How To Read Body Language And Mistakes To Avoid

how to read body language

We all recognize that the best way to know what somebody else is thinking is to ask them, but sometimes that can be a bit awkward. Nevertheless, you can find out a lot about a person just by reading their body language. You may be shocked to find out what signals you are putting out for the world to speak. Here are the easiest ways how to read someones body language.

Faking It Occasionally

We try to keep our innermost feelings to ourselves. Some of us have a much better poker faces than others. There are a few tell tales that can give you away when you are trying to tell your spouse their new outfit is flattering. 

If you hold your face too stiffly and clench your jaw, people can easily read your distress. Tightening your neck, furrowing your eyebrow or clenching your jaw all make it appear that you are uneasy. This can show regardless of what you are saying even if you’re smiling.

women rubbing eyes


If you aren’t certain, if a person is smiling out of joy or politeness, try inspecting the area around their eyes. When you truly smile at people, the edges of your eyes will crinkle creating what we call crow’s feet. Actual smiles use muscles around our eyes called the orbicularis oculi.

While fake smiles uses cheek muscle called risorius, meaning that our fake smiles do not reach our eyes. All smiles require you to flex the muscle around your mouth, but if your entire face isn’t getting a workout you’re, not offering a genuine smile. Smiling is the most difficult body language to read because it’s easy to fake. Practice makes perfect.


You most likely know that crossing your arms is a generally negative signal. This form of body language read that you are either protective, angry or feeling emotionally cold about something. Past that, try observing the method people move their hands constantly. Touching your own neck or manipulating your hands into strange positions also  conveys defensiveness.

It’s best to try to keep your arms down by your sides if you wish to come off as inviting and sincere.  If you’re using your hands to touch your nose, some people think that shows that you aren’t being truthful. To convey honesty keep your hands away from your face.

Some of us naturally gesture more than others, and this can help us include focus to certain words and phrases. Nonetheless, flailing your hands around too much can be disruptive and might make you come across as nervous. Try making use of very deliberate hand motions instead to get your message across better.

If you want to appear cool, calm and collected don’t bite your nails or fidget with things. Otherwise you will come across as anxious.

Sitting Position

The way which you position your legs while seated can share your feelings to the people around you. If your legs are firmly crossed, it can suggest that you are shut off and are not to be approached.  It’s a protective position. If you’re trying to stay clear of being chatted up at a bar try sitting in this position.

On the other hand, if you are hoping to make new friends while on an evening out try sitting with your legs open and relaxed. Of course, you also want to keep your wardrobe in line with this, so you don’t end up flaunting more than your emotions. If you sit with your legs splayed too much, you can come across as sloppy and careless which is simply not attractive. This will cause a huge misunderstanding in how people will read your body language. 

How to read body language

Let Your “Legs” Do The Talking 

Stress and anxiety can come through your legs and feet in the form of leg shaking or foot tapping. This conveys your anxiety and can be annoying to those around you, particularly if they are being driven crazy by the sound. This form of body language is quite difficult to adjust and also a bad habit.

If you feel nervous throughout a social situation, try replacing the shaking with a more calming action such as crossing your legs at the ankles. It resembles folding your hands on your lap and also will make you feel and look more relaxed.


If you are engaged in a conversation with a person you love, you may find yourself mirroring their habits without realizing it. You can mimic their body language posture. Even the volume and articulation of their voice. When it comes to  somebody leaning their head the same way as yours it’s a great sign that they have an interest in you and also what you have to say. It’s an excellent way to share compassion to others.

This is not also a distinctly human trait. Dogs have been understood to catch yawns from humans and are most likely to do so the closer bond they have with a human doing the yawning. Besides yawning, smiling, is also infectious and also seeing other people’s smiles makes us want to smile too.

Some scientists believe that our minds include mirror neurons. This affect the part of our brain responsible for face acknowledgment and also acknowledging facial expressions and others. When you see somebody change their expression, this neuron creates a mirror reaction to happen on your own face. Mirroring makes us  feel in sync with those around us. It’s also a superb nonverbal way to share empathy.


While a lot of us have  faked smiles out of politeness, it’s a whole lot tougher to fake a eyebrow rate. The top half of our faces can share a lot more than the bottom half. If you know where to look in general. Our eyes, eyebrows and forehead are far more difficult to control than our mouths are. That’s why eyebrows the easiest body language to read. It’s close to impossible to hide your true feelings.

A quick raise of the eyebrows can indicate shock or that someone is trying to flirt with you.  Returning an eyebrow raise is a way to indicate romantic interest. Raising eyebrows can be seen as submissive, because it gives the face a more youthful look. This is actually a reflex in small children. Alternatively, lowering your brows shares dominance and aggression.

