The_Dictionary_of_Body_Language_A_Field_Guide_to_Human_Behavior

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Ded ic a tio n
This b ook i s d ed ic a te d t o t h e l o ve o f m y l ife ,
my b est f r ie n d, a nd t h e f ir st e d ito r o f e very th in g
I d o— my w ife , T hry th H illa ry N ava rro

Epig ra p h
If l a n guag e w as g iv en t o m en t o c o nceal t h eir t h oughts , t h en g estu re ’s p urp ose w as t o d is c lo se t h em .
— J OHN
N APIE R

Con te n ts
C over
T itle P age
D ed ic a tio n
E pig ra ph
I n tr o ductio n
T he H ead
T he F ore h ead
T he E yeb ro w s
T he E yes
T he E ars
T he N ose
T he M outh
T he L ip s
T he C heek s a n d J a w
T he C hin
T he F ace
T he N eck
T he S hould ers
T he A rm s
T he H an ds a n d F in gers
T he C hest, T ors o , a n d B elly
T he H ip s, B utto ck s, a n d G en ita ls
T he L eg s
T he F eet
C onclu sio n
A ckn ow le d gm en ts
B ib lio gra phy
I n dex

About t h e A uth or
Als o b y J o e N ava rro
Copyrig ht
About t h e P ublis h er

In tr o d uctio n
I n 1 971, a t th e a g e o f se v en te en , fo r re aso ns u nknow n to m e th en o r n ow , I
b eg an to keep a jo urn al on hum an beh av io r. I cata lo gued all so rts of
“ n onverb als ” — what is m ore g en era lly c alle d b ody la n guag e. A t f ir s t it w as th e
q uir k y th in gs peo ple did : w hy did th ey ro ll th eir ey es w hen th ey w ere
d is b elie v in g o r r e ach f o r th eir n eck w hen th ey h eard b ad n ew s? L ate r it b ecam e
m ore n uan ced : w hy d id w om en p la y w ith th eir h air w hile o n th e p hone o r a rc h
t h eir e y eb ro w s w hen th ey g re ete d o ne a n oth er? T hese w ere s m all a ctio ns, b ut
t h ey c ap tu re d m y c u rio sity . W hy d id h um an s d o s u ch th in gs, in s u ch v arie ty ?
W hat w as t h e p urp ose o f t h ese b eh av io rs ?
I a d m it it w as a n o dd p urs u it fo r a te en ag er. M y frie n ds to ld m e a s m uch ;
t h ey w ere f o cu se d o n tr a d in g b ase b all c ard s, k now in g w ho h ad th e b est b attin g
a v era g e o r k ic k ed th e m ost e x tr a p oin ts th at s e aso n. I w as f a r m ore in te re ste d in
l e arn in g t h e i n tr ic acie s o f h um an b eh av io r.
In th e b eg in nin g I c ata lo gued m y o bse rv atio ns o n th re e-b y-fiv e-in ch c ard s
f o r m y o w n b en efit. A t th at tim e I w as
unfa m ilia r w ith th e w ork o f C harle s
D arw in , B ro nis ła w M alin ow sk i, E dw ard T . H all, D esm ond M orris , o r m y f u tu re
f rie n d D r. D av id G iv en s— th e g ia n ts i n t h e f ie ld o f h um an b eh av io r. I w as s im ply
i n te re ste d in how oth ers acte d , an d
why,
an d I w an te d to pre se rv e m y
o bse rv atio ns. I n ev er th ought I w ould still b e c o lle ctin g th em o n in dex c ard s
f o rty y ears l a te r.
Over th e y ears , I c o lle cte d s e v era l th ousa n d e n tr ie s. L ittle d id I k now b ack
t h en th at I w ould la te r b eco m e a n F B I S pecia l A gen t a n d w ould , fo r th e n ex t
t w en ty -fiv e years , use th ose obse rv atio ns as I purs u ed crim in als , sp ie s, an d
t e rro ris ts . B ut p erh ap s, g iv en m y in te re st in h ow a n d w hy p eo ple b eh av e, th at
w as t h e n atu ra l t r a je cto ry a ll a lo ng.
I C A M E T O
th e U nite d S ta te s a s a re fu gee fle ein g C om munis t- c o ntr o lle d C uba. I
w as e ig ht y ears o ld a n d d id n’t s p eak E nglis h . I h ad to a d ju st q uic k ly — in o th er
w ord s, I h ad to o bse rv e a n d d eco de m y n ew s u rro undin gs. W hat n ativ e s p eak ers
t o ok fo r g ra n te d , I c o uld n ot. M y n ew e x is te n ce c o nsis te d o f d ecip herin g th e

only th in g th at m ad e se n se — body la n guag e. T hro ugh th eir c o unte n an ce, th eir
lo ok, th e s o ftn ess in th eir e y es, o r th e te n sio n in th eir f a ce, I le arn ed to in te rp re t
what o th ers im plie d . I co uld fig ure o ut w ho lik ed m e, w ho w as in dif f e re n t
to w ard m y e x is te n ce, w heth er s o m eo ne w as a n gry o r u pse t w ith m e. I n a s tr a n ge
la n d, I s u rv iv ed b y o bse rv in g. T here w as n o o th er w ay.
Of c o urs e , A m eric an b ody la n guag e w as a little d if f e re n t
fro m C uban b ody
la n guag e. P eo ple in A m eric a sp oke w ith a dif f e re n t cad en ce an d vib ra n cy.
Cuban s g ot c lo se t o o ne a n oth er w hen t h ey s p oke, a n d o fte n t o uch ed . I n A m eric a
th ey sto od fa rth er a p art, a n d so cia l to uch in g m ig ht re ceiv e a n u nco m fo rta b le
gla n ce o r w ors e .
My p are n ts w ork ed t h re e j o bs e ach , s o t h ey d id n ot h av e t h e t im e t o t e ach m e
th ese th in gs— –I h ad to le arn th em o n m y o w n. I w as le arn in g a b out c u ltu re a n d
th e i n flu en ce i t h as o n n onverb als , e v en i f I c o uld n’t h av e p ut i t i n t h ose w ord s a t
th e tim e. B ut I d id k now th at s o m e b eh av io rs w ere d if f e re n t h ere , a n d I h ad to
unders ta n d th em . I d ev elo ped m y o w n fo rm o f sc ie n tif ic in quir y , o bse rv in g
dis p assio nate ly an d v alid atin g ev ery th in g I sa w n ot o nce o r tw ic e b ut m an y
tim es b efo re it m ad e its w ay o nto a n in dex c ard . A s m y c ard s g re w in n um ber,
certa in p atte rn s i n b eh av io r b eg an t o s ta n d o ut. F or o ne, m ost b eh av io rs c o uld b e
bro ad ly c ate g oriz ed a s m ark ers o f e ith er p sy ch olo gic al c o m fo rt o r d is c o m fo rt;
our b odie s r e v eal v ery a ccu ra te ly , i n r e al t im e, o ur s ta te o f u nease .
I w ould la te r le arn th at m an y o f th ese
co m fo rt m ark ers
o r b eh av io rs , to b e
more p re cis e , o rig in ate d in th e m am malia n o r e m otio nal a re as o f th e b ra in —
what is o fte n r e fe rre d to a s th e lim bic s y ste m . T his ty pe o f in volu nta ry r e sp onse
sq uare d w ith w hat I h ad s e en i n C uba a n d w as s e ein g n ow i n A m eric a. A t s c h ool
or th ro ugh th e w in dow a t th e c o rn er s to re , p eo ple w ould fla sh th eir e y es w ith
th eir e y eb ro w s t o g re et t h ose t h ey t r u ly l ik ed . S uch u niv ers a l b eh av io rs I g re w t o
tr u st a s a u th en tic a n d re lia b le . W hat I d id d oubt
was th e sp oken w ord . H ow
ofte n , a fte r I h ad le arn ed E nglis h , I h eard p eo ple s a y th ey lik ed s o m eth in g w hen
ju st a n i n sta n t e arlie r I h ad s e en t h eir f a ce r e v eal t h e c o m ple te o pposite .
And s o , to o, I le arn ed a t a n e arly a g e a b out d ecep tio n. P eo ple o fte n lie , b ut
th eir n onverb als u su ally re v eal h ow th ey a ctu ally fe el. C hild re n , o f c o urs e , a re
te rrib le lia rs ; th ey m ig ht n od to a ck now le d ge th ey h av e d one so m eth in g b ad
ev en a s t h ey a re v erb ally d en yin g i t. A s w e g et o ld er, w e g et b ette r a t l y in g, b ut a
tr a in ed o bse rv er c an s till s p ot th e s ig ns th at s a y s o m eth in g is w ro ng, th ere a re
is su es h ere , a p ers o n d oes n ot a p pear to b e c o m ple te ly f o rth co m in g, o r s o m eo ne
la ck s c o nfid en ce in w hat h e is s a y in g. M an y o f th ose s ig nals o r b eh av io rs a re
co lle cte d h ere i n t h is b ook.
As I g re w o ld er, I c am e to re ly m ore a n d m ore o n n onverb als . I re lie d o n
th em a t s c h ool, in s p orts , in e v ery th in g I d id — ev en p la y in g w ith m y f rie n ds. B y

th e tim e I h ad g ra d uate d f ro m B rig ham Y oung U niv ers ity , I h ad c o lle cte d m ore
th an a d ecad e’s w orth o f o bse rv atio ns. T here , fo r th e fir s t tim e, I w as liv in g
am ong m an y m ore c u ltu re s ( e ast E uro pean s, A fric an s, P acif ic I s la n ders , N ativ e
Am eric an s, C hin ese , V ie tn am ese , a n d J a p an ese , a m ong o th ers ) th an I h ad s e en
in M ia m i, a n d t h is a llo w ed m e t o m ak e f u rth er o bse rv atio ns.
At s c h ool I a ls o b eg an to d is c o ver th e f a sc in atin g s c ie n tif ic u nderp in nin gs o f
man y of th ese beh av io rs . T o ta k e ju st one ex am ple : in 1974 I got to se e
co ngen ita lly b lin d ch ild re n p la y in g to geth er. It to ok m y b re ath aw ay. T hese
ch ild re n h ad n ev er s e en o th er c h ild re n y et w ere e x hib itin g b eh av io rs th at I h ad
th ought w ere v is u ally le arn ed . T hey w ere d em onstr a tin g “ h ap py fe et” a n d th e
“ste ep le ” w ith th eir h an ds, d esp ite h av in g n ev er w itn esse d th em . T his m ean t
th ese b eh av io rs w ere h ard w ir e d in to o ur D NA, p art o f o ur p ale o -c ir c u its — th ese
very a n cie n t c ir c u its th at e n su re o ur s u rv iv al a n d a b ility to c o m munic ate a n d a re
th us u niv ers a l. T hro ughout m y c o lle g e c are er, I le arn ed a b out th e e v olu tio nary
basis o f m an y o f th ese b eh av io rs , a n d th ro ughout th is b ook, I w ill re v eal th ese
ofte n s u rp ris in g f a cts w e t a k e f o r g ra n te d .
W HEN
I F IN IS H ED
my s tu die s a t B rig ham Y oung U niv ers ity , I re ceiv ed a p hone
call a sk in g m e to a p ply to th e F B I. I th ought it w as a jo ke, b ut th e n ex t d ay tw o
men in su its k nock ed o n m y d oor a n d h an ded m e a n a p plic atio n a n d m y lif e
ch an ged fo re v er. In th ose d ay s, it w as n ot u nusu al fo r F B I sc o uts to lo ok fo r
ta le n t o n c am pus. W hy m y n am e w as h an ded u p, o r b y w ho, I n ev er le arn ed . I
can te ll y ou th at I w as m ore th an e la te d to b e a sk ed to jo in th e m ost p re stig io us
la w e n fo rc em en t a g en cy i n t h e w orld .
I w as t h e s e co nd-y oungest a g en t e v er h ir e d b y t h e F B I. A t t h e a g e o f t w en ty -
th re e I h ad a g ain e n te re d a n ew w orld . T hough I f e lt u npre p are d i n m an y w ay s t o
be a n a g en t, th ere w as o ne d om ain I h ad m aste re d : n onverb al c o m munic atio n.
This w as th e o nly a re a w here I fe lt c o nfid en t. F B I w ork is , fo r th e m ost p art,
ab out m ak in g o bse rv atio ns. Y es, th ere a re c rim e s c en es to p ro cess a n d c rim in als
to ap pre h en d, but th e
majo rity of th e jo b is ta lk in g to peo ple , su rv eillin g
crim in als , c o nductin g i n te rv ie w s. A nd f o r t h at I w as r e ad y.
My c are er in th e F B I s p an ned tw en ty -fiv e y ears , th e la st th ir te en o f w hic h I
sp en t in th e B ure au ’s e lite N atio nal S ecu rity B eh av io ra l A naly sis P ro gra m ( N S-
BA P). I t w as i n t h is u nit, d esig ned t o a n aly ze t h e t o p n atio nal s e cu rity c ase s, t h at
I g ot to u tiliz e m y n onverb al s k ills a s if o n s te ro id s. T his u nit, c o m pris in g ju st
six a g en ts se le cte d fro m a m ong tw elv e th ousa n d F B I S pecia l A gen ts , h ad to
ach ie v e th e im possib le : id en tif y sp ie s, m ole s, a n d h ostile in te llig en ce o ff ic ers
se ek in g t o d o h arm t o t h e U nite d S ta te s u nder d ip lo m atic c o ver.
Durin g m y tim e in th e fie ld I h oned m y u nders ta n din g o f b ody la n guag e.

What I o bse rv ed c o uld n ev er b e re p lic ate d in a u niv ers ity la b ora to ry . W hen I
re ad s c ie n tif ic jo urn als a b out d ecep tio n a n d b ody la n guag e, I c o uld te ll th at th e
au th ors h ad n ev er a ctu ally i n te rv ie w ed a p sy ch opath , a t e rro ris t, a “ m ad e” M afia
mem ber, o r a n i n te llig en ce o ff ic er f ro m t h e S ovie t K GB. T heir f in din gs m ig ht b e
tr u e in a la b s e ttin g, u sin g u niv ers ity s tu den ts . B ut th ey u nders to od little o f th e
re al w orld . N o l a b c o uld r e p lic ate w hat I h ad o bse rv ed i n v iv o, a n d n o r e se arc h er
co uld a p pro xim ate th e m ore th an th ir te en th ousa n d in te rv ie w s I h ad d one in m y
care er, th e th ousa n ds o f h ours o f su rv eilla n ce v id eo I h ad o bse rv ed , an d th e
beh av io ra l n ota tio ns th at I h ad m ad e. T w en ty -fiv e y ears in th e F B I w as m y
gra d uate sc h ool; puttin g multip le sp ie s in pris o n base d on nonverb al
co m munic atio ns w as m y d is se rta tio n.
A FT ER R ETIR IN G FR O M
th e F B I, I w an te d to sh are w hat I knew ab out body
la n guag e w ith o th ers .
What E very B O DY Is S ayin g,
p ublis h ed in 2 0 08,
was th e
pro duct o f th at q uest. In th at b o ok
th e c o ncep ts o f “ co m fo rt” a n d “ d is c o m fo rt”
to ok c en te r s ta g e, a n d I u nveile d th e u biq uity o f “ p acif ie rs ” — su ch a s to uch in g
our fa ces o r str o kin g o ur h air — body b eh av io rs w e u se to d eal w ith e v ery day
str e ss. I als o so ught to ex pla in w here th ese u niv ers a l b eh av io rs cam e fro m ,
dra w in g upon psy ch olo gic al re se arc h , ev olu tio nary bio lo gy, an d cu ltu ra l
co nte x ts t o e x pla in
why
w e d o t h e t h in gs w e d o.
What E very B O DY I s S ayin g
b ecam e a n in te rn atio nal b est s e lle r; it h as b een
tr a n sla te d in to d ozen s o f la n guag es an d h as so ld m ore th an a m illio n co pie s
aro und t h e w orld . W hen I w ro te
What E very B O DY I s S ayin g,
I h ad n o i d ea h ow
popula r i t w ould b eco m e. A t m y s p eak in g e n gag em en ts i n t h e y ears f o llo w in g i ts
public atio n, I k ep t h earin g t h e s a m e t h in g: p eo ple w an te d m ore , a n d t h ey w an te d
it in a m ore e asily a ccessib le fo rm at. W hat m an y re ad ers a sk ed fo r w as a fie ld
guid e o f s o rts , a q uic k re fe re n ce m an ual fo r b eh av io rs th ey m ig ht e n co unte r in
day -to -d ay l if e .
The D ic tio nary o f B ody L anguage
is th at f ie ld g uid e. O rg an iz ed b y a re as o f
th e b ody— movin g fro m th e h ead d ow n to th e fe et— it c o nta in s m ore th an fo ur
hundre d o f t h e m ost i m porta n t b ody-la n guag e o bse rv atio ns I h av e m ad e o ver t h e
co urs e o f m y c are er. M y h ope is th at re ad in g th ro ugh
The D ic tio nary o f B ody
Language
w ill g iv e y ou th e s a m e in sig ht in to h um an b eh av io r th at I a n d o th er
FB I a g en ts
hav e u se d to d eco de h um an b eh av io r. O f c o urs e , w e h av e u se d it
when q uestio nin g s u sp ects o f c rim e. B ut y ou c an u se i t a s I h av e e v ery d ay s in ce
I c am e to th is c o untr y — to m ore f u lly u nders ta n d th ose w e in te ra ct w ith a t w ork
or a t p la y. In s o cia l re la tio nsh ip s, I c an th in k o f n o b ette r w ay to c o m pre h en d
your frie n ds or partn ers th an by stu dyin g th e prim ary m ean s by w hic h w e
co m munic ate — nonverb ally .

If y ou h av e e v er w ondere d w hy w e d o th e th in gs w e d o, o r w hat a p artic u la r
beh av io r m ean s, m y h ope is to sa tis fy y our c u rio sity . A s y ou g o th ro ugh th e
dic tio nary , a ct o ut t h e b eh av io rs t h at y ou r e ad a b out a n d g et a s e n se f o r h ow t h ey
ap pear a s w ell a s th ey f e el. B y a ctin g th ese o ut, y ou w ill b ette r r e m em ber th em
th e n ex t t im e y ou s e e t h em . I f y ou a re l ik e m e a n d e n jo y p eo ple w atc h in g, i f y ou
wan t t o d is c ern w hat p eo ple a re t h in kin g, f e elin g, d esir in g, f e arin g, o r i n te n din g,
wheth er a t w ork , a t h om e, o r i n t h e c la ssro om , r e ad o n.

The H ea d
A ll b eh av io r, o f c o urs e , o rig in ate s f ro m in sid e th e h ead . T he b ra in is c o nsta n tly
a t w ork , w heth er o n a c o nsc io us o r s u bco nsc io us le v el. T he s ig nals th at g o o ut
f ro m th e b ra in r e g ula te th e h eart, b re ath in g, d ig estio n, a n d m an y o th er f u nctio ns
— but th e ex te rio r o f th e h ead is tr e m en dously im porta n t as w ell. T he h air ,
f o re h ead , e y eb ro w s, e y es, n ose , l ip s, e ars , a n d c h in a ll c o m munic ate i n t h eir o w n
w ay — fro m o ur g en era l h ealth to e m otio nal d is tr e ss. A nd s o w e b eg in w ith th e
p art o f th e b ody th at, fro m th e tim e w e a re b orn u ntil w e d ie , w e lo ok to fo r
u se fu l in fo rm atio n— fir s t as p are n ts , la te r as frie n ds, w ork m ate s, lo vers — to
r e v eal f o r u s w hat i s i n t h e m in d.
1 .
HEA D A DO RNM EN T—
Head a d orn m en t i s u se d a cro ss a ll c u ltu re s f o r a v arie ty
of r e aso ns. I t c an c o m munic ate le ad ers h ip s ta tu s ( N ativ e A m eric an c h ie fs ’
fe ath er h ead dre sse s), o ccu patio n ( a h ard h at o r m in er’s h at) , s o cia l s ta tu s ( a
bow le r h at o r a n Y ves S ain t L au re n t p illb ox h at) , h obbie s ( b ic y cle o r r o ck -
clim bin g h elm et) ,
re lig io n (c ard in al’s c ap , J e w is h y arm ulk e), o r a lle g ia n ce
(fa v orite s p orts te am , la b or u nio n). H ead a d orn m en ts m ay o ff e r in sig ht in to
in div id uals : w here th ey f it in s o cie ty , th eir a lle g ia n ces, th eir s o cio eco nom ic
sta tu s, w hat th ey b elie v e, h ow th ey s e e th em se lv es, o r e v en th e d eg re e to
whic h t h ey d efy c o nven tio n.
2 .
HAIR
—Sittin g c o nven ie n tly o n to p o f th e h ead , o ur h air c o nvey s s o m uch
when it c o m es to n onverb al c o m munic atio n. H ealth y h air is s o m eth in g a ll
hum an s lo ok f o r, e v en o n a s u bco nsc io us le v el. H air th at is d ir ty , u nkem pt,
pulle d o ut, o r u ncare d fo r m ay s u ggest p oor h ealth o r e v en m en ta l illn ess.
Hair a ttr a cts , e n tic es, c o nfo rm s, r e p els , o r s h ock s. I t c an e v en c o m munic ate
so m eth in g ab out o ur care ers ; as re n ow ned an th ro polo gis t D av id G iv en s
puts it, h air o fte n se rv es a s a n “ u noff ic ia l ré su m é,” re v ealin g w here o ne
ra n ks in a n o rg an iz atio n. A nd in m an y c u ltu re s h air is c ritic al to d atin g a n d
ro m an ce. P eo ple te n d to f o llo w b oth c u ltu ra l n orm s a n d c u rre n t tr e n ds w ith
th eir h air ; i f t h ey i g nore t h ese s o cie ta l s ta n dard s, t h ey s ta n d o ut.
3 .
PL AY IN G W IT H H AIR
—Pla y in g w ith o ur h air ( tw ir lin g, t w is tin g, s tr o kin g) i s a
pacify in g b eh avio r
. It is m ost fre q uen tly u tiliz ed b y w om en an d m ig ht
in dic ate e ith er a g ood m ood (w hile re ad in g o r re la x in g) o r str e ss (w hen

waitin g fo r an in te rv ie w , fo r ex am ple , o r ex perie n cin g a b um py flig ht) .
Note t h at w hen t h e
palm
of t h e h and f a ces t h e h ea d
it is m ore lik ely to b e a
pacif ie r, a s o ppose d to th e p alm -o ut o rie n ta tio n d is c u sse d b elo w . P acif y in g
beh av io rs so oth e u s p sy ch olo gic ally w hen w e fe el str e ss o r a n xie ty ; th ey
als o h elp u s to p ass th e tim e. A s w e g ro w o ld er w e g o fro m p acif y in g b y
su ck in g o ur th um bs to su ch b eh av io rs a s lip b itin g, n ail b itin g, o r fa cia l
str o kin g.
4 .
PL AY IN G W IT H H AIR ( P A LM O UT)
—When w om en p la y w ith t h eir h air w ith t h e
palm o f th e h and fa cin g o ut,
it is m ore o f a p ublic d is p la y o f c o m fo rt— a
sig n th at th ey a re c o nte n t a n d c o nfid en t a ro und o th ers . W e u su ally o nly
ex pose th e u nders id e o f o ur w ris ts to o th ers w hen w e a re c o m fo rta b le o r a t
ease . T his i s o fte n s e en in d atin g s c en ario s w here th e w om an w ill p la y w ith
her h air , p alm o ut, w hile t a lk in g t o s o m eo ne i n w hom s h e i s i n te re ste d .
5 .
RUNNIN G F IN G ER S T H RO UG H H AIR ( M EN )
—When s tr e sse d , m en w ill r u n t h eir
fin gers t h ro ugh t h eir h air b oth t o v en tila te t h eir h ead s ( th is l e ts a ir i n t o c o ol
th e v asc u la r s u rfa ce o f th e s c alp ) a n d to s tim ula te th e n erv es o f th e s k in a s
th ey p re ss d ow n. T his c an a ls o b e a s ig n o f c o ncern o r d oubt.
6 .
VEN TIL AT IN G H AIR ( W OM EN )
—The v en tila tin g o f h air is a p ow erfu l p acif ie r,
re lie v in g b oth h eat a n d s tr e ss. W om en v en tila te th eir h air d if f e re n tly th an
men . W om en lif t up th e hair at th e back of th eir neck quic k ly w hen
co ncern ed , u pse t, s tr e sse d , o r f lu ste re d . I f th ey d o it r e p eate d ly , m ost lik ely
th ey a re o verly s tr e sse d . N ev erth ele ss, w e c an not d is c o unt o verh eatin g d ue
to p hysic al a ctiv ity o r a m bie n t t e m pera tu re a s a c au se . M en t e n d t o v en tila te
on t h e t o p o f t h e h ead b y r u nnin g t h eir f in gers t h ro ugh t h e h air.
7 .
HAIR F L IP PIN G /T O UCH IN G
—Hair flip pin g, to uch in g, o r p ullin g is c o m mon
when w e are tr y in g to attr a ct th e atte n tio n of a pote n tia l m ate . T he
movem en t o f t h e h an d a s i t t o uch es t h e h air i s o fte n d eem ed a ttr a ctiv e ( n ote
most an y hair co m merc ia l) . O ur
orie n ta tio n re fle x
(O R), a prim itiv e
re actio n th at ale rts us to an y m ovem en t, is esp ecia lly attu ned to han d
movem en ts — so m eth in g m ag ic ia n s hav e alw ay s co unte d on. A han d
re ach in g fo r th e h air c an d ra w o ur a tte n tio n e v en fro m a cro ss th e ro om .
In cid en ta lly , th e o rie n ta tio n r e fle x o pera te s o n s u ch a s u bco nsc io us le v el, it
is e v en s e en i n c o m a p atie n ts a s t h e e y es t r a ck m ovem en t.
8 .
HAIR P U LLIN G
—The in te n tio nal a n d re p etitiv e p ullin g o ut o f h air is c alle d

tr ic h otillo m ania
. H air p ullin g is m ore o fte n s e en in c h ild re n a n d te en ag ers
who a re e x perie n cin g s tr e ss, b ut it is a ls o o ccasio nally s e en in a d ults . M en
te n d to p lu ck h air f ro m th e c o rn ers o f th eir e y eb ro w s, w hile w om en a re f a r
more w id e-ra n gin g: p lu ck in g th eir e y elid s, h ead h air , e y eb ro w s,
an d a rm
hair. T his is a s tr e ss re sp onse ; e v en b ir d s w ill p ull o ut th eir o w n fe ath ers
when str e sse d . T he re p etitiv e p ullin g o ut o f th e h air , lik e a n erv ous tic ,
pacif ie s by stim ula tin g nerv e en din gs; unfo rtu nate ly , w hen it beco m es
se v ere , i t r e q uir e s m ed ic al i n te rv en tio n.
9 .
HEA D N O DDIN G
—Durin g c o nvers a tio ns n oddin g s e rv es to a ff ir m , u su ally in
cad en ce, t h at t h e p ers o n i s h earin g a n d r e cep tiv e t o a m essa g e. G en era lly , i t
sig nals ag re em en t, ex cep t in th ose situ atio ns w here th e h ead n oddin g is
acco m pan ie d b y l ip p urs in g (
se e # 154
), w hic h m ig ht s u ggest d is a g re em en t.
10
.
HEA D N O DDIN G (C O NTR ADIC TIO N)
—We u su ally s e e th is in y oung c h ild re n ,
as w hen a p are n t a sk s a c h ild “ D id y ou b re ak th e la m p?” a n d th e c h ild
an sw ers “N o” b ut n ods. T his co ntr a d ic to ry b eh av io r b etr a y s th e tr u th . I
hav e s e en t h is w ith k id s, t e en ag ers , a n d e v en a d ults .
11
.
HEA D PA T TIN G , BA CK O F H EA D
—When w e are perp le x ed or m en ta lly
co nflic te d , w e o fte n fin d o urs e lv es p attin g th e b ack o f o ur h ead w ith o ne
han d, perh ap s ev en str o kin g our hair dow nw ard as w e str u ggle fo r an
an sw er. T his b eh av io r is s o oth in g b ecau se o f b oth th e ta ctile s e n sa tio n a n d
th e w arm th th at is g en era te d . L ik e m ost h an d-to -b ody to uch in g, th is is a
pacif y in g b eh av io r t h at r e d uces s tr e ss o r a n xie ty .
12
.
HEA D S C RAT C H IN G
—Head sc ra tc h in g so oth es u s w hen w e h av e d oubts o r
fe el fru str a te d , str e sse d , o r co ncern ed . Y ou se e it w ith p eo ple tr y in g to
re m em ber in fo rm atio n o r w hen th ey a re p erp le x ed . T his e x pla in s w hy it is
ofte n s e en b y te ach ers a s s tu den ts p onder a te st q uestio n. V ery ra p id h ead
sc ra tc h in g o fte n s ig nals h ig h s tr e ss o r c o ncern . I t c an a ls o s ig nal th e p ers o n
is c o nflic te d a s t o w hat t o d o n ex t.
13
.
HEA D ST R O KIN G
—Bey ond th e fu nctio n of keep in g one’s hair in pla ce,
peo ple w ill s tr o ke th eir h air w ith t h e p alm o f th e h an d to s o oth e t h em se lv es
when str e sse d o r c o nfro nte d w ith a d ile m ma o r w hile p onderin g h ow to
an sw er a q uestio n. T his is n ot d is sim ila r to a m oth er c o m fo rtin g h er c h ild
by str o kin g th e ch ild ’s head . This pacif y in g beh av io r can hav e an
im med ia te c alm in g e ff e ct. O nce m ore , th is b eh av io r m ay sig nal d oubt o r

co nflic t, e sp ecia lly i f d one t o t h e b ack o f t h e h ead .
14
.
HEA D S C RAT C H IN G W IT H T U M MY R UBBIN G
—The sim ulta n eo us ru bbin g o f
th e belly an d th e head in dic ate s doubt or w onder. It can als o sig nal
in se cu rity o r i n cre d ulity . I n te re stin gly , m an y p rim ate s d o t h is a s w ell.
15
.
IN TER LA CED F IN G ER S B EH IN D H EA D, E LBO W S U P
—The in te rla cin g of th e
fin gers b eh in d t h e h ead
with t h e e lb ow s o ut i s c alle d “ h oodin g” b ecau se t h e
pers o n lo oks lik e a c o bra w hen it h oods— mak in g th e p ers o n s e em b ig ger.
This is a te rrito ria l d is p la y w e d o w hen c o m fo rta b le a n d in c h arg e. W hen
we h ood, th e in te rla ced fin gers b eh in d th e h ead a re b oth c o m fo rtin g a n d
so oth in g, w hile th e e lb ow s o ut p ro je ct c o nfid en ce. H oodin g is ra re ly d one
when s o m eo ne o f h ig her s ta tu s i s p re se n t.
16
.
REA CH IN G F O R H EA D ( S T U PE FIE D )
—Peo ple w ho a re s h ock ed , in d is b elie f, o r
stu pefie d m ig ht s u dden ly re ach fo r th eir h ead w ith b oth h an ds s o th at th e
han ds a re n ear th e e ars b ut n ot to uch in g th em , w ith th e e lb ow s o ut to w ard
th e fro nt. T hey m ig ht h old th is p ositio n fo r s e v era l s e co nds a s th ey tr y to
mak e se n se of w hat hap pen ed . T his prim itiv e, se lf -p ro te ctiv e re sp onse
mig ht fo llo w w hen s o m eo ne h as m ad e a m ajo r fa u x p as,
su ch a s a d riv er
cra sh in g in to h is o w n m ailb ox, o r a p la y er r u nnin g to w ard th e w ro ng g oal
lin e.
17
.
IN TER LA CIN G F IN G ER S O N T O P O F H EA D
—Usu ally p erfo rm ed w ith th e p alm s
dow n, th is b eh av io r s ta n ds o ut b ecau se it is in te n ded to c o ver th e h ead a n d
yet th e elb ow s are u su ally o ut an d w id e. W e se e th is w hen p eo ple are
overw helm ed , a t a n im passe , o r s tr u gglin g, w hen th ere h as b een a c ala m ity
(a fte r h urric an es o r to rn ad os b y th ose w ho lo st p ro perty ), o r w hen th in gs
are n ot g oin g th eir w ay. N ote th e p ositio n o f th e
elb ow s: as th in gs g et
wors e , th ey te n d to dra w clo se r to geth er in fro nt of th e fa ce alm ost
unnatu ra lly , a s if in a v is e . A ls o n ote th e p re ssu re : th e w ors e th e s itu atio n,
th e g re ate r th e d ow nw ard p re ssu re o f th e h an ds. T his b eh av io r is q uite
dif f e re n t f ro m “ h oodin g” (
se e # 15
), w here t h e p alm s a re p la ced o n t h e b ack
of t h e h ead a n d t h e p ers o n i s q uite c o nfid en t.
18
.
HAT L IF T IN G ( V EN TIL AT IN G )
—Under s u dden s tr e ss, p eo ple m ay s u dden ly l if t
up th eir h at to v en tila te th eir h ead . T his o fte n o ccu rs w hen re ceiv in g b ad
new s, durin g an arg um en t, or afte r a heate d m om en t. Fro m a sa fe ty
pers p ectiv e, b e a w are th at in s itu atio ns o f h ig h a n ger ( e .g ., tr a ff ic a ccid en ts

or ro ad -ra g e in cid en ts ), d is ro bin g (re m ovin g h ats , s h ir ts , s u ngla sse s) o fte n
pre ced es a f ig ht.

The F ore h ea d
F ro m th e tim e w e a re b ab ie s, w e b eg in to sc an th e fo re h ead fo r in fo rm atio n.
E ven a t ju st a fe w m onth s o f a g e, in fa n ts w ill re sp ond to th e fu rro w s o n th eir
m oth er’s fo re h ead — perc eiv in g it as so m eth in g neg ativ e. This sm all sp ace
b etw een th e b rid ge o f th e n ose a n d th e h air lin e re v eals to o th ers , in re al tim e,
h ow w e a re f e elin g. I t is a r e m ark ab le p art o f th e b ody c lo se ly c o nnecte d to th e
b ra in , w hic h allo w s us to co m munic ate se n tim en ts quic k ly , accu ra te ly , an d
p ro m in en tly .
1 9
.
FO REH EA D TEN SIO N
—On so m e in div id uals , str e ss m an if e sts as su dden
te n sio n o f th e f o re h ead , a r e su lt o f th e s tif f e n in g a n d te n sin g o f u nderly in g
musc le s. T he fa ce h as m ore th an tw en ty d is tin ct m usc le g ro ups th at c an
cre ate m ore th an fo ur th ousa n d d is tin ct e x pre ssio ns, a cco rd in g to D r. P au l
Ekm an . S ix m usc le s in p artic u la r, in clu din g th e la rg e
occip ito fr o nta lis ,
th e
pro ceru s,
an d t h e
t e m pora lis ,
a cco unt f o r th e tig hte n in g o r f u rro w in g o f th e
fo re h ead w hen w e a re
str e sse d . O bvio usly , o ne h as to s e e p eo ple in a c alm
en vir o nm en t to g et a b ase lin e re ad o n th eir fo re h ead , b ut w hen p eo ple a re
str e sse d , te n sio n o f th e fo re h ead is fre q uen tly v ery n otic eab le an d is an
ex celle n t i n dic ato r t h at s o m eth in g i s w ro ng.
2 0
.
FO REH EA D FU RRO W IN G
—Furro w in g of th e fo re h ead in re sp onse to a
stim ulu s is u su ally a g ood in dic ato r th at so m eth in g is am is s, th ere are
is su es, o r a p ers o n i s i n se cu re . I t i s a ls o s e en w hen p eo ple a re c o ncen tr a tin g
or tr y in g to m ak e s e n se o f s o m eth in g. F urro w in g o f th e f o re h ead is u su ally
asso cia te d w ith doubt, te n sio n, an xie ty , or co ncern . K eep in m in d th at
Boto x, w hic h m an y u se f o r c o sm etic p urp ose s t o o bsc u re s tr e ss l in es o n t h e
fo re h ead , m ig ht m ask t r u e s e n tim en ts .
2 1
.
BO TO XED FO REH EA D (I S SU ES)
—Both m en an d w om en are now ta k in g
ad van ta g e o f B oto x in je ctio ns to e ra se s tr e ss lin es o n th eir f o re h ead s. T his
has cre ate d pro ble m s fo r co uple s an d ev en fo r ch ild re n w ho w ould
norm ally lo ok to th e fo re h ead fo r in fo rm atio n a s to h ow a p ers o n m ig ht
fe el. B ab ie s a s y oung a s f o ur w eek s o ld w ill r e sp ond t o a f u rro w ed f o re h ead
as s o m eth in g n eg ativ e. I n te re stin gly , b oth c h ild re n a n d a d ults h av e r e p orte d
an in ab ility to r e ad th eir p are n ts o r th eir s p ouse s w ho h av e u se d B oto x f o r

em otio nal c u es a s e asily a s t h ey c o uld b efo re .
22
.
ST R ESS L IN ES
—On s o m e i n div id uals , t h eir l if e s tr u ggle s a re m ark ed b y d eep
gro oves o n th eir f o re h ead , e v en a t a y oung a g e. L if e e x perie n ces o fte n e tc h
our f o re h ead s w ith lin es, f u rro w s, a n d o th er in den ta tio ns. T he f o re h ead c an
re fle ct a d if f ic u lt o r s tr e ssfu l l if e o r a l if e t h at h as b een s p en t o utd oors i n t h e
su n, w hic h t e n ds t o m ak e f o re h ead m ark in gs m ore p re v ale n t.
23
.
FO REH EA D S W EAT IN G
—If th e d eg re e o f s tr e ss is h ig h e n ough, s o m e p eo ple
beg in to sp onta n eo usly sw eat. S w eatin g is v ery in div id ual. S om e sw eat
pro fu se ly w ith t h eir f ir s t s ip o f c o ff e e, o r c lim bin g a f lig ht o f s ta ir s , s o m ak e
su re to g et a b ase lin e o f th is b eh av io r b efo re ju m pin g to a n y c o nclu sio n.
Base lin e b eh av io rs a re th ose b eh av io rs w e e q uate w ith “ n orm al,” w hen a
pers o n i s n ot s tr e sse d o r o verly a ff e cte d b y e m otio ns.
24
.
TEM PL E V EIN T H RO BBIN G
—When a p ers o n is u nder str e ss, th e su perfic ia l
te m pora l v ein s (th ose n eare st th e sk in o n th e sid es o f o ur h ead s a n d ju st
beh in d th e e y es) m ig ht p uls e o r th ro b v is ib ly . I t is a v ery a ccu ra te in dic ato r
of a u to nom ic a ro usa l d ue to a n x ie ty , c o ncern , fe ar, a n ger, o r, o ccasio nally ,
ex cite m en t. A uto nom ic a ro usa l is th e b ra in ’s w ay o f a u to m atic ally g oin g
in to s u rv iv al m ode— co m pellin g th e h eart a n d th e lu ngs to w ork fa ste r in
an tic ip atio n o f p hysic al a ctiv ity s u ch a s r u nnin g o r f ig htin g.
25
.
FO REH EA D M ASSA G IN G
—We te n d to m assa g e o ur fo re h ead s w hen w e h av e
head ach es ( lite ra lly ), w hen w e a re p ro cessin g i n fo rm atio n, o r w hen w e h av e
worrie s, c o ncern s, d oubts , o r a n xie ty . I t i s a p acif y in g b eh av io r, w hic h h elp s
to s o oth e t e n sio n o r a p pre h en sio n.
26
.
PO IN TIN G A T F O REH EA D
—Poin tin g a fin ger at th e fo re h ead o r m ak in g a
sc re w in g m otio n w ith th e fin ger w hile p oin tin g at th e fo re h ead is v ery
in su ltin g— it m ean s t h at t h e o bse rv er i s i ll i n fo rm ed , s tu pid , o r c ra zy. T his i s
a cu ltu ra lly base d cu e, gen era lly se en in G erm an y, Sw itz erla n d, an d
Austr ia , w here it is v ery o ff e n siv e, a n d s o m etim es in th e U .S . B ecau se it is
in su ltin g i t s h ould b e a v oid ed .
27
.
PR ESSIN G H AND O N F O REH EA D
—Pre ssin g th e h an d f la t a g ain st th e f o re h ead
help s r e lie v e te n sio n c au se d b y s tr e ss, d oubt, o r in se cu rity . T his is d if f e re n t
fro m sla p pin g th e h an d o n th e fo re h ead ; it lo oks a s th ough th e p ers o n is
tr y in g to p ush h is h ead b ack w ard . A s w ith s o m an y o th er b eh av io rs , th is is

in te n ded to so oth e th e in div id ual p sy ch olo gic ally th ro ugh ta ctile p re ssu re
on t h e s k in .
28
.
PU ZZLED LO OK
—The are a betw een th e ey es is pulle d to geth er, ofte n
cau sin g f u rro w in g o r k nittin g o f t h e e y eb ro w s. T he e y es m ay s q uin t o r l o ok
aw ay, a n d s o m etim es th e h ead is c an te d s lig htly to th e s id e. W e o fte n
se e
th is d is tr e sse d l o ok w hen s o m eo ne i s s tr u gglin g w ith s o m eth in g m en ta lly o r
tr y in g to w ork th ro ugh a p ro ble m . It u su ally re su lts fro m a h ig h
co gnitiv e
lo ad
( a rd uous t h in kin g o r r e callin g).
29
.
CO VER IN G F O REH EA D W IT H H AT
—Str e ss o r e m barra ssm en t w ill c au se s o m e
to a ctu ally c o ver th eir fo re h ead w ith h ead gear (a h at, v is o r, o r h ood). W e
gen era lly s e e th is in c h ild re n a n d te en ag ers b ut a ls o s o m etim es in a d ults . I
hav e o fte n w atc h ed d riv ers d o th is w hen b ein g tic k ete d fo r s p eed in g. It is
alm ost a s i f t h ey a re t r y in g t o h id e i n s h am e.

