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🙈 🙊 🙉 A. Pease's Body Language Study

Created: 28.07.2022

This is about … .

When reading a person, it’s essential to take the other person’s emotional state and overal condition to correctly interpret their body language.

Being ‘perceptive’ means being able to spot the contradictions between someone’s words and their body language. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 30). Orion. Kindle Edition.

Cold reading - … .

Example: I’m glad you’ve come to this session and I can see you have things that are troubling you because I am receiving strong signals from you. I sense that the things you really want out of life sometimes seem unrealistic and you often wonder whether you can achieve them. I also sense that at times you are friendly, social and outgoing to others, but that at other times you are withdrawn, reserved and cautious. You take pride in being an independent thinker but also know not to accept what you see and hear from others, without proof. You like change and variety but become restless if controlled by restrictions and routine. You want to share your innermost feelings with those closest to you but have found it unwise to be too open and revealing. A man in your life with the initial ‘S’ is exerting a strong influence over you right now and a woman who is born in November will contact you in the next month with an exciting offer. While you appear disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be concerned and worried on the inside and at times you wonder whether or not you have made the right choice or decision. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 33). Orion. Kindle Edition.

OpenAI refuses to give such examples. Need to rephrase so that its ethical code is not violated, what a wuss… .


  1. Men and women also both increase their number of gulps of saliva when lying, but this is usually noticeable only with men, as they have an enlarged Adam’s apple.
  2. Fleeting incongruencies in the face reveal conflicts in the emotions.
  3. These include facial muscular twitching, dilation and contraction of pupils, sweating, flushed cheeks, eye-blinking rate increasing from 10 blinks per minute to as many as 50 blinks per minute and many other micro-signals that indicate deceit.
  4. Lying is easier if you’re sitting behind a desk where your body is partially hidden, peering over a fence or from behind a closed door.
  5. Mouth-Cover.The Mouth Cover may appear as innocuous as the ‘Shhh’ gesture where one finger is placed vertically over the lips. If they cover their mouth while you are speaking, it can show they might feel you are hiding something.
  6. Nose Touch. can be several quick rubs below the nose or it may be one quick, almost imperceptible nose touch. Women perform this gesture with smaller strokes than men, perhaps to avoid smudging their make-up. Effect’. Increased blood pressure inflates the nose and causes the nerve endings in the nose to tingle, resulting in a brisk rubbing action to the nose with the hand to satisfy the ‘itch’. As with the Mouth Cover, the Nose Touch can be used both by the speaker to disguise his own deceit and by the listener who doubts the speaker’s words.
  7. The eye rub. Women are less likely to use the Eye Rub – instead, they will use small, gentle touching motions just below the eye. ‘Lying through your teeth’ is a commonly used phrase. It refers to a gesture cluster of clenched teeth and a false smile, combined with the Eye Rub.
  8. Ear grab. The Ear Grab can also be a signal that the person has heard enough or may want to speak. Anxiety.
  9. The neck scratch. uncertainty and is characteristic of the person who says, ‘I’m not sure I agree.
  10. Collar Pull. Desmond Morris was one of the first to discover that lies cause a tingling sensation in the delicate facial and neck tissues, and a rub or scratch was required to satisfy it. when they lie and suspect they have been caught out. Increased blood pressure from the deceit causes sweat to form on the neck when the deceiver feels that you suspect he’s not telling the truth. It also occurs when a person is feeling angry or frustrated and needs to pull the collar away from his neck in an attempt to let the cool air circulate. 🛡 ‘Could you repeat that, please?
  11. Fingers-in-Mouth gesture is an outward indication of an inner need for reassurance so giving the person guarantees and assurances is a positive move.

