Day 18 – What’s a body to say?

Okay let’s get into some of the logistics of reading people!

But before we do… quick reminder related to yesterday’s post: reading people is not an exact science! There is no perfect formula that is going to be right-on each and every time. Depending on circumstances, culture and other key factors, people may act in a way that contradicts what you would expect.

Here are a few circumstances that will likely effect the presentation of even the most, honest, confident, secure person:

  1. Drug and/or alcohol use
  2. Illness
  3. Being in a totally unfamiliar environment
  4. Extreme stress
  5. Exhaustion
  6. Being the minority in a situation

With those in mind… let’s dive in!


Looking right – The right side of the brain is associated with creativity and imagination. Looking to the right, generally indicates a lack of honesty or storytelling.

Looking left – The left side of the brain stores our memory and facts. When we are trying to recall things, we generall glance to our left.

Rubbing eyes – Can indicate tiredness, disbelief (i.e. “I can’t believe what I am seeing” and rubbing the eyes to be sure), crying.

Excessive blinking – There are different numbers out there regarding the amount of times we blink per minute. Experts average 10-20 times. So if you see someone blinking much more than that, it could indicate they are excited or under pressure (or have dry eyes).


Smiling – One of the keys to knowing if a smile is genuine has to do with the rest of the face. Can you see a “twinkle” in the person’s eyes? Or creases along the edges of the eyes? If the smile is entirely in the mouth but does not involve any other aspects of the face, it is likely being forced.

Smiling without showing teeth – This could indicate a hesitancy on the part of the smiler. Perhaps they are hiding something or feeling embarrassed.

Nail biting/thumb sucking – Children often suck their thumbs as a way of self-soothing. When we grow up, we may continue these “nervous habits” as outward expressions of stress or discomfort. They “remind” us (internally/subconsciously) of the comfort we felt as kids and provide a similar ease of nerves.


Crossed armsCould indicate discomfort or a lack of self-confidence. Arms across othe body serve as a sort of barrier keeping people from getting too close.

Holding bags, papers etc. across or in front of the body – Similar to crossed arms, holding objects in front of the body serves as a barrier.


Finger PointingIndicates agression or blame. Used to dominate others.

Scratching nose while speaking – This is said to indicate lying or exaggeration. Touching the nose at all while speaking could indicate lying.


Have you observed any of these when engaging in conversation with people? Do you find the above descriptions to be accurate in reflecting what’s actually going on with people (or yourself)? Try and observe body language this week and see what you see!

To be continued tomorrow…

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