The E yeb ro w s
T he e y eb ro w s lie ju st a b ove th e s u pra o rb ita l a rc h es o f th e e y e s o ck ets a n d s e rv e
a v arie ty o f p urp ose s. T hey p ro te ct o ur e y es f ro m d ust, lig ht, a n d m ois tu re , b ut
t h ey a ls o c o m munic ate h ow w e fe el. F ro m a n e arly a g e w e re ly o n p eo ple ’s
e y eb ro w s to h elp u s in te rp re t th eir fa cia l e x pre ssio ns. A nd in m an y c u ltu re s,
e y eb ro w s a re a n a esth etic c o ncern : s o m eth in g to b e tw eezed , s h ap ed , p lu ck ed ,
c o lo re d , h ig hlig hte d , w ax ed , s ty liz ed , re m oved , o r e x te n uate d . L ik e th e re st o f
o ur fa ce, th e ey eb ro w s are co ntr o lle d by a varie ty of m usc le s (
co rru gato r
s u perc ilii
prin cip ally , b ut a ls o th e
nasa lis
an d
le va to r la bii s u perio ris
fro m o ur
n ose ), an d th us can be very ex pre ssiv e an d co m munic ate ex quis ite ly our
f e elin gs.
3 0
.
EY EBR O W ARCH IN G /F L A SH IN G (H APPY )
—Eyeb ro w arc h in g or fla sh in g
co nvey s ex cite m en t (s u ch as w hen gre etin g a clo se frie n d) or th e
re co gnitio n o f s o m eth in g p le asin g. W e a rc h o ur b ro w s in le ss th an o ne-fif th
of a s e co nd. I t i s a
gra vity -d efy in g b eh avio r,
a s i t i s p erfo rm ed i n a n u pw ard
dir e ctio n, an d as with most
gra v ity -d efy in g beh av io rs , it sig nif ie s
so m eth in g positiv e. B ab ie s ju st a fe w m onth s old lig ht up w hen th eir
moth er f la sh es h er e y eb ro w s. H ere i s a g re at b eh av io r t o l e t o th ers k now w e
care a n d a re h ap py to s e e th em . A h ap py e y eb ro w f la sh c an b e im men se ly
use fu l a n d p ow erfu l i n e v ery day s itu atio ns b oth a t h om e a n d a t w ork .
3 1
.
EY EBR O W G REETIN G S
—We f la sh o ur e y eb ro w s w hen w e r e co gniz e s o m eo ne
we k now a n d c an not sp eak u p a t th at m om en t, o r sim ply to re co gniz e a
pers o n’s p re se n ce, w ith o r w ith out a s m ile , d ep en din g o n c ir c u m sta n ces. W e
are q uic k to n otic e w hen th is c o urte sy is n ot e x te n ded to u s, fo r e x am ple ,
when w e e n te r a s to re a n d t h e c le rk m ak es n o e ff o rt t o e sta b lis h a n y k in d o f
ey e c o nta ct. W e c an le t o th ers k now w e v alu e th em , th ough w e m ay b e
occu pie d , w ith a v ery s im ple e y eb ro w f la sh .
3 2
.
EY EBR O W A RCH IN G (T EN SE )
—This o ccu rs w hen a p ers o n is p re se n te d w ith
an u nw an te d su rp ris e o r sh ock . C ouple d w ith o th er b eh av io rs su ch a s a
te n se f a ce o r lip c o m pre ssio n, it c an le t u s k now s o m eo ne h as e x perie n ced
so m eth in g v ery n eg ativ e. It is th e te n sio n in th e m usc le s th at c o ntr o l th e
ey eb ro w s th at dif f e re n tia te s th is beh av io r fro m th e ey eb ro w gre etin g

desc rib ed a b ove a n d i t i s h eld f o r a f e w s e co nds l o nger.
33
.
EY EBR O W A RCH IN G (C H IN T O W ARD N EC K )
—We a rc h o ur e y eb ro w s w ith o ur
mouth s clo se d , ch in to w ard th e neck w hen w e hear so m eth in g w e
im med ia te ly q uestio n o r are v ery su rp ris e d to h ear o r le arn . W hen w e
witn ess a n e m barra ssin g s itu atio n w e a ls o e m plo y t h is b eh av io r, a s i f t o s a y,
“I heard th at an d I did n’t lik e it.” It is a lo ok te ach ers ofte n giv e to
mis b eh av in g s tu den ts .
34
.
EY EBR O W A SY M METR Y
—Peo ple u se th is sig nal w hen th ey h av e d oubts o r
uncerta in ty . O ne e y eb ro w w ill a rc h h ig h, w hile th e o th er re m ain s in th e
norm al positio n or sin ks lo w er. A sy m metr y sig nals th at th e pers o n is
questio nin g o r d oubtin g w hat is b ein g sa id . T he a cto r Ja ck N ic h ols o n is
fa m ous f o r q uestio nin g w hat o th ers s a y, o n- a n d o ff s c re en , b y t h is m eth od.
35
.
EY EBR O W N ARRO W IN G /K NIT TIN G
—The are a betw een th e ey es an d ju st
ab ove th e nose is calle d th e
gla bella ,
an d w hen th e gla b ella beco m es
narro w o r f u rro w ed , it u su ally m ean s th ere is a n is su e, c o ncern , o r d is lik e.
This u niv ers a l s ig n m ay h ap pen v ery q uic k ly a n d th us c an b e d if f ic u lt to
dete ct, b ut it is a n a ccu ra te r e fle ctio n o f s e n tim en ts . S om e p eo ple w ill k nit
th eir b ro w w hen th ey h ear s o m eth in g tr o ublin g o r a re tr y in g to m ak e s e n se
of w hat th ey ’re b ein g to ld . T he se n tim en t is c o m munic ate d w ith th e > <
em oji.

The E yes
O ur e y es a re th e v is u al g ate w ay to th e w orld a ro und u s. F ro m th e m om en t w e
a re born , w e are sc an nin g fo r in fo rm atio n in fa m ilia r fa ces, m ovem en t or
n ovelty , c o lo r, s h ad in g, s y m metr y , a n d a lw ay s f o r t h e a esth etic ally p le asin g. O ur
v is u al c o rte x , la rg e in p ro portio n to th e r e st o f th e b ra in , s e ek s n ovelty a n d n ew
e x perie n ces. O ur e y es s h ow lo ve a n d c o m passio n a s w ell a s fe ar a n d d is d ain .
W elc o m in g o r jo yous e y es c an m ak e o ur d ay. B ut e y es c an a ls o le t u s k now th at
s o m eth in g is w ro ng, th at th ere a re w orrie s o r c o ncern s. E yes c an o w n a r o om o r
c o w er in a c ro w d o f s tr a n gers . W e a d orn o ur e y es to a ttr a ct a n d a v ert th em to
a v oid . T hey a re u su ally th e f ir s t th in g w e n otic e in o th ers , w hic h is w hy w hen a
b ab y is b orn w e s p en d s o m uch tim e lo okin g a t th e e y es. P erh ap s b ecau se w e
t r u ly a re l o okin g t h ro ugh t h e w in dow t o t h eir s o ul.
3 6
.
PU PIL D IL AT IO N
—When w e a re c o m fo rta b le o r lik e s o m eth in g o r s o m eo ne
we en co unte r, our pupils dila te . W e hav e no co ntr o l over th is . W hen
co uple s a re a t e ase
aro und e ach o th er th eir p upils d ila te a s th eir e y es tr y to
so ak u p a s m uch lig ht a s p ossib le . T his is w hy d im ly lit re sta u ra n ts a re a
good p la ce to m eet, a s it n atu ra lly s o fte n s th e e y es a n d m ak es th e p upils
la rg er— an e ff e ct t h at m ak es u s r e la x e v en m ore a ro und o th ers .
3 7
.
PU PIL C O NST R IC TIO N
—Our pupils co nstr ic t w hen w e se e so m eth in g w e
don’t lik e o r w hen w e h av e n eg ativ e e m otio ns. P upil c o nstr ic tio n is e asie r
to dete ct in lig ht- c o lo re d ey es. P upils su dden ly sh rin kin g to pin poin ts
su ggest so m eth in g neg ativ e has ju st tr a n sp ir e d . In te re stin gly , our bra in
govern s th is a ctiv ity to m ak e su re th at o ur e y es a re fo cu se d in tim es o f
dis tr e ss, as th e sm alle r th e ap ertu re , th e g re ate r th e cla rity . T his is w hy
sq uin tin g i m pro ves f o cu s.
3 8
.
RELA XED E Y ES
—Rela x ed e y es s ig nal c o m fo rt a n d c o nfid en ce. W hen w e a re
at e ase , th e m usc le s a ro und th e e y es, th e f o re h ead , a n d th e c h eek s r e la x —
but th e m in ute w e a re s tr e sse d o r s o m eth in g b oth ers u s, th ey b eco m e te n se .
Bab ie s ofte n dem onstr a te th is quite str ik in gly , as th eir fa cia l m usc le s
su dden ly s c ru nch u p b efo re th ey b eg in to c ry . W hen tr y in g to in te rp re t a n y
body-la n guag e b eh av io r, a lw ay s re fe r b ack to th e e y es fo r c o ngru en ce. If
th e o rb its (e y e so ck ets ) lo ok re la x ed , c h an ces a re a ll is w ell. If su dden ly

th ere is te n sio n aro und th e ey es o r sq uin tin g, th e p ers o n is fo cu sin g o r
mig ht b e s tr e sse d . T he m usc le s o f th e e y es a n d th e s u r
ro undin g t is su e r e act
to str e sso rs m uch m ore quic k ly th an oth er fa cia l m usc le s do, off e rin g
alm ost i m med ia te i n sig ht i n to a p ers o n’s m en ta l s ta te .
39
.
EY E S O CK ET N ARRO W IN G
—When w e fe el str e sse d , upse t, th re ate n ed , or
oth er n eg ativ e em otio ns, th e o rb its o f th e ey es w ill n arro w d ue to th e
co ntr a ctio n o f u nderly in g m usc le s. T he b ra in im med ia te ly m ak es th e e y e
orb its s m alle r in re sp onse to a p pre h en sio n, c o ncern , o r d oubt. It is a g ood
in dic ato r t h at t h ere i s a n i s su e o r s o m eth in g i s w ro ng.
40
.
QUIV ER IN G U NDER E Y ES
—The tin y m usc le s d ir e ctly u nder th e ey es (th e
in fe rio r u nders id e o f th e
Obic u la ris o cu li
) a n d ju st a b ove th e c h eek bones,
as w ell a s t h e s u rro undin g t is su e, c an b e v ery s e n sitiv e t o s tr e ss. W hen t h ere
is c o ncern , a n xie ty , o r f e ar, th ese s o ft a re as w ill q uiv er o r tw itc h , r e v ealin g
th e p ers o n’s t r u e e m otio nal s ta te .
41
.
BLIN K R AT E
—Blin k ra te s can vary dep en din g on en vir o nm en t an d th e
am ount o f str e ss o r a ro usa l a p ers o n is e x perie n cin g. E ach in div id ual is
dif f e re n t, b ut a t y pic al r a te i s b etw een s ix te en a n d t w en ty b lin ks p er m in ute ,
dep en din g on lig htin g co nditio ns an d hum id ity . Peo ple lo okin g at
co m pute rs b lin k l e ss ( m an y o f w hom c o m pla in o f d ry e y es o r e y e i n fe ctio ns
—te ars h av e a n tib acte ria l p ro pertie s), w hile th ose w ho w ork
where th ere is
dust o r p olle n w ill b lin k m ore . A ls o , b e a w are th at w earin g c o nta ct le n se s
can in cre ase how ofte n w e blin k. W hen w e are aro und so m eo ne w ho
aro use s u s, o ur b lin k r a te a ls o t e n ds t o i n cre ase .
42
.
FR EQ UEN T B LIN K IN G
—Peo ple w ho are nerv ous, te n se , or str e sse d w ill
gen era lly b lin k m ore ra p id ly th an th ose w ho a re n ot. F re q uen t b lin kin g is
erro neo usly a sso cia te d w ith d ecep tio n. I t i s o nly i n dic ativ e o f s tr e ss o r o th er
fa cto rs n ote d a b ove a s e v en th e h onest b lin k m ore fre q uen tly w hen b ein g
questio ned a g gre ssiv ely .
43
.
EY E C O NTA CT
—Eye co nta ct is g overn ed b y cu ltu ra l n orm s an d p ers o nal
pre fe re n ces. I n s o m e c u ltu re s it is p erm is sib le to lo ok a t s o m eo ne f o r th re e
to f o ur s e co nds, w hile in o th ers a n yth in g b ey ond tw o s e co nds is c o nsid ere d
ru de. C ultu re a ls o d ete rm in es w ho c an l o ok a t w hom . E ven i n A m eric a, e y e
co nta ct is d ete rm in ed b y w hat a re a o f th e c o untr y y ou a re fro m . In N ew
York C ity , s ta rin g a t s o m eo ne fo r m ore th an a s e co nd a n d a h alf m ig ht b e

perc eiv ed a s a n a ff ro nt. P artic u la r e th nic a n d c u ltu ra l g ro ups h av e t h eir o w n
norm s. F or in sta n ce, m an y A fric an A m eric an an d H is p an ic ch ild re n are
ta u ght t o l o ok d ow n w hen a d dre sse d b y e ld ers , a s a f o rm o f r e sp ect.
44
.
EY E A V O ID ANCE
—We a v oid e y e c o nta ct w hen it is in co nven ie n t to ta lk to
so m eo ne, o r w hen w e f in d a
pers o n u nlik ab le , o bnoxio us, o r r e p re ssiv e. I n
pris o n, f o r e x am ple , in m ate s w ill a v oid e y e c o nta ct w ith ja ile rs o r in m ate s
know n to b e a g gre ssiv e. E ye a v oid an ce c an b e te m pora ry o r lo ng te rm .
Tem pora rily , p eo ple m ig ht a v ert th eir e y es w hen a p ers o n d oes s o m eth in g
em barra ssin g. A nd in th e U nite d S ta te s, u nlik e o th er p arts o f th e w orld ,
when w e a re in c lo se p ro xim ity , a s in a n e le v ato r, w e te n d to a v oid m ak in g
ey e c o nta ct w ith s tr a n gers a n d e v en w ith th ose w e k now , e sp ecia lly if th ere
are s tr a n gers p re se n t. E ye a v oid an ce is n ot in dic ativ e o f d ecep tio n, b ut it
can i n dic ate s h am e o r e m barra ssm en t.
45
.
GAZE S U PE R IO RIT Y
—All over th e w orld , stu die s hav e sh ow n th at hig h-
sta tu s in div id uals en gag e in m ore ey e co nta ct, w hile b oth sp eak in g an d
lis te n in g. L ess p ow erfu l p eo ple te n d to m ak e m ore e y e c o nta ct w ith th ese
hig her- s ta tu s i n div id uals w hile l is te n in g b ut l e ss w hile s p eak in g. I n J a p an a s
well as oth er A sia n Pacif ic co untr ie s th is is ev en m ore pro nounced .
In cid en ta lly , w e te n d to f a v or in div id uals w ho m ak e d ir e ct e y e c o nta ct w ith
us, esp ecia lly if th ey are o f h ig her sta tu s. E ye co nta ct fro m h ig h so cia l
sta tu s i n div id uals , m ovie s ta rs , f o r i n sta n ce, m ak es u s f e el f a v ore d .
46
.
EY E-C O NTA CT S E EK IN G
—When w e a re in te re ste d in s ta rtin g a c o nvers a tio n,
wheth er in a s o cia l o r a d atin g
en vir o nm en t, w e w ill a ctiv ely s c an u ntil w e
mak e e y e c o nta ct t h at s a y s “ I a m h ere — ple ase t a lk t o m e.”
47
.
GAZE A ND S E N TIM EN TS
—Aro und th e w orld , th ose w ho stu dy d atin g c u es
hav e n ote d th at o fte n tim es th e f ir s t c lu e th at p eo ple ’s f e elin g f o r e ach o th er
hav e ch an ged is how th ey lo ok at each oth er. L ong befo re w ord s are
ex ch an ged , th e lo ok o f in cre ase d in te re st te le g ra p hs th at th e r e la tio nsh ip is
ch an gin g fro m frie n dly to m ore in tim ate . H ow Ju lie A ndre w s (a s M aria )
beg an to c h an ge th e w ay s h e lo oked a t C hris to pher P lu m mer ( C ap ta in V on
Tra p p) in th e m ovie
T he
Sound of M usic
or how E m ma S to ne (M ia )
ch an ged th e w ay s h e lo oked a t R yan G oslin g’s c h ara cte r ( S eb astia n ) in
La
La L and
is e m ble m atic o f h ow o ur g aze c h an ges to re fle ct o ur c h an gin g
se n tim en t b efo re o ur w ord s d o. I t i s t r u e i n r e al l if e a s w ell a s i n t h e m ovie s.

48
.
GAZE E N G AG IN G
—This i s a b eh av io r i n te n ded t o g et t h e a tte n tio n o f a n oth er
pers o n in a w arm o r ro m an tic w ay. W hat m ak es th is b eh av io r s ta n d o ut is
th e s o ftn ess o f th e fa ce a n d th e re p eate d a tte m pts to c o nnect, e y e to e y e,
alw ay s w ith a g en tle n ess o f th e e y es, fa ce, a n d m outh . W e m ost o fte n s e e
th is i n d atin g s e ttin gs, w here i t l e ts t h e o th er p ers o n k now y ou a re i n te re ste d
in fu rth er c o nta ct o r p ro xim ity . I h av e s e en s tr a n gers e n gag e g azes a cro ss
bro ad s p aces, c o m munic atin g t h eir y earn in g.
49
.
GAZIN G V ER SU S ST A RIN G
—There is a big dif f e re n ce betw een gazin g at
so m eo ne an d sta rin g at so m eo ne. S ta rin g te n ds to b e m ore im pers o nal,
dis ta n t, or co nfro nta tio nal, sig nalin g th at w e fin d so m eo ne su sp ic io us,
ala rm in g, o r o dd. O n th e o th er h an d, g azin g s ig nals th at w e ta k e c o m fo rt in
so m eo ne, a m uch m ore in vitin g b eh av io r. W hen w e s ta re w e a re o n a le rt;
when w e gaze w e are in tr ig ued , ev en w elc o m in g. Sta rin g can tr ig ger
off e n se , e sp ecia lly i n c lo se q uarte rs s u ch a s a b us o r s u bw ay.
50
.
CLO SE D E Y ES
—Durin g a m eetin g, so m eo ne w ith clo se d ey es th at ta k e a
lo ng tim e to o pen o r th at s u dden ly s h ut a n d r e m ain s o f o r lo nger th an u su al
is p ro bab ly h av in g is su es. It is a
blo ckin g b eh avio r
th at re v eals d is lik e,
co ncern , dis b elie f, or w orrie s— so m e fo rm of psy ch olo gic al dis c o m fo rt.
Long d ela y s i n e y e o pen in g r e v eal d eep c o ncern . C onvers e ly , i n a n i n tim ate
se ttin g, c lo se d e y es s a y, “ I t r u st y ou, I a m b lo ck in g e v ery th in g e ls e o ut, a n d
I a m in th e m om en t w ith m y o th er se n se s.” N ota b ly , e v en c h ild re n b orn
blin d w ill c o ver t h eir e y es w hen t h ey h ear t h in gs t h ey d on’t l ik e o r t h ey f in d
tr o ublin g.
51
.
EY ES C LO SIN G F O R E M PH ASIS
—Ofte n tim es, w hen w e w an t to em phasiz e
so m eth in g o r a g re e in c o ngru en ce, w e w ill c lo se th e e y es e v er s o b rie fly . I t
is a w ay o f a ff ir m in g w hat is b ein g s a id . A s w ith a ll b eh av io rs ,
co nte x t is
key t o e n su re i t i s n ot a r e fle ctio n o f d is a g re em en t.
52
.
CO VER IN G O F E Y ES
—Sudden c o verin g o f t h e e y es w ith a h an d o r f in gers i s a
blo ck in g b eh av io r a sso cia te d w ith a n eg ativ e e v en t, s u ch a s th e re v ela tio n
of b ad n ew s o r t h re ate n in g i n fo rm atio n. I t a ls o i n dic ate s n eg ativ e e m otio ns,
worry , o r la ck o f c o nfid en ce. Y ou a ls o s e e it w ith p eo ple w ho h av e b een
cau ght d oin g s o m eth in g w ro ng. A s I n ote a b ove, c o ngen ita lly b lin d c h ild re n
will a ls o d o th is , th ough th ey c a n not e x pla in w hy; c le arly th is b eh av io r h as
an a n cie n t e v olu tio nary b asis .

53
.
EY ES
CLO SE D ,
RUBBIN G
BR ID G E
OF
NO SE
—In div id uals w ho c lo se th eir e y es
an d r u b th e b rid ge o f th eir n ose a t th e s a m e tim e a re tr a n sm ittin g th at th ey
are c o ncern ed o r w orrie d . T his is b oth a b lo ck in g b eh av io r a n d a p acif ie r,
usu ally a sso cia te d w ith n eg ativ e e m otio ns, d is lik e, in se cu ritie s, c o ncern , o r
an xie ty .
54
.
CRY IN G
—Cry in g se rv es a v arie ty o f p ers o nal a s w ell a s so cia l p urp ose s,
most nota b ly pro vid in g a cath artic em otio nal re le ase . U nfo rtu nate ly ,
ch ild re n a ls o le arn q uic k ly th at c ry in g c an b e u se d a s a to ol to m an ip ula te ,
an d s o m e a d ults d on’t h esita te to u se it s im ila rly . In o bse rv in g a p ers o n’s
beh av io r, c ry in g sh ould n ot b e
giv en a n y m ore w eig ht th an o th er sig nals
th at a p ers o n i s h av in g a h ard t im e. C ry in g, i f i t o ccu rs w ith g re at f re q uen cy,
can a ls o le t u s k now w hen so m eo ne is c lin ic ally d ep re sse d o r str u gglin g
psy ch olo gic ally .
55
.
CRY IN G W HIL E C LU TC H IN G O BJE C TS
—In div id uals w ho c ry w hile c lu tc h in g
at th eir n eck , n eck la ce, o r s h ir t c o lla r a re lik ely u nderg oin g m ore s e rio us
neg ativ e e m otio ns t h an a p ers o n m ere ly c ry in g.
56
.
EY ES D ARTIN G
—Eyes th at dart back an d fo rth fe v eris h ly are usu ally
asso cia te d w ith th e p ro cessin g o f n eg ativ e in fo rm atio n, d oubt, a n xie ty , f e ar,
or c o ncern . U se t h is b eh av io r i n c o nju nctio n w ith o th er i n fo rm atio n s u ch a s
fa cia l te n sio n o r c h in w ith dra w al (
se e # 184
) to p ro vid e a m ore a ccu ra te
asse ssm en t. It s h ould b e n ote d th at s o m e p eo ple w ill d art th eir e y es b ack
an d f o rth a s t h ey a n aly ze a s itu atio n, c o nsid er o ptio ns, o r t h in k o f s o lu tio ns.
This b eh av io r a lo ne i s n ot i ts e lf i n dic ativ e o f d ecep tio n.
57
.
EY E-A CCESSIN G C UES
—As w e p ro cess a th ought, a n e m otio n, o r a q uestio n
pose d t o u s, w e t e n d t o l o ok l a te ra lly , d ow nw ard , o r u p a n d t o t h e s id e. T his
is re fe rre d to a s
co nju gate la te ra l e ye m ovem en t
(C LEM ) in th e s c ie n tif ic
lite ra tu re . T here h as b een a m yth f o r d ecad es, n ow w ell d eb unked b y m ore
th an tw en ty stu die s, th at
a pers o n lo okin g aw ay or to th e sid e w hile
an sw erin g a q uestio n is b ein g d ecep tiv e. A ll w e c an sa y w hen so m eo ne
lo oks i n a c erta in d ir e ctio n a s t h ey p ro cess a q uestio n o r a s t h ey a n sw er i t, i s
th at t h ey a re t h in kin g— it i s n ot p er s e i n dic ativ e o f d ecep tio n.
58
.
EY ELID S F L U TTER IN G
—Sudden e y elid flu tte rin g s u ggests th at s o m eth in g is
wro ng o r th at a p ers o n is str u gglin g w ith so m eth in g (th in k o f th e acto r
Hugh G ra n t, w ho o fte n f lu tte rs h is e y es o n-s c re en w hen h e h as i s su es o r h as

messe d so m eth in g up). Peo ple ofte n flu tte r th eir ey es w hen th ey are
str u gglin g to fin d th e rig ht w ord o r c an ’t b elie v e w hat th ey ju st h eard o r
witn esse d . I n cre d ulity i s o fte n o bse rv ed a s e y elid f lu tte rin g.
59
.
EY E PO IN TIN G
—In so m e cu ltu re s an in dex fin ger ju st under an ey e
co m munic ate s d oubt o r s u sp ic io n. B ut m an y p eo ple a cro ss c u ltu re s a ls o d o
th is s u bco nsc io usly in th e f o rm o f a lig ht s c ra tc h in g m otio n a s th ey p onder
or q uestio n s o m eth in g b ein g s a id . W hen tr a v elin g a b ro ad , a sk lo cals if th is
mean s a n yth in g s p ecia l. I n R om an ia , I w as t o ld t h at t h e f in ger u nder t h e e y e
was a s ig n o fte n u se d to c o m munic ate “ B e c are fu l, w e d on’t tr u st e v ery one
who i s l is te n in g.”
60
.
EY E-P O IN TIN G C LU ST ER
—Poin tin g o f th e in dex fin ger ju st u nder th e ey e
( se e #59
) clu ste re d with
eyeb ro w arc h in g
an d
co m pre sse d lip s
sim ulta n eo usly co nvey s
doubt, bew ild erm en t, or in cre d ulity . This is
esp ecia lly a ccu ra te i f t h e c h in i s t u ck ed i n r a th er t h an j u tte d o ut.
61
.
EY E R O LLIN G
—Rollin g o f th e e y es c o m munic ate s c o nte m pt, d is a g re em en t,
or d is lik e. C hild re n o fte n d o it to th eir p are n ts to c o m munic ate c o nte n tio n
or r e b ellio n. I t h as n o p la ce i n a p ro fe ssio nal s e ttin g.
62
.
EY ELID T O UCH IN G
—Eyelid to uch in g c an b e a f o rm o f e y e b lo ck in g c o uple d
with te n sio n r e lie f. O fte n w hen p eo ple s a y s o m eth in g th ey s h ould n’t h av e,
peo ple n earb y w ill to uch o r sc ra tc h th eir clo se d ey elid — th is is a g ood
in dic ato r th at so m eth in g im pro per w as u tte re d . Y ou se e th is o fte n w ith
politic ia n s w hen o ne m is sp eak s a n d a n oth er c atc h es i t.
63
.
FA T IG UED E Y ES
—Fatig ue u su ally s h ow s in th e e y es fir s t. T he e y es a n d th e
are a aro und th em lo ok str a in ed , p uff y , w eath ere d , ev en d is c o lo re d . T his
may b e d ue to lo ng h ours w ork in g; ex te rn al fa cto rs , su ch as str e ss; o r
cry in g.
64
.
FA R-O FF L O OK
—When a lo ne, o r e v en in c o nvers a tio n w ith o th ers , sta rin g
in to th e d is ta n ce, av oid in g d is tr a ctio ns, allo w s so m e p eo ple to th in k o r
co nte m pla te m ore e ff e ctiv ely . T his m ay b e a s ig nal n ot t o i n te rru pt s o m eo ne
when t h ey a re d eep i n t h ought o r r e co lle ctio n.
65
.
GLA ZED E Y ES
—Any n um ber o f th in gs c an c au se th e e y es to lo ok g la zed ,
in clu din g d ru gs s u ch a s m ariju an a a n d a lc o hol a s w ell a s m ore d an gero us
su bsta n ces. W hen tr y in g to a sse ss w heth er a p ers o n is u nder th e in flu en ce

of d ru gs o r alc o hol, an o bse rv er w ill w an t to ta k e o th er b eh av io rs in to
co nsid era tio n, s u ch a s s lu rre d s p eech o r s lo w ness t o r e sp ond.
66
.
LO OKIN G A SK ANCE
—Lookin g a sk an ce (s id ew ay s) is o fte n u se d to s h ow a
pers o n’s d oubt, re lu cta n ce to co m mit, d is re g ard , su sp ic io usn ess, o r ev en
co nte m pt. It is a univ ers a l lo ok th at re fle cts dis b elie f, co ncern s, or
in cre d ulity .
67
.
LO OKIN G A T C EIL IN G O R S K Y
—We o fte n s e e th is d ra m atic lo ok u pw ard a t
th e s k y, w ith t h e h ead t ilte d b ack , w hen s u dden ly t h in gs s e em i m possib le o r
a p ers o n h as h ad a ru n o f b ad lu ck . W e s e e th is in s p orts , s u ch a s w hen a
golf e r m is se s a p utt. It is a lo ok o f d is b elie f, a s if im plo rin g s o m eo ne o n
hig h, in th e h eav en s, to h elp u s o r ta k e p ity o n u s. T his b eh av io r d oes h av e
so m e u tility ; s tr e ss c au se s te n sio n o f th e n eck , w hic h th is p ositio n c an h elp
re lie v e b y s tr e tc h in g t h e
ste rn ocle id om asto id
m usc le s o f t h e n eck .
68
.
LO OKIN G F O R A CCEPTA NCE
—When in div id uals la ck c o nfid en ce o r lie , th ey
te n d to sc ru tin iz e th eir a u die n ce,
sc an nin g fa ces to se e if th ey a re b ein g
belie v ed . T his b eh av io r is n ot n ecessa rily d em onstr a tiv e o f d ecep tio n, o nly
of se ek in g a ccep ta n ce fo r w hat is sa id . A ru le o f th um b: th e tr u th te lle r
mere ly c o nvey s, w hile t h e l ia r o fte n t r ie s t o c o nvin ce.
69
.
EY ES L O W ER ED
—This is d if f e re n t f ro m e y e a v oid an ce in th at th e in div id ual
does n ot b re ak e y e c o nta ct b ut ra th er s h ow s d efe re n ce, p ie ty , h um ility , o r
co ntr ite n ess b y s lig htly l o w erin g t h e e y es s o t h at e y e c o nta ct i s n ot d ir e ct o r
in te n se . T his is o fte n c u ltu re b ase d , a n d w e s e e it fre q uen tly w ith c h ild re n
who a re ta u ght n ot to lo ok b ack a t e ld ers o r a u th ority fig ure s w hen b ein g
ch astis e d . B la ck a n d L atin o c h ild re n a re o fte n ta u ght to lo ok d ow n a s a
fo rm o f re sp ect, w hic h sh ould in n o cir c u m sta n ces b e co nfu se d fo r an
atte m pt to d eceiv e. In Ja p an it is ru de to sta re in te n tly a t th e e y es o f a
pers o n y ou m eet fo r th e fir s t tim e; at a m in im um , th e ey elid s m ust b e
lo w ere d o ut o f s o cia l d efe re n ce.
70
.
SA D E Y ES
—Eyes lo ok sa d , d eje cte d , o r d ep re sse d w hen th e u pper e y elid s
dro op a n d s e em to h av e n o e n erg y. T he lo ok m ay b e s im ila r, h ow ev er, to
ey elid s d ro opin g f ro m f a tig ue.
71
.
LO OKIN G AW AY
—Lookin g aw ay w hen co nvers in g has to be vie w ed in
co nte x t. W hen th ere is p sy ch o
lo gic al co m fo rt, su ch as w hen ta lk in g to

frie n ds, w e m ay fe el re la x ed e n ough to lo ok a w ay a s w e te ll a sto ry o r
re m em ber so m eth in g fro m th e p ast. M an y in div id uals fin d lo okin g a w ay
help s th em r e call d eta ils . L ookin g a w ay is n ot a n in dic atio n o f d ecep tio n o r
ly in g.
72
.
LO NG S T A RE
—In co nvers a tio ns, sile n ce is o fte n acco m pan ie d b y a lo ng
sta re . I t c an b e d ir e cte d a t a p ers o n o r a t s o m eth in g i n t h e d is ta n ce; i t m ere ly
in dic ate s t h at t h e p ers o n i s i n d eep t h ought o r p ro cessin g i n fo rm atio n.
73
.
SQ UIN TIN G
—Squin tin g is a n e asy w ay to re g is te r d is p le asu re o r c o ncern ,
esp ecia lly w hen w e h ear o r se e so m eth in g w e d on’t lik e. S om e p eo ple
sq uin t w hen ev er th ey h ear s o m eth in g b oth ers o m e, m ak in g th is a n a ccu ra te
re fle ctio n o f th eir fe elin gs. B ut k eep in m in d th at w e a ls o s q uin t w hen w e
are s im ply f o cu sin g o n s o m eth in g o r tr y in g to m ak e s e n se o f s o m eth in g w e
hav e h eard , s o c o nte x t i s c ru cia l i n i n te rp re tin g t h is b eh av io r.
74
.
SQ UIN TIN G (S L IG HT)
—Ofte n w hen w e are su bduin g an ger w e w ill sq uin t
slig htly w ith lo w ere d e y elid s. T his b eh av io r (n arro w in g o f th e s lits o f th e
ey es) m ust b e c o nsid ere d in c o nte x t w ith o th er b eh av io rs su ch a s fa cia l
te n sio n o r, i n e x tr e m e c ir c u m sta n ces, t h e m ak in g o f a f is t.
75
.
ST A RIN G A G GRESSIV ELY
—A s ta re c an in tim id ate o r s e rv e a s th e p re lu de to
an a lte rc atio n. A ggre ssio n is s ig nale d b y th e la se r- lik e fo cu s o n th e e y es,
with n o a tte m pt to lo ok a w ay o r e v en b lin k. In te re stin gly , o th er p rim ate s
als o e n gag e i n t h is b eh av io r w hen o bse rv in g b eh av io rs t h at a re n ot t o le ra te d
or w hen t h ere i s a b out t o b e a p hysic al c o nfro nta tio n.
76
.
ANG RY E Y ES
—Anger is u su ally d is p la y ed b y a c o nste lla tio n o f fa cia l c u es
beg in nin g w ith t h e d is tin ctiv e n arro w in g o f t h e e y es n ear t h e n ose ( lik e t h is :
> < ), c o uple d w ith a w rin kle d o r d ila te d n ose a n d s o m etim es th e p ullin g
back o f t h e l ip s t o r e v eal c le n ch ed t e eth .
77
.
EY ES W ID EN IN G (S T IF F)
—Eyes th at re m ain w id e usu ally in dic ate str e ss,
su rp ris e , fe ar, o r a s ig nif ic an t is su e. If th e e y es re m ain s tif f ly w id e lo nger
th an u su al, so m eth in g is d efin ite ly w ro ng. T his is u su ally cau se d b y an
ex te rn al s tim ulu s.
78
.
EY E A DO RNM EN T
—Sin ce th e tim e o f th e E gyptia n p yra m id s, w om en a n d
men a cro ss th e g lo be h av e a d orn ed th eir e y es (e y elid s, u nder th e e y e, th e
sid es, e tc .) w ith a v arie ty o f c o lo rs to m ak e th em se lv es m ore a esth etic ally

ap pealin g. U sin g in ks, d yes, m in era ls , a n d o ils , p eo ple h av e m ad e th is p art
of th eir cu ltu ra l tr a d itio ns, an d it h as b een p asse d d ow n to o ur m odern
so cie ty f o r a r e aso n: it w ork s. W e a re a ttr a cte d to e y es, e v en m ore s o w hen
th ey a re a d orn ed w ith c o lo rs . W e a re a ls o a ttr a cte d to lo ng, th ic k e y ela sh es
—so m eth in g th at m ostly w om en but so m e m en accen tu ate to m ak e
th em se lv es m ore a p pealin g.