You’ll notice that when shaping their eyebrows men tend to trim from the top while ladies prefer high arches that are cut from the bottom. When observing eyebrows is essential to keep context in mind to differentiate between someone showing shock or a person expressing romantic interest. Given that those are two significantly different things, raising just one eyebrow can imply anything from suspicion to flirting, depending on what context the gesture is made in.

How to read body language 


You can figure out if someone is honest or not by observing how often they blink.  Keep in mind their standard habits, that is just how they usually behave. Researchers have found that, when being untruthful, people blink  less often than normal. They believe this may result from the fact that they are attempting to remain composure and think of lies. After they are done telling a lie their blinking will speed up.

Some believe that this is because the body is catching up for all the missed out on blinks throughout the lie. Others assume that it could be a bodily response to the anxiety of seeing if the person you are talking to believes your lie.

Due to the fact that some people believe that liars will avoid eye contact, they will look you in the eye too much. This is liars way of attempting to make themselves appear more believable. In America, people normally keep eye contact for 7 to 10 seconds. This will usually keep longer when they are listening, instead of speaking.

Stand Up Straight  

If you’ve ever had to listen to your parents or teachers, telling you not to slouch well, they were right.  Squaring your chest towards someone signals that you respect them and also are taking notice of them. When somebody new enters your group, it’s a kind gesture to turn in the direction of them, therefore inviting them into the conversation.

Slouching tends to convey that you aren’t confident in your own capabilities. Ideally, you want to hold up your shoulders in order to open up your chest and project confidence and ability. Although this  might be new and different to you, try not to appear too stiff and formal where people may perceive you negatively.

When speaking or listening to somebody see to it that you aren’t unconsciously leaning your body away from them. This makes them  feel as if you aren’t interested in them or that you are intimidated by them. Turn your shoulders to them and remain firmly upright to project power and confidence.


When it involves how to read body language there is usually a fine line between appearing flirtatious and seeming anxious. If you want to be able to flirt effectively you’ll need to pay close attention to these refined differences. Playing with your hair or continuously brushing it out of your face, usually conveys flirtation with just a hint of nervousness. This can be a good sign that a date is going well. However if you are in a job interview or meeting new people, these are gestures that you want to avoid. You will come across as nervous and insecure.

How to read body language

Lip biting is another signal that can convey  attraction to someone, however it has to be done effectively. A little nibble on your lower lip can seem sexy. However chowing down in that area makes it look like you are insecure and don’t know how to correctly articulate your feelings. Take notice of just how much lip biting is taking place, as well as the context of the situation. Pursing your lips can mean that you are puckering up for a kiss or it can mean that you are holding back details from the person you’re speaking to.

Hand Shakes

A handshake is far more  than a simple action. Your body language can convey a great deal about you throughout this typical greeting. When approaching somebody for a handshake, ensure that your hands aren’t stuffed right into your pockets. This makes you seem closed off and as though you are concealing something. While having visible hands makes you look open and honest.

The most unattractive handshake is the dead fish, which is when you let your hand, hang limply in the other persons hand. This conveys low self-esteem and inadequate self-worth. Releasing a handshake almost immediately makes the other person feel as if they are being disregarded and comes across as aggressive and rude.

A two-handed handshake can communicate warmth, kindness and honesty. But only if your left hand continues to be on the  other person’s hand, without travelling as much as their wrists. Grasping their wrists or further up the arm with your other hand communicates that you are trying to get something from the  other person.

If you end up getting the other persons fingers instead of their hand, they feel as if you are trying to keep them at a distance due to your own instabilities.  To convey self-confidence  during a handshake make eye contact attempt to match the grip of the other person and shake from your arm joint and not your wrist.

How to read body language


It’s simple to notice when a person is persistently tapping their foot. Observing where their feet are pointed can offer you much more insight into what they are thinking or feeling.  Where your feet are pointed is a way of signaling where you want to go throughout a boring class or conference.  You will unconsciously direct your feet towards the door since you can’t wait to leave.

If you see someone with their feet pointed towards you this is a good sign that they want you to approach them. You have to make sure the person is aware of your presence, so wait till you see them look at you a few times before approaching. While body orientation can be an excellent clue that comes after foot orientation is already in place.

If you are talking one-on-one with a person who is romantically interested you, they will step forward with one foot as if they are going to start walking in your direction. This is a way to close the range between you and signal their interests.

I hope this gave you more insight on how to read someones body language and also showed you some tips on things you can pay attention to in the future. You can also use this to correct your body language in order not to convey the wrong message during an important meeting or situation.

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