Interesting Stats

  1. Women are better at both spotting and hiding lies.
  2. Most men and women don’t know what they look like from the neck down.
  3. When negotiating over the phone, the person with the stronger argument wins, while when negotiating face to face, the one who’s better with body language wins.
  4. Man who is self-conscious about gaining weight may tug at the fold of skin under his chin; the woman who is aware of extra pounds on her thighs may smooth her dress down; the person who is feeling fearful or defensive might fold their arms or cross their legs or both; and a man talking with a large-breasted woman may consciously avoid staring at her breasts while, at the same time, unconsciously use groping gestures with his hands. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 27). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  5. Each time he mentioned politicians’ incomes, he held his hands a yard (1m) apart. However, when he mentioned executive salaries, he held them only a foot (30cm) apart. His hand distances revealed that he felt politicians were getting a much better deal than he was prepared to admit. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 28). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  6. Women have between fourteen and sixteen areas of the brain to evaluate others’ behaviour versus a man’s four to six areas. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 30). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  7. Seven out of ten people cross their left arm over their right. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 34). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  8. For example, most men put on a coat right arm first; most women put it on left arm. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 34). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  9. When a man passes a woman in a crowded street, he usually turns his body towards her as he passes; she instinctively turns her body away from him to protect her breasts. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 35). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  10. 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 because it’s also used by people born blind. When a baby has had enough milk, it turns its head from side to side to reject its mother’s breast. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 35). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  11. When a person’s words and body language are in conflict, women ignore what is said. Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures (p. 40). Orion. Kindle Edition.
  12. Sigmund Freud once reported that while a patient was verbally expressing happiness with her marriage, she was unconsciously slipping her wedding ring on and off her finger.
  13. Similarly, artists, musicians, surgeons and those whose occupation is delicate and involves use of their hands generally prefer not to shake hands, but, if they are forced into it, they may use a ‘dead fish’ handshake to protect their hands.
  14. For example, obese people can’t cross their legs. Women who wear short skirts will sit with their legs tightly crossed for protection, but this results in them looking less approachable and less likely to be asked to dance at a nightclub.
  15. Older people are harder to read than younger ones because they have less muscle tone in the face.
  16. Signals like pupil dilation, sweating and blushing cannot be consciously faked but exposing the palms to try to appear honest is easily learned.
  17. When men lie their body language can be obvious. Women prefer to look busy as they lie. Keeping their hands in their pockets is a favourite ploy of men who don’t want to participate in a conversation.
  18. The palms have more sweat glands than any other part of the body.
  19. Bob didn’t understand the negative significance of the tight-lipped, no-teeth-visible female smile.
  20. The orbicularis oculi at the eyes act independently and reveal the true feelings of a genuine smile.
  21. The remarkable thing about a smile is that when you give it to someone, it causes them to reciprocate by returning the smile, even when you are both using fake smiles.
  22. Professor Ruth Campbell, from University College London, believes there is a ‘mirror neuron’ in the brain that triggers the part responsible for the recognition of faces and expressions and causes an instant mirroring reaction. In other words, whether we realise it or not, we automatically copy the facial expressions we see.
  23. Not only can it do that, but the brain can separate the smile from every other part of the face.
  24. Research by Paul Ekman showed that when people deliberately lie, most, especially men, smile less than they usually do. A liar’s smile comes more quickly than a genuine smile and is held much longer, almost as if the liar is wearing a mask. A false smile often appears stronger on one side of the face than the other, as both sides of the brain attempt to make it appear genuine. genuine. The half of the brain’s cortex that specialises in facial expressions is in the right hemisphere and sends signals mainly to the left side of the body. As a result, false facial emotions are more pronounced on the left side of the face than the right. People who were innocent and telling the truth increased their smiling frequency when being honest.
  25. The older we become, the more serious we become about life. An adult laughs an average of 15 times a day; a preschooler laughs an average of 400 times.
  26. laughter. Chimps can have linguistic concepts, but they can’t physically make the sounds of language. Because we walk upright, humans have a huge range of freedom in the sounds we make, including speech and laughter. People who have trouble with laughing at the tough things in life often turn to drugs and alcohol to achieve the same feeling that endorphin-induced laughter produces. Alcohol loosens inhibitions and lets people laugh more, which releases endorphins. This is why most well-adjusted people laugh more when they drink alcohol, while unhappy people become even more despondent or even violent. Paul Ekman found that one of the reasons we are attracted to smiling and laughing faces is because they can actually affect our autonomic nervous system. We smile when we see a smiling face and this releases endorphins into our system. If you are surrounded by miserable, unhappy people you are also likely to mirror their expressions and become morose or depressed.
  27. Even though we consciously know that the joke is not a real event, our laugh releases endorphins for self-anaesthesis as if the joke was a real event. If it was a real event, we may go into crying mode and the body would also release its endorphins. Crying is often an extension of a laughing bout and is why, in a serious emotional crisis, such as hearing about a death, a person who cannot mentally accept the death may begin laughing. When the reality hits, the laughter turns to crying.
  28. Robert Provine found that laughing was more than 30 times as likely to occur in participants in a social situation than in a solitary setting. Only 15% of our laughter has to do with jokes. Laughter has more to do with bonding.
  29. Research by Marvin Hecht and Marianne La France from Boston University has revealed how subordinate people smile more in the presence of dominant and superior people, in both friendly and unfriendly situations, whereas superior people will smile only around subordinate people in friendly situations. Pictures of unsmiling women were decoded as a sign of unhappiness while pictures of unsmiling men were seen as a sign of dominance. From a man’s perspective, saying that a woman has a good sense of humour doesn’t mean she tells jokes; it means she laughs at his jokes.
  30. Remember that with all body language, the meaning of the message is also in the receiver, as well as the sender.
  31. Men’s arms rotate slightly inwards while women’s arms rotate slightly outwards.
  32. All cultures walk on the same side of the pavement as they drive on the road.
  33. The only significant cultural difference was with the Japanese who described the fear photograph as surprise.
  34. The regions that have the greatest number of different local signals are Arab countries, parts of Asia and Japan.
  35. She also found that attractive people are more believed than unattractive ones, explaining why leaders such as John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton were able to get away with as much as they did.
  36. that women have more white of the eye than men.
  37. Autists are mostly men.