The E ars
C ute ears , little ears , sa g gin g ears , d efo rm ed ears , b ig ears , p erfo ra te d ears ,
a d orn ed ears . O ur ears stic k o ut— so m etim es q uite lite ra lly — an d se rv e so m e
o bvio us p ra ctic al f u nctio ns, f ro m c o lle ctin g in fo rm atio n th ro ugh s o und w av es to
h elp in g u s d is sip ate h eat. B ut th e e ars h av e o th er u tilitie s y ou m ig ht n ot h av e
t h ought ab out, o ff e rin g sig nif ic an t n onverb al co m munic atio n. W e k now fro m
r e se arc h th at in th e e arly sta g es o f a re la tio nsh ip , lo vers sp en d tim e stu dyin g
e ach o th er’s e ars — how th ey a re s h ap ed , h ow w arm th ey a re , h ow th ey r e sp ond
t o h um an to uch a n d e v en e m otio ns. T he e ars c o m munic ate m uch m ore th an w e
t h in k, a n d i n w ay s t h at c an b e q uite s u rp ris in g.
7 9
.
EA RLO BE P U LLIN G O R M ASSA G IN G
—Pullin g o n o r m assa g in g th e earlo be
te n ds to h av e a su btle , so oth in g eff e ct w hen w e are str e sse d o r m ere ly
co nte m pla tin g so m eth in g. I als o asso cia te earlo be ru bbin g w ith doubt,
hesita tio n, o r w eig hin g o f o ptio ns. I n s o m e c u ltu re s it m ean s th at a p ers o n
has re se rv atio ns o r is n ot
su re a b out w hat is b ein g s a id . A cto r H um phre y
Bogart w as n oto rio us f o r p la y in g w ith h is e arlo be a s h e p ondere d q uestio ns.
8 0
.
EA R F L U SH IN G O R B LU SH IN G
—Sudden , n otic eab le f lu sh in g o f t h e s k in o f t h e
ear, a s w ith o th er p arts o f th e b ody (fa ce, n eck ) m ay b e c au se d b y a n ger,
em barra ssm en t, horm onal ch an ges, re actio ns to m ed ic in e, or au to nom ic
aro usa l c au se d b y f e ar o r a n xie ty . T he s k in c o verin g th e e ar tu rn s p in k, r e d ,
or p urp lis h . T he sk in m ig ht a ls o fe el h ot to th e to uch . Ju st h av in g o ne’s
pers o nal sp ace v io la te d m ig ht cau se th is re actio n. M ost p eo ple h av e n o
co ntr o l over sk in blu sh in g (
hyp ere m ia
) an d fo r so m e it is very
em barra ssin g.
8 1
.
EA R L EA NIN G
—Turn in g o r l e an in g o ur e ar t o w ard a s p eak er c o nvey s t h at w e
are lis te n in g in te n tly , w e w an t so m eth in g re p eate d , or w e are hard of
hearin g. T his m ay b e fo llo w ed b y c u ppin g o f th e e ar to lite ra lly c o lle ct
more s o und. In d atin g, w e w ill a llo w s o m eo ne w e lik e in tim ate ly to d ra w
near o ur e ar, e sp ecia lly w hen i t i s e x te n ded i n t h at p ers o n’s d ir e ctio n.
8 2
.
LIS T EN IN G
—Activ e lis te n in g is a n e sse n tia l n onverb al in b oth p ro fe ssio nal
an d p ers o nal s e ttin gs. I t c o m munic ate s th at w e a re in te re ste d , r e cep tiv e, o r

em path etic . G ood lis te n ers y ie ld th eir tu rn , w ait to s p eak , a n d a re p atie n t
when o th ers a re s p eak in g. T o a cco m
plis h t h is w e m ak e s u re t h at w e f a ce t h e
pers o n w e are in te re ste d in hearin g so th at both ears can re ceiv e th e
messa g e.
83
.
EA R O RNAM EN TA T IO N
—There a re a n y n um ber o f w ay s to d eco ra te , d efo rm ,
perfo ra te , c o lo r, p lu g, o r c h an ge th e n atu ra l lo ok o f th e e ars to fit c u ltu ra l
norm s. E ar orn am en ta tio n is m ostly cu ltu re -s p ecif ic an d se rv es a cle ar
purp ose — to co m munic ate so cia l sta tu s, co urts h ip av aila b ility , or gro up
id en tif ic atio n. E ar o rn am en ta tio n o fte n g iv es u s v ery a ccu ra te in sig ht in to a
pers o n’s b ack gro und, o ccu patio n, s o cia l s ta tu s, h erita g e, o r p ers o nality .
84
.
SC ARRED E A RS
—Heat, c h em ic als , o r tr a u m a c an d am ag e e ar c artila g e a n d
tis su e. R ugby p la y ers , w re stle rs , a n d ju dokas a re su sc ep tib le to d am ag ed
ears , s o m etim es c alle d “ cau lif lo w er e ars .”

The N ose
A t b ir th , a ll m am mals ’ n ose s s e ek o ut th e m oth er’s m ilk , w hic h a llo w s th em to
s u rv iv e. A s h um an s g ro w o ld er, o ur n ose s c o ntin ue to h elp u s f in d th e f o ods w e
l ik e a n d to k eep u s s a fe , w arn in g u s o f fo od th at is p utr e fie d o r o f o dors th at
w ould d o u s h arm , w hile h elp in g to filte r th e a ir th at e n te rs o ur lu ngs. W hen it
c o m es to ro m an ce an d in tim acy, o ur n ose s p ic k u p o n o th ers ’ p hero m ones,
m ak in g u s d ra w c lo se r w hile h elp in g u s d ete rm in e su bco nsc io usly w heth er o r
n ot w e lik e a p ers o n. W e m ay p ie rc e o ur n ose s o r sh ap e th em , a s a re su lt o f
c u ltu ra l c u es, to b e th in ner, w id er, le ss c u rv ed , o r m ore p etite . T he m usc le s th at
c o ver a n d s u rro und t h e n ose a re s o s e n sitiv e t h at w hen w e d is lik e w hat w e s m ell,
t h ey i m med ia te ly c o ntr a ct, w rin klin g o ur n ose s to r e v eal o ur d is g ust. N ose s h elp
t o d is tin guis h u s f ro m o th ers p hysic ally , th ey p ro te ct u s f ro m h arm fu l c h em ic als
a n d b acte ria , a n d a s y ou w ill se e, th ey a re e sse n tia l to c o m munic atio n a n d to
u nders ta n din g o th ers .
8 5
.
CO VER IN G N O SE W IT H B O TH H ANDS
—The s u dden c o verin g o f th e n ose a n d
mouth w ith b oth h an ds is
asso cia te d w ith s h ock , s u rp ris e , in se cu rity , fe ar,
doubt, or ap pre h en sio n. W e w itn ess th is at tr a g ic ev en ts su ch as car
accid en ts a n d n atu ra l d is a ste rs a s w ell a s w hen s o m eo ne re ceiv es h orrib le
new s. E volu tio nary p sy ch olo gis ts sp ecu la te th at th is b eh av io r m ay h av e
been a d ap te d s o th at p re d ato rs , s u ch a s lio ns o r h yen as, w ould n ot h ear u s
bre ath in g. I t i s s e en u niv ers a lly .
8 6
.
NO SE W RIN K LIN G U PW ARD (D IS G UST )
—The s ig nal o r c u e f o r d is g ust u su ally
in volv es th e n ose w rin klin g u pw ard ( a ls o k now n a s a “ b unny n ose ”), w hile
th e s k in c o ntr a cts a lo ng w ith th e u nderly in g m usc le ( th e
nasa lis
), w hic h is
very se n sitiv e to neg ativ e em otio ns. O fte n th is gestu re w ill cau se th e
co rn ers o f th e e y es n ear th e n ose to a ls o n arro w . B ab ie s, b eg in nin g a t th e
ag e o f r o ughly th re e m onth s a n d s o m etim es e v en e arlie r, w ill w rin kle th eir
nose s w hen t h ey s m ell t h in gs t h ey d on’t l ik e. T his d is g ust c u e r e m ain s w ith
us a ll o ur liv es. W hen w e s m ell, h ear, o r e v en ju st s e e s o m eth in g w e d on’t
lik e, our nasa lis musc le co ntr a cts in volu nta rily , re v ealin g our tr u e
se n tim en ts .
8 7
.
UNIL AT ER AL NO SE W RIN K LIN G
—As note d ab ove, nose wrin klin g or

crin klin g upw ard is an accu ra te in dic ato r of dis lik e or dis p le asu re an d
usu ally o ccu rs o n b oth sid es o f th e n ose . H ow ev er, th ere are p eo ple in
whom th is o ccu rs o nly o n o ne s id e o f th e n ose (u ni
la te ra lly ). A s th e n ose
musc le s p ull u pw ard , w rin klin g ju st o ne sid e, th ey a ls o te n d to p ull th e
upper l ip o f t h at s id e o f t h e f a ce. S om e p eo ple c all i t t h e E lv is e ff e ct. W hen
th e s id e o f th e n ose is n otic eab ly p ulle d u p, it m ean s th e s a m e th in g a s th e
fu ll n ose w rin kle — dis lik e.
88
.
NO SE T W IT C H IN G (C ARIB BEA N)
—This b eh av io r is so m ew hat sim ila r to th e
dis g ust d is p la y a b ove (
se e # 86
) b ut o ccu rs m uch fa ste r, so m etim es in a s
little a s
1
/
25
th o f a s e co nd. W hen a p ers o n l o oks d ir e ctly a t s o m eo ne, t h e n o se
musc le w ill c o ntr a ct ra p id ly , w rin klin g th e n ose u pw ard — but w ith out th e
ey es sq uin tin g a s in th e d is g ust c u e a b ove. T his b eh av io r is a lin guis tic
sh ortc u t t h at w ord le ssly a sk s “ W hat’s g oin g o n?” “ W hat h ap pen ed ?” “ W hat
do y ou n eed ?” It is se en th ro ughout th e C arib bean , in clu din g in C uba,
Puerto R ic o , a n d t h e D om in ic an R ep ublic , a n d t h us a ls o f o und i n U .S . c itie s
th at h av e l a rg e C arib bean p opula tio ns s u ch a s M ia m i a n d N ew Y ork . A t t h e
Mia m i In te rn atio nal A ir p ort, I’m fre q uen tly g re ete d a t th e c o ff e e c o unte r
with t h is n ose t w itc h , w hic h m ean s “ W hat c an I g et y ou?” I f y ou s e e i t, j u st
pla ce y our o rd er.
89
.
IN DEX F IN G ER T O N O SE
—Pla cin g th e in dex fin ger u nder th e n ose o r o n th e
sid e of th e nose fo r a perio d of tim e is so m etim es asso cia te d w ith
pen siv en ess o r
co ncern . L ook fo r o th er c lu es to h elp y ou d is c ern w hat it
mean s. T his b eh av io r is d if f e re n t fro m sn eak in g a n ose fe el (
se e # 95
) o r
nose s tr o kin g, a s i n t h is c ase t h e f in ger j u st l in gers t h ere f o r a l o ng t im e.
90
.
NO SE B R USH IN G
—This dis tin ctiv e beh av io r of bru sh in g one’s nose very
lig htly s e v era l tim es w ith th e in dex f in ger is u su ally a sso cia te d w ith s tr e ss
or psy ch olo gic al dis c o m fo rt, th ough it can als o pre se n t in so m eo ne
ponderin g s o m eth in g d ubio us o r q uestio nab le .
91
.
HOLD IN G N O SE H IG H
—A h ig h n ose p ro file — an in te n tio nal tiltin g o f th e
head , w ith th e nose poin te d upw ard — in dic ate s co nfid en ce, su perio rity ,
arro gan ce, or ev en in dig natio n. It is a cu ltu ra l dis p la y, se en in so m e
co untr ie s a n d s o cie tie s m ore th an in o th ers . I t m ay s ig nal s u perio rity , s u ch
as w hen h ig h-s ta tu s in div id uals a ff ir m th eir ra n k a t th e s ta rt o f a m eetin g.
Ita lia n d ic ta to r M usso lin i w as fa m ous fo r th is , a s w as G en era l C harle s d e
Gau lle o f F ra n ce. In R ussia , th e cere m onia l g uard s at th e K re m lin are

noto rio us f o r t h is n ose -h ig h b eh av io r.
92
.
NO SE T A PPIN G /S IG NALIN G
—In m an y cu ltu re s a v ery o vert ta p pin g o f th e
nose w ith th e in dex fin ger c an m ean “ T his s tin ks,” “ I d on’t tr u st y ou,” “ I
questio n th is ,” o r “ I a m w atc h in g y ou v ery c are fu lly .” It c an a ls o m ean “ I
notic e y ou,” “ Y ou a re v ery c le v er,” o r “ I
ack now le d ge y ou” ( P au l N ew m an
an d R obert R ed fo rd d id t h is t o e ach o th er i n t h e m ovie
The S tin g
).
93
.
NO ST R IL FL A RIN G
—We usu ally fla re our nostr ils (
nara l win gs
) in
pre p ara tio n f o r d oin g s o m eth in g p hysic al. F re q uen tly , p eo ple w ho a re u pse t,
fe el t h ey h av e t o g et u p o r r u n o ut, o r a re a b out t o v io le n tly a ct o ut w ill f la re
th eir n ostr ils a s th ey o xygen ate . In p olic e w ork it m ay s ig nal a p ers o n is
ab out to ru n. In te rp ers o nally , it is a g ood m ark er th at a p ers o n n eed s a
mom en t t o c alm d ow n.
94
.
PL AY IN G W IT H P H IL T R UM
—The g ro oved a re a ju st a b ove th e u pper lip a n d
belo w th e n ose is th e
philtr u m
. P eo ple w ill p la y w ith th is a re a b y p lu ck in g
at it, sc ra tc h in g it, or pullin g on it w hen str e sse d — so m etim es ra th er
en erg etic ally . T he p hiltr u m is a ls o r e v ealin g in o th er w ay s— sw eat te n ds to
gath er th ere w hen p eo ple a re str e sse d . T hey m ig ht a ls o p la ce th e to ngue
betw een th e te eth a n d th e b ack o f th e p hiltr u m , p ush in g it o ut. S tim ula tio n
of t h is a re a w ith t h e t o ngue i s a n e asily s p otte d p acif ie r.
95
.
SN EA K IN G N O SE T O UCH
—Sneak in g a p acif y in g to uch b y ev er so slig htly
ru bbin g th e nose w ith th e in dex fin ger in dic ate s te n sio n th at is bein g
mask ed a n d th e n eed to c o nvey th e p erc ep tio n th at e v ery th in g is f in e. L ook
fo r it fro m p ro fe ssio nals w ho a re a ccu sto m ed to b ein g in
co ntr o l b ut a re
under s tr e ss. I t is a ls o o fte n s e en in p oker p la y ers w ho a re tr y in g to h id e a
weak h an d.
96
.
RAPID NO SE IN H ALIN G
—Man y peo ple , w hen ab out to deliv er bad or
unple asa n t n ew s, w ill r a p id ly in hale th ro ugh th e n ose , lo udly e n ough to b e
heard , b efo re th ey sp eak . I h av e a ls o se en p eo ple d o th is a s th ey h ear a
questio n th at b oth ers th em , a n d in s o m e in sta n ces b efo re th ey lie . T he h air s
an d th e n erv es in th e n ose a re v ery se n sitiv e to m ois tu re a s w ell a s a ir
movem en t an d to uch . The quic k in hale stim ula te s th e hair s an d th e
co nnecte d n erv e e n din gs, w hic h a p pears to m om en ta rily m itig ate th e s tr e ss
of h av in g t o s a y o r r e v eal s o m eth in g t h at i s t r o ublin g.

The M ou th
T he m outh is e sse n tia l f o r e atin g, b re ath in g, a n d d rin kin g a n d is a ls o , o f c o urs e ,
w here w e f o rm a n d p ro nounce w ord s. H ig hly s e n sitiv e t o t o uch a n d t e m pera tu re ,
t h e m outh is s u rro unded b y m ore th an te n in tr ic ate ly r e fle x iv e m usc le s th at n ot
o nly re sp ond to to uch b ut a ls o re fle ct o ur th oughts a n d s e n tim en ts . T he m outh
c an b e s e d uctiv e o r s a d , jo yous o r p ain ed — an d it a ccu ra te ly r e g is te rs w hen o ne
e m otio n giv es w ay to an oth er in an in sta n t. A fte r w e lo ok at th e ey es fo r
i n fo rm atio n, it is h ere w here w e s e arc h fo r a d ditio nal c u es a s to w hat is in th e
m in d.
9 7
.
LO UD, S H ORT E X H ALIN G
—This t y pe o f e x hale , w here t h e l ip s a re l e ft s lig htly
open , in dic ate s h ig h s tr e ss o r f ru str a tio n. P eo ple e x hib it th is b eh av io r w hen
hearin g b ad n ew s o r w hen c o nfro nte d w ith a d if f ic u lt situ atio n. It h elp s
re lie v e s tr e ss, e sp ecia lly w hen w e a re a n gry .
9 8
.
CAT H ARTIC E X H ALIN G
—Exhalin g w ith puff e d -o ut ch eek s an d tig ht lip s
in dic ate s th at s tr e ss is b ein g e x
perie n ced o r h as p asse d . Y ou m ig ht s e e th is
when a te st o r a n in te rv ie w is o ver o r a fte r a n ear a ccid en t. T his e x hale is
very a u dib le a n d t a k es l o nger t o p erfo rm t h an t h e a b ove v ers io n.
9 9
.
AFFIR M AT IV E IN H ALIN G
—A su dden lo ud in halin g m ak es a d is tin ct so und
th at is u se d in S can din av ia n c o untr ie s, p arts o f th e U nite d K in gdom , a n d
Ire la n d to s ig nif y “ Y es” o r “ Y es, I a g re e.” It is a lin guis tic s h ortc u t, a s n o
word s n eed to b e u se d . T he p ers o n q uic k ly in hale s lo udly e n ough to s o und
as i f s h e i s g asp in g f o r a ir. O nce, a fte r a c ar r id e i n S w ed en , w hen I a sk ed i f
we h ad a rriv ed , t h e d riv er m ere ly d id a n a ff ir m ativ e i n hale — an d t h at w as i t.
1 00
.
SU CK IN G I N A IR T H RO UG H C O RNER S O F M OUTH
—This b eh av io r is b oth s e en
an d h eard . T he c o rn ers o f m outh s u dden ly o pen s lig htly a n d a ir is q uic k ly
in hale d , m ak in g a s u ck in g s o und. I t is e x tr e m ely r e lia b le in w hat it r e v eals :
frig ht, c o ncern , o r a n xie ty . T hat t h e m ajo rity o f t h e m outh i s c lo se d s ig nif ie s
th at th e p ers o n is , in esse n ce, re str ic tin g fre e m ovem en t o f th e lip s, an
actio n th at s u ggests s tr e ss a n d in s o m e c ase s p ain , s u ch a s w hen s o m eo ne
ste p s o n y our t o es.

101
.
HOLD IN G T H E B R EAT H
—Poly gra p hers k now th is w ell: w hen s tr e sse d , m an y
peo ple h av e a n im puls e
to h old th eir b re ath to tr y to c o nta in th eir n erv ous
bre ath in g. O fte n th ey e v en h av e to b e to ld to b re ath e. H old in g o ne’s b re ath
is p art o f th e
fr e eze , flig ht, fig ht
re sp onse . If y ou s e e s o m eo ne re str a in in g
th eir b re ath in g o r a ctu ally h old in g t h eir b re ath w hen a sk ed a q uestio n, m ost
lik ely t h ey a re e x perie n cin g f e ar o r a p pre h en sio n.
102
.
DRY M OUTH
—Str e ss, fe ar, a n d a p pre h en sio n c an c au se o ur m outh s to d ry
out ( th e c lin ic al te rm f o r th is is
xero sto m ia
). S om e p re sc rib ed m ed ic in es a s
well a s illic it d ru gs m ay a ls o c au se d ry ness o f th e m outh . A d ry m outh is
not, a s s o m e b elie v e, in dic ativ e o f d ecep tio n. I t c an , h ow ev er, in dic ate th at
so m eo ne i s s tr e sse d o r a n xio us.
103
.
SA LIV A B A LLS O F M OUTH
—A d ry m outh d ue to s tr e ss, m ed ic atio n, o r illn ess
can c au se s a liv a to b eco m e d ry a n d c lu m py; th ese c lu m ps— th ey o fte n lo ok
lik e l ittle c o tto n b alls — te n d t o c o lle ct i n t h e c o rn ers o f t h e m outh . T hey a re
so m etim es n otic eab le in s p eak ers w ho a re n erv ous. I t is q uite d is tr a ctin g. I f
you a re n erv ous, it is a g ood h ab it to p in ch a n d w ip e th e c o rn ers o f y our
mouth to a v oid s a liv a b alls a s w ell a s d rin k w ate r. T he c lin ic al te rm fo r a
dry m outh i s x ero sto m ia .
104
.
CH EW IN G G UM
—Gum c h ew in g is a n e ff e ctiv e p acif ie r. C hew in g v ig oro usly
mig ht sig nal c o ncern o r
an xie ty . S om e p eo ple , w hen str e sse d , w ill c h ew
ra p id ly o ut o f h ab it e v en i f t h ey d on’t h av e g um i n t h eir m outh s.
105
.
VO CAL T IC S
—Sudden v ocal p ro je ctio n o f n ois e s, c lic k s, c h ir p s, o r th ro at
cle arin g c an b e a la rm in g if o ne is n ot a cq uain te d w ith T oure tte ’s s y ndro m e
(T S), o r o th er d is o rd ers t h at c o ntr ib ute t o v ocal t ic s. S tr e ss a n d a n xie ty m ay
be t h e c ata ly sts f o r T oure tte ’s o utb urs ts , a n d t h ere i s n oth in g f o r u s t o d o b ut
re co gniz e t h at t h is i s o ut o f t h e p ers o n’s c o ntr o l. I t i s a ls o n ot u nco m mon t o
se e t h e a rm s m ove e rra tic ally . T he b est w e c an d o i s e n co ura g e o th ers n ot t o
sta re , a s t h is i s e m barra ssin g f o r t h e p ers o n w ith T S.
106
.
TO NG UE B IT IN G /C H EW IN G
—Som e in div id uals under str e ss w ill bite th eir
to ngue o r t h e i n sid e o f t h eir c h eek s i n o rd er t o s o oth e t h eir n erv es. I t i s v ery
pro nounced i n t h ose f o r w hom i t h as b eco m e a n erv ous t ic . T he t o ngue w ill
ap pear w ounded o r e v en u lc era te d i n p la ces. U nder s tr e ss t h e b eh av io r i s o f
co urs e h eig hte n ed . U nfo rtu nate ly , to ngue a n d c h eek b itin g, lik e re p eate d
hair p ullin g, c an b eco m e p ath olo gic al.

107
.
MOUTH S T R ETC H IN G
—When w e a re a fra id o r r e aliz e w e m ad e a m is ta k e, w e
ofte n fin d o urs e lv es in volu nta rily ex posin g th e b otto m ro w o f cle n ch ed
te eth a s th e c o rn ers o f th e m outh s tr e tc h s u bsta n
tia lly d ow nw ard a n d to th e
sid e. T his is o fte n se en w hen w e are re m in ded th at w e fo rg ot to b rin g
so m eth in g i m porta n t.
108
.
YAW NIN G
—Yaw nin g is a n e x celle n t p acif ie r, a s it r e lie v es p en t- u p s tr e ss b y
stim ula tin g n erv es in th e ja w ; s p ecif ic ally th e
te m poro m andib ula r
jo in t. It
was a ls o re cen tly d is c o vere d th at th e ra p id in ta k e o f a ir w hen w e y aw n
co ols th e b lo od c ir c u la tin g w ith in th e p ala te o f th e m outh a n d, lik e a c ar
ra d ia to r, th e b lo od g oin g to th e b ra in . Y aw nin g m ay in dic ate th at s o m eo ne
is to o h ot o r, a s I o fte n fo und d urin g in te rv ie w s, th at a n in te rv ie w ee w as
se v ere ly s tr e sse d . B ab ie s w ra p ped to o w arm ly w ill a ls o y aw n w ith g re ate r
fre q uen cy a s t h ey s le ep t o h elp t h em c o ol d ow n.
109
.
SM OKIN G
—Peo ple w ho sm oke d o so m ore o fte n w hen th ey a re str e sse d .
Note a n y d ev ia tio ns f ro m a p ers o n’s n orm al s m okin g r o utin e a s e v id en ce o f
how s tr e sse d th ey m ay b e. T hey m ay b e s o s tr e sse d th ey lo se c o unt o f h ow
man y cig are tte s th ey h av e lit. E xcessiv e sm okin g als o le ad s to to bacco
sta in s o n t h e f in gers a n d, o f c o urs e , t h e s te n ch i n t h eir h an ds.
11 0
.
OVER EAT IN G
—Under s tr e ss s o m e p eo ple w ill o vere at, s o m etim es g oin g f a r
bey ond th eir n orm al f o od in ta k e. I h av e s e en p eo ple d urin g a f o otb all g am e
co nsu m e v ast a m ounts o f fo od, to th e p oin t o f g ettin g
sic k , th eir a n xie ty
over t h e s ta tu s o f t h eir f a v orite t e am t r a n sfe rre d t o t h eir a p petite .
111
.
TO NG UE IN C H EEK
—Push in g th e to ngue fir m ly ag ain st one ch eek an d
hold in g it in p la ce se rv es to re lie v e te n sio n. T his is m ost o fte n se en in
in div id uals fa cin g h ig h str e ss o r in th ose h id in g in fo rm atio n o r w ho a re
gettin g a w ay w ith s o m eth in g. It c an a ls o b e s e en in th ose w ho a re b ein g
pla y fu l o r c h eek y.
11 2
.
TO NG UE J U TTIN G
—When th e to ngue s u dden ly p ro tr u des b etw een th e te eth ,
so m etim es w ith out to uch in g th e lip s, it m ean s “ I g ot a w ay w ith s o m eth in g”
or “O ops, I g ot cau ght.” Y ou als o se e it w hen p eo ple catc h th em se lv es
mak in g a m is ta k e. T he to ngue ju t is u niv ers a l an d is re m ark ab le in its
co nsis te n cy, w heth er it is in dic atin g th at y ou g ot a w ay w ith a g re at b arg ain
or a n e x tr a c o okie , a h ig her g ra d e, o r a w hopper o f a l ie .

11 3
.
TO NG UE IN SU LT S
—In a lm ost a ll c u ltu re s th e stic k in g o ut o f th e to ngue is
use d a s a n i n su lt, a d is p la y o f d is g ust o r d is lik e. C hild re n u se t h is t e ch niq ue
fro m a v ery y oung a g e w hen th ey w an t to in su lt o ne a n oth er. P acif ic I s la n d
warrio rs su ch as th e M āo ri w ill d ra m atic ally stic k th eir to ngue o ut an d
dow n a s a w ay to in tim id ate a n d in su lt. C ouple d w ith v ery w id e e y es, a
stu ck -o ut to ngue c an b e q uite in tim id atin g, a n d it is s till u se d to th is d ay in
Māo ri
haka
cere m onie s.
11 4
.
TO NG UE PR O TR UDIN G
—Ofte n tim es, w hile perfo rm in g a co m ple x ta sk ,
peo ple w ill s tic k o ut th eir to ngue, u su ally to o ne s id e o r th e o th er, o r d ra p e
it o ver th eir lo w er lip . I h ad an acco unta n t w ho d id th is as h e en te re d
num bers in to a c alc u la to r, a n d I s e e it a ll th e tim e a t th e u niv ers ity w hen
stu den ts a re ta k in g te sts . T his to ngue p la cem en t se rv es d ual p urp ose s: it
pacif ie s u s w hile s im ulta n eo usly c o m munic atin g to o th ers th at w e a re b usy
an d sh ould not be dis tu rb ed . M ic h ael Jo rd an fa m ously did th is w hile
pla y in g bask etb all; w hen his to ngue w as out, tw o poin ts usu ally so on
fo llo w ed .
11 5
.
TO NG UE PR ESSIN G AG AIN ST PA LAT E
—Peo ple m ig ht pre ss th eir to ngue
ag ain st th e r o of o f th eir m outh w hen th ey a re s tr u gglin g w ith s o m eth in g. I t
is s e en i n p eo ple t a k in g t e sts , f illin g o ut a p plic atio ns, a fte r m is sin g a s h ot i n
bask etb all, o r w hen s o m eb ody n eed s p sy ch olo gic al c o m fo rtin g. T he m outh
is g en era lly l e ft s lig htly o pen , a llo w in g o bse rv ers t o a t l e ast p artia lly s e e t h e
to ngue.
11 6
.
TO NG UE L IC K IN G T EETH
—As w ith lip lic k in g (
se e # 145
), w e lic k o ur te eth
when o ur m outh is d ry — usu ally d ue to n erv ousn ess, a n xie ty , o r fe ar. T he
ru bbin g o f th e to ngue a cro ss th e te eth a n d/o r g um s is a u niv ers a l str e ss
re lie v er, a s w ell a s a p ote n tia l s ig n o f d eh ydra tio n. I n cid en ta lly , w hen t h is i s
done w ith th e m outh c lo se d , y ou c an s e e th e to ngue tr a ck a cro ss th e te eth
under t h e l ip s.
11 7
.
TO NG UE D ARTIN G
—To r e lie v e s tr e ss s o m e p eo ple w ill d art t h eir t o ngue b ack
an d fo rth fro m co rn er to co rn er o f th eir m outh (n otic eab le th ro ugh th e
ch eek s) in n erv ous o r w orrie d a n tic ip atio n. U su ally th ey th in k th ey a re n ot
bein g n otic ed o r t h at t h e m ean in g o f t h is b eh av io r c an not b e d ecip here d .
11 8
.
FL IC K IN G N AIL S O N T EETH
—The flic k in g of th e th um bnail on th e te eth
re le ase s str e ss. Peo ple w ho do th is re p eate d ly are tr y in g to so oth e

th em se lv es becau se th ey are an xio us ab out so m eth in g. K eep in m in d,
how ev er, th at a s w ith a ll re p etitiv e b eh av io rs , if p eo ple d o it a ll th e tim e,
th en y ou i g nore t h at b eh av io r b ecau se t h at i s t h eir “ n orm ”— it m ay b e m ore
sig nif ic an t w hen t h ey s to p d oin g i t.
11 9
.
TEETH B A RIN G
—Som etim es p eo ple s u dden ly p ull th e c o rn ers o f th e m outh
back a n d h old th at p ositio n w hile th ey s h ow th eir c le n ch ed te eth . T his is a
le g acy “fe ar g rin ” v ery sim ila r to w hat ch im pan zees d o w hen th ey are
sc are d o r f e ar a d om in an t m ale . W e h um an s te n d to b are o ur te eth th is w ay
when w e g et c au ght d oin g s o m eth in g w e s h ould n’t b e d oin g. T his b eh av io r
mig ht b e c o uple d w ith a s im ulta n eo us a rc h in g o f th e e y eb ro w s, d ep en din g
on t h e c ir c u m sta n ces.
120
.
TEETH T A PPIN G
—When s tr e sse d , b ore d , o r f ru str a te d , s o m e p eo ple w ill s h if t
th eir ja w slig htly a n d ta p
th eir c an in es to geth er, fa v orin g o ne sid e o f th e
mouth o r th e o th er. T his se n ds re p etitiv e sig nals to th e b ra in th at h elp
so oth e u s.
121
.
VO IC E T O NE
—The to ne o f o ur v oic e c an m ak e p eo ple c o m fo rta b le o r fe el
lik e w e a re c h alle n gin g th em . W e c an u se th e to ne o f o ur v oic e to a lte r o r
en han ce h ow w e are p erc eiv ed . Y ou can co m e o ff as n ic e, sw eet, k in d,
lo vin g, an d know le d geab le , dep en din g on your to ne of voic e or
alte rn ativ ely a s su sp ic io us, in dig nan t, o r a rro gan t. T one o f v oic e m atte rs
gre atly . I ro nic ally , if y ou w an t to g et p eo ple ’s a tte n tio n, lo w erin g y our to ne
of v oic e w ill w ork b est. A lo w er v oic e is a ls o s o oth in g, a s a n y p are n t w ho
has p ut a c h ild t o b ed w ill a tte st.
122
.
VO IC E P IT C H
—When w e a re n erv ous o ur v oic es te n d to r is e in p itc h . L is te n
fo r v oic es th at r is e o r c ra ck w hen a p ers o n is s tr e sse d , n erv ous, o r in se cu re .
This i s c au se d b y v ocal- c o rd t e n sio n.
123
.
UPTA LK
—Upta lk is w hen peo ple in fle ct th eir to ne up at th e en d of a
decla ra tiv e s e n te n ce, a s th ough it w ere a q uestio n. S tu die s s h ow th at e v en a
sin gle in sta n ce o f u pta lk o n th e p hone c an n eg ativ ely im pact th e lis te n er’s
im pre ssio n o f th e sp eak er. T hough u pta lk is p opula r w ith m an y y oung
peo ple , i t m ak es t h em s o und t e n ta tiv e a n d l a ck in g i n c o nfid en ce.
124
.
ST U TTER IN G /S T A M MER IN G
—Som e in div id uals path olo gic ally stu tte r
(re p eatin g sy lla b le s as th ey tr y to sp eak ). For so m e it can be quite

deb ilita tin g, a s i n t h e c ase o f E ngla n d’s K in g G eo rg e V I, f a m ously d ep ic te d
by C olin F ir th in th e 2 010 m ovie
The K in g’s S peech
. F or m an y o f u s w ho
do n ot s tu tte r p ath olo gic ally , a h ig h d eg re e o f s tr e ss o r a n xie ty c an c au se u s
to t e m pora rily s tu tte r o r s ta m mer.
125
.
DELAY IN A NSW ER IN G
—Man y p eo ple erro neo usly b elie v e th at a d ela y in
an sw erin g a q uestio n s ig nals th at a p ers o n is ly in g o r is b uyin g tim e in a n
atte m pt to m uste r a c re d ib le a n sw er. U nfo rtu nate ly , b oth th e h onest a n d th e
dis h onest m ay d ela y a n a n sw er b ut f o r d if f e re n t r e aso ns. T he g uilty m ay in
fa ct h av e to th in k a b out w hat to sa y w hile th e in nocen t m ay b e th in kin g
ab out h ow b est to sa y it. In m y e x perie n ce, a d ela y in a n sw erin g sh ould
mak e u s ta k e n ote b ut is n ot in dic ativ e o f d ecep tio n. I n s o m e c u ltu re s— fo r
in sta n ce, am ong m an y N ativ e A m eric an s— a dela y in an sw erin g is not
unusu al as th e pers o n co nte m pla te s th e co m ple x ity an d nuan ce of a
questio n. S tr e ss o r fa tig ue can als o m ak e u s slo w to an sw er. A fo rm al
in quir y m ay a ls o c au se u s to d ela y a n sw erin g b ecau se o f th e s e rio usn ess o f
th e h earin g.
126
.
SIL EN CE
—A p ro lo nged s ile n ce, o r e v en ju st a “ p re g nan t p au se ,” m ay s p eak
volu m es. S om etim es, w hen w e can not re m em ber in fo rm atio n o r w e are
co nte m pla tin g
so m eth in g, a sile n ce is u nin te n tio nal. B ut o th er tim es it is
very m uch in te n ded , a s w hen a n eg otia to r m ay g o te m pora rily s ile n t to g et
th e o th er p arty to f ill in th e v oid . S ile n ce c an b e u se d to c o m munic ate th at
th e pers o n is ponderin g, re co lle ctin g, co nsid erin g, pro cessin g, or is
nonplu sse d . G re at a cto rs u se i t e ff e ctiv ely , a s d o i n te rv ie w ers .
127
.
SIL EN CE A ND F R EEZE R ESP O NSE
—When a p ers o n s u dden ly g oes s ile n t a n d
sto ps m ovin g or underg oes bre ath in g ch an ges upon hearin g or se ein g
so m eth in g, ta k e n ote . T his is a r e sp onse to s o m eth in g n eg ativ e th at s h ock s
th em o r c au se s t h em t o r e asse ss w hat t h ey k now o r b elie v e.
128
.
IN TER RUPT IV E A RG UM EN TS
—Arg uin g fo r th e so le p urp ose o f d is ru ptin g a
meetin g o r a co nvers a tio n is an o fte n -u se d te ch niq ue to p re v en t fu rth er
dis c u ssio n. It is th e re p etitiv e in te rru ptio n, n ot th e w ord s u se d , th at is th e
nonverb al h ere th at d is tr a cts o r a n ta g oniz es. T he te ch niq ue d oes n ot f u rth er
a c o nvers a tio n o r p ro vid e a n y c la rity , it is c le arly in te n ded to a g gra v ate ,
in tim id ate , o r p la ce so m eo ne o n e m otio nal “ tilt.” I h av e se en th is m an y
tim es i n u nio n m eetin gs a s m em bers d is ru pt a s p eak er.

