Body language is a very broad term that simply means the way in which our body speaks to others.
The way that we are standing or sitting
Think for a moment about different types of posture and the message that they relay.
- Sitting hunched over typically indicates stress or discomfort.
- Leaning back when standing or sitting indicates a casual and relaxed demeanour.
- Standing ramrod straight typically indicates stiffness and anxiety.
The position of our arms, legs, feet, and hands
- Crossed arms and legs often indicate a closed mind.
- Fidgeting is usually a sign of boredom or nervousness.
- Smiles and frowns speak a million words.
- A raised eyebrow can mean inquisitiveness, curiosity, or disbelief.
- Chewing one’s lips can indicate thinking, or it can be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or nervousness.
A gesture is a non-verbal message that is made with a specific part of the body. Gestures differ greatly from region to region, and from culture to culture. Below we have included a brief list of gestures and their common interpretation.
|Moving head from side to side||
Not sure; I don’t know
Tapping hands or fingers
|Bored, anxious, nervous|
|Shaking index finger||
|Thumbs up Agreement||OK|
Disagreement, not OK
|Pointing index finger at someone/something||Indicating, blaming
|Flap of the hand||
Doesn’t matter, go ahead
|Waving both hands over head||
|Crossed legs or ankles||
|Tapping toes or feet||
Bored, anxious, nervous