Finger Gestures

  1. Thumb. Being the most powerful digit on the hand it is used as a sign of power and can be seen protruding from pockets, waistcoats and on lapels. The thumb is also used, in combination with other gestures, as a power and superiority signal or in situations where people try to get us ‘under their thumb’. Thumbs are used to display dominance, assertiveness or sometimes aggressive attitudes; thumb gestures are secondary gestures and are usually part of a cluster.
    1. Protruding Thumbs. Thumbs around women to whom he is attracted and people who wear high-status or prestige clothing also display their thumbs.
    2. Thumbs-Protruding-from-Coat-Pocket. This gesture is common to men and women who feel they are in a superior position to others. Thumbs sometimes protrude from the back pockets (see below) as if the person is trying to hide their dominant attitude.
    3. The Thumb Shaking gesture is not common among women, although they sometimes use the gesture to point at people they don’t like.
  2. Arms-Folded-with-Thumbs-Pointing-Upwards. This is a double signal, showing a defensive or negative attitude (folded arms), plus a superior attitude revealed by the thumbs.
  3. 👎🏼 Rubbing the thumb against the index finger or fingertips is commonly used as a money expectancy gesture.
  4. Drumming fingers or tapping. Drumming the fingers on the table and continual tapping of the feet on the floor are often misinterpreted by professional speakers as boredom signals, but in fact signal impatience. 🛡 Get him involved in the conversation to avoid his negative effect on the other listeners.
  5. A. Europe and North America: OK Mediterranean region, Russia, Brazil, Turkey: An orifice signal; sexual insult; gay man Tunisia, France, Belgium: Zero; worthless Japan: Money; coins B. Western countries: One; Excuse me!; As God is my witness; No! (to children) C. Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Malta: Up yours! USA: Two Germany: Victory France: Peace Ancient Rome: Julius Caesar ordering five beers D. Europe: Three Catholic countries: A blessing E. Europe: Two Britain, Australia, New Zealand: One USA: Waiter! Japan: An insult F. Western countries: Four Japan: An insult G. Western countries: Number 5 Everywhere: Stop! Greece and Turkey: Go to hell! H. Mediterranean: Small penis Bali: Bad Japan: Woman South America: Thin France: You can’t fool me! I. Mediterranean: Your wife is being unfaithful Malta and Italy: Protection against the Evil Eye (when pointed) South America: Protection against bad luck (when rotated) USA: Texas University Logo, Texas Longhorn Football Team J. Greece Go to Hell! The West: Two K. Ancient Rome: Up yours! USA: Sit on this! Screw you! L. Europe: One Australia: Sit on this! (upward jerk) Widespread: Hitchhike; Good; OK Greece: Up yours! (thrust forward) Japan: Man; five M. Hawaii: ‘Hang loose’ Holland: Do you want a drink? N. USA: I love you O. The West: Ten; I surrender Greece: Up Yours – twice! Widespread: I’m telling the truth.