129
.
CAT H ARTIC U TTER ANCES
—In th is f o rm o f a c ath artic e x hale , w e c o m e c lo se
to s a y in g a w ord b ut n ev er g et th ere . “ O hhhh” o r “ w oooo” o r “ fu uuuh” is
utte re d
but n ev er c o m ple te d . T hese a re c o nsid ere d n onverb als b ecau se th e
actu al w ord s are n ot sp oken , th ough w e can o fte n in tu it th eir m ean in g.
Ofte n th ese u tte ra n ces d on’t m ak e s e n se , e sp ecia lly to fo re ig ners , b ut th ey
help u s t o r e lie v e s tr e ss w ith out o ff e n din g a n yone.
130
.
SP E ED O F T A LK IN G
—How fa st w e sp eak is a k ey n onverb al in dic ato r. In
so m e p arts o f A m eric a p eo ple s p eak v ery s lo w ly a n d d elib era te ly , w hile in
oth ers sp eech is fa st an d clip ped . T hese sty le s co m munic ate so m eth in g
ab out th e p ers o nality o f th e sp eak ers — where th ey a re fro m , w here th ey
wen t to s c h ool, a n d m ore . C han ges in a p ers o n’s n orm al s p eed o f ta lk in g
may i n dic ate s tr e ss o r r e lu cta n ce t o a n sw er a s e n sitiv e q uestio n.
131
.
IN CESSA NT T A LK IN G
—We hav e all m et peo ple w ho se em to nev er sto p
ta lk in g. T hey m ig ht s im ply b e n erv ous, o r th ey m ig ht b e in co nsid era te o f
oth ers a n d f o cu se d o nly o n th em se lv es. C onte x t is k ey. I n th e a fte rm ath o f
an accid en t, a p ers o n m ig ht ra m ble , ta lk in g n onsto p. T his is cau se d b y
sh ock . B ut a t a p arty , th e m an w ho ta lk s y our e ar o ff is le ttin g y ou k now
who h e t h in ks i t m ost i m porta n t— an d i t’s n ot y ou.
132
.
IN CO NG RUEN T T A LK
—Afte r a n a ccid en t o r tr a g ic e v en t, a p ers o n m ay b eg in
to s p eak i n co here n tly . T his i s a r e su lt o f s tr e ss a n d t h e e m otio nal s id e o f t h e
bra in
bein g o verw helm ed . D ep en din g o n th e c ir c u m sta n ces o f th e e v en t o r
tr a g ed y, th is m ay la st f o r h ours o r e v en d ay s, a s w e h av e s e en w ith s o ld ie rs
an d r e fu gees i n c o m bat z o nes.
133
.
REPE TIT IO N O F W ORDS
—Under h ig h s tr e ss, p eo ple m ay r e p eat c erta in w ord s
over a n d o ver in a n onse n sic al w ay. E ff o rts o n y our p art to g et th em to s a y
more m ay n ot w ork . I t i s a s i f t h ey a re s tu ck i n a l o op. I o nce h eard a v ic tim
str u ck b y a v eh ic le s a y t h e w ord “ m eta l” o ver a n d o ver a g ain , w ith a l o ok o f
frig ht u pon h er f a ce. T hat w as a ll s h e c o uld s a y.
134
.
SP E ED OF RESP O NSE
—Som e peo ple w ill ta k e th eir tim e an sw erin g a
questio n, sta rtin g, th en sto ppin g, th en co ntin uin g. O th ers w ill re sp ond
befo re y ou f in is h a sk in g t h e q uestio n. H ow f a st t h ey a n sw er s a y s s o m eth in g
ab out h ow th ey a re th in kin g a n d p ro cessin g in fo rm atio n. K eep in m in d th at
sp eed o f r e sp onse d ep en ds u pon c u ltu ra l c o nte x t a s w ell a s m en ta l a g ility .

135
.
SP E ED IN G T H RO UG H C O M MEN TS
—Fast i s n ot a lw ay s g ood w hen a n sw erin g a
questio n. W hen a p ers o n s p eed s th ro ugh a n a p olo gy, th e a p olo gy lo se s its
mean in g— it s e em s m ech an ic al a n d c o ntr iv ed . A s im ila r p rin cip le a p plie s i n
pra is in g o r w elc o m in g p eo ple . It is a t th ese m om en ts th at w e s h ould ta k e
our tim e. S peed in g th ro ugh a n a p olo gy o r re co gnitio n o f a n oth er
su ggests
th ere a re is su es, s u ch a s s o cia l a n xie ty , r e lu cta n ce, o r la ck o f c o nvic tio n. I t
is th e s p eed o f ta lk in g th at is th e n onverb al h ere — as if g la n cin g o ver w hat
is i m porta n t.
136
.
FIL LER S O UNDS
—Sounds s u ch a s “ aah ,” “ h um ,” “ h um ,” c o ughin g o r th ro at
cle arin g, a n d h esita tio ns in s p eak in g m ay in dic ate p eo ple a re m om en ta rily
at a lo ss fo r w ord s a n d fe elin g th ey h av e to fill th e v oid w ith a t le ast a
so und. A m eric an s a re n oto rio us fo r u sin g fille r s o unds a s th ey fig ure o ut
what to s a y, s tr u ggle to fin d th e rig ht w ord s, o r b id e th eir tim e w hile th ey
re call an ex perie n ce. Becau se th ese are not actu al w ord s, th ey are
co nsid ere d a p ara la n guag e o r a n onverb al.
137
.
CO UG HIN G O R C LEA RIN G O F T H RO AT
—Peo ple o fte n co ugh o r cle ar th eir
th ro at w hen th ey need to an sw er or deal w ith so m eth in g dif f ic u lt. A
questio n th at is c h alle n gin g to a n sw er o r n eed s to b e q ualif ie d m ig ht c au se
th ro at c le arin g. I h av e n ote d th at so m e in div id uals w hen ly in g w ill c le ar
th eir th ro at o r c o ugh, b ut th is is n ot a r e lia b le in dic ato r o f d ecep tio n, a s th e
honest m ay a ls o d o s o w hen n erv ous o r t e n se .
138
.
WHIS T LIN G N ER V O USL Y
—Whis tlin g is a fo rm of
ca th artic exh alin g
(
se e
#98
), an d it h elp s u s re lie v e str e ss. It’s a g ood p acif ie r an d th at’s w hy
peo ple te n d to do
it w hen tr a v elin g by th em se lv es th ro ugh a dark or
deso la te are a or w hen th ey fe el unco m fo rta b ly alo ne. In m ovie s an d
carto ons, p eo ple o r c h ara cte rs a re o fte n p ortr a y ed w his tlin g w hile w alk in g
th ro ugh a c em ete ry t o w ard o ff t h eir a p pre h en sio n.
139
.
TU T-T U TTIN G
—These to ngue a n d te eth n ois e s a re u se d in m an y s o cie tie s to
in dic ate d is a g re em en t, to c all a tte n tio n to so m eth in g th at is w ro ng, o r to
sh am e. O ne t u t- tu ts b y p la cin g t h e t o ngue a g ain st t h e b ack o f t h e f ro nt t e eth
an d th e u pper p ala te an d th en ra p id ly in halin g to m ak e a sh arp , q uic k
so und. T his is o fte n s e en in c o ncert w ith a w av in g fin ger in dic atin g th at a
tr a n sg re ssio n has occu rre d an d been notic ed . P are n ts fre q uen tly tu t- tu t
when c h ild re n a re a b out t o m is b eh av e.

140
.
LA UG HTER
—Lau ghte r is a u niv ers a l d is p la y o f a m use m en t, h ap pin ess, a n d
jo y. W e k now th at w hen w e la u gh w e e x perie n ce le ss s tr e ss a n d e v en le ss
pain ; in deed , th e act o f la u ghin g m ay h av e aris e n in u s as a p ro te ctiv e
ev olu tio nary b en efit. T here a re , o f c o urs e , m an y d if f e re n t s o rts o f la u ghte r:
unre str a in ed c ack le s w hen w e h ear a g en uin ely h ila rio us jo ke; th e jo yous
la u ghte r o f c h ild re n ; th e o bse q uio us la u ghte r o f th ose w ho s e ek to f la tte r a
le ad er. H ow s o m eo ne l a u ghs s a y s a l o t, a n d s h ould b e e x am in ed f o r t h e t r u e
dep th o f s e n tim en t a n d c o nte x t w hen y ou’re i n d oubt.

The L ip s
W e p urs e th em in fro nt o f sm artp hones to ta k e se lf ie s an d p ain t th em w ith
l ip stic k to m ak e th em m ore a ttr a ctiv e. W e in je ct th em w ith c o lla g en to h id e o ur
a g e, a n d w e lic k th em to k eep th em m ois t. R ic h in n erv e e n din gs, o ur lip s s e n se
p re ssu re , h eat, c o ld , f la v ors , te n dern ess, a n d e v en th e m ovem en t o f a ir. T hey n ot
o nly se n se , th ey can be se n su ous as w ell. L ip s co m munic ate m oods, lik es,
d is lik es, e v en fe ar. W e a d orn th em , m assa g e th em , B oto x th em , a n d p la y w ith
t h em — an d o h y es, w e k is s w ith th em . I n a w ay, th ey a re o ne o f th e th in gs th at
m ak e u s u niq uely h um an .
1 41
.
LIP FU LLN ESS
—Our lip s ch an ge siz e an d dim en sio ns acco rd in g to our
em otio nal sta te . T hey g et sm all w hen w e’re str e sse d , la rg er w hen w e’re
co m fo rta b le . F ull, p lia b le lip s in dic ate re la x atio n a n d c o nte n tm en t. W hen
we’re u nder s tr e ss, b lo od flo w s o ut o f th e lip s to o th er p arts o f th e b ody
where it is n eed ed . L ip fu lln ess can se rv e as a b aro m ete r o f a p ers o n’s
em otio nal s ta te .
1 42
.
FIN G ER TIP S T O L IP S
—Coverin g o ne’s lip s w ith o ne’s fin gers c an in dic ate
in se cu rity o r d oubt an d sh ould b e co nsid ere d in co nte x t. W atc h fo r th is
beh av io r, e sp ecia lly a s p eo ple h ear a q uestio n th ey n eed to p ro cess. T his
beh av io r is a ls o s e en w hen p eo ple c are fu lly p onder a n is su e. K eep in m in d
th at s o m e p eo ple d o th is f re q uen tly , in a ll s o rts o f s itu atio ns— it is a s tr e ss
re lie v er h ark in g b ack to w hen th ey s u ck ed th eir th um bs, s o b e c are fu l w ith
what i n fe re n ce i s d ra w n.
1 43
.
LIP P L U CK IN G
—Pullin g o r p lu ck in g o f th e lip s is u su ally a sso cia te d w ith
fe ar, d oubt, c o ncern , la ck o f c o nfid en ce, o r o th er d if f ic u ltie s. I g nore p eo ple
who d o t h is c o ntin ually t o p ass t h e t im e— fo r t h em i t i s a p acif ie r. F or t h ose
who r a re ly d o i t, i t’s a g ood i n dic ato r t h at s o m eth in g i s w ro ng.
1 44
.
LIP B IT IN G
—Lip b itin g is a p acif ie r, u su ally se en w hen p eo ple a re u nder
str e ss o r h av e c o ncern s. W e b ite o ur l ip s b ecau se , a fte r a c erta in a g e, i t i s n o
lo nger s o cia lly a ccep ta b le t o s u ck o ur t h um bs, a n d b itin g o ur l ip s s tim ula te s
th e s a m e n erv es in th e m outh . W e m ig ht a ls o b ite o ur lip s w hen w e w an t to
sa y so m eth in g b ut c an ’t o r sh ould n’t. N ote a ls o th at so m e p eo ple , w hen

an gry , w ill b ite t h eir l ip s a s a m ean s o f s e lf -re str a in t.
145
.
LIP L IC K IN G
—Rubbin g th e to ngue o n th e lip s h elp s to p acif y u s in th e s a m e
way th at lip b itin g d oes. T his
beh av io r is u su ally a sso cia te d w ith c o ncern s,
an xie ty , o r n eg ativ e e m otio ns; h ow ev er, it c o uld ju st b e th at th e p ers o n h as
dry lip s, so be care fu l w hen dra w in g co nclu sio ns. For so m e peo ple ,
how ev er, th is is a v ery r e lia b le in dic ato r th at th ey a re v ery s tr e sse d . A s a n
ed ucato r, I s e e th is a ll th e tim e w hen a n u npre p are d s tu den t s its d ow n f o r a
te st.
146
.
LIP N ARRO W IN G
—The narro w in g of th e lip s is m ostly asso cia te d w ith
neg ativ e th oughts , c o ncern s, fe ars , a n xie ty , o r la ck o f c o nfid en ce. A s w e
pro cess i s su es o r e x perie n ce s tr e ss, t h e l ip s t e n d t o n arro w .
147
.
LIP C O M PR ESSIN G
—Thro ughout t h e d ay, a s w e e n co unte r n eg ativ e e v en ts o r
unco m fo rta b le th oughts , an d co ncern s, our lip s w ill narro w an d pre ss
to geth er, a ccu ra te ly tr a n sm ittin g, e v en if o nly fo r a n in sta n t, o ur c o ncern s.
Lip c o m pre ssio n c an b e v ery su btle o r c an re ach a p oin t w here th e lip s
notic eab ly c h an ge c o lo r a s b lo od i s f o rc ed o ut. L ip c o m pre ssio n c an b e v ery
fle etin g (
1 /
20
th o f a s e co nd), a n d y et it r e v eals a ccu ra te ly a n eg ativ e e m otio n
su dden ly r e g is te re d .
148
.
SL IG HT P R ESSIN G O F L IP S
—Som etim es w e s h ow o ur a n noyan ce w ith o th ers
by s lig htly c o m pre ssin g th e lip s. U nlik e fu ll lip c o m pre ssio n, w here b oth
lip s a re in volv ed , th is u su ally in volv es o nly th e u pper lip . S till, a s lig ht lip
co m pre ssio n m ig ht re v eal s o m eth in g, w hen
co nsid ere d a lo ng w ith th e re st
of a p ers o n’s b ody l a n guag e.
149
.
CO M PR ESSE D LIP S PU LLED D O W N
—You’ll se e th is str ik in g beh av io r in
peo ple w hen th ey re aliz e th ey m ad e a m ajo r m is ta k e o r g et c au ght d oin g
so m eth in g w ro ng. T he lip s are held tig htly to geth er w hile th e m usc le s
su rro undin g th e m outh c o ntr a ct to b rin g th e lip s s lig htly d ow n, s tr e tc h in g
th e u pper lip a w ay f ro m th e n ose a n d p ullin g th e m outh a re a tig htly a g ain st
th e t e eth .
150
.
RELU CTA NCE T O D EC O M PR ESS L IP S
—Peo ple w ho h old th eir c o m pre sse d lip s
to geth er f o r a lo ng tim e, r e lu cta n t to d eco m pre ss th em , a re s ig nalin g a h ig h
deg re e o f s tr e ss o r c o ncern . L ip c o m pre ssio n is , in a w ay, a b atte n in g d ow n
of o ur h atc h es, m uch lik e c o verin g o ur e y es w ith o ur h an ds to b lo ck o ut

so m eth in g n eg ativ e. T he g re ate r t h e t e n sio n o r a p pre h en sio n, t h e g re ate r t h e
need t o k eep t h e l ip s c o m pre sse d .
151
.
LIP W IT H DRAW IN G
—When w e h av e d eep co ncern s o r an xie ty , w e m ig ht
su ck o ur lip s in to o ur m outh to th e p oin t w here th ey a re n o lo nger v is ib le .
This sig nals so m eth in g v ery d if f e re n t fro m lip co m pre ssin g (
se e # 147
),
where m uch o f th e lip s re m ain v is ib le . T his b eh av io r is o fte n re se rv ed fo r
when th ere is se v ere str e ss, sig nif ic an t p hysic al p ain , o r g re at e m otio nal
tu rm oil.
152
.
LIP Q UIV ER IN G
—The q uiv erin g o f th e ed ges o f th e lip s, n o m atte r h ow
slig ht, in th e ab se n ce of alc o hol or neu ro lo gic al dis o rd ers , in dic ate s
dis c o m fo rt, c o ncern , fe ar, o r o th er is su es. Y oung p eo ple w hen q uestio ned
by p are n ts o r o th er a d ults in p ositio ns o f a u th ority o fte n d is p la y q uiv erin g
lip s, as do honest peo ple w ho hav e nev er been co nfro nte d by la w
en fo rc em en t off ic ers befo re . I hav e als o heard fro m hum an re so urc es
pers o nnel th at s o m e y oung p eo ple ’s lip s w ill q uiv er w hen th ey a re a sk ed if
th ey u se i llic it d ru gs.
153
.
UPSID E-D O W N L IP S
—When th e lip s a re c o m pre sse d a n d th e c o rn ers o f th e
mouth tu rn d ow nw ard , th in gs a re re ally b ad e m otio nally . T his is a s tr o ng
in dic ato r o f h ig h s tr e ss o r d is c o m fo rt. T his b eh av io r i s d if f ic u lt t o f a k e, s o i t
is v ery a ccu ra te . B e c are fu l, h ow ev er, b ecau se s o m e p eo ple h av e n atu ra lly
dow ntu rn ed m outh s. T his in dic ato r is s im ila r to th e “ g ro uper” m outh (
se e
#156
), b ut in th is c ase th e lip s e ith er a re v ery tig htly c o m pre sse d o r h av e
dis a p peare d c o m ple te ly .
154
.
LIP P U RSIN G
—We p urs e o ur lip s ( p in ch in g th em tig htly to w ard th e f ro nt o f
th e m outh ) w hen w e d is a g re e w ith s o m eth in g o r w hen w e a re t h in kin g o f a n
alte rn ativ e. W hen a u die n ces ta k e is su e w ith w hat a sp eak er is sa y in g o r
know it is w ro ng, you ofte n se e th is beh av io r. T he m ore outw ard th e
movem en t of th e purs e d lip s, th e str o nger th e neg ativ e em otio n or
se n tim en t. T his is an ex tr e m ely re lia b le b eh av io r y ou als o se e in p oker
when p la y ers d on’t l ik e t h eir o w n h ole c ard s.
155
.
LIP P U RSIN G P U LLED T O S ID E
—This is sim ila r to th e p urs e d -lip s b eh av io r
ab ove, but w ith th e lip s en erg etic ally pulle d to th e sid e of th e fa ce,
sig nif ic an tly a lte rin g th e lo ok o f th e p ers o n. U su ally th is h ap pen s q uic k ly ,
th ough w hen th ere is s tr o ng d is a g re em en t, th e p ositio n m ig ht b e h eld f o r a

fe w s e co nds. I t is a n e m phatic g estu re th at s a y s, “ I h av e r e al is su es h ere ; I
don’t lik e w hat I w as a sk ed , w hat I ju st h eard , o r w here th is is g oin g.” T he
more pro nounced th e gestu re or th e lo nger it is held , th e str o nger th e
se n tim en t. W e f a m ously s a w th is e x pre ssio n o n O . J . S im pso n tr ia l w itn ess
Kato K aelin a s h e t e stif ie d , a n d g ym nast M cK ay la M aro ney w hen s h e c am e
in s e co nd p la ce i n t h e v au lt f in als d urin g t h e 2 012 S um mer O ly m pic s.
156
.
SA D M OUTH
—The m outh , l ik e t h e e y es, c an b e a w in dow i n to o ur e m otio nal
sta te . S ad ness is u su ally sh ow n w ith th e c o rn ers o f th e lip s tu rn ed d ow n
slig htly , u su ally in c o ncert w ith lo w ere d u pper e y elid s. T his is s o m etim es
re fe rre d to as a “g ro uper” m outh o r fa ce. It sh ould b e n ote d th at so m e
peo ple n atu ra lly lo ok th is w ay — th e co rn ers o f th eir m outh s p erp etu ally
tu rn ed d ow n— an d f o r t h em , i t h as n oth in g t o d o w ith n eg ativ e e m otio ns.
157
.
TH E O
—When w e a re s u rp ris e d o r in a g ony, o ur lip s w ill o fte n in stin ctiv ely
mak e a n o val s h ap e, s im ila r to a n O . T he re aso n w e d o th is is n ot e x actly
know n, b ut it s e em s to b e a u niv ers a l b eh av io r a cro ss c u ltu re s a n d p ossib ly
a v estig ia l r e sp onse w e s h are w ith a la rm ed p rim ate s. T he b est- k now n i m ag e
of t h is i s E dvard M unch ’s p ain tin g
The S cre a m
.
158
.
MOUTH O PE N , J A W T O S ID E
—Sim ila r to ja w d ro ppin g (
se e # 179
), th is o ccu rs
when peo ple hav e done so m eth in g w ro ng or re aliz e th ey ’v e m ad e a
mis ta k e. O ne c o rn er o f th e m outh is p ulle d to th e s id e, c au sin g th e ja w to
sh if t in th at d ir e ctio n; a t th e sa m e tim e, th e c le n ch ed lo w er te eth o n th at
sid e o f t h e m outh a re e x pose d . S tu den ts o fte n r e act t h is w ay w hen t h ey m is s
a questio n th ey know th ey sh ould hav e know n; it’s als o se en w hen
em plo yees r e co gniz e t h ey f a ile d t o c o m ple te a t a sk . T his b eh av io r m ig ht b e
acco m pan ie d b y t h e q uic k s u ck in g i n o f a ir t h ro ugh c le n ch ed t e eth .
159
.
SM IL E
—A gen uin e sm ile is an in sta n t, su re fir e w ay to co m munic ate
frie n dlin ess a n d g oodw ill. A ro und t h e w orld i t s ig nals w arm th , f rie n dlin ess,
an d s o cia l h arm ony. W atc h in g s o m eo ne s m ile , e sp ecia lly b ab ie s, b rin gs u s
jo y. I n f a m ily r e la tio ns, d atin g, a n d b usin ess a s m ile o pen s d oors a s w ell a s
hearts . T here a re a v arie ty o f s m ile s, i n clu din g s o cia l s m ile s f o r t h ose w hom
we d on’t k now b ut a ck now le d ge n ear u s, t h e t e n se s m ile
of a t e st t a k er, a n d
th e f a ls e s m ile o f t h ose p re te n din g t o l ik e u s o r t r y in g t o a ct c o m fo rta b le .
160
.
TR UE S M IL E
—A t o pic o f m uch r e se arc h ; a g en uin e s m ile i n volv es t h e m outh
an d th e m usc le s aro und th e ey es. This is calle d a
Duch en ne
sm ile ,

acco rd in g to b ody-la n guag e re se arc h er P au l E km an . T he fa ce is v is ib ly
more r e la x ed in a tr u e s m ile , a s th e f a cia l m usc le s r e fle ct a ctu al jo y r a th er
th an te n sio n. Stu die s hav e sh ow n th at a gen uin e sm ile can be tr u ly
“co nta g io us,” in b oth p ro fe ssio nal a n d p ers o nal e n vir o nm en ts , a n d is o fte n
a t r a it w e a sso cia te w ith c h aris m atic i n div id uals .
161
.
FA LSE S M IL E
—Fals e sm ile s, lik e n erv ous sm ile s, are u se d fo r p erc ep tio n
man ag em en t to m ak e o th ers b elie v e e v ery th in g is O K. T hey a re f a ir ly e asy
to d is tin guis h f ro m a tr u e s m ile ; h ow ev er, in a f a ls e s m ile , s o m etim es o nly
one s id e o f t h e f a ce i s i n volv ed , o r t h e s m ile g oes t o w ard t h e e ar r a th er t h an
th e e y es. It lo oks c o ntr iv ed . A tr u e s m ile e n gag es th e e y es a n d th e fa cia l
musc le s s m ooth ly o n b oth s id es o f t h e f a ce.
162
.
NER V O US SM IL E
—A nerv ous or te n se sm ile sh ow s an xie ty , co ncern , or
str e ss. T he n erv ous s m ile is p erfo rm ed to m ak e o th ers th in k e v ery th in g is
fin e. Y ou o fte n se e th is o n v is ito rs c le arin g c u sto m s a t th e a ir p ort; th ey
nerv ously s m ile a t t h e i n quis itiv e o ff ic er a sk in g q uestio ns.
163
.
SM IL IN G A S A BA RO M ETER O F EM OTIO NS
—How accu ra te are sm ile s in
re v ealin g o ur in ner f e elin gs? V ery . S tu die s s h ow th at a th le te s’ s m ile s d if f e r
notic eab ly d ep en din g o n w heth er th ey f in is h in f ir s t, s e co nd, o r th ir d p la ce.
In te re stin gly , t h is s a m e d is tin ctio n h old s t r u e f o r c o ngen ita lly b lin d a th le te s,
who h av e n ev er a ctu ally s e en a s m ile o n a n oth er p ers o n’s f a ce. T heir s m ile
will re fle ct th eir su ccess, or la ck th ere o f— ag ain co nfir m in g th at m an y
nonverb als a re h ard w ir e d i n o ur b ra in s.
164
.
CRIM PIN G C O RNER S O F T H E M OUTH
—When o ne c o rn er o f t h e m outh p in ch es
tig ht an d p ulls slig htly to th e sid e o r u p, it re v eals sm ugness, d is d ain ,
dis lik e, d is b elie f, o r c o nte m pt. W here th e c o nte m pt is d em onstr a b ly o vert,
th is b eh av io r m ay b e d ra m atiz ed o r e x ag gera te d , le av in g n o q uestio n a s to
tr u e s e n tim en ts . M ost o f th e tim e c rim pin g th e c o rn er o f th e m outh is d one
on j u st o ne s id e o f t h e f a ce b ut s o m e p eo ple d o i t o n b oth s id es a n d i t m ean s
th e s a m e.
165
.
UPPE R L IP R IS E
—Dis g ust, n eg ativ e s e n tim en ts , d is d ain , o r d is lik e w ill c au se
th e u pper c o rn er o f t h e l ip o n o ne s id e o f t h e m outh t o r is e s lig htly o r “ te n t”
upw ard . W hen th e s e n tim en ts a re s tr o ng, th e ris e c an b e v ery n otic eab le ,
dis to rtin g th e u pper lip to w ard th e n ose a n d e x posin g th e te eth , a lm ost in a
sn arl. T his i s a s ig n o f u tte r d is lik e o r d is g ust.

166
.
UPPE R -L IP T O NG UE R UBBIN G
—Som e p eo ple re fle ct th eir p ositiv e e m otio ns
by lic k in g th eir u pper lip b ris k ly b ack a n d fo rth . B ecau se th e to ngue is in
esse n ce d efy in g g ra v ity (g oin g fo r th e u pper lip ), p ositiv e em otio ns are
more l ik ely i n volv ed . T his i s d if f e re n tia te d f ro m t h e u su al l ip l ic k in g, w hic h
is d one o n th e lo w er lip a n d is a sso cia te d w ith s tr e ss re le ase . A s w ith a ll
body-la n guag e in dic ato rs , th ere a re e x cep tio ns, a n d so m e p eo ple ru b th e
upper lip to r e lie v e s tr e ss, s o lo ok f o r o th er c o nfir m in g b eh av io rs to g uid e
you i n d ra w in g c o nclu sio ns.

The C heek s a n d J aw
M an y p eo ple th in k o f th e c h eek s a s a d orm an t f ix tu re a n d th e ja w a s s o m eth in g
o nly u se fu l f o r c h ew in g a n d ta lk in g— not, in o th er w ord s, u se fu l in th e s tu dy o f
b ody l a n guag e. B ut o ur c h eek s a n d j a w s g iv e o ur f a ces o ur u niq ue h um an s h ap e.
W e lo ok fo r le ad ers to h av e str o ng ja w s an d th e fa sh io n in dustr y is alw ay s
l o okin g fo r h ig h c h eek bones o n m odels . W e c o lo r o ur c h eek s a rtif ic ia lly w ith
m ak eu p to in cre ase o ur a ttr a ctiv en ess a n d a llo w h air to g ro w o n o ur ja w s to f ill
o ut a fa ce— whic h is w hy P re sid en t L in co ln g re w o ut h is b eard . F ro m c h eek s
t h at flu sh w ith e x cite m en t o r e m barra ssm en t to ja w s th at sh if t w hen w e fe el
u nsu re , th ese tw o a re as d efin ite ly c o m munic ate s o m eth in g a b out u s a n d s h ould
n ot b e o verlo oked .
1 67
.
SU DDEN F A CIA L T IC S
—Facia l t ic s c an e ru pt a n yw here o n t h e f a ce ( th e c h eek ,
a co rn er o f th e m outh , th e ey es, th e fo re h ead ) an d are sp ecif ic to each
in div id ual. If y ou su dden ly se e a n erv ous tw itc h , it is u su ally c au se d b y
te n sio n o r a n xie ty . F acia l tic s o fte n o ccu r
on o r n ear th e c h eek s b ecau se o f
th e i n te rc o nnectin g m usc le s t h at t r a v ers e t h is a re a.
1 68
.
FA CIA L D EN TIN G
—Peo ple w ill p ush o r p re ss th eir fin gers fir m ly a g ain st a
ch eek t o p ro duce s e n sa tio ns t h at r e lie v e s tr e ss— lite ra lly m ak in g a d en t i n to
th eir o w n s k in . T hese d is p la y s a re s o m etim es q uite p ro nounced , d ep en din g
on th e p re ssu re a p plie d . T his is f re q uen tly s e en a t s p ortin g e v en ts w hen th e
hom e te am is d oin g p oorly . F acia l d en tin g c an b e d one w ith o ne o r tw o
han ds o r a f e w f in gers o n ju st o ne s id e o r b y p in ch in g th e c h eek s b etw een
th e t h um b a n d t h e i n dex o r m id dle f in ger i n c o ncert.
1 69
.
CH EEK O R F A CIA L M ASSA G IN G
—Cheek o r f a cia l m assa g in g is a g ood w ay to
re le ase str e ss. U su ally d one v ery so ftly , it c an a ls o sig nal c o nte m pla tio n.
This is a b eh av io r th at n eed s to b e c o nsid ere d w ith o th er b eh av io rs fo r a n
accu ra te a sse ssm en t.
1 70
.
CH EEK S T R UM MIN G
—Str u m min g th e fin gers o n th e ch eek in dic ate s th at
so m eo ne is b ore d an d w an tin g to m ove th in gs alo ng. V erif y w ith o th er
beh av io rs , s u ch a s l o okin g b ore d o r s e at s h if tin g.

171
.
CH EEK F R AM IN G
—Cheek fra m in g is w hen a p ers o n re sts th e ja w o n an
ex te n ded th um b a n d p la ces th e in dex f in ger u p a lo ng th e s id e o f th e c h eek .
This u su
ally in volv es ju st o ne h an d a n d s u ggests th at a p ers o n is p onderin g
so m eth in g, o r w an ts to ap pear p en siv e. S om e p eo ple u se th is b eh av io r
prim arily w hen th ey d oubt w hat a sp eak er is sa y in g, w hile o th ers m ig ht
sim ply d o i t a s a m ean s t o a id c o ncen tr a tio n. I n d atin g, i t c an b e a n e ff e ctiv e
pose t o s h ow i n te re st f ro m a d is ta n ce.
172
.
PU FFIN G O UT C H EEK S
—The p uff in g o ut o f th e ch eek s, w ith out ex halin g,
ofte n s ig nif ie s d oubt, d elib era tio n, o r c au tio n. T his is o fte n s e en in p eo ple
who a re n ot q uite s u re w hat to d o n ex t o r w ho a re a p pre h en siv e. It is n ot
unusu al t o s e e s o m eo ne h old t h is p ose f o r q uite a w hile a s t h ey w ork o ut t h e
so lu tio n t o a p ro ble m .
173
.
SN EA K IN G A
CH EEK T O UCH
—Sneak in g a p acif ie r b y e v er s o s lig htly r u bbin g
th e in dex f in ger a g ain st th e c h eek in dic ate s th at s tr e ss is b ein g m an ag ed f o r
th e s a k e o f p erc ep tio n. W hen p eo ple tr y to c o nceal a p acif ie r, lik e to uch in g
th e sid e of th e nose , th ey do so becau se th ey are tr y in g to hid e th eir
in se cu rity , an xie ty , or w orry . S urre p titio us ch eek to uch in g is fre q uen tly
notic eab le i n p eo ple b ein g i n te rv ie w ed o n T V a n d i n p oker p la y ers .
174
.
CH EEK S C RAT C H IN G
—Cheek s c ra tc h in g is a ls o a p acif ie r, a w ay o f d ealin g
with d oubts a n d i n se cu ritie s. I t i s m ore r o bust t h an s n eak in g a t o uch , w hic h
te n ds to b e m ore a ccu ra te b ecau se o f its h id den m ean in g. N ev erth ele ss, th e
sc ra tc h in g o f th e ch eek w ith fo ur fin gers u su ally in dic ate s re se rv atio ns,
hesita tio n, b ew ild erm en t, o r a p pre h en sio n.
175
.
PIN CH IN G TH E C O RNER S O F TH E M OUTH
—Usin g th e fin gers to tig htly
co nstr ic t o r p in ch t h e c o rn ers o f t h e m outh r e lie v es s tr e ss. W e r a re ly d o t h is
when w e a re c o nte n t a n d re la x ed . It is d if f e re n t fro m fa cia l d en tin g (
se e
#168
). T his b eh av io r is u su ally d one b y p re ssin g th e f le sh y a re a o f c h eek s
with th e fin gers a n d th um bs b ila te ra lly p ullin g to w ard th e c o rn ers o f th e
mouth , p erh ap s e v en p ullin g o n o ne o r b oth l ip s.
176
.
CH EEK W IP IN G
—Under e x tr e m e s tr e ss, it is n ot u nusu al to s e e p eo ple p re ss
th eir h an ds o n th eir f a ce a n d d ra g th em d ow nw ard , a s if w ip in g th eir f a ces
cle an . T ypic ally , th e m otio n sta rts ju st in fro nt o f th e e ars a n d c o nclu des
near t h e j a w bone. T he h ard er a n d l o nger t h e p ers o n p re sse s d ow n, t h e m ore
acu te th e str e ss. I’v e se en sto ck bro kers d o th is a t th e c lo sin g b ell a fte r a

poor d ay o f t r a d in g o r w hen a t e am l o se s i n t h e f in al s e co nd o f a g am e.
177
.
JA W T EN SIN G
—When w e a re u pse t, a n gry , o r fe arfu l, th e ja w m usc le s n ear
th e ears te n d to te n se up. L ook fo r ja w te n sio n w hen th ere is str e ss,
defia n ce, o r e m otio ns a re b eco m in g h eate d .
178
.
JA W D IS P L A CIN G /S H IF T IN G
—Ja w dis p la cem en t or re p etitiv e ja w sh if tin g
(fro m s id e to s id e) is a n e ff e ctiv e p acif ie r. T his is a ls o s im ply a c o m puls iv e
beh av io r i n s o m e p eo ple , s o n ote w hen a n d h ow o fte n i t o ccu rs a n d l o ok f o r
oth er c o nfir m in g b eh av io rs th at so m eth in g is a m is s. M ost p eo ple d o th is
in fre q uen tly , an d th us w hen you do se e it, it is very accu ra te in
co m munic atin g t h at s o m eth in g i s b oth erin g t h em .
179
.
JA W D RO PPIN G
—A s u dden d ro p o f th e ja w , le av in g th e m outh o pen a n d th e
te eth ex pose d , co m munic ate s g re at su rp ris e . T his b eh av io r is o fte n se en
when peo ple are sh ock ed or are co nfro nte d with an em barra ssin g
re v ela tio n. W hy o ur ja w s d ro p is n ot c o m ple te ly u nders to od, b ut th e a ctio n
is q uite a ccu ra te i n r e v ealin g t o ta l s u rp ris e .
180
.
JA W M USC LES P U LSIN G
—Ja w m usc le s th at p uls e , th ro b, o r b eco m e tig ht a n d
pro nounced in dic ate im patie n ce, te n sio n, co ncern , w orrie s, an ger, or
neg ativ e e m otio ns.
181
.
JA W J U TTIN G
—When w e a re a n gry , w e te n d to m ove o r ju t th e ja w s lig htly
fo rw ard . In co nju nctio n w ith lo w ere d upper ey elid s or te n se lip s, th is
beh av io r m ak es a n ger d if f ic u lt f o r a p ers o n t o h id e e n tir e ly .

