19 tricks for reading people's body language
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Reading other people's body language is tricky business.
If someone's crossing his arms, for example, you could assume that he's closed off, when in fact he's just cold.
That said, when you're trying to discern what a person is really thinking and feeling, it helps to know what kind of gestures and facial expressions to look for.
Because sometimes, a person's nonverbal displays don't quite match up with what she's telling you out loud.
Below, we've rounded up 19 scientific insights into the significance of body language, pulled from Psychology Today, research journals, and a few awesome books.
If one side of their face is more active than the other side, they might be faking the emotion
If the inner corners of their eyebrows don't move up and in, they're probably not as sad as they seem
A slight smile along with direct eye contact might be an attempt at seduction
A shaking leg signals a shaky inner state
Expansive, authoritative postures show leadership
If they're laughing with you, they're probably into you
If they repeatedly touch their face or their hands, they're probably nervous
A clenched jaw, tightened neck, or furrowed brow shows stress
Crossed legs are usually a sign of resistance and low receptivity, and are a bad sign in a negotiation
A 'cluster' of gestures shows a real feeling of connection
An expansive pose signals power and a sense of achievement
Eye contact shows interest — both positive and negative
But if they look into your eyes for too long, they might be lying
If they mirror your body language, the conversation is probably going well
A pointed finger with a closed hand is an attempt at displaying dominance
Raised eyebrows are often a sign of discomfort
A lack of crinkles around the eyes suggests a potentially fake smile
Open palms are an ancient display of honesty
The shoulder shrug is a universal signal of not knowing what's going on