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Body Language

Up to 93% of communication is non verbal and much of this is body language. Knowing how to read body language can mean that you don’t pick up the wrong signals, or miss the silent messages that someone really likes you!

Luckily body language can be very easy to learn, which is a good thing, as it is possibly one of the most important languages that you can learn. You will probably recognise many of the following examples from your own behaviour, or from those close to you. Once you know how to read these signs from people around you, you’ll get a good idea of the workings of their minds and thought processes.

Let’s say you are out on a date and want to take things further. Before you do so, you need to know if the other person is interested. Look out for these tell tale signs and you will never be left guessing again!

Male body language:

If a man is showing an interest he will appear to be standing taller, by puffing up his chest and pulling in his tummy. You may see him correcting his appearance, straightening his tie (if he is wearing one) and generally preening himself. A sure sign that he is interested is hooking his thumbs in his belt. This subconsciously highlights his genital region and says that he is virile!

Watch out for body positioning. If he turns his body towards you it shows that he is interested, particularly if either of his feet are pointing towards you.

If he is standing with his hands on his hips, he is appearing to make himself bigger and ready to take things further.

The eyes are a great giveaway and are often referred to as the ‘window to the soul’. When someone is holding their gaze, even for a fraction of a second longer than is necessary, especially when combined with dilated pupils, it is a sure sign that you are in luck! A man’s intimate gaze is generally quite obvious. If his eye movements follow a triangle shaped pattern (that is eye to eye, down to the mouth, the rest of the body, and then back up to the eyes again) is another giveaway that he likes you.

Female body language:

Women generally display similar preening and grooming characteristics to men, but there are other signals to look out for which show that they are expressing in interest in the person they’re talking to.

One such sign is the ‘head toss’, this can be done by women with both long and short hair and is used to capture someone’s attention by revealing their neck. Exposed wrists can also be a sign of interest, as can showing the palms of her hands while talking to you. An open palm is often seen as a sign of openness and sincerity.

As with male body language, if her foot or knee is pointing towards you (especially if her legs are crossed) this gives a clear sign of interest. Crossed legs are also seen as being a relaxed informal position. If she lets the shoe from her top leg slip off her foot and then starts playing with it – this is often seen as a sign of interest.

Don’t forget to look out for the eyes, as women are excellent at using the intimate gaze – that is holding your gaze for a moment longer than normal, and following the triangle formation. (Eye to eye, down to the mouth, followed by the rest of the body and then back up to the eyes again). This movement is known as ‘eyeing someone up’.

Another good sign of attraction is if she is coiling her hair around her finger and tilting her head whilst talking to you. And don’t forget to look out for that warm natural smile!

Making the first move

Once you are getting the message that your partner may be interested, and you want some further feedback, it is time to use a technique called ‘excuse touching’. This is non threatening, non sexual behaviour that basically gives you an excuse to touch your partner and shows that you interested, and is a great way to give your partner the opportunity to respond. Excuse touching can be anything from touching their arm whilst talking, to letting your hands touch. If your partner feels the same way, they will often find similar excuses to touch you, or prolonging your touch.

If your partner is not responding to your advances, be aware that this probably means that they are not interested in taking things further. Likewise, if you are interested in the person that is excuse touching you, make sure that you respond – otherwise they may think you are not interested and will back off. You don’t want to miss out on a good opportunity!

Look at these expressions of body language. How many do you recognise…?

Body Language


Brisk, erect walk


Standing with hands on hips

Readiness, aggression

Sitting, legs apart

Open, relaxed

Arms crossed on chest


Walking with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched


Hand to cheek

Evaluation, thinking

Touching, slightly rubbing nose

Rejection, doubt, lying

Rubbing the eye

Doubt, disbelief

Hands clasped behind back

Anger, frustration, apprehension

Locked ankles


Head resting in hand, eyes downcast


Rubbing hands


Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed

Confidence, superiority

Open palm

Sincerity, openness, innocence

Pinching bridge of nose, eyes closed

Negative evaluation

Tapping or drumming fingers


Steepling fingers


Patting/fondling hair

Lack of self-confidence; insecurity

Tilted head


Stroking chin

Trying to make a decision

Looking down, face turned away


Biting nails

Insecurity, nervousness

Pulling or tugging at ear


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