The C hin
B ab y, r o und, s q uare d , s a g gin g, s tr o ng, d im ple d , c u te , o r s c arre d : c h in s c o m e in
m an y v arie tie s a n d s h ap es. T hey p ro te ct o ur fa ce, a n d if n eed b e o ur n eck , b ut
t h ey a ls o c o m munic ate o ur s e n tim en ts , w heth er p rid e o r s h am e. W e s a y “ ch in
u p” w hen o th ers a re d ow n, a n d s o ld ie rs p ro udly s a lu te th e f la g w ith th eir c h in s
a n gle d h ig h. T he ch in , in sh ort, can sp eak v olu m es ab out o ur in te rn al sta te ,
w heth er w e a re c o nfid en t, f rig hte n ed , t r o uble d , o r e m otio nally o verc o m e.
1 82
.
CH IN U P
—When th e c h in is o ut a n d u p it c o m munic ate s c o nfid en ce— th us
th e sa y in g “ch in up.” In certa in E uro pean cu ltu re s (G erm an , Fre n ch ,
Russia n , a n d I ta lia n , a m ong o th ers ) th e c h in is g en era lly r a is e d h ig her th an
norm al t o s ig nif y c o nfid en ce, p rid e, a n d i n c erta in c ase s, a rro gan ce.
1 83
.
CH IN P O IN TIN G D O W N
—If t h e c h in s u dden ly p oin ts d ow nw ard i n r e sp onse t o
a q uestio n, m ost lik ely th e
pers o n la ck s c o nfid en ce o r fe els th re ate n ed . In
so m e p eo ple , t h is i s a h ig hly r e lia b le t e ll; t h ey l ite ra lly d ro p t h eir c h in w hen
th ey g et b ad n ew s o r a s t h ey t h in k a b out s o m eth in g p ain fu l o r n eg ativ e.
1 84
.
CH IN W IT H DRAW IN G
—When w e are w orrie d o r an xio us, w e in stin ctiv ely
move o ur c h in a s c lo se to th e n eck a s p ossib le — natu re ’s w ay o f p ro te ctin g
our v ita ls . T his is a n e x celle n t in dic ato r o f in se cu rity , d oubt, e v en fe ar. If
you se e th is b eh av io r a fte r a sk in g so m eo ne a q uestio n, th ere a re se rio us
unre so lv ed is su es. W hen ch ild re n are questio ned ab out so m eth in g th ey
sh ould n ot h av e d one, th e c h in o fte n c o m es d ow n, sh ow in g c o ntr ite n ess.
Man y a d ults r e sp ond t h e s a m e w ay.
1 85
.
CH IN HID IN G
—This is gen era lly em plo yed by ch ild re n to hid e th eir
em barra ssm en t, s h ow th eir d is p le asu re to w ard o th ers , o r d em onstr a te th at
th ey a re u pse t. T hey tu ck th eir c h in d ow n, o fte n c ro ssin g th eir a rm s a t th e
sa m e t im e a n d t h en r e fu se t o l if t t h eir c h in u p. I n a d ults , c h in h id in g i s s e en
betw een m ale s, s ta n din g f a ce-to -fa ce, a n gry o r y ellin g a t e ach o th er. I n th is
case i t s e rv es t o p ro te ct t h e n eck i n t h e e v en t o f a v io le n t c o nfro nta tio n.
1 86
.
CH IN D RO P W IT H S H OULD ER S S L U M PIN G
—This is a n oth er b eh av io r fa m ilia r
to p are n ts — when c h il
dre n l o w er o r t r y t o h id e t h eir c h in w ith t h e s h ould ers

slu m ped , e ff e ctiv ely s a y in g “ I d on’t w an t to .” I f th e a rm s a re a ls o c ro sse d ,
th en t h e c h ild d efin ite ly d oes n ot w an t t o .
187
.
CH IN T O UCH IN G
—We to uch o ur c h in s w hen w e a re th in kin g o r e v alu atin g
so m eth in g. T his is usu ally done w ith th e tip s of th e fin gers . It is not
necessa rily a sig n o f d oubt b ut is so m eth in g to n ote w hen a p ers o n is
pro cessin g in fo rm atio n. W hen co uple d w ith o th er b eh av io rs , su ch as lip
purs in g, it s u ggests th at th e p ers o n is c o nte m pla tin g s o m eth in g n eg ativ e, o r
an a lte rn ativ e t o w hat h as b een d is c u sse d .
188
.
CH IN B R USH IN G W IT H B A CK O F H AND
—In m an y c u ltu re s th is s ig nif ie s th at a
pers o n h as d oubts a b out w hat is b ein g s a id . T his m ay a ls o b e c o uple d w ith
lip p urs in g. It c an b e p erfo rm ed s id e to s id e o r fro m b ack to fro nt o f th e
ch in .
189
.
CH IN C RADLIN G
—Pla cin g o ne’s c h in o n th e p alm o f th e h an d, c o uple d w ith
re la x atio n of th e fa cia l m usc le s, su ggests bore d om . But in a la w
en fo rc em en t c o nte x t, it m ig ht s ig nal a ra n ge o f p ossib ilitie s, d ep en din g o n
th e c ir c u m sta n ces. In a fo re n sic se ttin g, I h av e se en th e g uilty str ik e th is
pose w hile s ittin g in a r o om a lo ne a s a f o rm o f p erc ep tio n m an ag em en t, to
mak e a u th oritie s t h in k t h ey a re s o i n nocen t, t h ey a re p ra ctic ally b ore d .
190
.
ANG RY C H IN P E R CH IN G
—This c h in p erc h is p erfo rm ed b y p la cin g th e c h in
on t h e k nuck le s o f t h e f is ts , w hile t h e e lb ow s a re w id e a n d r e stin g o n a t a b le
as th e p ers o n s ta re s in to th e d is ta n ce o r a t a c o m pute r s c re en . U su ally th e
fo re h ead is fu rro w ed o r th e e y es a re n arro w ed o r s q uin tin g, a s a re su lt o f
so m eth in g d if f ic u lt th ey a re p onderin g o r m om en ta ry a n ger. W hen y ou s e e
so m eo ne p ose d l ik e t h is , i t i s w is e t o n ot i n te rru pt.
191
.
CH IN S H IF T IN G
—Movin g th e c h in le ft to r ig ht a g ain st th e p alm o f th e h an d
is a s u bco nsc io us c o nvey an ce o f d is a g re em en t. I h av e s e en p eo ple s ittin g
aro und a c o nfe re n ce ro om ta b le sh ow th eir sile n t d is p le asu re b y sh if tin g
th eir c h in w hile r e stin g o n t h e p alm o f t h eir h an d.
192
.
BEA RD/M UST A CH E S T R O KIN G
—Str o kin g a m usta ch e o r a b eard c an b e h ig hly
eff e ctiv e fo r p acif y in g s tr e ss. A s w ith a n y re p etitiv e b eh av io r, ig nore it if
you s e e i t t o o o fte n , a s s o m e p eo ple w ith f a cia l h air d o t h is c o m puls iv ely . I f
you s e e it o ccu r s u dden ly fo r th e fir s t tim e o r it in cre ase s a fte r a to pic is
men tio ned , p erh ap s th e p ers o n h as a n is su e. C ultu ra l c o nte x t m ust a ls o b e

ta k en in to a cco unt; fo r in sta n ce, b eard str o kin g is
co m mon a m ong m an y
men fro m th e M id dle E ast a s th ey p ass th e tim e ta lk in g. N ote th at m an y
men w ith b eard s f in d i t s o oth in g t o s tr o ke t h eir b eard s a s t h ey p ass t h e t im e
of d ay.
193
.
CH IN DIM PL IN G
—When peo ple are str e sse d , ex perie n cin g em otio nal
tu rm oil, o r a b out to c ry , th eir c h in w ill d im ple . T his is tr u e fo r e v en th e
most s to ic o f i n div id uals .
194
.
CH IN -M USC LE Q UIV ER IN G
—The s u dden q uiv erin g o f c h in m usc le s in dic ate s
fe ar, c o ncern , a n xie ty , o r a p pre h en sio n. P eo ple w ho a re a b out to c ry w ill
als o d o th is . T he
men ta lis
m usc le , w hic h c o vers th e c h in a n d c au se s th e
sk in to quiv er, is one of th e m usc le s th at m ost re fle cts our em otio ns,
acco rd in g to D r. D av id G iv en s. S om etim es th e c h in w ill re fle ct e m otio nal
tu rm oil e v en b efo re t h e e y es.
195
.
CH IN T O S H OULD ER
—We o fte n s e e th is w ith p eo ple w ho a re e m barra sse d o r
em otio nally v uln era b le . T hey w ill, in a v ery c h ild lik e m an ner, p la ce th eir
ch in ag ain st one sh ould er, lo okin g dem ure . Y ou sh ould esp ecia lly note
when s o m eo ne d oes th is w hile a n sw erin g a q uestio n. It u su ally m ean s th e
pers o n has gre at dif f ic u lty dis c u ssin g a su bje ct, perh ap s becau se sh e
posse sse s k now le d ge s h e d oes n ot w is h t o r e v eal.
196
.
CH IN P O IN TIN G
—In m an y cu ltu re s, p eo ple w ill p oin t in a d ir e ctio n w ith
th eir c h in , e x te n din g it fo rw ard a s th ey str e tc h th eir n eck . T his re p la ces
poin tin g w ith a fin ger, an d is se en th ro ughout th e C arib bean , in L atin
Am eric a, in p arts o f S pain , a n d in th e M id dle E ast, a s w ell a s o n m an y
Nativ e A m eric an r e se rv atio ns.

The F ace
T hough I h av e a lr e ad y c o vere d in div id ual e le m en ts o f th e f a ce, s o m e b eh av io rs
a re b est u nders to od w ith in th eir fu ll c o nte x t. H um an b ein gs e v olv ed to g le an a
g re at d eal o f in fo rm atio n f ro m th e f a ce. T he e y es a n d th e m outh e sp ecia lly d ra w
o ur a tte n tio n. U su ally w hen w e lo ok a t so m eo ne w e lik e, w e to ggle o ur g aze
b etw een th e e y es a n d m outh , b ecau se th ese tw o re v eal so m uch in fo rm atio n.
M oth er a n d b ab y sc an e ach o th er o ver a n d o ver to im prin t o n e ach o th er, to
c o lle ct in fo rm atio n, b ut a ls o to b ond— no le ss s o th an lo vers s ile n tly s c an nin g
e ach o th er in a c afé . W e a re n atu ra lly fa sc in ate d b y fa ces— millio ns o f w ord s
h av e b een s p en t d esc rib in g t h e m ost f a m ous f a ce o f a ll, t h e
Mona L is a ,
p re cis e ly
b ecau se s h e is s o e n ig m atic . W e a re n atu ra lly c u rio us a b out fa ces, a n d w e a re
e n tic ed w hen w e s e e s o m eth in g s p ecia l in th em . F aces c o m munic ate e m otio ns,
t h oughts , a n d f e elin gs, a n d s o t h ro ughout o ur l iv es w e c o nsta n tly s e arc h t h ere f o r
c lu es. W hen t h e G re ek s s a id t h at a f a ce “ la u nch ed a t h ousa n d s h ip s,” i t w as b oth
m eta p horic al a n d q uite l ik ely t r u e— th at, t o o, i s t h e p ow er o f t h e f a ce.
1 97
.
FA CE A V O ID ANCE
—For a v arie ty o f r e aso ns, w e s o m etim es t r y t o a v oid f a ce-
to -fa ce c o nta ct w ith o th ers , e v en w hen w e a re i n t h eir i m med ia te p ro xim ity .
You se e th is in c o urt b etw een v ic tim a n d su sp ect, o r d urin g c o nte n tio us
div orc e pro ceed in gs. T he av oid an ce beco m es obvio us by how quic k ly
peo ple w ill c h an ge th eir d em ean or, w here th ey a re lo okin g, a n d h ow s tif f
th ey b eco m e, n ot w is h in g t o l o ok a b out.
1 98
.
FA CE B LO CK IN G
—This b eh av io r is n ote d b y th e p ers o n p la cin g th eir e lb ow s
on to p o f a ta b le a n d h old in g th eir h an ds to geth er in fro nt o f th eir fa ce.
When a sk ed a q uestio n, ra th er th an p uttin g th eir h an ds d ow n, th ey p eek
aro und th eir han ds or an sw er dir e ctly in to th em . T hey are in esse n ce
in su la tin g t h em se lv es b ecau se o f s tr e ss, l a ck o f c o nfid en ce, o r b ecau se t h ey
don’t l ik e t h e p ers o n t h ey a re t a lk in g t o . T he h an ds s e rv e a s a p sy ch olo gic al
barrie r. T he re lu cta n ce to u nveil th e fa ce is o fte n a str o ng in dic ato r th at
th ere a re i s su es.
1 99
.
FA CE S H IE LD IN G
—Aro und th e w orld , p eo ple w ill c u p th eir h an ds o ver th eir
fa ce or use obje cts to hid e th eir fa ce, usu ally as a re su lt of sh am e,
em barra ssm en t, fe ar, a n xie ty , o r a p pre h en sio n. O fte n tim es w hen a rre ste es

are b ein g le d to th e w aitin g p olic e c ar, th ey w ill u se a rtic le s o f c lo th in g to
fa ce s h ie ld .
200
.
EM OTIO NAL A SY M METR Y O F T H E F A CE
—Recen tly it h as b een s h ow n th at th e
fa ce is r e m ark ab le in its a b ility to r e v eal m ultip le s e n tim en ts a t o nce. I t c an
sn eer a n d s h ow c o nte m pt w hile a t t h e s a m e t im e g iv in g a s o cia l s m ile . T his
is lik ely e v id en ce o f m ultip le in te rn ally c o m petin g s e n tim en ts , w hic h s h ow
up o n th e fa ce a s “ le ak ag e.” In m y o bse rv atio ns, th e le ft s id e o f th e fa ce
(th e rig ht sid e as you lo ok at th e pers o n) te n ds to be m ore accu ra te ,
esp ecia lly w hen it c o m es to n eg ativ e e m otio ns. T his a b ility o f th e fa ce to
dem onstr a te dif f e re n t em otio ns on dif f e re n t halv es is calle d
em otio nal
ch ir a lity
.
201
.
FA CIA L IN CO NG RUEN CE
—In co ngru en ce betw een w hat a pers o n sa y s an d
how i t i s r e fle cte d i n t h e f a ce i s n ot u nco m mon. P eo ple m ig ht s a y o ne t h in g,
but th eir fa ce is alr e ad y te le g ra p hin g an oth er. D urin g an ex ch an ge of
ple asa n tr ie s, a v ery te n se fa ce o r a fa ce d is p la y in g d is lik e o r d is c o m fo rt
betr a y s tr u e se n tim en ts , th ough th e pers o n m ig ht be oblig ed to sa y
so m eth in g n ic e o r o ff e r a p olite g re etin g.
202
.
ODD F A CE I N C RO W D
—In d ealin g w ith th e U nite d S ta te s S ecre t S erv ic e o n
pro te ctio n deta ils as w ell as vario us priv ate -s e cto r co m pan ie s over th e
years , I h av e le arn ed th at in a c ro w d it is o fte n w orth tr u stin g o ur in tu itio n
ab out th e o dd f a ce th at s ta n ds o ut. B y th at I
mean th e o ne th at lo oks a n gry
when e v ery one e ls e is h ap py, o r th at s e em s tr a n sfix ed a n d rig id w hen th e
re st o f t h e c ro w d i s d is p la y in g a v arie ty o f m oods. A ir lin e p ers o nnel t e ll m e
th at i n a l o ng q ueu e a t t h e a ir p ort, i t i s t h e o dd e m otio nally c h arg ed f a ce, t h e
one t h at i s n ot f ittin g i n w ith t h e o th ers , t h at o fte n c au se s t h e m ost p ro ble m s
at t h e c o unte r.
203
.
SE R EN IT Y IN T U RM OIL
—Ofte n re fe rre d to as “n arc is sis tic se re n ity ,” th is
ta k es p la ce w hen th e fa ce h as a n u nusu al a n d in co ngru ous e x pre ssio n o f
calm w hen th e situ atio n w ould se em to c all fo r a n yth in g b ut c alm . L ee
Harv ey O sw ald , T im oth y M cV eig h, a n d B ern ie M ad off a ll h ad th is sa m e
oddly s e re n e lo ok w hen a rre ste d , d esp ite th eir c ir c u m sta n ces a n d th e h orro r
of t h eir i n div id ual c rim es.
204
.
OUT O F P L A CE SM IR K (“ D UPIN G D ELIG HT”)
—This te rm , co in ed b y fa m ed
re se arc h er P au l E km an , re fe rs to th e o ut- o f-p la ce sm ir k o r h alf sm ile a

pers o n giv es w hen gettin g aw ay w ith so m eth in g. It is very sim ila r to
se re n ity in tu rm oil (
se e # 203
). D upin g d elig ht is a ls o se en in th ose w ho
hav e o utw itte d s o m eo ne, o r w ho th in k s o m eo ne h as b ought in to th eir lie s.
It is a p re te n tio us s m ile a t a tim e a n d p la ce w here h um ility , s e rio usn ess, o r
ev en c o ntr ite n ess a re m ore a p pro pria te .
205
.
FA CE T O UCH IN G
—Face to uch in g se rv es a m ultitu de of purp ose s. It can
attr a ct oth ers — we ofte n se e m odels to uch in g th eir fa ce on m ag azin e
co vers . O r it c an h elp u s re la x b y s tim ula tin g th e m yria d o f n erv es o n th e
fa ce. C onte x t i s k ey.

The N eck
T he n eck is th e w eak est an d m ost v uln era b le p art o f o ur b ody. E very th in g
c ritic al fo r o ur s u rv iv al— blo od, fo od, w ate r, e le ctr ic al s ig nals , h orm ones, a ir —
f lo w s th ro ugh th e n eck . M ad e u p o f n um ero us m usc le s in tr ic ate ly in te rw oven to
h old u p o ur h ead , h ollo w c erv ic al b ones th at p ro te ct th e s p in al c o rd , w ith la rg e
v ein s a n d a rte rie s th at f e ed th e b ra in , th e n eck is o bvio usly v ery v ita l. A nd y et,
t h e n eck is o fte n ig nore d w hen it co m es to n onverb al co m munic atio n, ev en
t h ough w e k now th at o ur n eck s s ig nal w hen w e a re c o m fo rta b le , in te re ste d , o r
r e cep tiv e t o a n i d ea o r a p ers o n. W e t o uch o ur n eck s, c o ver t h em , o r w e v en tila te
t h em , a lo ng w ith o th er b eh av io rs a n d in d oin g s o w e te ll th e w orld w hat w e a re
s e cre tly th in kin g o r f e elin g. S en sitiv e to th e s lig hte st to uch o r c are ss o r e v en th e
w arm th o f a b re ath , t h e n eck i s a ls o o ne o f t h e m ost s e n su al a re as o f t h e b ody.
2 06
.
NEC K T O UCH IN G
—Bey ond sc ra tc h in g a n itc h , n eck to uch in g se rv es a s a n
ex celle n t in dic ato r o f in se cu ritie s, a p pre h en sio n, a n xie ty , w orrie s, o r is su es.
How ev er
slig htly , w e te n d to to uch o ur n eck w hen s o m eth in g b oth ers u s o r
we a re c o ncern ed . N eck to uch in g, in a ll its f o rm s is o fte n o verlo oked , a n d
yet, i t i s o ne o f t h e m ost a ccu ra te w hen i t c o m es t o r e v ealin g t h at s o m eth in g
is b oth erin g u s.
2 07
.
CO VER IN G O F S U PR AST ER NAL N O TC H
—Touch in g o r c o verin g o f th e “ n eck
dim ple ” o r
su pra ste rn al n otc h
(th e in den te d are a o f th e n eck b elo w th e
Adam ’s ap ple an d ju st ab ove th e u pper ch est) in dic ate s co ncern , is su es,
worrie s, in se cu ritie s, o r f e ar. M en te n d to g ra b th eir n eck o r th ro at r o bustly
or c o ver th is a re a w ith th eir fu ll h an d a s th ey a d ju st th eir tie o r g ra b th eir
co lla r. W om en to uch th is a re a m ore fre q uen tly th an m en , a n d th ey te n d to
do s o m ore l ig htly , w ith t h e t ip s o f t h eir f in gers . W heth er d one d elic ate ly o r
str o ngly , c o verin g th e w eak est p oin t o f th e b ody s ig nif ie s th at s o m eth in g is
at is su e. C overin g o ur n eck w hen w e f e el th re ate n ed m ost lik ely e v olv ed a s
a re su lt o f th e c o untle ss e n co unte rs o ur sp ecie s h ad w itn essin g c o untle ss
acts o f p re d atio n b y la rg e fe lin es w hic h u su ally g o fo r th e n eck . F or m ore
in fo rm atio n a b out t h is , s e e
What E very B O DY I s S ayin g.
2 08
.
TIE -K NO T T O UCH IN G
—The tie k not c o vers th e su pra ste rn al n otc h a n d th e
neck , an d to uch in g it se rv es th e fu nctio n of pro te ctin g th e neck an d

re lie v in g a n xie ty . M en w ill o fte n d o t h is w hen t h ey f e el s o cia l
aw kw ard ness
or m ild a n xie ty . S om e m en w ill d o th is r e p eate d ly a s a p acif y in g b eh av io r,
much a s a w om an m ig ht p la y w ith a n eck la ce w hen s tr e sse d (
se e # 209
).
209
.
PL AY IN G W IT H NEC K LA CE
—Pla y in g w ith a neck la ce se rv es th e sa m e
purp ose f o r w om en a s c o verin g th e n eck d im ple w ith th e h an d. I t p ro te cts a
vuln era b le a re a a n d r e lie v es s tr e ss t h ro ugh r e p etitiv e m ovem en t.
210
.
PL AY IN G W IT H SH IR T C O LLA R
—Touch in g o r p la y in g w ith th e fro nt sh ir t
co lla r s e rv es to p acif y o r r e lie v e s tr e ss in th re e w ay s: b y c o verin g th e n eck
are a; a s a t a ctile r e p etitiv e b eh av io r; a n d b y m ovin g c lo th in g t o v en tila te t h e
sk in u ndern eath .
211
.
NEC K M ASSA G IN G
—Peo ple o fte n m assa g e th e s id es o r b ack o f th eir n eck to
re lie v e s tr e ss. I t i s e asy f o r m an y p eo ple t o d is m is s t h is s o rt o f b eh av io r, b ut
th e f a ct i s t h at p eo ple u su ally
o nly
d o i t w hen s o m eth in g i s b oth erin g t h em .
212
.
MASSA G IN G VA G US NER V E
—The
va gus
(L atin fo r “w an derin g”)
nerv e
co nnects th e b ra in to o ur m ajo r o rg an s, in clu din g th e h eart. U nder s tr e ss,
you m ig ht fin d y ours e lf m assa g in g th e sid e o f th e n eck , n ear w here y ou
ch eck y our p uls e . T here is a r e aso n f o r th is : s tim ula tio n o f th e v ag us n erv e
re su lts in th e r e le ase o f
acety lc h olin e,
a n eu ro tr a n sm itte r th at in tu rn s e n ds
sig nals to
th e h eart, sp ecif ic ally th e
atr io ven tr ic u la r
node,
w hic h cau se s
your h eart r a te t o g o d ow n.
213
.
SK IN P U LLIN G
—Pullin g a t th e f le sh y a re a o f th e n eck u nder th e c h in s e rv es
to calm so m e m en . S om etim es, u nder g re at str e ss, th e p ullin g b eco m es
ex tr e m e. I t is r a re to s e e in w om en . I h av e s e en m en u nder s tr e ss p ull w ith
su ch v ig or, i t m ak es t h eir s k in b la n ch .
214
.
VEN TIL AT IN G NEC K
—When w e are under str e ss, our sk in w arm s, a
physio lo gic al re actio n co ntr o lle d b y o ur au to nom ic n erv ous sy ste m an d
over w hic h w e h av e l ittle c o ntr o l. T his o fte n t a k es p la ce i n l e ss t h an 1 /2 50th
of a se co nd. B y ven tila tin g th e co lla r an d neck are a w e re lie v e th e
dis c o m fo rt cau se d by th e flu sh in g or w arm in g of th e sk in . H eate d
arg um en ts or ev en dis c u ssio ns w ill cau se in div id uals under str e ss to
ven tila te , a s w ill h earin g a w ord o r a c o m men t th at is h urtf u l. T hose o f y ou
fa m ilia r w ith th e la te c o m ed ia n R odney D an gerfie ld (m ovie
Caddysh ack,
1980) w ill re m em ber h im d oin g th is in th e m ovie an d in h is sta n d-u p

co m ed y ro utin es w hen h e d id n’t “ g et n o re sp ect” b ut e sp ecia lly w hen h e
was s tr e sse d .
215
.
HOLD IN G F IS T IN F R O NT O F N EC K
—Pla cin g a fis t a t th e fro nt o f th e n eck
se rv es t h e s a m e p urp ose a s c o verin g t h e n eck d im ple ( s u pra ste rn al n otc h ). I t
is a n a u to m atic , s u bco nsc io us re sp onse to th re ats , fe ars ,
or c o ncern s. T his
beh av io r o ccu rs p rim arily in m en , b ut I h av e s e en a fe w w om en e x hib it it
when th ey are under ex tr e m e str e ss or co nfro nte d by so m eth in g very
neg ativ e. M an y p eo ple m is ta k e th e fis t fo r a sig n o f str e n gth , w hen in
re ality , i n t h is i n sta n ce, i t i s a s ig n o f d efe n siv en ess, a n xie ty , a n d d is lik e.
216
.
NEC K V EIN S P U LSIN G
—Notic eab le p uls in g o f v ein s in th e n eck in dic ate s
str e ss o r a n xie ty . W hen a p ers o n is f e arfu l o r a n gry , th e p uls in g c an b e v ery
notic eab le i n s o m e.
217
.
HARD SW ALLO W IN G
—A hard sw allo w is hig hly vis ib le an d so m etim es
au dib le . It is a s p onta n eo us re actio n to s o m eth in g u nsa v ory , d an gero us, o r
ex tr e m ely str e ssfu l, a n d a re lia b le in dic ato r o f d is tr e ss. T he m usc le s a n d
lig am en ts th at s u rro und th e th ro at tig hte n , w hic h c au se s th e A dam ’s a p ple
to m ove e n erg etic ally u p a n d d ow n.
218
.
NEC K S T R ETC H IN G
—Neck s tr e tc h in g o r c ra ck in g in a c ir c u la r m otio n is a
str e ss re lie v er an d pacif ie r. T his is ofte n se en w hen peo ple are ask ed
dif f ic u lt q uestio ns t h ey w ould r a th er n ot a n sw er.
219
.
NEC K A ND FA CIA L FL U SH IN G /B LU SH IN G
—Neck an d fa cia l flu sh in g is an
au to nom ic re sp onse to a s tim ulu s a n d c an not b e c o ntr o lle d . M an y p eo ple
blu sh
when th ey fe el th re ate n ed o r in se cu re a n d in v ery ra re c ase s w hen
th ey a re c au ght l y in g o r d oin g s o m eth in g i lle g al. T his b eh av io r l e ts u s k now
th at th e in div id ual is tr o uble d , wheth er by mere ly an in nocen t
em barra ssm en t o r so m eth in g m ore n efa rio us. K eep in m in d alw ay s th at
certa in d ru gs o r f o ods c an c au se b lu sh in g.
220
.
ADAM ’S APPL E JU M PIN G
—If so m eo ne’s Adam ’s ap ple su dden ly jo lts
upw ard , c h an ces a re h e’s ju st h eard s o m eth in g th at h as p ut h im o n e d ge,
th re ate n s h im , o r cau se s ap pre h en sio n. T his u nco ntr o lla b le re actio n als o
occu rs w hen a p ers o n f e els h ig hly v uln era b le o r e x pose d . T he m ed ic al t e rm
fo r th e A dam ’s a p ple is th e
la ry n gea l p ro m in en ce
. T he th yro id cartila g e
aro und t h e l a ry nx ( a p art o f t h e t h ro at t h at h old s t h e v ocal c o rd s) g iv es i t i ts

pro tr u din g s h ap e (p ro m in en ce). It is u su ally la rg er in m en th an in w om en .
This a re a o f t h e b ody i s h ig hly s e n sitiv e a n d r e activ e t o e m otio nal s tr e sso rs .
221
.
NEC K E X PO SU RE
—The c an tin g o f th e h ead to th e s id e, e x posin g th e s id e o f
th e neck , is one of th e m ost use d yet le ast unders to od body-la n guag e
beh av io rs . W e in stin ctiv ely tilt our head w hen w e hold or ev en se e a
new born b ab y— so m eth in g t h e c h ild r e co gniz es a n d r e w ard s o ver t im e w ith
a s m ile a n d r e la x ed f a ce. A s w e g et o ld er, th e h ead tilt f e atu re s in c o urts h ip
beh av io r, a s w e s ta re in to a lo ver’s e y es w ith o ur h ead c an te d to th e s id e,
ex posin g o ur v uln era b le n eck . In
pers o nal a n d p ro fe ssio nal re la tio nsh ip s
th is b eh av io r a ls o s ig nif ie s th at a p ers o n is lis te n in g a n d in te re ste d . It is a
pow erfu lly d is a rm in g b eh av io r— ex tr e m ely u se fu l d urin g a c o nfro nta tio n.
Couple d w ith a s m ile , th is is o ne o f th e m ost e ff e ctiv e w ay s to w in o th ers
over.
222
.
NEC K S T IF FE N IN G
—When p eo ple a re a tte n tiv e a n d r e cep tiv e, a n d e sp ecia lly
when th ey fe el c o m fo rta b le , th ey w ill tilt th eir n eck to th e s id e, e x posin g
more o f th e n eck th an u su al. I f th e f e elin g o f c o m fo rt f a d es, h ow ev er, th eir
neck quic k ly beco m es rig id . A stif f neck sig nif ie s hypera le rtn ess an d
vig ila n ce, a n d m ig ht s u ggest th at a p ers o n ta k es is su e w ith s o m eth in g th at
was j u st s a id , o r h as a s e rio us m atte r t o d is c u ss. W hen a p ers o n g oes f ro m a
re la x ed sta te to a quic k stif f e n in g of th e neck , it is a su re sig n th at
so m eth in g i s a m is s.

The S hou ld ers
W heth er t h ey a re b ro ad , n arro w , a th le tic , s lim , a ttr a ctiv e, b eg uilin g, o r s lu m pin g,
o ur s h ould ers s p eak v olu m es a b out u s. E ven f ro m a d is ta n ce, o ne c an not m is ta k e
t h e b ro ad s h ould ers o f a n O ly m pic s w im mer o r t h e s in ew y s h ould ers o f a w orld -
c la ss b alle rin a. T he p ad ded s h ould ers o f a b usin ess s u it m ak e its w eare r s ta n d
o ut, j u st a s t h e b are s h ould ers o f a s ta tu esq ue m odel g ra b o ur a tte n tio n. S lu m ped
w hen w e a re d ep re sse d o r w id e a n d p ulle d b ack w hen w e’re sta n din g p ro ud,
s h ould ers c o m munic ate o n o ur b eh alf . W hat t h ey s a y a b out w ho w e a re , w hat w e
h av e a ch ie v ed , o r w hat w e a re t h in kin g o r f e elin g w ill s u rp ris e y ou.
2 23
.
RAIS IN G O NE S H OULD ER
—One sh ould er ra is e d to w ard th e e ar a s a p ers o n
an sw ers a q uestio n u su ally re p re se n ts in se cu rity o r d oubt. In c o nju nctio n
with o th er b eh av io rs (h esita tio n in a n sw erin g, a rm s d ra w in g c lo se r to th e
body), th is is a g ood in dic atio n th at th e p ers o n la ck s c o nfid en ce in w hat h e
is sa y in g. In neg otia tio ns, w hen one party ra is e s a sin gle sh ould er in
re sp onse to a q uery , s u ch a s “ Is th at y our b est p ric e?,” it g en era lly s ig nals
th ere is r o om f o r n eg otia tio n. A o ne-s h ould er- u p a n sw er s u ggests a la ck o f
fu ll c o m mitm en t t o w hat i s b ein g s a id .
2 24
.
SH OULD ER IN TER EST
—The slo w , in te n tio nal ris e of a sin gle sh ould er,
co uple d w ith a h ead tilt to w ard th e s a m e s h ould er w hile m ak in g d ir e ct e y e
co nta ct, s ig nif ie s a p ers o nal i n te re st. W e m ostly s e e t h is i n d atin g s itu atio ns,
usu ally i n w om en a s t h ey e y e s o m eo ne t h ey l ik e.
2 25
.
HOLD IN G S H OULD ER S H IG H
—When p eo ple ra is e a n d k eep b oth sh ould ers
hig h (to w ard th e e ars ), th ey a re lik ely fe elin g in se cu ritie s o r d oubt. T his
beh av io r is c alle d th e “ tu rtle e ff e ct.” I n e sse n ce, th e in div id ual is tr y in g to
hid e i n t h e o pen . H ig h s h ould ers a re n ot a s ig n o f c o nfid en ce. Y ou o fte n s e e
th is w hen a s p eak er a sk s f o r v olu nte ers f ro m a l a rg e g ro up o r f ro m a s tu den t
who i s i ll p re p are d f o r a q uestio n.
2 26
.
QUIC K S H OULD ER S H RUG GIN G
—When p eo ple a re a sk ed a q uestio n a n d d on’t
know th e a n sw er, th ey o fte n r a is e b oth s h ould ers q uic k ly a n d p ro m in en tly .
The q uic k u pw ard m ovem en t is a g ra v ity -d efy in g b eh av io r a n d th ose a re
usu ally asso cia te d w ith p ositiv e fe elin gs— in th is case th ey re ally d on’t

know . T his te n ds to b e m ore h onest th an a slo w sh ould er sh ru g (a s th ey
an sw er “ I d on’t k now ”) o r a s h ru g o f j u st o ne h esita tin g s h ould er.
227
.
SIT TIN G L O W ER A ND L O W ER
—Peo ple w ho s in k lo w er a n d lo w er in to th eir
ch air s d urin g a m eetin g a re re v ealin g a p pre h en sio n o r la ck o f c o nfid en ce.
Lik e th e tu rtle e ff e ct, th is is a w ay o f h id in g in th e o pen — th ey m ig ht a ls o
be h opin g n ot to g et c alle d o n. B ut n ote a ls o th at in s o m e p eo ple th is m ig ht
be sim ply a sig n o f in dif f e re n ce o r d is in te re st. T his b eh av io r sta n ds o ut
becau se t h e s h ould ers a re l o w er i n r e la tio n t o t h e t a b le .
228
.
SH OULD ER /C LAV IC LE RUBBIN G
—Durin g in te n se or str e ssfu l in te rv ie w s,
in te rv ie w ees w ill r e ach a cro ss th eir c h est a n d p re ss th eir h an d a g ain st th eir
opposite s h ould er, th en s lo w ly m ove th eir h an d a cro ss th eir c la v ic le to w ard
th e c h est. S om etim es th e h an d w ill th en h over p re sse d a g ain st th e c h est
are a, o r t h e p ro cess m ay b e r e p eate d . T he t a ctile a n d r e p etitiv e n atu re o f t h e
beh av io r h elp t o r e lie v e s tr e ss o r a p pre h en sio n.
229
.
SH OULD ER S W ID EN IN G
—The a m plif ic atio n o f th e s h ould ers f ro m r e la x ed to
bro ad c an b e a p erc ep tib le d is p la y o f a u th ority a n d c o nfid en ce t h at s ig nals a
pers o n is in c h arg e. W e o fte n s e e th is w ith a th le te s a n d m ilita ry p ers o nnel.
This is w hy b usin ess s u its h av e p ad ded s h ould ers — to m ak e th eir w eare rs
lo ok m ore p ow erfu l a n d a u th orita tiv e.
230
.
RAIS IN G S H OULD ER S W IT H P A LM S U P, H EA D C ANTED
—This is th e “ P le ase ,
why n ot? ” lo ok, p erfo rm ed w ith th e p alm s o f th e h an ds u p, h ead c an te d to
one s id e, w ith o ne o r b oth s h ould ers u p. I t is a p le ad in g b eh av io r. C hild re n
do t h is a s w ell a s a d ults , a n d y ou o fte n s e e i t w ith a th le te s w hen t h ey w an t a
re fe re e t o r e co nsid er a n a d vers e d ecis io n.
231
.
KOW TO W IN G
—This is a slig ht ben din g fo rw ard of th e upper to rs o an d
sh ould ers , w hic h m ay b e in te n tio nal o r s u bco nsc io us. A ro und th e g lo be, it
is p erfo rm ed in s o m e v aria n t in th e p re se n ce o f a h ig her a u th ority . I n A sia ,
peo ple b ow o ut o f re sp ect, ju st a s th e q ueen ’s s u bje cts d o in L ondon. T he
orig in of kow to w in g has m uch to do w ith our prim ate le g acy, w here
ev ery one b en ds lo w er to th e a lp ha m ale — in o ur c ase , s o m eo ne o f h ig her
au th ority . A s a te sta m en t to its univ ers a lity , w hen th e co n quis ta d ore s
re ach ed th e N ew W orld , th ey fo und th at N ativ e A m eric an s a ls o b ow ed o r
kow to w ed to th eir kin g, ju st as th ey th em se lv es had done in Q ueen
Is a b ella ’s c o urt.

