1. Most obvious of all Body Language Signs: Smile
Your smile is one of the most obvious body language signs. Only smile when it is appropriate. It is said that a pathological liar, and even psychotics will smile when it doesn’t make sense for them to do so. Conversely, if you are feeling positive or joyful, it’s hard to keep a smile from creeping across your face. People will make many judgments about you based on your smile. If you are happy, and your smile is the physical result of that overflowing emotion, then that will easily transfer to someone else as genuine. If you are smiling because you feel nervous at a job interview, insecure on a first date, or bored at a dinner party, this too will be revealed.
A fake smile will often show the lower teeth, while a real smile is engaged by the zygomatic major muscle, which will form wrinkles at the outer eyes. As the cheeks move upward, the eyes will appear to shut slightly, forming ‘crow’s feet.’
2. How You Hold Your Arms
The placement of our arms can give away our most secret emotions. We often hold our arms in a way that is subconscious, but it can convey great meaning to people who are observant. When we are defensive of our position, feeling angry, or betrayed, we will hold the arms across the body, or close to our torsos. Conversely, if we are feeling relaxed and receptive, we often will let the arms dangle by our sides or simply lay in our laps or across a table if we are seated.
Moreover, when a man or woman extends their arms outside of their personal space, or extends them overhead this can convey power or the intent to dominate, whereas, crossed arms and legs, along with a slouching posture can intimate feelings of powerlessness. Even our hormone levels can change according to how we hold our physical bodies!
Moreover, research from Harvard University, The University of Oregon, The University of Texas and many other institutions of learning have discovered that powerful and effective leaders not only share similar mindsets, but also similar hormone levels – showing higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. These hormone levels can be changed simply by changing our posture.
This single body language sign is so powerful as proved by Researchers from Princeton that people can tell if someone is feeling joy, sadness, or pain simply by looking at body language – absent from facial expressions.
3. Your Gaze
The eyes truly are the window to our souls. They also convey our emotions in ways we might not imagine. If we look too intently into someone’s eyes we can make them feel uncomfortable; however, by using a tactic whereupon you move your gaze between the mouth, and the eyes, you will convey a sense of sincere attention without putting someone in a defensive position.
Another tell-tale sign the eyes give away can be seen in the pupils. When we are excited or happy, our pupils tend to grow large – thus the term ‘bedroom eyes,’ since an eager romantic partner would have enlarged pupils. Conversely, when our pupils become small, it conveys a mood of anger, fear, or rigidness. This is why harsh, angry people are often said to have ‘snake eyes.’
4. Your Hands
One of the very important body language signs and oldest secrets in business is a strong handshake. Primal tribes used the handshake as away to seal deals, just as modern business people do. When your hand is on top in the handshake this conveys dominance. When it is facing your partner’s equally, it means you consider yourself on equal ground with them. Usually the person who initiates the handshake is also in the position of power, such as a manager or CEO in a company.
Another way people can tell if you are trying to be open and honest is when you reveal the palm of your hands. Dogs reveal their throats when they are in submission. When another person wants to extend an olive leaf, or show they are non-confrontational, they’ll show their palms. You can even look to these body language signs to detect if someone is lying or withholding information. If they say, “I’m telling you the truth,” but their hands are hidden in their pockets or in fists, they likely aren’t.
5. Your Posture
One of the fastest ways to convey your emotional state to the world is hidden in your posture. When you stand straight, but relaxed, you convey confidence and likability. When you puff out your chest awkwardly, you convey the ‘inflated ego,’ or a sense of wanting to seem important, though you may lack the actual sense of Self that conveys the quiet calm that accompanies true confidence.
Simply be learning to stand straight without rigidity opens your heart to better communication and allows a better flow of information from your spinal column to your brain – thus making you smarter, and ‘quick on your feet.’ Your posture can also allow better breathing and more subtle energy to flow through your peripheral body so that your connection to the world is expanded.
6. Your Body Placement
You can tell when two people are really in love, and when they’ve just had an argument without even talking to them. Just watch their body placement. Couples who are engaged with one another fully will turn their bodies toward one another. This is true whether they are standing or sitting. That ‘cold shoulder’ is not just a saying, but a gesture which suggests their motivation to stay in the relationship has waned.
This same body posture can be observed in other types of relationships, too. In the business arena, people will stand with their feet facing the person that they want to make a business connection with, and point their feet, and torso away from someone if they are trying to ‘make a quick exit.’
7. Reserved or Flamboyant Gestures
Though they have a place in theatre, overly reserved or flamboyant gestures speak volumes in an every-day communication scenario. Being closed down into a tiny ball will convey smallness, and insignificance, while overly flamboyant gestures can turn people off because they will see you as a clown, or someone who is mentally unstable. You needn’t be too small or too big in your gestures to convey your mental state. Some subtle communication happens even when you aren’t even aware of it, through the many ways you hold your physical body. Just work on your mental openness and confidence and your body language signs will likely follow.
Additional Body Language Signs Source: 5 Ways Your Body Language Gives You Away