  1. Open palms - honesty (might be used intentionally even when lying). Trying to conceal hands in the pockets or behind one’s back might be a signal of an opposite intention. Most people find it difficult to lie with their palms exposed because of the law of cause and effect.
  2. Palms
    1. Facing up.
    2. Facing down.
  3. Handshakes
    1. Salespeople are taught that if they initiate a handshake with a customer on whom they call unannounced or uninvited, it can produce a negative result as the buyer may not want to welcome them and feels forced to shake hands.
    2. Women who initiate a firm handshake are rated – in most places – as more open-minded and make better first impressions. She simply needs to avoid signals of femaleness such as soft handshakes, short skirts and high heels if she wants equal credibility.
    3. The palm needs to warm and dry. Alternatively, before a new meeting, simply visualise that you are holding your palms in front of an open fire. This visualisation technique is proven to raise the temperature of the average person’s palm by 3–4 degrees.
    4. Create Equaty. For the handshake of equals, you need to make sure your hands are in the vertical position. Also, apply the same amount of pressure that you are receiving.
    5. Disarming.
      1. Step-to-the-right technique. Make a step forward with your left leg. Step with the right leg moving in front of the person and in the person’s personal space. Then move the left leg to the right one and shake the hand.
      2. Hand-on-top technique. Put your left hand over his hand, forming a Double-Hander. On the other hand, the Double-Hander is like a miniature hug and is acceptable only in circumstances where a hug could also be acceptable. two-handed handshake is to try to show sincerity, trust or depth of feeling for the receiver. Two significant elements should be noticed. Firstly, the left hand is used to communicate the depth of feeling the initiator wants to convey and this is relative to the distance the initiator’s left hand is placed up the receiver’s right arm. Secondly, the initiator’s left hand is an invasion of the receiver’s personal space. In general, the Wrist Hold and the Elbow Grasp are acceptable only where one person feels close to the other and in these cases the initiator’s left hand enters only the outer edge of the receiver’s personal space.
    6. Bad hanshakes.
      1. Wet fish (cold and wet)
      2. The vice. Sometimes it will be used by a person who feels weak and fears they will be dominated by others. Dominant position, strong grasp, too strong. A couple of strokes.
      3. Bone crusher. The Bone-Crusher is the trademark of the overly aggressive personality who, without warning, seizes the early advantage and attempts to demoralise his opponent by grinding his knuckles to a smooth paste.
      4. Finger-tip grab. Even though the initiator may seem to have an enthusiastic attitude towards the receiver, he in fact lacks confidence in himself. The Finger-Tip Grab can also result from personal space differences between the people in the handshake.
      5. Stiff-arm thrust. the Stiff-Arm Thrust tends to be used by aggressive types and its main purpose is to keep you at a distance and away from their personal space. It’s also used by people raised in rural areas, who have larger personal space needs and want to protect their territory.
      6. The socket-wrencher. A popular choice of power players and common cause of watering eyes and, in extreme cases, torn ligaments. first, the initiator is an insecure type who feels safe only within his own personal space; second, the initiator is from a culture that has smaller space needs; or third, he wants to control you by pulling you off balance.
      7. The pump Handle. series of rapid vertical strokes. Occasionally, the pumper will cease pumping but continue to hold the receiver’s hand to prevent their escape and, interestingly, few people try to pull their hand away. The act of being physically connected seems to weaken our resolve to retreat.