The A rm s
O ur a rm s n ot o nly p ro te ct u s, b ala n ce u s, a n d h elp u s c arry th in gs, th ey a ls o
c o m munic ate e x tr e m ely w ell. F ro m o ur s e lf -h ugs w hen w e a re s tr e sse d , to th e
r a is e d a rm s o f a p ers o n w ho ju st c am e in fir s t p la ce, to th e o utw ard re ach o f a
c h ild s e ek in g a lo vin g h ug, o ur a rm s a re c o ntin ually a ssis tin g u s, w arm in g u s,
a tte n din g to o th ers f o r u s, a n d c o m munic atin g o ur n eed s a s w ell a s h ow w e f e el
— fa r m ore t h an w e r e aliz e.
2 32
.
HUG GIN G
—Huggin g, in a ll its f o rm s, is u niv ers a lly in dic ativ e o f c lo se n ess,
good fe elin gs, w arm th , an d co opera tio n. W hile in so m e cu ltu re s a b rie f
so cia l h ug, a n
abra zo
(in L atin A m eric a), c an s e rv e a s a g re etin g g estu re
sim ila r to sh ak in g han ds, how it is perfo rm ed can in dic ate how th e
partic ip an ts fe el a b out e ach o th er. C onsid er A m eric an a th le te s a n d m ovie
sta rs g iv in g e ach o th er b ro h ugs. A s a n o bse rv er, I a lw ay s n ote th e h ug a n d
th e fa cia l e x pre ssio ns to g iv e m e a re lia b le s e n se o f h ow tw o in div id uals
re ally f e el a b out e ach o th er.
2 33
.
ANIM AT ED G EST U RES
—Anim ate d g estu re s r e fle ct o ur e m otio ns a n d a ls o g et
us n otic ed . B ro ad g estu re s a re p ow erfu l d is p la y s w hen w e’re s p eak in g a n d
are esse n tia l to dynam ic co m munic atio n. In m an y cu ltu re s, em phasis
re q uir e s e x ag gera te d g estu re s. T o a n o uts id er, p eo ple m ak in g s u ch g estu re s
mig ht lo ok lik e th ey ’re ab out to fig ht w hen in fa ct th ey are ju st b ein g
em phatic .
2 34
.
GEST U RIN G W HIL E SP E A K IN G
—I ofte n get th e questio n “W hy do w e
gestic u la te ?” G estu re s a re c o nsid ere d a n in te g ra l p art o f c o m munic atio n.
Gestu re s help us to get an d m ain ta in atte n tio n as w ell as to hig hlig ht
im porta n t p oin ts . G estu re s ev en h elp th e p ers o n sp eak in g b y fa cilita tin g
gre ate r fle x ib ility in s p eak in g a n d e v en w ith th e re call o f w ord s. G estu re s
aff e ct how our m essa g e is re ceiv ed an d how m uch of it oth er peo ple
re m em ber. W hen g estu re s e ch o t h e m essa g e, t h e m essa g e i s p ote n tia te d . W e
wan t t o b e s e en g estu rin g a s w e s p eak . I f y ou l o ok a t s u ccessfu l T ED T alk s,
you w ill n otic e th at g estu re s a re a n e sse n tia l e le m en t u tiliz ed b y th e b est
sp eak ers .

235
.
ARM S A G AIN ST B O DY, H ANDS F L EX ED
—This is o fte n r e fe rre d to a s r e str a in ed
ela tio n. W hen p eo ple are p le ase d w ith th em se lv es b ut are tr y in g n ot to
sh ow it, th ey m ig ht h old th eir a rm s a g ain st th eir b ody a n d th en lif t th eir
han ds a t th e w ris t s o th e w ris t is a lm ost a t a
nin ety -d eg re e a n gle , w ith th e
palm s fa cin g d ow n. T his can als o ta k e p la ce w hen p eo ple are tr y in g to
co ntr o l t h eir e x cite m en t a n d d on’t w an t t o b e n otic ed . T he b eh av io r m ay b e
acco m pan ie d b y a r is e i n t h e s h ould ers a n d o f c o urs e f a cia l d is p la y s o f j o y.
236
.
ELAT IO N/T R IU M PH D IS P L AY S
—Dis p la y s of ela tio n or tr iu m ph te n d to be
gra v ity -d efy in g— in o th er w ord s, th e g estu re is m ad e u pw ard o r o utw ard
aw ay f ro m th e b ody. S om etim es w e a ctu ally ju m p o ut o f o ur s e ats in to th e
air w ith o ur a rm s a n d fin gers e x te n ded . P ositiv e e m otio ns d riv e g ra v ity -
defy in g g estu re s, an d so aro und th e w orld tr iu m ph d is p la y s at sp ortin g
ev en ts t e n d t o b e s im ila r: a rm s u p i n t h e a ir.
237
.
ARM S H ELD B EH IN D B A CK
—The re g al sta n ce is p erfo rm ed b y p la cin g th e
arm s an d h an ds b eh in d th e b ack . Q ueen E liz ab eth , P rin ce C harle s, an d
oth er B ritis h r o yals o fte n w alk th is w ay w hen t h ey w an t o th ers to r e m ain a t
a d is ta n ce. F or th e r e st o f u s, to o, it s ig nals to o th ers to g iv e u s s p ace. I t is
not a good w ay to en dear yours e lf to oth ers as w e te n d to asso cia te
alo ofn ess w ith th is b eh av io r. In te re stin gly , y oung c h ild re n d on’t lik e w hen
th eir p are n ts h id e t h eir h an ds b eh in d t h eir b ack .
238
.
ARM S ST IF FE N IN G
—Peo ple ’s arm s w ill fre q uen tly stif f e n w hen th ey are
sc are d o r o verw helm ed b y a n
ev en t. T heir a rm s lie d orm an t a t th eir s id es,
mak in g t h em l o ok u nnatu ra l o r r o botic . S tif f a rm s a re a s tr o ng i n dic ato r t h at
so m eth in g n eg ativ e h as j u st t r a n sp ir e d .
239
.
ARM PIT E X PO SIN G
—The e x posu re o f o ur in ner a rm , in clu din g th e a rm pit
( axilla
), is re se rv ed fo r th ose tim es w e are co m fo rta b le aro und oth ers .
Wom en e sp ecia lly m ig ht u se th is b eh av io r ( s c ra tc h in g th e b ack o f th e h ead
while e x posin g th e a x illa d ir e ctly to w ard a p ers o n o f in te re st) in o rd er to
garn er th at pers o n’s atte n tio n an d dem onstr a te her in te re st. C onvers e ly ,
when o ur a rm pits a re e x pose d a n d s o m eo ne c o m es n ear th at m ak es u s f e el
unco m fo rta b le , w e w ill i m med ia te ly c o ver o ur a rm pits .
240
.
ARM C RO SSIN G /S E LF-H UG GIN G
—Self -h uggin g i s a n e ff e ctiv e w ay t o c o m fo rt
ours e lv es w hile w aitin g fo r s o m eo ne to a rriv e, w hile w atc h in g a m ovie in
public , o r w hen w e n eed a l ittle b it o f s e lf -c o m fo rtin g. T his e x pla in s w hy s o

man y p asse n gers o n a p la n e w ill c ro ss th eir a rm s w hile s ta n din g in lin e to
use t h e r e str o om . W e c ro ss o ur a rm s f o r m an y r e aso ns. H ere a re s o m e o f t h e
re aso ns re p orte d to m e: “ It’s c o m fo rta b le ”; “ It’s u se fu l w hen m y a rm s a re
tir e d ”; “ It h id es m y b oobs” ; “ I d o it w hen I a m in quis itiv e”; “ It h id es b y
belly .” E very one h as a g ood re aso n a n d m ost o f th e tim e, it g iv es th em
co m fo rt. T here a re a lo t o f p eo ple th at m is
ta k en ly e q uate c ro ssin g th e a rm s
with k eep in g p eo ple f u rth er a w ay — th at i s u su ally n ot t h e c ase .
241
.
ARM C RO SSIN G /P R O TEC TIO N
—In s o m e i n sta n ces t h e a rm c ro ss i s a m ean s o f
pro te ctio n, r a th er th an a c o m fo rtin g g estu re . W e m ig ht s u bco nsc io usly s e ek
to sh ie ld our vuln era b le ven tr a l (b elly ) sid e w hen w e fe el in se cu re or
th re ate n ed . In th ose case s, w e w ill se e m ore te n sio n in th e arm s an d
psy ch olo gic al d is c o m fo rt i n t h e f a ce.
242
.
ARM C RO SSIN G /S E LF-R EST R AIN T
—Peo ple m ig ht c ro ss th eir a rm s to re str a in
th em se lv es w hen th ey ’re u pse t. P ic tu re a c u sto m er a t a n a ir p ort c o unte r
who h as b een b um ped fro m a flig ht. W here as th e se lf -h ug (
se e # 240
) is
done w ith v ery little p re ssu re , th is b eh av io r h elp s to lite ra lly re str a in th e
arm s a s e m otio ns g et o ut o f c o ntr o l. N ote th at th is s e lf -re str a in in g b eh av io r
is u su ally a cco m pan ie d b y f a cia l d is p la y s o f a n im osity .
243
.
ARM C RO SSIN G /D IS L IK E
—In th e p re se n ce o f so m eo ne w e d on’t lik e, w e
mig ht d ra w o ur a rm s a cro ss o ur b elly , a tte m ptin g to d is ta n ce o r in su la te
ours e lv es f ro m th at p ers o n. U su ally th is o ccu rs a s s o on a s w e s e e s o m eo ne
obje ctio nab le , an d th at is what dis tin guis h es th is beh av io r an d
co m munic ate s o ur d is lik e
very accu ra te ly . T his sh ould b e d if f e re n tia te d
fro m se lf -h uggin g b eh av io rs b y o th er c u es th at a cco m pan y it, su ch a s a
te n se f a ce a n d f e et t h at a ls o t u rn a w ay.
244
.
ARM CRO SSIN G /M ASSA G IN G
—Cro ssin g th e arm s at th e ch est can be
co m fo rta b le f o r m an y p eo ple . H ow ev er, m assa g in g t h e o pposite s h ould er o r
arm s u ggests th at a p ers o n is s tr e sse d o r c o ncern ed . T his is m ost lik ely to
occu r w hen th e p ers o n is s e ate d a t a ta b le w ith h er e lb ow s o n th e s u rfa ce,
but I h av e a ls o s e en it in p eo ple s ittin g in a c h air , a fo rm o f s e lf -h uggin g
while t h ey m assa g e t h e o pposite a rm t o r e lie v e s tr e ss o r w orry .
245
.
ARM CRO SSIN G , HOLD IN G WRIS T
—When co nfro nte d with dam ag in g
in fo rm atio n in a fo re n sic se ttin g, in te rv ie w ees w ill su dden ly re ach a cro ss
th eir b elly a n d h old th e w ris t o f th e o pposite h an d w hile s ittin g. L ook f o r it

im med ia te ly a fte r a p ers o n h as b een a sk ed a d if f ic u lt q uestio n o r is a ccu se d
of s o m eth in g. P oker p la y ers h av e b een o bse rv ed d is p la y in g th is b eh av io r
when t h eir h an d i s w eak o r m arg in al.
246
.
ARM S P R EA DIN G
—Peo ple w ho s p re ad o ut t h eir a rm s o ver s e v era l c h air s o r a
co uch are d em onstr a tin g co nfid en ce th ro ugh a te rrito ria l d is p la y. S en io r
ex ecu tiv es w ill do th is m ore ofte n th an ju nio r sta ff e rs . O bse rv e w hen
so m eo ne o f h ig her r a n k o r s ta tu s w alk s i n w heth er t h e p ers o n w ith dra w s h is
arm s t o h is s id es.
247
.
ELBO W S S P R EA DIN G O UT
—When p eo ple a re s tr o ng a n d c o nfid en t, th ey w ill
gra d ually t a k e u p m ore s p ace, s p re ad in g t h eir e lb ow s a cro ss a t a b le o r d esk .
This te n ds to b e s u bco nsc io us, a n d th ey a re g en era lly n ot a w are th at th ey
are p ublic iz in g t h eir s e lf -a ssu re d ness.
248
.
ELBO W S N ARRO W IN G
—When w e’re sittin g w ith o ur a rm s o n a ta b le , th e
mom en t w e fe el in se cu re o r th re ate n ed , w e w ill n arro w o ur e lb ow s o n th e
ta b le . W e c an u se th is m etr ic to h elp u s a sse ss h ow c o m mitte d o r c o nfid en t
oth ers a re a s d if f e re n t t o pic s a re d is c u sse d .
249
.
ELBO W F L EX IN G
—The elb ow fle x is p erfo rm ed b y p la cin g h an ds o n th e
hip s, a rm s a k im bo, a n d f le x in g t h e e lb ow s f o rw ard ( lik e a b utte rfly f la p pin g
its w in gs) e ach tim e w e w an t to e m phasiz e w hat w e’re sa y in g. T his is a
te rrito ria l dis p la y th at als o pro je cts co nfid en ce. I hav e se en se n io r
man ag ers , co ach es, an d m ilita ry off ic ers do th e elb ow fle x as th ey
em phasiz e a p artic u la r p oin t.
250
.
ELBO W S IN TER LO CK IN G
—In m an y p arts o f th e w orld th e in te rlo ck in g o f
arm s a t th e e lb ow s w ith a n oth er p ers o n a s y ou w alk o r s it is a s ig n th at y ou
are c lo se to th e p ers o n o r th at y ou a re h av in g a v ery p riv ate c o nvers a tio n.
This b eh av io r d ra w s th e h ip s c lo se to geth er, w hic h s u ggests th at th in gs a re
goin g w ell. It is not unusu al in M ed ite rra n ean co untr ie s or
in South
Am eric a t o s e e b oth m en a n d w om en w alk in g a rm i n a rm .
251
.
WRIS T B EH AV IO RS
—We m ig ht n ot th in k o f th e w ris ts a s a w in dow in to th e
min d, b ut th ey c an b e. W e e x pose th e u nders id e o f o ur w ris ts to o th ers
when w e lik e th em o r fe el c o m fo rta b le a ro und th em . H old in g a d rin k o r a
cig are tte , a w om an w ill e x pose th e in ner w ris t to a n earb y p ers o n if s h e is
in te re ste d in th em o r c o m fo rta b le . T he m in ute s h e is n ot, s h e w ill r o ta te th e

wris t a n d o nly e x pose th e o uts id e o f th e w ris t. O ur lim bic s y ste m p ro te cts
us b y o rie n tin g o ur m ost se n sitiv e a re as— th e u nders id e o f o ur a rm s, o ur
neck , o ur b ellie s— aw ay f ro m t h ose w e d is lik e o r f in d t h re ate n in g.
252
.
GOOSE B U M PS
—Als o calle d “g oose p im ple s” o r “g oose fle sh ,” th is is an
in volu nta ry re actio n to c o ld o r p erh ap s e v en fe ar— usu ally v is ib le o n th e
arm s a n d l e g s. T he f o rm atio n o f g oose b um ps c au se s h air t o s ta n d u p o n t h e
su rfa ce o f th e s k in , w hic h is w hy th e m ed ic al te rm f o r it is
horrip ila tio n
o r
pilo ere ctio n
(
se e # 253
). In p rim ate s, th is d is p la y is e v en m ore n otic eab le
when th ey a re s c are d , a s th eir h air s ta n ds u p to m ak e th em a u to m atic ally
lo ok l a rg er. B ecau se w e a s a s p ecie s h av e l o st m ost o f o ur h air , w e o nly s e e
th e r e m nan ts o f p ilo ere ctio n t h ro ugh g oose b um ps.
253
.
HAIR E R EC TIO N ( P IL O ER EC TIO N)
—Som etim es th e h air o n th e a rm s, to rs o , o r
back o f th e n eck w ill s ta n d u p v is ib ly . F ro m a n e v olu tio nary p ers p ectiv e,
th is i s b elie v ed t o b e a v estig ia l r e sp onse w e s h are w ith p rim ate s t o m ak e u s
lo ok big ger w hen w e are sc are d , frig hte n ed , or fe arfu l. W hen w e
su bco nsc io usly asse ss a pers o n, a pla ce, or a situ atio n as pote n tia lly
dan gero us, th e h air o n th e b ack o f o ur n eck w ill s ta n d u p— when y ou fe el
th is , ta k e n ote . T hese su bco nsc io us se n tim en ts o f ill fe elin g o r d an ger,
acco rd in g to G av in d e B eck er in h is b ook
The G ift o f F ea r,
sh ould n ot b e
ig nore d .
254
.
EX CESSIV E S W EAT IN G
—Peo ple u nder s tr e ss m ay s u dden ly s w eat p ro fu se ly
as th eir b ody a tte m pts to v en tila te its e lf th ro ugh e v ap ora tio n. M an y a d ru g
tr a ff ic k er h as b een s to pped a t th e b ord er b ecau se h e is th e o nly o ne w ith
sw eat r in gs a ro und h is a rm pits a n d h is n eck g lis te n s w ith m ois tu re w hen h e
pulls u p to th e c u sto m s o ff ic er. E xcessiv e p ers p ir a tio n m ay sig nal th at a
pers o n is h id in g so m eth in g o r is a b out to c o m mit a c rim e. T hat d oesn ’t
mean e v ery s w eaty p ers o n is g uilty o f s o m eth in g— ju st th at it b eh ooves u s
to p ay c lo se r a tte n tio n.
255
.
SE LF-I N JU RY
—In div id uals w ho s u ff e r fro m b ord erlin e p ers o nality d is o rd er,
as w ell a s o th ers w ho a re e m otio nally u nsta b le o r d ep re sse d , m ig ht b ear
sc ars w here th ey
hav e cu t, sla sh ed , or burn ed th em se lv es in te n tio nally .
Reco gniz in g th ese s ig ns in o th ers is k ey to g ettin g th em h elp . T hey m ig ht
not se ek h elp th em se lv es, b ut th ey a re n onverb ally c o m munic atin g th eir
men ta l h ealth n eed s t h ro ugh s e lf -in ju ry .

256
.
NEED LE T R ACK S
—In div id uals w ho u se h ero in a n d o th er in tr a v en ous d ru gs
will h av e s c ars tr a ck in g th eir v ein s o n th e in sid e o f th eir a rm s. O n lo ng-
te rm a b use rs , t h is c an b e v ery e v id en t.

The H an ds a n d F in gers
T he h um an h an d h as n o e q ual. I t c an h old a s c alp el a n d p erfo rm d elic ate s u rg ery
o r g ra sp a b ru sh a n d p ain t th e c eilin g o f th e S is tin e C hap el. H an ds g en tly c ra d le
u s a t b ir th a n d j u st a s e asily g ra sp a n a x e h an dle w ith e n ough f o rc e t o c h op d ow n
a t r e e. O ur h an ds a re i n dis p en sa b le f o r w ork , f o r p la y, a n d f o r o ur p ro te ctio n, a n d
w e re ly o n th em e v ery d ay to in te ra ct w ith th e w orld a ro und u s. W e a ls o u se
t h em to c o m munic ate e ff e ctiv ely — wheth er w e a re s to ppin g tr a ff ic a t a s c h ool
c ro ssin g, c o nductin g a n o rc h estr a , o r sig nalin g a frie n d to q uic k ly c o m e o ver.
O ur h an ds a re c o nsta n tly c o m munic atin g to o th ers o ur p assio ns, o ur d esir e s, o ur
a b ilitie s, o ur c o ncern s, a n d m ost im porta n t, th ro ugh th e g en tle st o f to uch , o ur
l o ve.
2 57
.
CO NDIT IO N O F H ANDS
—You c an te ll a lo t f ro m a p ers o n’s h an ds. G ro om in g,
sc ars , a n d c allu se s m ig ht in dic ate w hat k in d o f w ork th e p ers o n d oes; a n
off ic e w ork er’s h an ds l o ok q uite d if f e re n t f ro m a c em en t m ix er’s . S im ila rly ,
arth ritis a s w ell a s n eu ro lo gic al
dis o rd ers c an s o m etim es b e d is c ern ed f ro m
th e c o nditio n o f t h e h an ds a s w ell a s f in ger m ovem en t o r a g ita tio n.
2 58
.
HAND G RO OM IN G
—Well- g ro om ed h an ds a re a s ig n o f a h ealth y in div id ual.
Cle an fin gers , w ith n ails o f p ro per le n gth , in dic ate th at p eo ple c are a b out
th em se lv es. T his co ntr a sts w ith peo ple w ho hav e dir ty or lo ng nails ,
unkem pt c u tic le s, o r fle sh th at h as b een c h ew ed o ff th e fin gers . In d atin g
an d ev en in th e w ork pla ce, w e o fte n d ra w co nclu sio ns fro m h ow w ell-
gro om ed o r h ealth y-lo okin g a p ers o n’s h an ds a p pear.
2 59
.
FR EQ UEN CY O F T O UCH
—How fre q uen tly w e to uch o th ers is a g ood w ay o f
co m munic atin g h ow w e f e el a b out t h em . W hile o n s o m e l e v el t h e d eg re e o f
to uch is c u ltu ra lly d ete rm in ed , f o r th e m ost p art w hen w e c are a b out o th ers
we t e n d t o t o uch t h em m ore o fte n .
2 60
.
HOW W E T O UCH
—A to uch can be re sp ectf u l, lo vin g, pla y fu l, se n su ous,
re se rv ed , te n der, c arin g, o r p allia tiv e. A lig ht to uch o f th e sk in c an se n d
sh iv ers d ow n o ur sp in e, stim ula tin g se x ual d esir e . In fa ct, a lig ht to uch
stim ula te s th e b ra in d if f e re n tly th an a h eav ie r to uch . T he lo vin g to uch o f a
carin g p ers o n w ith a fu ll p alm , w arm fro m th e p re se n ce o f b lo od n ear th e

su rfa ce o f th e s k in , c an c o m munic ate s o m uch to a n ew born a s w ell a s a
lo ver. A nd y et w hen o ur b oss p ats u s
on t h e s h ould er w ith j u st t h e f in gertip s
an d s a y s “ G ood j o b,” o ur s k in c ra w ls b ecau se t h e g estu re d oesn ’t f e el r ig ht;
we k now i t i s c o ntr iv ed a n d e m pty .
261
.
TO UCH A ND S O CIA L S T A T U S
—In m ost cu ltu re s, w hom w e can to uch , an d
how , is d ic ta te d b y s o cia l c o nven tio n. In a lm ost a ll s o cie tie s, h ig her- s ta tu s
in div id uals w ill m ore o fte n to uch lo w er- s ta tu s in div id uals th an th e o th er
way a ro und. I n a w ork e n vir o nm en t, y ou a re m ore a p t t o s e e t h e b oss g iv in g
a p at o n t h e s h ould er t h an t o s e e a n e m plo yee p at t h e b oss. W e m ust a ls o b e
aw are o f w hen it is p ro per to to uch , w here it is p ro per to to uch (a rm o r
elb ow , f o r i n sta n ce), a n d w hen o r i f i t w ill b e a p pre cia te d .
262
.
PR ESSIN G T H E F L ESH
—This is a te rm th at is o fte n u se d b y p olitic ia n s to
mean s h ak in g h an ds, g rip pin g a n a rm , h uggin g, h old in g o r k is sin g b ab ie s.
Han d s h ak in g c an b e a n o pportu nity f o r p olitic ia n s to h um an iz e th em se lv es
an d esta b lis h physic al bonds. T he co nnectio n is lite ra lly ch em ic al, as
oxyto cin
(a p ow erfu l h orm one th at se rv es to so cia lly b in d u s) is re le a se d
when w e t o uch o th ers .
263
.
HANDS O N H IP S, ARM S AK IM BO W IT H TH UM BS BA CK
—Know n as arm s
ak im bo, w hen t h e h an ds a re o n h ip s, t h um bs b ack , w ith e lb ow s o ut, t h is i s a
dom in an ce d is p la y. T his sig nals th at a n in div id ual is re ad y
an d a le rt, h as
so m eth in g to d is c u ss, o r th ere is a n is su e. A ir lin e a g en ts te ll m e th at if a
pers o n d oes th is w hile w aitin g in lin e, y ou c an b et h e h as a c o m pla in t. T his
is a v ery a u th orita ria n lo ok. T his is n ot a g ood w ay to ta lk to o ne’s c h ild re n
—it in hib its co m munic atio n, as th e pare n t lo oks lik e a m ilita ry drill
in str u cto r.
264
.
HANDS O N H IP S, A RM S A K IM BO W IT H T H UM BS F O RW ARD
—This is m ore o f a
cu rio sity d is p la y. T he p ositio n o f th e th um bs m ay s e em a m in or d eta il, b ut
it is s ig nif ic an t. W itn esse s o fte n s ta n d a n d c o nte m pla te a n e v en t th is w ay,
while t h ose w ho t a k e a ctio n ( p olic e, f ir e fig hte rs ) w ill d o s o w ith t h e t h um bs
back .
265
.
TER RIT O RIA L H AND D IS P L AY
—As a f o rm o f m ild in tim id atio n, a p ers o n w ill
sp la y o ut th eir h an ds o n a d esk o r ta b le . Y ou se e th is o fte n at a re tu rn
co unte r, w here a n gry c u sto m ers ta k e u p in cre asin gly m ore s p ace w ith th eir
han ds a s t h ey a rg ue w ith t h e r e p re se n ta tiv e. A s e m otio ns i n cre ase , n ote h ow

th e h an ds g ro w f u rth er a n d f u rth er a p art.
266
.
PU SH IN G A W AY F R O M T A BLE
—A su dden stif f -a rm p ush in g a w ay fro m th e
ta b le is a v ery a ccu ra te in dic ato r th e p ers o n d is a g re es w ith s o m eth in g s a id
or d is c u sse d o r m ig ht f e el th re ate n ed . T he s p eed o f th e m otio n m atte rs : th e
more q uic k ly i t h ap pen s, t h e m ore c o ncern in g.
267
.
PL AY IN G W IT H O BJE C TS
—Pla y in g w ith je w elr y o r o th er o bje cts (w in din g a
watc h , ta p pin g a p en cil, c h eck in g a s m artp hone) s e rv es a s a p acif ie r. Y ou
ofte n s e e th is b eh av io r in p eo ple w aitin g to b e in te rv ie w ed fo r a jo b o r to
ju st p ass t h e t im e. T his i s d if f e re n t f ro m “ su rro gate t o uch in g” (
se e # 291
).
268
.
OBJE C T P L A CEM EN T
—We m ig ht s u rro und o urs e lv es w ith o bje cts — wheth er
a pen cil an d pap er on a w ork desk or a ja ck et on a th eate r ch air — to
esta b lis h o ur t e rrito ry . O bje ct p la cem en t c an a ls o s ig nal t h at w e a re n ot f u lly
in te re ste d in s o m eo ne o r th at a r e la tio nsh ip is in tr o uble . A t a r e sta u ra n t f o r
in sta n ce, w hen th in gs a re g ood, w e te n d to m ove o bje cts o ut o f th e w ay to
get a c le are r v ie w o f o ur c o m pan io n; w hen th ey ’re n ot, w e’ll p la ce f lo w ers
or a d rin k b ottle in o ur lin e o f s ig ht to s e rv e a s a b arrie r a cro ss th e ta b le . I t
is e sp ecia lly t e llin g w hen s o m eo ne m oves o bje cts w hile s p eak in g.
269
.
HAND S T EEPL IN G
—The h an d s te ep le is p erfo rm ed b y p la cin g th e f in gertip s
of b oth h an ds to geth er, s p re ad in g th em , a n d th en a rc h in g th e h an ds s o th at
th e tip s o f th e f in gers lo ok lik e a c h urc h s te ep le . T his is a u niv ers a l d is p la y
of co nfid en ce an d is ofte n use d by th ose in a le ad ers h ip positio n.
Chan cello r A ngela M erk el o f G erm an y is f a m ous f o r s te ep lin g o fte n . N ote ,
how ev er, th at c o nfid en ce d oesn ’t a lw ay s g uara n te e a ccu ra cy. A p ers o n m ay
be w ro ng in th eir f a cts b ut c o nfid en t a s
th ey s p eak . N ev erth ele ss, s te ep lin g
is a u se fu l g estu re to c o nvin ce o th ers o f y our c o m mitm en t to w hat y ou a re
th in kin g o r s a y in g.
270
.
MODIF IE D S T EEPL IN G
—The m odif ie d s te ep le is p erfo rm ed b y in te rla cin g a ll
of th e f in gers , w ith th e e x cep tio n o f th e in dex f in gers , w hic h a re e re ct a n d
to uch in g a t t h e f in gertip s. I t l o oks m ore c o ntr ite t h an a r e g ula r h an d s te ep le ;
noneth ele ss, i t s till s ig nif ie s a ssu ra n ce a n d c o nfid en ce.
271
.
HANDS I N R EA DY/A CTIV E P O SIT IO N
—This is w here th e h an ds a re h eld a b out
fo urte en in ch es a p art in fro nt o f th e b elly a t w ais t le v el w ith th e p alm s
fa cin g e ach o th er, f in gers s p re ad a p art. S peak ers o fte n d o th is to c ap tu re a n

au die n ce’s atte n tio n at an im porta n t m om en t. T his is not th e ro gato ry
positio n (
se e # 272
), w hic h re q uir e s th e p alm s to b e fa cin g u p; h ere th e
palm s fa ce e ach o th er a s if th e p ers o n is h old in g a b each b all. T his is a
use fu l g estu re t o b uild i n to y our p ublic -s p eak in g r e p erto ir e .
272
.
PA LM S-U P D IS P L AY
—Als o k now n a s th e
ro gato ry h and p ositio n,
th is is a
univ ers a l b eh av io r o f h um ility , c o m plia n ce, o r c o opera tio n, u se d b y p eo ple
who w an t to b e a ccep te d o r b elie v ed . T he p re se n ta tio n o f th e p alm s o f th e
han ds f a cin g u p is a u niv ers a l w ay o f s a y in g “ M y h an ds a re c le an ,” “ T here
is n oth in g h id den
here ,” “ I im plo re y ou,” o r “ I a m a t y our c o m man d.” I t is
als o u se d i n r e lig io us c ere m onie s t o d em onstr a te h um ility a n d p ie ty .
273
.
PA LM S-D O W N D IS P L AY
—Palm s-d ow n dis p la y s are m ore aff ir m ativ e th an
palm s-u p d is p la y s. T hese m ig ht b e m ad e o n a ta b le o r s y m bolic ally in th e
air. T he f a rth er a p art th e a rm s a re ( in a tw o-h an ded g estu re ), o r th e h ard er
th e han d sla p s dow n, th e m ore co m mitte d th e pers o n. A ff ir m ativ e
decla ra tio ns su ch as “I did n’t do it,” w hen sp oken as th e palm s push
str o ngly d ow nw ard o n a ta b le , te n d to h av e g re ate r v alid ity . L ia rs s tr u ggle
to d o t h is p ro perly , g en era lly p erfo rm in g t h e g estu re t o o p assiv ely .
274
.
PA LM D O W N, F IN G ER S S P R EA D
—When a p ers o n m ak es a fo rm al d ecla ra tiv e
sta te m en t, su ch as “I d id n’t d o it,” w ith p alm s fir m ly p la ced d ow n an d
fin gers s p re ad w id e, i t i s m ore l ik ely t o b e a n a u th en tic a n sw er. I h av e n ev er
se en a lia r s u ccessfu lly p ull o ff th is g estu re , p ro bab ly b ecau se th e th in kin g
part o f t h e b ra in i s o ut o f s y nc w ith t h e e m otio nal p art o f t h e b ra in . I n o th er
word s, th ey k now w hat to s a y — “I d id n’t d o it” — th ey ju st d on’t k now h ow
to dra m atiz e it becau se th e em otio nal sid e of th e bra in is not fu lly
co m mitte d .
275
.
HAND R EST R IC TIN G
—Rese arc h ers , A ld ert V rij in p artic u la r, h av e n ote d th at
when p eo ple lie , th ey te n d
to u se th eir h an ds a n d a rm s le ss. T his c an b e a
pow erfu l beh av io ra l m ark er, th ough it can sim ply in dic ate sh yness or
dis c o m fo rt. T his i s w here h av in g a b ase lin e o f t h e p ers o n’s n orm al b eh av io r
is s o im porta n t. In a n y c ase , it is a b eh av io r to n ote b ut n ot to n ecessa rily
eq uate w ith d ecep tio n.
276
.
HAND W RIN G IN G
—Rubbin g o ne’s h an ds to geth er co m munic ate s co ncern ,
doubt, a n xie ty , o r i n se cu rity . T he d eg re e o f s tr e ss i s r e fle cte d i n h ow t ig htly
th e h an ds a re w ru ng. B lo tc h es o f r e d a n d w hite s k in o n t h e f in gers o r h an ds

in dic ate a n e le v ate d l e v el o f d is c o m fo rt.
277
.
FIN G ER H OLD IN G
—When w e m eet p eo ple f o r t h e f ir s t t im e o r w e f e el a l ittle
in se cu re , w e t e n d t o h old o ur o w n f in gers t o geth er l ig htly i n f ro nt o f u s. I t i s
a v ery t a ctile , s e lf -s o oth in g b eh av io r. P rin ce H arry i s f a m ous f o r t h is b ut w e
all d o it a s w e p atie n tly w ait in lin e o r s p eak to s o m eo ne w e’v e n ev er m et
befo re .
278
.
JIT TER Y H ANDS
—When w e a re e x cite d o r s tr e sse d o ur h an ds m ay b eco m e
jitte ry . Jitte rs , o f co urs e , can als o b e cau se d b y a n eu ro lo gic al d is o rd er,
dis e ase , o r d ru gs, b ut fo r th e m ost p art, w hen a p ers o n a p pears o th erw is e
health y, w e sh ould ta k e notic e. P eo ple m ig ht accid en ta lly knock dow n
obje cts su ch a s w in eg la sse s w hen str e sse d , o r th eir sp oons w ill
sh ak e in
th eir h an ds. F in gers a n d h an ds m ig ht s h ak e u nco ntr o lla b ly a fte r a n a ccid en t
or w hen w e a re n otif ie d o f t e rrib le n ew s.
279
.
HANDS A S A NCH ORS
—This is w here w e ta k e p osse ssio n o f a n o bje ct to le t
oth ers k now it is o urs . It m ig ht a ls o h ap pen w ith o th er p eo ple , a s w hen
we’re ta lk in g to s o m eo ne w e lik e a n d u se o ur h an d a s a n a n ch or n ear th is
pers o n s o o th ers w ill s ta y a w ay. Y ou s e e t h is m ost o fte n a t b ars o r p artie s—
men w ill p iv ot a ro und th e a n ch or p oin t a s if p erm an en tly a tta ch ed in o rd er
to m ak e s u re o th ers d on’t i n tr u de. I t i s a t e rrito ria l d is p la y.
280
.
HAND TH RUST TO FA CE
—This m ig ht co m e as th e fin al aff ro nt in an
arg um en t. A r a is e d p alm t h ru st a t t h e o th er p ers o n’s f a ce s a y s t o s to p, g o n o
fu rth er, o r, in th e c o m mon p arla n ce, “ ta lk to th e h an d.” T his c an b e a v ery
in su ltin g gestu re an d certa in ly has no pla ce in am ia b le in te rp ers o nal
co m munic atio n a n d c erta in ly n ot i n b usin ess.
281
.
SE LF-T O UCH IN G W HIL E A NSW ER IN G
—Tak e notic e of peo ple w ho w hile
an sw erin g a q uestio n a re p acif y in g ( a n y h an d-to -b ody t o uch in g o r s tr o kin g)
ra th er th an e m phasiz in g w ith th eir g estu re s. O ver th e y ears I ’v e n ote d th at
th ese in div id uals a re le ss c o nfid en t th an th ose w ho w hile a n sw erin g u se
th eir h an ds t o i llu str a te a p oin t.
282
.
IN TER LA CED F IN G ER S— TH UM BS U P
—Sta te m en ts m ad e w ith t h um bs u p w hile
th e fin gers a re in te rla ced in dic ate c o nfid en ce. U su ally p eo ple d o th is w ith
th eir h an ds o n th eir la p o r o n to p o f a d esk o r ta b le ; th eir th um bs r is in g a s
th ey g en uin ely e m phasiz e a p oin t. T his is a v ery f lu id b eh av io r th at m ig ht

ch an ge d ep en din g u pon th e e m otio ns fe lt in th e m om en t, a s w ell a s h ow
co m mitte d t h e p ers o n i s t o w hat s h e i s s a y in g.
283
.
IN TER LA CED FIN G ER S— TH UM BS DO W N
—Fin gers in te rla ced w ith th um bs
dow n te n d to s h ow a lo w d eg re e o f c o nfid en ce o r n eg ativ e e m otio ns a b out
what is b ein g d is c u sse d . W hen w e a re re ally c o nfid en t a b out w hat w e a re
sa y in g, w e te n d to e le v ate th e th um bs s u bco nsc io usly . A s s ta te d a b ove, th is
is very flu id , a pers o n’s th um bs m ay go fro m up to dow n durin g a
co nvers a tio n d ep en din g o n h ow t h ey g en uin ely f e el a b out a t o pic .
284
.
TH UM B M ASSA G IN G
—Thum b m assa g in g is a m ild p acif ie r. T he h an ds a re
in te rtw in ed an d th e th um b o n to p ru bs th e o ne b elo w it re p eate d ly . W e
usu ally s e e th is w hen p eo ple a re w aitin g fo r s o m eth in g to h ap pen , th ough
th ey m ig ht a ls o d o th is a s th ey a re ta lk in g, if th ey a re s lig htly n erv ous o r
an xio us.
285
.
TH UM B T W IR LIN G
—Tw id dlin g o ur th um bs is a w ay to p ass th e tim e o r d eal
with s m all a m ounts o f s tr e ss. T he re p etitiv e n atu re o f it is s o oth in g to th e
bra in .
286
.
FIN G ER S CLO SE TO GETH ER
—When we fe el co ncern ed , bew ild ere d ,
hum ble d , s c are d , o r c o rn ere d , w e s u bco nsc io usly m ak e th e s p ace b etw een
our f in gers s m alle r. I n t h e e x tr e m e, w hen w e a re v ery c o ncern ed , w e c u rl u p
our f in gers s o th ey a re n ot s tic k in g o ut. H ere , o ur lim bic b ra in e n su re s th at
our f in gers a re n ot l o ose w hen t h ere i s a t h re at.
287
.
TH UM B O UT
—When w e f e el c o nfid en t, th e th um b w ill m ove a w ay f ro m th e
in dex fin ger. T his is e asily o bse rv ed w hen h an ds a re o n a ta b le . In fa ct,
dis ta n ce o f th e th um b fro m th e in dex fin ger can se rv e as a g au ge to a
pers o n’s co nfid en ce le v el. It m ig ht als o sh ow a pers o n’s le v el of
co m mitm en t to w hat s h e is s a y in g: th e g re ate r th e d is ta n ce, th e s tr o nger th e
co m mitm en t.
288
.
TH UM B W IT H DRAW IN G
—When w e fe el in se cu re or th re ate n ed , w e w ill
with dra w o ur th um bs s u bco nsc io usly a n d tu ck th em n ex t to o r u ndern eath
th e f in gers . D oin g t h is s u dden ly m ean s t h e p ers o n i s c o ncern ed , w orrie d , o r
th re ate n ed . T his is a s u rv iv al ta ctic , s im ila r to d ogs tu ck in g th eir e ars d ow n
to s tr e am lin e t h em se lv es i n c ase o f t h e n eed t o e sc ap e o r f ig ht.
289
.
TH UM B D IS P L AY S IN G EN ER AL
—Watc h fo r in div id uals w ho dis p la y th eir

