, on a number of them indicating the same thing. Think of the center of one's body as their comfortability with you. The more open and directly positioned to you the more likely the person is comfortable with you. If they suddenly shift, cover their arms, or employ blocking with an object (like grabbing a pillow and hugging it), it's a clue they've shifted in their amount of comfort.There are three big signals that indicate friendship, even among strangers. A genuine smile (see above), a tilting of the head (exposing the jugular vein, a very sensitive area that the body will otherwise naturally wish to protect), and an upward flashing of the eyebrows for about a fraction of a second. Often, these are paired with an upwards jutting of the head.Look at the feet. Feet are often the last part of the body we think about consciously manipulating. It's why we think lovers play footsie. They'll drift their feet towards each other when seated without thinking about it. Likewise, they tend to be pointed in a direction of interest. If you're talking to someone and their feet are pointed away, they probably want to leave.
Pausing Before Answering Might Mean They're Lying
CDC_: It seems like whenever I catch someone in a lie the first thing they say is "huh?" And then their eyes go all crazy, like they're trying to look in every corner of the room at once.Pausing before answering alone is not always a sign someone is lying. It can definitely mean that, but usually that would be coupled with other signs - for example, eyes looking all over the place.
If They Look At You When A Group Is Laughing, They're Concerned With What You Think
Newbified: if someone looks at you while you both just saw something funny, most likely they like you or are close to you because they want to share that funny moment with you.If someone is seeking you out to make sure you're laughing with the group, it could mean they have a crush - or more likely, it could just mean that they're concerned with what you think.
Certain Gestures Mean They're Nervous
Corinath: There are gestures that people make to physically make themselves feel better. Imagine a shy child stroking his elbow with his other arm. Motions like this indicate a lot of discomfort, and try to subconsciously appease the person making them. Men sometimes stroke their beards doing this. Women sometimes run their hands along the base of their neck. (one of the few times when gender has a meaning on body language).This is just nervous habits, which are definitely a good way to see if someone is uncomfortable.
Making Eye Contact Could Mean They're Lying
SkorpioSound: A common thing that people say is that liars can't keep eye contact. Because of how widespread this belief is, people who are lying will actively try to seem like they're not lying by holding eye contact for extended periods of time, while a regular person's gaze will shift around fairly frequently. So if a person will not break eye contact with you, it's entirely possible they are lying (it is most likely a planned lie, also). Like all things of this manner, though, context is important and you can't get all the facts from body language alone, so take it with a grain of salt.
Inching Away From Someone Means They Don't Want To Talk
beer_4_breakfast: Their bodily orientation to yours is a big one. A person standing closer, or faced directly toward you generally is showing interest in the interaction (or possibly you!) Think about how we stand when we are trying to end a conversation. We turn our bodies away and create more distance.
This one seems pretty obvious and true.
One Sign Is Not Enough
Dolentrean: With any body-language sign keep in mind, a single sign is like a word, you need a cluster of signs to make anything meaningful. A cluster of signs is like a sentence, something with meaning, but even with meaning it could still mean nothing without context. In short, if you want to read someone using body language don't try to learn gimmicky tricks. Learn the bare bone basics and train yourself to do two things. Pay attention all the time. Don't jump to conclusions when you see a signal.
Definitely important to remember whenever you're thinking about body language!