      8. The Dutch treat. It’s a distant relative of the Wet Fish but stiffer and less clammy to the touch.
  4. 👎🏼 👍🏼 Hand-rubbing. The speed of the hand rub signals who the gesturer thinks will get the benefit. Say, for example, you want to buy a home and you visit an estate agent. After describing the property you want, the agent rubs his palms together quickly and says, ‘I’ve got just the right house for you!’ In this way the agent has signalled that he expects the results to be to your benefit. But how would you feel if he rubbed his palms together very slowly as he told you that he had the ideal property? He’d seem sneaky or devious and you’d get the feeling that he expected the results to benefit him, not you.
  5. 👎🏼 Hands clenched. The Hands Clenched gesture shows a restrained, anxious or negative attitude. It was a position assumed by a person who felt they were either not convincing the other person or thought they were losing the negotiation. We discovered a correlation between the height at which the hands are held and the degree of the person’s frustration: that is, a person would be more difficult to deal with when the hands are held high. Unlock the hands to get to the person.
  6. 👍🏼 Steeple. We found that the Steeple was frequently used in superior-subordinate interaction and that it indicates a confident or self-assured attitude. Can sometimes turn into praying. sometimes be read as smugness or arrogance. Women tend to use the Lowered Steeple position more often than the Raised Steeple. When the Raised Steeple is taken with the head tilted back, the person takes on an air of smugness or arrogance. consequences. ❗️The gestures preceding the Steeple are the key to the outcome.
    1. Raised Steeple, the position often assumed when the Steepler is giving his opinions or ideas or is doing the talking.
    2. Lowered Steeple, which is normally used when the Steepler is listening rather than speaking.
  7. 👍🏼 Face platter. A woman will place one hand on top of the other and present her face to a man as if it was on a platter for him to admire.
  8. 👍🏼 Palm-in-Palm behind the back. Our experience shows that, if you take this position when you are in a high-stress situation, such as being interviewed by newspaper reporters or waiting outside a dentist’s surgery, you’ll begin to feel confident and even authoritative, as a result of cause and effect. officers who don’t wear firearms use this position regularly and often rock back and forth on the balls of the feet when standing to gain additional height.
  9. The Hand-Gripping-Wrist.back. It’s a signal of frustration and an attempt at self-control. One hand grips the other wrist or arm tightly behind the back, as if in an attempt by one arm to prevent the other from striking out.
  10. Head support. Boredom,
  11. Evaluation. Evaluation is shown by a closed hand resting on the chin or cheek, often with the index finger pointing upwards.
  12. Genuine interest is shown when the hand lightly rests on the cheek and is not used as a head support.
  13. Chin Stroking. This Chin Stroke is the signal that the listener is going through the decision-making process. The object in the mouth allows him to stall and not feel any urgency in giving an immediate response.
    1. Someone who wears glasses sometimes follows an evaluation cluster by taking off their glasses and putting one arm of the frame in their mouth instead of using the Chin Stroke.
    2. A cigarette smoker will take a puff of smoke.
  14. Head Rubbing. This reaction causes the tingling feeling you experience on the back of your neck when you feel frustrated or fearful. You’ll usually rub your hand over the area to satisfy the sensation.
  15. Gerard Nierenberg, of the Negotiation Institute in New York, found that those who habitually rub the back of the neck have a tendency to be negative or critical, whereas those who habitually rub their foreheads to non-verbalise an error tend to be more open and easy-going.