th um bs a s th ey h old o n to a ja ck et la p el o r p an t s u sp en ders . I s e e th is o fte n
in co urt perfo rm ed by atto rn ey s. A s w ith oth er th um bs
up dis p la y s it
ty pic ally m ean s th e p ers o n is c o nfid en t in w hat th ey a re d oin g, th in kin g, o r
sa y in g.
290
.
TH UM B U P O K S IG N
—This , o f c o urs e , is a v ery p ositiv e s ig n in th e U nite d
Sta te s, s ig nalin g th at a ll is f in e. A t o ne tim e it w as u se d r o utin ely to h itc h a
car r id e. N ote t h at i n s o m e c u ltu re s, s u ch a s t h e M id dle E ast, a r a is e d t h um b
is a p hallic s y m bol a n d s h ould b e a v oid ed .
291
.
SU RRO GAT E T O UCH IN G
—Som etim es, e arly o n i n a r o m an tic r e la tio nsh ip , w e
wan t to b e in c lo se r p hysic al c o nta ct w ith th e o th er p ers o n b ut f e el it is to o
so on. S o w e tr a n sfe r th ose w is h es to a n o bje ct. W e m ig ht s tr o ke o ur o w n
arm o r slid e o ur h an d a ro und a g la ss re p eate d ly . S urro gate to uch in g is a
fo rm o r s u bco nsc io us f lir tin g a s w ell a s a s tr e ss r e lie v er t h at o fte n s e rv es a s
an e ff e ctiv e s u bstitu te f o r t h e t o uch w e d esir e .
292
.
REC IP R O CAL T O UCH IN G
—This is w here so m eo ne re ach es o ut to to uch u s
an d w e to uch b ack in re tu rn . U su ally it is a sig n o f so cia l h arm ony a n d
co m fo rt w ith o th ers , s o w hen it is n ’t re cip ro cate d , th ere m ay b e a n is su e.
Ofte n in w ork re la tio ns, w hen s o m eo ne is a b out to g et d em ote d o r fir e d ,
th ere w ill b e le ss re cip ro cal to uch in g o n th e p art o f th e s u perv is o r in th e
day s p rio r
to th e e m plo yee d is m is sa l. T his a ls o h ap pen s in d atin g s itu atio ns
when t h ere i s a b out t o b e a b re ak up.
293
.
HOLD IN G O N T O F U RNIT U RE
—If p eo ple h old o n to th eir c h air , o r th e e d ge o f
a desk or podiu m , as th ey m ak e a decla ra tiv e sta te m en t, th ey are
co m munic atin g doubt an d in se cu rity . I hav e so m etim es se en th is w hen
peo ple sig n a co ntr a ct th ey are re lu cta n t to en dors e but m ust. A s an
obse rv er, you sh ould alw ay s questio n w hat in se cu rity is driv in g th is
beh av io r.
294
.
CLIN G IN G B EH AV IO RS
—When c h ild re n a re u nder s tr e ss, th ey w ill g ra b th e
clo th in g o f th e n eare st r e la tiv e f o r c o m fo rt. I n th e a b se n ce o f a p are n t o r a n
obje ct, t h ey w ill a ls o g ra b t h eir o w n c lo th in g a s i f i t w ere a s e cu rity b la n ket
—whic h i n e sse n ce i t i s . T his t a ctile e x perie n ce c an b e v ery p sy ch olo gic ally
so oth in g. A dults s o m etim es d o th is , to o, p erh ap s a s th ey g et r e ad y f o r a jo b
in te rv ie w or a sp eech . The gre at te n or Lucia n o Pav aro tti held a
han dkerc h ie f in h is h an d w hile p erfo rm in g, w hic h , h e sa id in in te rv ie w s,

gav e h im “ se cu rity ” a n d “ co m fo rt.”
295
.
EM PH ASIZ IN G W IT H H ANDS
—When w e a re c o m fo rta b le , o ur h an ds n atu ra lly
gestu re an d em phasiz e. In so m e cu ltu re s, esp ecia lly aro und th e
Med ite rra n ean , peo ple te n d to gestu re m ore em phatic ally , an d
th ese
gestu re s are hig hly sig nif ic an t in co nte x t. G re at sp eak ers als o gestu re
fre q uen tly . R ese arc h ers te ll u s th at w hen p eo ple s u dden ly b eg in to lie , th ey
en gag e in fe w er han d gestu re s— an d w ith le ss em phasis . If th e han ds
su dden ly b eco m e p assiv e o r r e str a in ed , it is lik ely th at th e p ers o n is lo sin g
co nfid en ce i n w hat h e i s s a y in g, f o r w hate v er r e aso n.
296
.
GIV IN G T H E F IN G ER
—Pio neerin g p sy ch olo gis t P au l E km an fir s t n ote d h ow
in div id uals w ho h arb or a n im osity to w ard o th ers w ill su bco nsc io usly g iv e
“th e f in ger” ( th e i n decen t f in ger i s u su ally t h e m id dle o r l o ngest f in ger a s i n
“F — — y ou!” ) b y s c ra tc h in g t h eir f a ce o r b ody w ith i t, o r e v en j u st p ush in g
th eir e y eg la sse s b ack i n to p la ce. I t i s a s u bco nsc io us s ig n o f d is re sp ect.
297
.
FIN G ER PO IN TIN G
—Alm ost univ ers a lly , peo ple dis lik e hav in g a fin ger
poin te d at th em . If you hav e to poin t, esp ecia lly in a pro fe ssio nal or
ro m an tic se ttin g, u se th e fu ll h an d, fin gers to geth er, ra th er th an a sin gle
fin ger. T his a ls o a p plie s w hen p oin tin g to o bje cts . W hen d ir e ctin g s o m eo ne
to a c h air , d o s o w ith t h e f u ll h an d r a th er t h an w ith a s in gle f in ger.
298
.
FIN G ER J A BBIN G
—Ja b bin g a fin ger a t s o m eo ne’s c h est o r fa ce is a h ig hly
an ta g onis tic b eh av io r, u se d to sin gle a p ers o n o ut w hen th ere a re is su es.
When a c
tu al p hysic al t o uch i s i n volv ed , i t b eco m es e v en m ore t h re ate n in g.
299
.
USIN G F IN G ER A S B AT O N
—This is w here th e in dex fin ger is u se d to k eep a
rh yth m in s p eech , c ad en ce, o r m usic . I t p ro vid es e m phasis w hen it f o llo w s
a p oin t in sp eech . It is se en m ore o fte n in M ed ite rra n ean c o untr ie s, a n d
so m e peo ple ta k e off e n se at th at “w ag gin g” fin ger becau se th ey don’t
unders ta n d th at it’s a c u ltu ra l tr a it, u se d fo r e m phasis , n ot n ecessa rily a n
an ta g onis tic b eh av io r.
300
.
TW O-H ANDED P U SH B A CK
—We u su ally se e th is w hen p eo ple a re sp eak in g
public ly . T hey w ill h old b oth h an ds u p in fro nt o f th em , p alm s to w ard th e
au die n ce, a n d f ig ura tiv ely p ush t h e a u die n ce a w ay. T his h as a s u bco nsc io us
neg ativ e c o nnota tio n a s w hen s o m eo ne s a y s “ I k now h ow y ou f e el,” w hile
in e sse n ce g estu rin g “ G o a w ay.”

301
.
NAIL B IT IN G
—Nail b itin g o r c u tic le b itin g is a w ay o f r e lie v in g te n sio n a n d
an xie ty . It is a d is p la y o f w orry , la ck o f c o nfid en ce, o r in se cu ritie s. E ven
peo ple w ho n ev er b ite th eir n ails m ig ht s u dden ly f in d th em se lv es d oin g s o
when u nderg oin g e x tr e m e s tr e ss. T his b eh av io r c an b eco m e p ath olo gic al to
th e p oin t o f d am ag in g t h e s k in o r e v en u lc era tin g t h e f in gers , d estr o yin g t h e
su rro undin g c u tic le o r o th erw is e h ealth y t is su e.
302
.
FIN G ER S T R UM MIN G
—Str u m min g o ne’s f in gers o n a t a b le o r a l e g p asse s t h e
tim e a n d, lik e o th er re p etitiv e b eh av io rs , so oth es. In p ro fe ssio nal s e ttin gs
you s e e th is a s p eo ple w ait f o r s o m eo ne to s h ow u p o r f in is h ta lk in g. I t is a
way o f s a y in g, “ C om e o n, le t’s g et th in gs m ovin g h ere .” T his is s im ila r to
ch eek s tr u m min g (
se e # 170
).
303
.
HANDS IN P O CK ET
—Man y p eo ple are co m fo rte d b y p la cin g o ne o r b oth
han ds i n t h eir p ock ets w hile ta lk in g t o o th ers . B ut s o m etim es t h is is s e en a s
to o i n fo rm al a n d i n s o m e c u ltu re s i s c o nsid ere d r u de. I t s h ould b e n ote d t h at
so m e p eo ple e rro neo usly v ie w k eep in g h an ds in p ock ets a s su sp ic io us o r
decep tiv e.
304
.
MASSA G IN G C LO SE D F IS T
—Massa g in g t h e c lo se d f is t w ith t h e o th er h an d i s a
se lf -re str a in in g an d pacif y in g beh av io r. It usu ally m ean s th e pers o n is
str u gglin g o r w orrie d an d ex perie n cin g a lo t o f u nderly in g te n sio n. Y ou
ofte n se e th is w ith p oker p la y ers a n d sto ck tr a d ers , o r w here v er fo rtu nes
mig ht b e q uic k ly w on o r l o st.
305
.
SP E A K ER ’S FIS T
—Som etim es w e w ill se e a sp eak er m ak e a fis t w hile
“h am merin g hom e a poin t.” T his is not unusu al, esp ecia lly fro m very
dra m atic o r e n th usia stic s p eak ers . W hat is u nusu al is w atc h in g a s s o m eo ne
waitin g h is tu rn to s p eak tu rn s h is h an d in to a fis t. T his u su ally in dic ate s
pen t- u p is su es, c o nstr a in ed e n
erg y, o r a n tic ip atio n o f s o m e s o rt o f p hysic al
re sp onse . It is sa id th at T heo dore R oose v elt, a dynam o of actio n an d
ad ven tu re , a lw ay s sa t w ith h is h an ds b alle d in to fis ts , a s if h old in g b ack
co ile d e n erg y.
306
.
RUBBIN G H ANDS O N P A LM S
—Rubbin g o ur fin gers acro ss th e p alm o f th e
han d is a p acif ie r. W hen it is d one r e p etitiv ely , o r w ith in cre ase d p re ssu re ,
th ere is h ig h a n xie ty a n d c o ncern . W e c an ru b th e p alm e ith er w ith th e
fin gertip s o f t h e s a m e h an d o r a g ain st t h e o pposite h an d.

307
.
TEEPE E F IN G ER R UB
—When p eo ple fe el co ncern , str e ss, an xie ty , o r fe ar,
th ey m ig ht pacif y th em se lv es by ru bbin g th eir str a ig hte n ed in te rla ced
fin gers b ack a n d f o rth a g ain st o ne a n oth er. T he in te rla ced f in gers p ro vid e a
gre ate r s u rfa ce a re a to s tim ula te a s th e h an ds a n d fin gers a re m oved b ack
an d f o rth r e lie v in g t e n sio n. T his i s o ne o f t h e b est i n dic ato rs t h at s o m eth in g
is v ery w ro ng o r so m eo ne is se v ere ly str e sse d . T his b eh av io r is u su ally
re se rv ed
f o r w hen th in gs a re e sp ecia lly b ad . I n le ss d ir e s itu atio ns, w e w ill
in ste ad w rin g our han ds or ru b th em to geth er w ith out in te rla cin g th e
fin gers . W hat m ak es th is b eh av io r s ta n d o ut is th at th e fin gers a re ra m ro d
str a ig ht a n d i n te rla ced .
308
.
IN TER LA CED FIN G ER S, PA LM S U P O R PA LM S D O W N
—This is an ex tr e m e
varia n t o n in te rla cin g
th e fin gers to d is p la ce s tr e ss. H ere th e p ers o n h old s
th e h an ds p alm s u p a n d in te rla ces th e fin gers , p ullin g th e h an ds u pw ard
to w ard th e f a ce a n d m ak in g a n a w kw ard -lo okin g tr ia n gle , w ith th e e lb ow s
dow n a n d th e p alm s o f th e h an d a rc h in g u pw ard . O r, in th e p alm -d ow n
varia n t, th e p alm s r e m ain f a ce d ow n a n d th e f in gers a re in te rla ced in f ro nt
of t h e c ro tc h a s i f t o c ra ck t h e k nuck le s. T his c o nto rtio n o f t h e a rm s a n d t h e
fin gers , by str e ssin g m usc le s, jo in ts , an d te n dons of th e han d, re lie v es
str e ss. I h av e s e en th is a fte r a te en ag er c ra sh ed h is p are n ts ’ c ar a s h e w aite d
fo r h is m oth er t o c o m e p ic k h im u p.
309
.
KNUCK LE C RACK IN G
—Knuck le c ra ck in g, in a ll its v arie tie s, is a p acif y in g
beh av io r. T he a ct o f k nuck le c ra ck in g fo r so m e p eo ple se em s to so oth e
te n sio n a n d so w e se e it w hen th ey a re te n se o r n erv ous o r e v en b ore d .
Peo ple m ig ht c ra ck e ach k nuck le in div id ually o r a ll th e f in gers o f o ne h an d
at o nce. T his b eh av io r i n cre ase s i n f re q uen cy w ith s tr e ss.
310
.
KNUCK LE CRACK IN G WIT H IN TER LA CED FIN G ER S
—This beh av io r is
perfo rm ed b y in te rtw in in g th e fin gers , w ith th e th um bs d ow n, an d th en
str e tc h in g th e arm s fo rw ard until th e knuck le s cra ck . A s w ith sim ila r
co nto rte d d is p la y s, it s ig nif ie s a h ig h d eg re e o f p sy ch olo gic al d is c o m fo rt,
str e ss, o r a n xie ty . It a ls o se rv es a s a d ouble p acif ie r: b oth in te rla cin g th e
fin gers an d cra ck in g th e k nuck le s. T his b eh av io r is g en era lly ex hib ite d
more o fte n b y m en .
311
.
TA PPIN G S ID ES O F L EG S
—Peo ple w ill ta p th eir le g s w ith th e p alm s o f th eir
han ds (u su ally n ear th e p ock ets ) w hen th ey are im patie n t o r b eco m in g
ag gra v ate d . I s e e th is a ll th e tim e in p eo ple w aitin g to c h eck in a t h ote ls .

The ta ctile n atu re a n d th e re p etitio n m ak e th is a ct b oth a d is tr a ctio n a n d a
use fu l p acif ie r.
312
.
PR EEN IN G
—It is n ot o nly b ir d s th at p re en . P re en in g c an ta k e m an y fo rm s:
ad ju stin g a tie , r e p ositio nin g a b ra cele t, s m ooth in g o ut a w rin kle o n a s h ir t,
fix in g o ne’s h air , r e ap ply in g lip stic k , p lu ck in g a n e y eb ro w . W e p re en w hen
we care en ough to w an t to lo ok o ur b est. H air p re en in g w hen w e are
in te re ste d in so m eo ne ro m an tic ally is esp ecia lly co m mon. T he re p eate d
str o kin g o f th e h air a ls o g ets u s n otic ed . In te re stin gly , w hen a tto rn ey s d o
so m eth in g s o s im ple a s p ullin g a t th eir ja ck et (a p re en in g b eh av io r) a s th e
ju ry e n te rs th e ro om , th ey a re s u bco nsc io usly p erc eiv ed b y ju ro rs a s m ore
lik ab le .
313
.
PR EEN IN G (D IS M IS SIV E)
—There is a n oth er k in d o f p re en in g, in te n ded to b e
dis m is siv e o r d is re sp ectf u l— alm ost th e o pposite o f w hat I ju st d esc rib ed .
The a ct o f p ic k in g lin t o r h air fro m c lo th es o r c le an in g o ne’s n ails w hen
bein g a d dre sse d b y a n oth er p ers o n is in co nsid era te a t b est, d is re sp ectf u l,
ev en c o nte m ptu ous, a t w ors t.
314
.
HAND O N L EG , E LBO W O UT
—Sittin g w ith a h an d o n th e le g , elb ow o ut,
usu ally in dic ate s h ig h co nfid en ce. A s th is b eh av io r co m es an d g oes as
peo ple co nvers e , w e can obse rv e a pers o n’s se lf -a ssu ra n ce w ax in g an d
wan in g. T he e lb ow -o ut p ostu rin g i s a t e rrito ria l d is p la y.
315
.
FIN G ER S CURLIN G , NAIL S FL IC K IN G
—Ofte n w hen peo ple are nerv ous,
ag ita te d , o r s tr e sse d , th ey w ill c u rl u p th eir fin gers (u su ally o n o ne h an d)
an d f lic k th eir n ails a g ain st th e th um b. T hey m ig ht f lic k o ne f in ger o r u se a
varie ty o f t h em . I t i s a w ay t o p acif y o nese lf a n d c an b e b oth d is tr a ctin g a n d
nois y f o r o th ers .
316
.
HAND S H AK IN G
—The h an dsh ak e is
th e
fa v ore d g re etin g b eh av io r in th e
West, a p pro pria te i n b oth p ro fe ssio nal a n d p ers o nal s e ttin gs. A h an dsh ak e i s
ofte n t h e f ir s t p hysic al c o nta ct a n d i m pre ssio n y ou w ill m ak e a n d t a k e a w ay
fro m a n oth er p ers o n, a n d so it is im porta n t to g et it rig ht. T hin k o f h ow
man y tim es y ou h av e r e ceiv ed a “ b ad ” h an dsh ak e ( to o s tr o ng, to o w et, to o
so ft, to o lo ng). A b ad h an dsh ak e le av es a n eg ativ e im pre ssio n th at c an la st
in o ur m in ds f o r a l o ng t im e a n d m ak e u s r e lu cta n t t o s h ak e h an ds w ith t h at
pers o n a g ain . W e s h ould r e m em ber th at th e c u sto m o f s h ak in g h an ds is n ot
univ ers a l; in so m e c u ltu re s a b ow o r a k is s o n th e c h eek m ig ht b e m ore

ap pro pria te . N ev erth ele ss, a g ood h an dsh ak e b eg in s w ith g ood e y e c o nta ct,
a s m ile i f a p pro pria te ,
an d t h e a rm e x te n ded w ith a s lig ht b en d a t t h e e lb ow .
The f in gers a p pro ach t h e o th er p ers o n’s h an d p oin tin g d ow nw ard , t h e h an ds
cla sp w ith e q ual p re ssu re (n o o ne is im pre sse d th at y ou c an c ru sh w aln uts
bare -h an ded ), en gulf in g each oth er— th is allo w s fo r th e re le ase of th e
horm one o xyto cin (fu rth ers s o cia l b ondin g)— an d a fte r a s e co nd o r s o th e
han ds are re le ase d . O ld er p eo ple w ill re q uir e le ss p re ssu re , an d h ig her-
sta tu s in div id uals w ill s e t th e to ne fo r h ow lo ng y ou w ill s h ak e h an ds a n d
how m uch p re ssu re t o a p ply .
317
.
TEN DER ED H ANDSH AK E
—In s o m e c u ltu re s, m ost n ota b ly in p arts o f A fric a,
it is cu sto m ary to gre et a re v ere d or im porta n t pers o n by hold in g th e
outs tr e tc h ed r ig ht h an d s u pporte d u ndern eath th e f o re arm b y th e le ft h an d.
The h an d is lite ra lly b ein g te n dere d o r o ff e re d as if it w ere so m eth in g
pre cio us, in th e h ope th at th e p ers o n to w hom it is o ff e re d w ill ta k e it, th us
honorin g th e off e ro r. T his gestu re m ig ht lo ok odd at fir s t to W este rn
obse rv ers , b ut it is a g estu re o f d efe re n ce a n d h ig h re sp ect a n d s h ould b e
accep te d a s s u ch .
318
.
NAM AST E
— In th is tr a d itio nal In dia n g re etin g, th e h an ds a re p la ced p alm s
to geth er d ir e ctly in fro nt o f th e c h est, fin gers p oin te d u pw ard , e lb ow s o ut,
so m etim es fo llo w ed w ith a sm all b ow o r fo rw ard le an a n d a sm ile . It is
use d a s a fo rm al g re etin g— in a s e n se it re p la ces
th e h an dsh ak e— an d c an
als o b e u se d to s a y “ so lo ng.” T his g estu re h as a d eep er m ean in g th an th e
Weste rn h an dsh ak e a n d m ust b e r e ceiv ed w ith r e sp ect.
319
.
HAND H OLD IN G
—Han d h old in g is a n in nate h um an te n den cy ; w e o bse rv e
ch ild re n d oin g it v ery e arly o n, f ir s t w ith p are n ts a n d la te r w ith p la y m ate s.
In ro m an tic re la tio nsh ip s, both its fre q uen cy an d its ty pe (w heth er a
han dcla sp o r th e m ore in tim ate a n d stim ula tin g in te rla ced fin gers ) m ig ht
sig nal h ow c lo se o r s e rio us a p artn ers h ip i s . A nd i n s o m e p arts o f t h e w orld ,
in clu din g E gypt, S au di A ra b ia , a n d V ie tn am , it is v ery c o m mon to s e e m en
hold in g h an ds a s t h ey w alk t o geth er.
320
.
OK SIG N (P R EC IS IO N C UE)
—When ta lk in g ab out so m eth in g very pre cis e ,
sp eak ers w ill h old th e tip o f th e in dex f in ger a n d th um b to geth er to m ak e a
cir c le — what w e i n A m eric a c all t h e O K s ig n. T his g estu re i s v ery c o m mon
th ro ughout th e M ed ite rra n ean an d is u se d to em phasiz e a sp ecif ic p oin t
while sp eak in g. In th e U nite d S ta te s w e a ls o u se th is g estu re to in dic ate

ag re em en t o r th at th in gs a re f in e o r O K. N ote th at in o th er c o untr ie s, s u ch
as B ra zil, th is sig n can be erro neo usly in te rp re te d as a vulg ar dis p la y
co nnotin g a n o rif ic e.
321
.
PO LIT IC IA N’S TH UM B
—When politic ia n s are sp eak in g, th ey w ill ofte n
ex te n d th eir a rm to w ard th e a u di
en ce o r u p in th e a ir w hile p re ssin g th e
th um b a g ain st th e c u rle d in dex fin ger to m ak e a p re cis e , s tr o ng p oin t. In
esse n ce, th is is a m odif ie d p re cis io n g rip . A gain , w e s e e th is m ore in th e
Unite d S ta te s th an in o th er c o untr ie s a n d s o it is in p art c u ltu ra l. B ill a n d
Hilla ry C lin to n, B ara ck O bam a, an d C an ad ia n prim e m in is te r Ju stin
Tru deau are all know n fo r th is gestu re , usu ally use d w hen m ak in g or
em phasiz in g a s p ecif ic p oin t.
322
.
RIN G P L AY IN G
—Pla y in g w ith a w ed din g b an d b y tw ir lin g it o r ta k in g it o ff
an d p uttin g it o n— is a re p etitiv e b eh av io r th at p eo ple s o m etim es u se d to
calm th eir n erv es o r p ass th e tim e. It is n ot, as so m e p eo ple cla im , an
in dic atio n o f m arita l u nhap pin ess. It is m ere ly a se lf -s o oth in g re p etitiv e
beh av io r.
323
.
DIS T A NCIN G FR O M O BJE C TS
—When w e hav e neg ativ e fe elin gs to w ard
so m eth in g or so m eo ne, w e ofte n su bco nsc io usly atte m pt to dis ta n ce
ours e lv es. P eo ple o n a d ie t m ay p ush a b re ad b ask et a fe w in ch es fu rth er
aw ay a t d in ner o r e v en a sk t h at e m pty w in eg la sse s b e r e m oved f ro m a t a b le
if th ey d is lik e a lc o holic b ev era g es. I h av e s e en c rim in als r e fu se to to uch a
su rv eilla n ce photo gra p h or push it back acro ss th e ta b le becau se th ey
re co gniz e th em se lv es in th e im ag e. T hese a re im porta n t b eh av io rs to n ote
becau se th ey sp eak to w hat is u pperm ost o n th at p ers o n’s m in d at th e
mom en t.
324
.
RELU CTA NCE T O T O UCH W IT H P A LM
—The c o nsis te n t r e lu cta n ce o f a p are n t
to t o uch a c h ild w ith t h e p alm o f t h e h an d c an b e a s ig n o f s ig nif ic an t i s su es
—wheth er in dif f e re n ce to w ard th e c h ild o r so m e o th er fo rm o f a b norm al
psy ch olo gic al d is ta n cin g. A nd w hen c o uple s s to p to uch in g e ach o th er w ith
th e p alm s o f th e h an d, in ste ad re ly in g o n th eir fin gertip s, it’s lik ely th at
th ere a re i s su es i n t h e r e la tio nsh ip (
se e # 260
).
325
.
ER RAT IC A RM A ND H AND M OTIO NS
—Som etim es w e are co nfro nte d b y an
in div id ual m ak in g e rra tic m otio ns w ith th e a rm s a n d h an ds. T he a rm s a n d
han ds m ig ht b e o ut o f sy nch ro ny w ith th e re st o f th e b ody a n d w ith th e

pers o n’s s u rro undin gs. In th ese in sta n ces, th e b est w e c an d o is re co gniz e
th at th ere m ay b e a m en ta l c o nditio n o r d is o rd er a t p la y. R eco gnitio n a n d
unders ta n din g a re k ey to le n din g a ssis ta n ce if n ecessa ry , a n d n o t to lo ok o n
as i f a t a s p ecta cle .

The C hest, T orso , a n d B elly
T he to rs o is h om e to th e m ajo rity o f o ur v ita l o rg an s, is g en era lly o ur la rg est
b ody p art b y m ass, a n d i s t h e a re a o f t h e b ody w e t e n d t o c o ver u p f ir s t w hen w e
f e el th re ate n ed . It is th e b ody’s b illb oard , o ff e rin g c lu es (w ith th e h elp o f o ur
c lo th in g) a b out w ho w e a re , w hat g ro up w e b elo ng to , w hat w e d o f o r a liv in g,
e v en h ow p hysic ally fit w e a re . A nd o f c o urs e , m uch o f th e b ody’s e sse n tia l
o rg an s— th e h eart a n d lu ngs a m ong th em — are lo cate d in th e to rs o . O ur to rs o ,
w hile r a re ly r e co gniz ed in th e s tu dy o f n onverb als , is a ctu ally a v ery g ood p la ce
t o c o lle ct i n fo rm atio n a b out p eo ple , f ro m l if e c h oic es t o h ow t h ey f e el.
3 26
.
CH EST H EAV IN G , R APID B R EAT H IN G
—A h eav in g c h est a n d ra p id b re ath in g
usu ally in dic ate s tr e ss, c o ncern , fe ar, w orry , o r a n ger. C onte x t o f c o urs e is
im porta n t a s th ere a re m an y r e aso ns f o r th is b eh av io r, in clu din g a g e, r e cen t
physic al e x ertio n, a n xie ty , o r e v en a h eart a tta ck . W hat is im porta n t is to
obse rv e a n d b e r e ad y t o t a k e a ctio n i f n ecessa ry .
3 27
.
SH ALLO W , FA ST B R EAT H IN G
—Bre ath in g th at is sh allo w an d fa st usu ally
in dic ate s fe ar or an xie ty , perh ap s ev en a pan ic atta ck . W atc h fo r th e
sh allo w ness o f a p ers o n’s b re ath t o g au ge t h eir a n xie ty l e v el. T he s h allo w er
an d m ore r a p id th e b re ath in g, th e g re ate r th e d is tr e ss. U se fu l is to g et th em
to ta k e o ne lo ng in hale th en e x hale f o r a s lo ng a s p ossib le ( 3 to 5 s e co nds)
th en r e p eat. T his h elp s t o l o w er t h e b re ath in g r a te .
3 28
.
PR ESSIN G O N C H EST
—In te n se s itu atio ns, a p ers o n w ill p re ss o n th eir o w n
ch est/d ia p hra g m a re a w ith th e th um b a n d m id dle fin ger (s o m etim es a ll o f
th e f in gers ) in o rd er to r e lie v e s u dden p en t- u p s tr e ss. T he s e lf -a d m in is te re d
pre ssu re o n th e
so la r
o r
celia c p le xu s,
n ear th e c en te r o f th e c h est, w hic h is
ric h in n erv es, se em s to h av e a p acif y in g e ff e ct w hen p re sse d u pon. T he
pre ssu re c an b e v ery lig ht o r e x tr e m ely f o rc efu l d ep en din g o n th e n eed s o f
th e in div id ual. It is n ot u nusu al fo r so m eo ne re ceiv in g h orrib le n ew s to
pre ss o n t h eir o w n c h est.
3 29
.
CLAV IC LE M ASSA G IN G
—Under s tr e ss, in div id uals w ill m assa g e th e c la v ic le
(c o lla rb one) o n th e o pposite s id e (e .g ., p la cin g th eir rig ht h an d u pon th eir
le ft cla v ic le ). T he arm d ra w n acro ss th e cen te r o f th e b ody p ro vid es a

fe elin g o f p ro te ctio n, w hile th e re p etitiv e to uch in g o f th e c la v ic le a cts to
so oth e th e p ers o n. T his a re a o f th e b ody is v ery se n sitiv e to to uch — one
re aso n i t i s c o nsid ere d a n e ro gen ous z o ne.
330
.
REPE TIT IV E H AND R AK IN G O F C H EST
—Rep etitiv e m assa g in g o f th e u pper
ch est are a w ith fin gers an d th um b m ovin g ra k e-lik e back an d fo rth is
usu ally a g ood in dic ato r o f in se cu rity , c o ncern , o r is su es. T his b eh av io r is
an e x tr e m ely re lia b le in dic ato r o f a n xie ty o r e v en a p en din g p an ic a tta ck .
What s ta n ds o ut w ith th is b eh av io r is h ow th e c u rle d -u p fin gers a re u se d ,
lik e a c la w o r a ra k e, to p erfo rm th is b eh av io r ra th er th an u sin g th e fu ll
palm o f t h e h an d.
331
.
PA LM O N C H EST
—In m an y c u ltu re s, p eo ple p la ce th e p alm o f th e h an d o n
th e c h est to c o nvey sin cerity a n d a s a g estu re o f g oodw ill w hen m eetin g
oth ers . In m y e x perie n ce, b oth th e h onest a n d th e d ecep tiv e w ill d o th is
beh av io r an d so w e sh ould tr e at th e beh av io r as neu tr a l. It is neith er
ev id en ce o f h onesty n or o f s in cerity th ough it m ay b e o ff e re d a s s u ch . I n a
fo re n sic s e ttin g, i f s o m eo ne s a y s “ I d id n’t d o i t,” a s t h ey p la ce t h eir p alm o n
th eir c h est, it s h ould n ot r e ceiv e a n y g re ate r w eig ht o r v alu e n o m atte r h ow
well p erfo rm ed . H av in g s a id th at, I h av e n ote d o ver th e y ears th at tr u th fu l
peo ple te n d to p re ss w ith m ore f o rc e, f in gers w id er a p art, a n d w ith th e f u ll
palm a g ain st th eir c h est, w here as th ose w ho a re a tte m ptin g to d eceiv e te n d
to m ak e co nta ct p rim arily w ith th eir fin gertip s, an d n ot v ery fo rc efu lly .
Still, th ere is n o s in gle b eh av io r o f d ecep tio n a n d th is c erta in ly is n ot. Y ou
would b e w is e to m ere ly c o nsid er th is b eh av io r a n d h ow it is p erfo rm ed
am ong o th er b eh av io rs b efo re y ou c o m e to a n y c o nclu sio n a b out a p ers o n’s
honesty o r s in cerity .
332
.
PU LLIN G C LO TH IN G T O V EN TIL AT E
—Pullin g o n th e fro nt o f a s h ir t o r o th er
garm en t s e rv es to v en tila te th e w eare r. W heth er th e s h ir t is h eld o ut a t th e
co lla r fo r a fe w s e co nds a w ay fro m th e n eck o r re p eate d ly p lu ck ed a t a n d
pulle d a w ay, th is b eh av io r s e rv es to re lie v e s tr e ss, a s d o m ost v en tila tin g
beh av io rs . It is a g ood in dic ato r th at s o m eth in g is w ro ng. O bvio usly , in a
hot e n vir o nm en t, v en tila tin g b eh av io rs m ig ht s im ply b e a sso cia te d w ith th e
heat ra th er th an str e ss. B ut re m em ber, str e ss cau se s o ur te m pera tu re to
in cre ase , a n d t h is h ap pen s v ery q uic k ly , w hic h e x pla in s w hy i n a d if f ic u lt o r
te sty m eetin g, peo ple w ill be se en ven tila tin g. N ote th at w om en ofte n
ven tila te th eir d re sse s b y p ullin g o n th e fro nt to p an d m id rif f . A ls o o f
im porta n ce in a fo re n sic s e ttin g is w hen a p ers o n v en tila te s a s th ey h ear a

questio n o r a fte r th ey h av e a n sw ere d it. M ost lik ely th ey d id n ot lik e th e
questio n.
333
.
PL AY IN G W IT H Z IP PE R
—Pla y in g w ith th e z ip per o n a s w eats h ir t o r ja ck et is
a w ay o f p acif y in g o nese lf w hen n erv ous o r te n se . S tu den ts m ig ht d o th is
befo re a te st if th ey a re c o ncern ed a n d p oker p la y ers d o it a ls o a s th ey
worry a b out th eir d im in is h in g b an k ro ll. P le ase n ote th at it is a p acif y in g
beh av io r a n d i t c an a ls o b e a w ay o f d ealin g w ith b ore d om .
334
.
LEA NIN G A W AY
—Lean in g a w ay f ro m a p ers o n is a f o rm o f d is ta n cin g. I f w e
are sittin g n ex t to so m eo ne w ho sa y s so m eth in g o bje ctio nab le , w e m ay
su btly in ch a w ay f ro m h im . W e o fte n s e e th is o n ta lk s h ow s. R are ly d o w e
re aliz e ju st how fa r aw ay w e le an fro m oth ers w hen w e fin d th em
dis a g re eab le .
335
.
SIT TIN G B A CK
—Push in g o ur c h air b ack a n d le an in g a w ay fro m o th ers a t a
ta b le is in e sse n ce a d is ta n cin g b eh av io r th at g iv es u s a d ditio nal in su la tio n,
so w e c an th in k a n d c o nte m pla te . I n div id uals w ho a re u nco nvin ced o r s till
co nsid erin g a p oin t o fte n w ill m ove s lig htly a w ay u ntil th ey a re re ad y to
en gag e, a n d th en th ey w ill o nce a g ain s it f o rw ard . F or s o m e it is a w ay to
co m munic ate th ey a re ta k in g th em se lv es o ut fo r a fe w m in ute s to p onder
th is , o r, a n d th is is w here o th er fa cia l b eh av io rs a re u se fu l, if th ey h av e
decid ed th ey can not su pport w hat is b ein g d is c u sse d an d so th e p ullin g
aw ay i s d em onstr a tiv e o f h ow t h ey f e el.
336
.
SIT TIN G F O RW ARD
—When w e are re ad y to neg otia te in good fa ith , or
co m pro m is e , w e te n d to m ove fro m a le an in g-b ack p ositio n to a sittin g-
fo rw ard p ositio n. T his o fte n te le g ra p hs th at w e h av e m ad e u p o ur m in ds to
move fo rw ard . O ne h as to b e c are fu l, if sittin g a t a ta b le o r d esk th at is
narro w , n ot to in tim id ate th e n eg otia tin g p artn er b y le an in g to o f a r f o rw ard .
If n eg otia tin g w ith a te am , m ak e s u re e v ery one is s ittin g
in th e s a m e w ay,
an d th at eag ern ess to co nced e is n ot b etr a y ed b y so m eo ne o n th e te am
sittin g f o rw ard b efo re i t i s t im e t o m ak e i t g en era lly k now n.
337
.
TU RNIN G A W AY /V EN TR AL D EN IA L
—Our v en tr a l o r b elly sid e is o ne o f th e
most v uln era b le p la ces o n th e b ody. W e w ill tu rn it a w ay f ro m o th ers w hen
we d on’t lik e th em , th ey m ak e u s u neasy , o r w e d on’t lik e w hat th ey s a y.
Upon m eetin g s o m eo ne y ou d on’t c are fo r, y our fa cia l g re etin g m ig ht b e
frie n dly but your belly w ill su bco nsc io usly sh if t aw ay — what is calle d

ven tr a l d en ia l
—in e sse n ce d en yin g th at p ers o n y our m ost v uln era b le s id e.
This c an e v en t a k e p la ce a m ong f rie n ds i f s o m eth in g d is a g re eab le i s s a id . A
good w ay t o r e m em ber t h is : “ B elly a w ay d on’t w an t y ou t o s ta y ; b elly a w ay
don’t l ik e w hat y ou s a y.”
338
.
BELLY /V EN TR AL F R O NTIN G
—When w e lik e s o m eo ne, w e w ill tu rn o ur b elly ,
or v en tr a l sid e, to w ard h er. W e c an se e th is b eh av io r e v en in in fa n ts . It
co m munic ate s th at a p ers o n is in te re ste d a n d fe els c o m fo rta b le . W hen w e
meet s o m eo ne w hile s ittin g d ow n, if w e lik e t h e p ers o n, w e w ill, o ver t im e,
re v eal o ur s h ould ers a n d to rs o to th at p ers o n a s w ell. I n s u m mary , w e s h ow
our g ra d ual i n te re st i n o th ers t h ro ugh v en tr a l f ro ntin g.
339
.
BELLY /V EN TR AL C O VER IN G
—The s u dden c o verin g o f th e b elly w ith o bje cts
su ch a s a p urs e o r b ook b ag
su ggests in se cu rity o r d is c o m fo rt w ith w hat is
bein g d is c u sse d . P eo ple w ill u se e v ery th in g f ro m p illo w s ( a c o uple a rg uin g
at h om e) to p ets to th eir o w n k nees to p ro te ct th eir v en tr a l s id e w hen th ey
fe el t h re ate n ed o r v uln era b le .
340
.
PO ST U RAL E C H OIN G (M IR RO RIN G )
—Our to rs o te n ds to e ch o th e p ostu re o f
th ose w ith w hom w e fe el co m fo rta b le ; th is is calle d
is o pra xis
. W hen
sta n din g w ith f rie n ds, p eo ple m ig ht f in d t h em se lv es m ir ro rin g o ne a n oth er’s
re la x ed p ostu re , a g ood s ig n th at p eo ple a re a t e ase to geth er. In d atin g w e
will s e e o ne p ers o n le an f o rw ard , a n d th e o th er, if c o m fo rta b le , m im ic k in g
th at beh av io r. M ir ro rin g su ggests ag re em en t in co nvers a tio n, m ood, or
te m pera m en t.
341
.
RIG ID S IT TIN G
—A p ers o n w ho sits v ery rig id ly w ith out m ovin g fo r lo ng
perio ds is u nderg oin g s tr e ss. T his is p art o f th e f re eze r e sp onse , o fte n s e en
in f o re n sic s e ttin gs, p olic e in te rv ie w s, a n d d ep ositio ns, w hen p eo ple a re s o
afra id , th ey c an ’t m ove. T he f re eze r e sp onse k ic k s in s u bco nsc io usly , a s if
th e p ers o n h as j u st c o nfro nte d a l io n. R ig id s ittin g i s n ot a s ig n o f d ecep tio n
but r a th er a n i n dic ato r o f p sy ch olo gic al d is c o m fo rt.
342
.
EJE C TIO N-S E AT E FFE C T
—A p ers o n in a s tr e ssfu l in te rv ie w o r w ho h as b een
accu se d o f s o m eth in g m ig ht s it in a c h air a s if re ad y to b e e je cte d fro m a
milita ry
je t, g rip pin g th e a rm re sts tig htly . T his , to o, is p art o f th e fre eze
re sp onse , a n d i n dic ate s d eep d is tr e ss o r f e elin g t h re ate n ed . W hat m ak es t h is
beh av io r sta n d o ut is h ow rig id th ese in div id uals lo ok, a s if h an gin g o n
meta p horic ally f o r d ear l if e .