  1. Tight-lipped. It sends the message that the smiler has a secret or a withheld opinion or attitude that they will not be sharing with you. It’s a favourite of women who don’t want to reveal that they don’t like someone and is usually clearly read by other women as a rejection signal.
  2. Twisted. The Twisted Smile is peculiar to the Western world and can only be done deliberately which means it can send only one message – sarcasm.
  3. Drop-jaw. Practised smile.
  4. Sideways-Looking-Up Smile. With the head turned down and away while looking up with a Tight-Lipped Smile, the smiler looks juvenile, playful and secretive. This coy smile has been shown to be men’s favourite everywhere, because when a woman does it, it engenders parental male feelings, making men want to protect and care for females.
  5. The George W Bush Grin. Bush is a Texan and they smile more than most other Americans.


  1. By folding one or both arms across the chest, a barrier is formed that is an unconscious attempt to block out what we perceive as a threat or undesirable circumstances. take an arms-folded position when they disagree with what they’re hearing.
  2. Holding the hands over the crotch makes men feel more secure when they feel threatened.
  3. women tend to keep their arms more open when they are around men they find attractive and are likely to fold their arms across their breasts around aggressive or unattractive men.
  4. Reinforced Arm-Crossing. If a person has clenched fists as well as a full arm-cross, this cluster, called Fists-Clenched-Arm-Crossed, shows hostility as well as defensiveness. If it’s combined with a tight-lipped smile or clenched teeth and red face, a verbal or even physical attack could happen.
  5. Arm Gripping. The Double-Arm-Grip is characterised by the person’s hands tightly gripping their upper arms to reinforce themselves and avoid exposure of the front of the body. Self-hugging. It shows a negative, restrained attitude.
  6. 👍🏼 Thumbs-Up-Arms-Crossed. Arm-fold gesture with both thumbs pointing upwards. This gesture has the arms-crossed plus both thumbs up showing that he’s feeling ‘cool’ and in control. As he talks, he gestures with his thumbs to emphasise points he is making. As we’ve already discussed, the thumbs-up gesture is a way of showing others we have a self-confident attitude and the folded arms still gives a feeling of protection.
  7. 👎🏼 Fists-Clenched-Arms-Crossed.
  8. Someone who is feeling defensive but also submissive at the same time will sit in a symmetrical position, which means one side of their body is a perfect mirror of the other. They display tense muscle tone and look as if they expect to be attacked, whereas a person who is feeling defensive and dominant will take an asymmetrical pose, that is, one side of the body doesn’t mirror the other.
  9. People carrying weapons or wearing armour seldom use arm-cross gestures because their weapon or armour provides sufficient body protection. Police officers who wear guns, for example, rarely cross their arms unless they are standing guard and they normally use the fist-clenched position to communicate clearly that nobody is permitted to pass where they are standing.
  10. Sitting with your elbows on the armrest of a chair is a position of power and conveys a strong, upright image. Humble, defeated individuals let the arms drop inside the arms of the chair, so avoid this at all times unless your goal is to appear defeated.
  11. Hugging yourself.
    1. Partial-Arm-Cross. Women.
    2. Holding-Hands-With-Yourself. it’s commonly used by men who stand in front of a crowd to receive an award or give a speech.
    3. Broken Zipper Position.
    4. As in all arm-cross gestures, one arm swings across in front of the body towards the other arm but instead of the arms crossing, one hand touches or holds on to a handbag, bracelet, watch, shirt cuff or object on or near their other arm.
    5. CuffLink-Adjust.
    6. Flowers/Handbag-Clutch.
    7. Coffee cup.
  12. Arms-Folded-with-Thumbs-Pointing-Upwards. This is a double signal, showing a defensive or negative attitude (folded arms), plus a superior attitude revealed by the thumbs.


  1. 👎🏼 Contracted Pupils. Conversely, an angry, negative mood causes the pupils to contract to what are commonly known as ‘beady little eyes’ or ‘snake eyes’. Lighter eyes can look more attractive because it’s easier to see the dilation taking place.
  2. 👍🏼 Dialated pupils. Hess also found that increases in pupil size are positively correlated with mental activity associated with problem solving, reaching maximum dilation as a person arrives at the solution.
  3. 👍🏼 Eyebrow flash.
  4. Lowering the eyebrows is how humans show dominance or aggression towards others, whereas raising the eyebrows shows submission.


  1. If a five-year-old child tells a lie, he’s likely to immediately cover his mouth with one or both hands. When a teenager tells a lie, the hand is brought to the mouth in a similar way to the five-year-old, but instead of the obvious hand-slapping gesture over the mouth, the fingers rub lightly around it. -> When an adult tells a lie, it’s as if his brain instructs his hand to cover his mouth in an attempt to block the deceitful words, just as it did for the five-year-old and the teenager. But, at the last moment, the hand is pulled away from the face and a nose touch gesture results.



  1. Shoulder Shrug
  2. The palm facing up is used as a submissive, non-threatening gesture
  3. Smiling. Babies quickly learn that crying gets our attention – and that smiling keeps us there.


  1. Critical Evaluation
    1. Thumb supports the chin
    2. Index finger pointing up
    3. Finger covers the mouth
    4. Crossed legs/arms
    5. Head and chin down (negative/hostile)
  2. Palm down
  3. Palm-Closed-Finger-Pointed is a fist where the pointed finger is used like a symbolic club.
  4. Standing on the left side of a photo shows power, because from this position the handshakes are usually dominating.

Culture specific

  1. In some countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines, finger pointing at a person is an insult as this gesture is only used to point at animals. Malaysians will use their thumb to point to people or to give directions.
  2. The English Stiff-Upper-Lip This gesture relates to pursing the lips to control the face so that facial expressions are reduced and as little emotion as possible is shown. Europeans and Westerners blow their noses into a handkerchief or tissue while Asians and Japanese spit or snort. In places that have strong British influence, such as Australia, the USA, South Africa, Singapore and New Zealand, the Thumb-Up gesture has three meanings: it’s 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, meaning ‘Up yours’ or ‘Sit on this’. This sign is common in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain and carries an ‘up yours’ interpretation. Winston Churchill popularised the ‘V for victory’ sign during the Second World War, but his two-fingered version was done with the palm facing out, whereas the palm faces towards the speaker for the obscene insult version.
  3. Japan. One area where handshakes, kissing and bear hugs have not become established is Japan, where such bodily contact is considered impolite. Japanese people bow on first meeting, the person with the highest status bowing the least and the one with the least status bowing the most. In Japan, make sure your shoes are spotlessly clean and in good condition. Every time a Japanese bows, he inspects them. The Head Nod is an almost universal sign for ‘yes’, except for the Bulgarians who use the gesture to signify ‘no’, and the Japanese who use it for politeness. politeness. If you say something a Japanese doesn’t agree with, he’ll still say ‘yes’ – or Hai in Japanese – to keep you talking. A Japanese ‘yes’ usually means, ‘Yes, I heard you’ and not ‘Yes, I agree’. For example, if you say to a Japanese person ‘You don’t agree, do you?’ he will nod his head and say ‘yes’ even though he may not agree. In the Japanese context, it means ‘Yes, you are correct – I don’t agree.’ The Japanese are concerned with saving face and have developed a set of rules to prevent things going wrong so try to avoid saying no or asking questions when the answer might be no. Europeans and Westerners blow their noses into a handkerchief or tissue while Asians and Japanese spit or snort. Eyebrow flashin - The only culture that doesn’t use it is the Japanese, where it’s considered improper or impolite and has definite sexual connotations.
  4. Bulgarian. The Head Nod is an almost universal sign for ‘yes’, except for the Bulgarians who use the gesture to signify ‘no’, and the Japanese who use it for politeness.
  5. Greek. Show a Greek man the OK signal and he may think you’re inferring you or he is gay. In some countries, such as Greece, the thumb is thrust forward and its main meaning is ‘Get stuffed’!
  6. Turk. Turk might think you’re calling him an ‘arsehole’.
  7. Arab. It’s rare in Arab countries where it is used as either a threat signal or as an obscenity.
  8. Latin America. OK signal had been read as You’re all a bunch of arseholes.
  9. Italy. The index finger and little finger represent the horns of the bull and this football gesture is recognised by most Americans. In Italy it’s cuckold. In Italy, however, the Ear Grab is used to indicate that someone is effeminate or gay.

Lecturing and Negotiating Tips

  1. Open hands. No crossing of arms. No pointing fingers or palm-down positions.
  2. When you see someone take the arms-crossed position, it’s reasonable to assume that you may have said something with which they disagree. It may be pointless continuing your line of argument even though the person could be verbally agreeing with you. The fact is that body language is more honest than words. A simple but effective way of breaking the arms-folded position is to give the listener something to hold or give them something to do. Giving them a pen, book, brochure, sample or written test forces them to unfold their arms and lean forward. This moves them into a more open position and, therefore, a more open attitude. Asking someone to lean forward to look at a visual presentation can also be an effective means of opening the arms-folded position. You could also lean forward with your palms up and say, ‘I can see you have a question…what would you like to know?’ or, ‘What’s your opinion?’ You then sit or lean back to indicate that it’s their turn to speak. By using your palms you non-verbally tell them.
  3. Skilful elbow-touching can give you up to three times the chance of getting what you want. This result shows how the elbow touch works better in places where frequent touching is not the cultural norm. Overall, we found that women were four times more likely to touch another woman than was a man to touch another man. In many places, touching a stranger above or below the elbow did not produce the same positive results as with directly touching the elbow and often received negative reactions. Touching for more than three seconds also received a negative response, with the person suddenly looking down at your hand to see what you are doing. The elbow-and-hand touching waitresses made 36% more tips from male diners than non-touching waitresses and male waiters increased their earnings by 22% regardless of which sex they touched.
  4. Salespeople are taught to use the palm rub gesture when describing products or services to prospective buyers, and to use a fast hand action to avoid putting buyers on the defensive. When a buyer quickly rubs his palms together and says, ‘Let’s see what you have to offer!’ it signals that he’s expecting to see something good and might buy.
  5. If they cover their mouth while you are speaking, it can show they might feel you are hiding something. Stop and ask for questions.
  6. When you are meeting someone new, let them check you out by opening a briefcase, hanging your coat etc. Don’t remain a close and long eye contact.

Examples with Analysis

  1. Having greeted them with a Palm-Down handshake, he stands back from them – a yard away (1 metre) – with his hands by his side or behind his back in the Prince Philip Palm-in-Palm position (superiority), or with one or both hands in his pocket (non-involvement). He rarely folds his arms across his chest so as not to show the slightest hint of nervousness.
  2. Picture this scene – you’re playing chess and it’s your turn to move. You move your hand over the chessboard and rest your finger on a chess piece, indicating you intend to move that piece. You then notice your opponent sit back and make the Steeple gesture. Your opponent has just told you, non-verbally, that he feels confident about your move so your best strategy is not to make it. You next touch another chess piece and see your opponent assume the Hands Clenched gesture or Arms Crossed position, signalling that he doesn’t like your potential move – so you should make it.
  3. We interviewed a man who had arrived from abroad to apply for a position with our company. Throughout the interview he kept his arms and legs crossed, used critical evaluation clusters, had very little palm use and he looked away frequently. Something was obviously worrying him, but in the early stages of the interview we didn’t have sufficient information for an accurate assessment of his negative gestures. We asked questions about his previous employers in his native country. His answers included a series of eye-rubbing and nose-touching gestures and he continued to look away. We eventually decided not to hire him, based on what we had seen as opposed to what he had said. We were curious about his deceit gestures and when we checked with his overseas referees, we discovered that he had given false information about his past. He assumed that a potential employer in another country probably wouldn’t bother to check overseas references and, had we not been aware of the body language cues and signals, we could have made the mistake of hiring him.
  4. We have a colleague, Bob, who enjoys playing chess. We challenged him to a competition, which we secretly videotaped for later analysis of his body language. The video revealed that Bob often rubbed his ear or touched his nose during the game, but only when he was unsure of his next move. We discovered that when we signalled an intention to move a chess piece by touching it, Bob’s body language would signal what he thought about the proposed move. When he felt he could beat a move, and had probably already thought of a counter move, he’d signal his confidence by Steepling; when he was uncertain or unhappy he’d use the Mouth Cover, Ear Pull or Neck Scratch. This happened with such predictability that when we secretly explained Bob’s cues to the other members of our chess group, soon most could beat poor old Bob by anticipating his thoughts from his body language. Bob has not been offered a copy of this book.



Pease, Allan; Pease, Barbara. The Definitive Book of Body Language: How to read others’ attitudes by their gestures

To read: Gestures: Do’s and Taboos of Body Language Around the World (John Wiley & Sons).