343
.
MOVIN G C H AIR A W AY
—This i s a f o rm o f d is ta n cin g w hen l e an in g a w ay f ro m
oth ers is ju st n ot e n ough. L ite ra lly , th e p ers o n ju st m oves th e c h air f u rth er
an d fu rth er back or aw ay as if no one w ould notic e. I hav e se en
acrim onio us dis c u ssio ns in acad em ia where one pro fe sso r moved
co m ple te ly a w ay f ro m th e ta b le to th e c o rn er o f th e r o om n ear th e w in dow
—as if th is w ere so m eh ow norm al. T his beh av io r is m otiv ate d on a
su bco nsc io us le v el to p ro te ct o ne’s v en tr a l s id e th ro ugh d is ta n cin g fro m a
perc eiv ed t h re at, e v en i f t h e t h re at i s m ere w ord s o r i d eas.
344
.
BO DY S L O UCH IN G
—Slo uch in g p ro je cts r e la x atio n o r i n dif f e re n ce, d ep en din g
on co nte x t. It is a perc ep tio n-m an ag em en t te ch niq ue ofte n use d by
te en ag ers in d ealin g w ith th eir p are n ts to d em onstr a te th ey d on’t c are . In
an y f o rm al p ro fe ssio nal s e ttin g, s lo uch in g s h ould b e a v oid ed .
345
.
DO UBLIN G O VER
—Peo ple in e m otio nal tu rm oil m ig ht b en d fo rw ard a t th e
wais t w hile se ate d o r sta n din g, a s th ough e x perie n cin g in te stin al d is tr e ss.
Usu ally th ey d o
th is w ith th eir a rm s tu ck ed a cro ss th eir s to m ach . W e s e e
th is b eh av io r in h osp ita ls a n d a n ypla ce e ls e w here p eo ple m ig ht re ceiv e
esp ecia lly b ad o r s h ock in g n ew s.
346
.
FE TA L P O SIT IO N
—Under e x tr e m e p sy ch olo gic al str e ss p eo ple m ig ht e n te r
th e f e ta l p ositio n. T his i s s o m eti m es s e en d urin g i n te n se a rg um en ts b etw een
co uple s, w here o ne p artn er i s s o o verw helm ed w ith e m otio ns s h e w ill b rin g
her k nees u p a n d s it in th e fe ta l p ositio n— sile n t— to d eal w ith th e s tr e ss.
She m ig ht a ls o g ath er a p illo w o r so m e o th er o bje ct to h old a g ain st h er
belly (
se e # 339
).
347
.
BO DY C H IL L
—Str e ss can cau se in div id uals to fe el co ld in an oth erw is e
co m fo rta b le en vir o nm en t. T his is an au to nom ic re sp onse , in w hic h th e
blo od goes to th e la rg er m usc le s, aw ay fro m th e sk in , w hen w e are
th re ate n ed , s tr e sse d , o r a n xio us, t o p re p are u s t o e ith er r u n o r f ig ht.
348
.
DRESSIN G T H E T O RSO
—Becau se o ur t o rs o d is p la y s m ost o f o ur c lo th in g, i t i s
im porta n t to m en tio n here th at clo th in g co m munic ate s an d can giv e
ad van ta g es to th e w eare r. C lo th es o fte n se rv e to p ro je ct sta tu s w ith in a
cu ltu re . F ro m n am e b ra n ds to th e c o lo rs th at w e w ear, c lo th in g m ak es a
dif f e re n ce in h ow w e a re p erc eiv ed . It c an m ak e u s m ore su bm is siv e o r
more a u th orita ria n , o r it c an p ro pel u s in to th e jo b th at w e w an t. I t c an a ls o
co m munic ate w here w e a re fro m o r e v en w here w e a re g oin g a s w ell a s

what is su es w e m ig ht b e h av in g. In e v ery c u ltu re stu die d , c lo th es p la y a
sig nif ic an t ro le . It is o ne m ore th in g w e m ust co nsid er w hen w e asse ss
in div id uals t o d eco de i n fo rm atio n t h ey c o nvey a b out t h em se lv es.
349
.
BELLY CO VER IN G DURIN G PR EG NANCY
—Wom en ofte n co ver th eir
su pra ste rn al notc h or th ro at w ith a han d w hen th ey fe el co ncern ed or
in se cu re . B ut w hen th ey a re p re g nan t, th ey w ill o fte n r a is e th eir h an d a s if
to g o t o t h e n eck b ut t h en q uic k ly m ove i t t o c o ver t h eir b elly , s e em in gly t o
pro te ct t h eir f e tu s.
350
.
BELLY R UBBIN G
—Pre g nan t w om en w ill o fte n re p eate d ly ru b th eir b elly to
deal w ith d is c o m fo rt, b ut a ls o s u bco nsc io usly to p ro te ct th e f e tu s. B ecau se
it is a re p etitiv e ta ctile b eh av io r, it als o se rv es as a p acif ie r an d so m e
re se arc h ers s a y i t e v en h elp s t o r e le ase o xyto cin i n to t h e b lo odstr e am .

The H ip s, B utto ck s, a n d G en it a ls
A b ody-la n guag e g uid e m ust in clu de th e a re a b etw een th e n av el a n d th e to p o f
t h e le g s. O ur h ip s, a n gle d ju st r ig ht s o w e c an w alk o r r u n o n tw o le g s a t g re at
s p eed , g iv e u s s h ap e a n d fo rm , b ut th ey a ls o s a y s o m eth in g a b out u s— wheth er
t h at so m eth in g is ab out our re p ro ductiv e health or our se n su ality . A s th e
r e n ow ned zo olo gis t D esm ond M orris poin ts out in his book
Bodyw atc h in g,
t h ro ughout th e w orld th e h ip s an d b utto ck s se rv e to attr a ct an d en tic e. T he
e arlie st s c u lp tu re e v er d is c o vere d o f a w om an , th e V en us o f H ohle F els , u pw ard
o f 3 5,0 00 y ears o ld , is a m aste rp ie ce o f th e f e m ale f o rm , e m phasiz in g th e h ip s,
g en ita ls , a n d th e b utto ck s. S im ila r f ig urin es h av e b een f o und a ll o ver th e w orld ,
w hic h s p eak s to th e n atu ra l a ttr a ctio n w e h av e f o r th is a re a o f th e b ody. H ere is
a n o pportu nity to e x plo re w hat th is a re a o f th e b ody c an c o m munic ate to u s
b ey ond t h e o bvio us.
3 51
.
HIP /B U TTO CK S H IF T IN G
—Hip sw iv elin g o r b utto ck w ig glin g is a w ay o f
dealin g w ith s tr e ss, b ore d om , o r th e fa tig ue o f s ittin g in o ne p la ce. P eo ple
mig ht a ls o
do th is d urin g c o nte n tio us d eb ate s, e ith er w hen th eir e m otio ns
hav e b een rile d u p o r ju st a fte rw ard , a s a p ro cess o f c alm in g d ow n. Y ou
ra re ly s e e th is w ith c o uple s e arly o n in th eir re la tio nsh ip ; it te n ds to s h ow
up, i f a t a ll, d ow n t h e r o ad w hen t h ere a re i s su es b ein g d is c u sse d .
3 52
.
HIP R UBBIN G
—Under s tr e ss, p eo ple w ill ru b th e s id e o f th eir h ip s a n d le g s
as a p acif ie r. I t is a ls o u se d to d ry s w eaty h an ds w hen f e elin g n erv ous. Y ou
se e th is g estu re a s s tu den ts p re p are to ta k e a te st o r a s tr a v ele rs g o th ro ugh
cu sto m s.
3 53
.
HIP -T O RSO R O CK IN G
—In div id uals u nder p sy ch olo gic al d ure ss m ig ht ro ck
fo rw ard an d back w ard at th e hip s w hile sittin g. S ev ere str e ss, su ch as
witn essin g th e death of a lo ved one, w ill in itia te th is beh av io r, w hic h
pacif ie s w ith its re p etitiv e m otio n. Y ou m ig ht als o se e th is b eh av io r in
peo ple s u ff e rin g f ro m c erta in m en ta l d is o rd ers s u ch a s th ose o n th e a u tis m
sp ectr u m .
3 54
.
HIP S W AY IN G
—When b ore d , w e m ig ht f in d o urs e lv es s ta n din g a n d s w ay in g
our h ip s s id e to s id e, a s if c ra d lin g a n d ro ck in g a b ab y to s le ep . S w ay in g

our h ip s cau se s th e flu id an d h air s in o ur in ner ear to m ove, an d th at
se n sa tio n is v ery so oth in g. T his is d if f e re n t fro m h ip -to rs o ro ck in g (
se e
#353
), w hic h i s f o rw ard a n d b ack .
355
.
HIP -O UT D IS P L AY
—The hip s are use d by both m en an d w om en to get
notic ed , a s i n t h e f a m ous s ta tu e o f D av id b y M ic h ela n gelo , w here h e s ta n ds
co ntr a p posto , w ith one le g slig htly ben t, m ak in g his butto ck s m ore
pro m in en t a n d th us m ore a ttr a ctiv e. L arg er h ip s c an a ls o b e u se d to g arn er
atte n tio n— so m eth in g K im K ard ash ia n d oes w ith p rid e a n d r e g ula rity . H ip -
out d is p la y s a re u su ally s e en i n c o urts h ip b eh av io r t o i n vite n otic e. I n m an y
cu ltu re s th ro ughout th e w orld th e h ip s r e p re se n t y outh a n d f e rtility a n d a re
pro m in en tly d is p la y ed e sp ecia lly d urin g t h e c o urts h ip y ears .
356
.
GEN IT A L TO UCH IN G
—Teach ers ofte n re p ort how young boys, an d
so m etim es g ir ls , w ill to uch o r p ull a t th eir g en ita ls th ro ugh th eir c lo th in g.
This is q uite n atu ra l; th e g en ita ls c o nta in a n e x tr a o rd in ary n um ber o f n erv e
en din gs, w hic h , w hen to uch ed , n ot o nly s o oth e o r c alm c h ild re n , b ut fe els
ple asa n t. E ven tu ally k id s o utg ro w th is b eh av io r, a n d it is n ot u nusu al o r
an yth in g t o b e o verly c o ncern ed a b out.
357
.
CRO TC H G RABBIN G
—This beh av io r, m ad e fa m ous by M ic h ael Ja ck so n
while d an cin g, sh ock ed m an y w hen fir s t p erfo rm ed , y et to day it is q uite
co m mon in e n te rta in ers . T here a re m an y th eo rie s a s to w hy s o m e m en d o
th is : to g arn er atte n tio n, as a m an hood d is p la y, o r m ere ly to ad ju st fo r
co m fo rt. O n a d ult m ale s, it c an b e q uite d is tu rb in g if d one r e p etitiv ely a n d
at a c lo se
dis ta n ce su ch a s a n o ff ic e, a s w om en h av e re p orte d to m e. It
certa in ly s h ould b e a v oid ed i n p ublic .
358
.
GEN IT A L F R AM IN G
—Ofte n d one b y c o w boys in m ovie s o r in p hoto gra p hs,
th is is w here th e m an p la ces th e th um bs in sid e th e p an ts o r h ooks th em o n
his b elt a n d th e f in gers s tr a d dle th e c ro tc h a re a. G en ita l f ra m in g is u se d to
garn er a tte n tio n a n d s e rv es a s a m asc u lin e d is p la y. U su ally th e e lb ow s a re
th ru st o utw ard , m ak in g t h e m an l o ok b ig ger a n d a p pear t o ugher.
359
.
GEN IT A L C O VER IN G
—We m ig ht p la ce o ur h an ds to geth er o ver o ur g en ita ls
or c ro tc h in c erta in s itu atio ns— in e le v ato rs , fo r e x am ple , w here m en w ill
lo ok at th e n um bers o r th e d oor w hile d oin g so . T his b eh av io r can b e
eff e ctiv e i n d ealin g w ith s o cia l a n xie ty o r i f s o m eo ne i s s ta n din g t o o c lo se .

360
.
SIT TIN G K NEES F A R A PA RT
—Ofte n re fe rre d to as “m an sp re ad in g,” th is is
where a m an s its , o fte n o n p ublic tr a n sp orta tio n, w ith th e k nees fa r a p art.
This is c o nsid ere d ru de d ue to h ow m uch s p ace a p ers o n ta k es u p in th is
positio n, an d th e le ss-th an -d ip lo m atic d is p la y o f th e in ner le g s an d th e
cro tc h , a n d i t i s i n co nsid era te .

The L eg s
O ur le g s a re u niq ue in th e a n im al k in gdom a s th ey p oin t in w ard a t th e h ip s,
a llo w in g u s to w alk , r u n, s p rin t, c lim b, k ic k , h urtle , s w im , a n d b ic y cle . W e u se
o ur le g s f o r lo co m otio n, f o r p ro te ctio n, to e sta b lis h d om in an ce, a n d a s a s te ad y
a n ch or fo r o ur c h ild re n to h an g o n to w hen th ey a re n erv ous o r sh y. S in ew y,
l o ng, o r s to ck y, le g s a re a s v arie d a s th eir o w ners . O fte n ig nore d w hen it c o m es
t o n onverb als , th ey c an c o m munic ate e v ery th in g fro m e le g an ce to n erv ousn ess
t o j o y. A nd b ecau se o ur l e g s s e rv e a s a s u rv iv al t o ol— th ey c an h elp u s e sc ap e—
t h ey c an b e v ery h onest w hen i t c o m es t o h ow w e f e el a b out o th ers .
3 61
.
SPA T IA L D IS T A NCIN G
—The a n th ro polo gis t E dw ard T . H all c o in ed th e te rm
pro xem ic s
to desc rib e th e need all an im als hav e fo r pers o nal sp ace. If
so m eo ne s ta n ds t o o c lo se t o u s, w e a re u nco m fo rta b le . O ur s p atia l n eed s a re
base d on both cu ltu re an d pers o nal pre fe re n ce. M ost A m eric an s fe el
co m fo rta b le in p ublic s p aces a t a d is ta n ce o f 1 2 to 2 5 fe et fro m o th ers ; in
so cia l sp aces 4 to
12 fe et is pre fe rre d ; w hile our pers o nal sp ace is
co m fo rta b le a t a b out 1 .5 to 4 fe et. W hen it c o m es to o ur in tim ate sp ace,
an yth in g l e ss t h an a f o ot, w e a re v ery s e n sitiv e t o w ho g ets t h at c lo se . T hese
are o f c o urs e a p pro xim atio ns, a s it is d if f e re n t f o r e v ery one a n d v arie s w ith
cu ltu re , n atio nality , lo catio n, a n d e v en tim e o f d ay. A t n ig ht w e m ig ht n ot
fe el c o m fo rta b le w alk in g n ear a s tr a n ger w ho i s c lo se r t h an t e n f e et.
3 62
.
TER RIT O RIA L S T A NCE
—We u se o ur le g s a s a fo rm o f te rrito ria l d is p la y b y
how w e s ta n d. T he f u rth er a p art o ur f e et, th e g re ate r th e te rrito ria l d is p la y.
The b re ad th o f a p ers o n’s s ta n ce is te llin g: m ilita ry m en a n d p olic e o ff ic ers
te n d to sta n d w ith th eir fe et fa rth er ap art th an , sa y, acco unta n ts an d
en gin eers . T he sp re ad o f th e le g s tr a n sm its c le arly a se n se o f c o nfid en ce
an d a s u bco nsc io us c la im in g o f t e rrito ry .
3 63
.
TER RIT O RIA L C H ALLEN G E
—Durin g a heate d arg um en t a pers o n m ig ht
in te n tio nally in vad e y our p ers o nal sp ace, g ettin g ju st in ch es aw ay fro m
your fa ce (fig ura tiv ely “ in y our fa ce”), p uff in g o ut th e c h est, a n d g la rin g.
This v io la tio n o f sp ace se rv es to in tim id ate , a n d m ig ht b e a p re lu de to a
physic al a ssa u lt.

364
.
ANG LIN G T O T H E S ID E
—Most p eo ple p re fe r to ta lk to o th ers f ro m a s lig htly
an gle d p ositio n, r a th er th an d ir e ctly f a ce-to -fa ce. W hen c h ild re n f ir s t m eet,
th ey
usu ally a p pro ach e ach o th er a t a n gle s fo r a re aso n— th ey g et a b ette r
re cep tio n. I h av e f o und t h at w hen b usin essp eo ple s ta n d f a cin g e ach o th er a t
a s lig ht a n gle , th e a m ount o f tim e th ey s p en d to geth er in cre ase s. N ote th at
when t h ere i s a crim ony, i t i s a lw ay s b est t o s ta n d a n gle d s lig htly a w ay f ro m
th e o th er p ers o n a s t h is t e n ds t o h elp d if f u se n eg ativ e e m otio ns.
365
.
WALK IN G B EH AV IO RS
—The w ay w e w alk c o m munic ate s a lo t. S om e w alk s
are in te n tio nally s e x y (M arily n M onro e’s fo r e x am ple ), w hile o th ers s h ow
str e n gth an d dete rm in atio n (J o hn W ay ne’s ). S om e w alk s su ggest th at a
pers o n i s o n a n i m porta n t t a sk , w hile o th ers a re m ore r e la x ed a n d c asu al, o r
in te n ded t o g et a p ers o n n otic ed , l ik e J o hn T ra v olta ’s c h ara cte r’s w alk i n t h e
open in g s e q uen ce o f t h e m ovie
Satu rd ay N ig ht F ever
. A nd i t i s n ot j u st h ow
we w alk , so m etim es w e co m munic ate our in te re st in oth ers by how
fre q uen tly w e w alk b y t o g et a g ood l o ok o r t o g et n otic ed .
366
.
SE TTIN G P A CE D URIN G W ALK
—Whoev er s e ts th e w alk in g p ace in a g ro up is
usu ally th e p ers o n in c h arg e. W e w ill s p eed u p o r s lo w d ow n f o r th e m ost
se n io r p ers o n o r g ro up le ad er. E ven te en ag ers w ill d o th is , d efe rrin g to th e
most s o cia lly p ro m in en t o ne a m ong th em b y w alk in g a t th at p ers o n’s p ace.
This m ig ht m ean th e la st p ers o n in a g ro up is th e le ad er a n d is s e ttin g th e
pace t o w alk n o f a ste r. I n a n aly zin g g ro ups
re m em ber t h at i t i s n ot w ho i s i n
fro nt b ut r a th er w ho s e ts t h e p ace t h at i s i n c h arg e.
367
.
SIT TIN G B EH AV IO RS
—Each c u ltu re sits d if f e re n tly . In so m e p arts o f A sia ,
peo ple s q uat, b utto ck s l o w a n d k nees h ig h, w hile w aitin g f o r a b us. I n o th er
cu ltu re s, th e le g s a re in te rtw in ed a s y ou s it, a s G an dhi d id w hile w ork in g a
lo om . In E uro pe a n d e ls e w here , p eo ple o fte n s it w ith o ne le g d ra p ed o ver
th e o pposite k nee s o th at th e s o le p oin ts d ow nw ard . In A m eric a, y ou w ill
se e a c o m bin atio n o f s ittin g s ty le s, i n clu din g t h e f ig ure 4 , w here t h e a n kle i s
pla ced o n to p o f th e o pposite k nee, w ith th e f o ot n otic eab ly h ig h. W hen it
co m es to s ittin g b eh av io rs , it is im porta n t to fo llo w b oth lo cal c u sto m s a s
well a s t h ose o f y our h ost.
368
.
HOLD IN G LEG S TO GETH ER , SIT TIN G
—Our le v el of co nfid en ce is ofte n
re v eale d by how w e sit. Leg s th at su dden ly co m e to geth er su ggest
in se cu rity . In p art, o f c o urs e , th e w ay w e s it is c u ltu ra l, b ut s o m e p eo ple
will m ove th eir le g s w ith gre at re lia b ility dep en din g on how th ey fe el

em otio nally , re v ealin g th eir d eg re e o f s e lf -a ssu ra n ce. K eep in m in d th at in
man y p la ces, w om en w ill s it w ith th eir k nees to geth er a s a m atte r o f s o cia l
co nven tio n.
369
.
LEG S S P R EA DIN G A PA RT, S IT TIN G
—Leg s th at a re su dden ly se t w id er a p art
while s ittin g d urin g a n in
te rv ie w o r a c o n vers a tio n s u ggest g re ate r c o m fo rt
or c o nfid en ce. T his is a u niv ers a l te rrito ria l d is p la y ; th e fa rth er a p art th ey
are , th e m ore te rrito ry is b ein g c la im ed . T his b eh av io r is m ore p ro nounced
in m en .
370
.
ANK LES L O CK IN G
—While sittin g dow n, esp ecia lly in a fo rm al se ttin g,
peo ple w ill o fte n b rin g th eir a n kle s to geth er a n d in te rlo ck th em . I lo ok f o r
peo ple w ho s u dden ly p erfo rm th is g estu re w hen s o m eth in g c o ntr o vers ia l o r
dif f ic u lt is bein g dis c u sse d ; it usu ally sig nals th at th ey are re str a in in g
th em se lv es, e x pre ssin g re se rv atio n, o r s h ow in g h esita tio n o r p sy ch olo gic al
dis c o m fo rt.
371
.
ANK LES IN TER LO CK IN G A RO UND C H AIR L EG S
—In se cu rity , fe ar, o r c o ncern
will c au se s o m e p eo ple t o s u dden ly i n te rlo ck t h eir a n kle s a ro und t h e l e g s o f
a ch air. Som e peo ple , of co urs e , sit lik e th is ro utin ely . H ow ev er, th e
su dden ly in te rlo ck in g o f a n kle s a ro und th e c h air fo llo w in g a q uestio n, o r
while d is c u ssin g a se n sitiv e is su e, is a str o ng in dic ato r th at so m eth in g is
wro ng. I t’s p art o f t h e f re eze/s e lf -re str a in t r e sp onse .
372
.
KNEE C LA SP IN G , L EA NIN G B A CK
—A fir m knee cla sp can sig nif y th at a
pers o n is s e lf -re str a in in g. Y ou o fte n s e e th is a m ong n erv ous jo b a p plic an ts .
The f e et a re o n th e g ro und, th e k nees tig htly c la sp ed , a n d b ecau se o f s tr e ss,
th e p ers o n i s l e an in g b ack r a th er r ig id ly .
373
.
KNEE C LA SP IN G , L EA NIN G F O RW ARD
—When w e do th is fro m th e sittin g
positio n, h an ds o n k nees, le an in g f o rw ard , it u su ally m ean s w e a re r e ad y to
le av e. O fte n w e w ill a ls o a lig n th e f e et in th e s ta rte r’s p ositio n, o ne in f ro nt
of th e o th er. D o n ot d o th is in a m eetin g u nle ss y ou a re th e se n io r- m ost
pers o n; it is in su ltin g to s ig nal th at y ou w an t to le av e if s o m eo ne e ls e is in
ch arg e o r s u perio r t o y ou.
374
.
CRO SSIN G L EG A S B A RRIE R , S IT TIN G
—Cro ssin g a le g in s u ch a w ay th at it
acts a s a b arrie r w hile s ittin g— with th e k nee h ig h o ver th e o pposite le g —
su ggests t h at t h ere a re i s su es, r e se rv atio ns, o r s o cia l d is c o m fo rt. W heth er a t

hom e o r a t w ork , th is b eh av io r a ccu ra te ly re fle cts fe elin gs. Y ou o fte n s e e
th is o ccu r t h e i n sta n t a n u nco m fo rta b le t o pic i s b ro ught u p.
375
.
LEG D RAPIN G
—Subco nsc io usly , in div id uals w ho fe el c o nfid en t o r s u perio r
will d ra p e th eir le g o ver a d esk , c h air , o r o bje ct— ev en o th er p eo ple — as a
way o f e sta b lis h in g a t e rrito ria l c la im . S om e b osse s d o t h is r e g ula rly , s ittin g
in o ne c h air a n d d ra p in g t h eir l e g o ver a n oth er.
376
.
LEG R UBBIN G
—Rubbin g th e to ps o f o ur q uad ric ep s— a g estu re k now n a s a
le g c le a nse r
—work s to p acif y u s w hen w e a re u nder h ig h s tr e ss. I t c an b e
easy t o m is s, s in ce i t u su ally o ccu rs u nder a t a b le o r d esk .
377
.
KNEE R UBBIN G
—We se e re p eate d sc ra tc h in g o r ru bbin g o f th e are a ju st
ab ove th e k nee in p eo ple w ho a re fe elin g s tr e ss o r a n tic ip atin g s o m eth in g
ex citin g. L ik e m ost re p etitiv e b eh av io rs , it s e rv es to p acif y , a ssu ag in g th e
ex cite m en t o r t e n sio n.
378
.
ANK LE S C RAT C H IN G
—In te n se situ atio ns it is n ot u nusu al fo r a p ers o n to
sc ra tc h a t t h e a n kle s. I t s e rv es b oth t o r e lie v e s tr e ss a n d t o v en tila te t h e s k in .
We o fte n s e e th is in h ig h-s ta k es s itu atio ns s u ch a s a la rg e p ot in a p oker
gam e o r i n a f o re n sic i n te rv ie w w hen a d if f ic u lt q uestio n i s a sk ed .
379
.
KNEE F L EX IN G
—This b eh av io r is p erfo rm ed b y q uic k ly fle x in g th e k nees
fo rw ard w hile sta n din g, w hic h cau se s th e pers o n to sin k dow n ra th er
notic eab ly . U su ally t h e p ers o n i m med ia te ly r e co vers . T his i s a v ery j u ven ile
beh av io r, a lm ost a k in to th e b eg in nin gs o f a te m per ta n tr u m . I h av e s e en
gro w n m en d o t h is a t t h e c ar- re n ta l c o unte r w hen t o ld t h e c ar t h ey r e q ueste d
is n ot a v aila b le .
380
.
DRAG GIN G F E ET
—We o fte n se en ch ild re n d ra g th eir fe et b ack an d fo rth
while ta lk in g o r w aitin g fo r so m eth in g. T his is a re p etitiv e b eh av io r th at
help s th em c alm d ow n o r p ass id le tim e. A dults m ig ht d o it a s th ey a w ait
so m eo ne’s a rriv al. I t c an b e u se d t o m ask a n xie ty a n d i s a c o m mon b eh av io r
with s h y i n ex perie n ced p eo ple o n a f ir s t d ate .
381
.
ANK LE Q UIV ER IN G
—Som e p eo ple w hile s ta n din g w ill re p etitiv ely tw is t o r
quiv er t h eir f o ot t o t h e s id e a t t h e a n kle , i n a s h ow o f r e stle ssn ess, a g ita tio n,
an im osity , o r ir rita tio n. T his is v ery p erc ep tib le b ecau se th e s h ak in g c au se s
th e w hole b ody t o m ove.

382
.
KNEE-H IG H S E LF-H UG GIN G
—We o fte n s e e te en ag ers h ug th eir o w n le g s b y
brin gin g th e k nees u p to c h est le v el. T his c an b e v ery c o m fo rtin g a n d h elp s
th em e n jo y a m om en t a s th ey lis te n to m usic o r to h elp th em d eal w ith
em otio ns. I h av e a ls o s e en s o m e c rim in als d o th is w hile b ein g in te rv ie w ed
to h elp d eal w ith s tr e ss.
383
.
ST A NDIN G L EG C RO SSIN G (C O M FO RT)
—We cro ss our le g s w hile sta n din g
when w e a re a lo ne o r i f w e f e el c o m fo rta b le w ith t h e p eo ple a ro und u s. T he
min ute s o m eo ne c au se s u s th e s lig hte st p sy ch olo gic al d is c o m fo rt, w e w ill
uncro ss th e le g s in c ase w e n eed to q uic k ly d is ta n ce o r d efe n d o urs e lv es
fro m th e o ff e n din g p ers o n. Y ou m ay n otic e th is in e le v ato rs , w here a lo ne
rid er w ill u ncro ss t h e l e g s t h e m in ute a s tr a n ger e n te rs .
384
.
LEG K IC K IN G , S IT TIN G
—A le g c ro sse d o ver th e k nee th at g oes f ro m s h ak in g
or tw itc h in g ( re p etitiv e m ovem en t) to s u dden k ic k in g u p a n d d ow n a fte r a
questio n is a sk ed in dic ate s h ig h d is c o m fo rt w ith th e q uestio n.
This is n ot a
pacif ie r, u nle ss th e p ers o n d oes it a ll th e tim e. It is a s u bco nsc io us a ct o f
kic k in g a w ay s o m eth in g o bje ctio nab le . S udden le g k ic k s, in re sp onse to a
questio n or a sta te m en t, are usu ally asso cia te d w ith str o ng neg ativ e
fe elin gs.
385
.
JU M PIN G (J O Y)
—Positiv e e m otio ns d riv e th is g ra v ity -d efy in g b eh av io r th at
is d is p la y ed a ro und th e w orld . P rim ate s a ls o w ill ju m p fo r jo y, m uch lik e
hum an s d o, w hen th ey se n se th ey are ab out to g et a tr e at. O ur lim bic
sy ste m , th e em otio nal cen te r of th e bra in , dir e cts th is beh av io r
au to m atic ally , w hic h is w hy w hen a p la y er s c o re s a p oin t s p ecta to rs ju m p
up a ll a t o nce, w ith out b ein g t o ld t o .
386
.
UNCO OPE R AT IV E LEG S AND FE ET
—Child re n an d so m etim es ad ults w ill
pro te st w ith th eir fe et by dra g gin g th em , kic k in g, tw is tin g, or goin g
dorm an t tu rn in g th em se lv es in to a d ead w eig ht. C hild re n d o th is w hen th ey
re fu se to g o so m ep la ce th ey d on’t w an t to g o to a n d o fte n y ou w ill se e
ad ults p eacefu lly r e sis tin g a rre st d oin g th e s a m e. T heir le g s a re c le arly a n d
uneq uiv ocally d em onstr a tin g h ow t h ey t r u ly f e el a b out s o m eth in g.
387
.
LO SIN G O NE’S B A LA NCE
—There a re a n y n um ber o f m ed ic al c o nditio ns th at
can tr ig ger lo ss o f b ala n ce, in clu din g lo w b lo od p re ssu re , o r s o m eth in g s o
sim ple a s
gettin g u p to o q uic k ly . D ru gs a n d a lc o hol m ig ht a ls o p la y a r o le .
Age can b e a fa cto r as w ell. W hen w e se e so m eo ne su dden ly lo se h is

bala n ce, o ur f ir s t i n stin ct m ust b e t o a ssis t w here p ossib le . I t i s i m porta n t t o
note t h at w hen t h e e ld erly f a ll, i t c an h av e c ata str o phic c o nse q uen ces d ue t o
fra il b ones a n d s o i m med ia te a ctio n i s r e q uir e d .

The F eet
“ T he hum an fo ot is a m aste rp ie ce of en gin eerin g an d a w ork of art,” sa id
L eo nard o d a V in ci a fte r d ecad es o f d is se ctin g a n d stu dyin g th e h um an b ody.
T hough r e la tiv ely s m all c o m pare d w ith o th er p arts o f t h e b ody, t h e f e et c arry o ur
f u ll w eig ht an d are in valu ab le in se n sin g m otio n, v ib ra tio ns, h eat, co ld , an d
h um id ity . W e p ut m ore p re ssu re o n o ur f e et t h an o n a n y o th er p art o f o ur b odie s,
a n d w e p unis h th em w ith tig ht sh oes an d en dle ss jo urn ey s. S en sitiv e to th e
s lig hte st t o uch , t h ey c an b e v ery s e n su al— or t h ey c an b re ak a b ric k w ith a k ara te
k ic k . L ik e th e r e st o f th e b ody, th ey d o th eir in te n ded jo b e x quis ite ly , b ala n cin g
u s, a llo w in g u s to w alk a n d c lim b, b ut th ey a ls o c o m munic ate o ur fe elin gs a n d
i n te n tio ns a s w ell a s o ur f e ars .
3 88
.
FR O ZEN FE ET
—Feet th at su dden ly go “fla t” an d sto p m ovin g in dic ate
co ncern s or in se cu ritie s. W e te n d to fre eze m ovem en t w hen w e are
th re ate n ed o r w orrie d , a n e v olu tio nary re sp onse th at k eep s u s fro m b ein g
notic ed b y p re d ato rs .
3 89
.
FO OT W IT H DRAW IN G
—Durin g jo b in te rv ie w s, in te rv ie w ees w ill su dden ly
with dra w t h eir f e et a n d t u ck t h em i n u nder t h eir c h air s w hen t h ey a re a sk ed
se n sitiv e q uestio ns th ey m ig ht n ot lik e. T he m ovem en t is s o m etim es r a th er
notic eab le , c lo se ly fo llo w in g a q uestio n th at is d if f ic u lt to a n sw er, s u ch a s
“H av e y ou e v er b een f ir e d f ro m a jo b?” A t h om e, te en s m ig ht d o th is w hen
ask ed w here t h ey w ere t h e n ig ht b efo re .
3 90
.
PL AY IN G
FO OTSIE S
—When w e l ik e a n oth er p ers o n, o ur f e et w ill b e d ra w n t o
th em . W hen w e lik e th em ro m an tic ally , our fe et m ig ht m ove alm ost
su bco nsc io usly to w ard th eir s s o th at th ey c o m e in to c o nta ct. T his is w hy
you se e p eo ple p la y in g fo ots ie u nder th e ta b le in th e early sta g es o f a
re la tio nsh ip . T he p la y fu l to uch in g h as a n im porta n t r o le in c o nnectin g u s to
oth ers . N eu ro lo gic ally , w hen o ur f e et a re to uch ed , it r e g is te rs o n a s e n so ry
str ip a lo ng th e p arie ta l lo be o f th e b ra in , v ery c lo se to w here o ur g en ita ls
als o r e g is te r.
3 91
.
FO OT R O CK IN G
—This i s a n oth er r e p etitiv e b eh av io r t h at s e rv es t o p acif y u s.
We m ig ht d o t h is w hen w e’re w aitin g f o r s o m eo ne t o h urry u p— th e r o ck in g

sh if ts f ro m t h e h eels t o t h e t o es, b ack a n d f o rth . S in ce t h is e le v ate s u s a s w e
ro ck fo rw ard , it is als o so m ew hat of a gra v ity -d efy in g beh av io r. F oot
ro ck in g can b oth
alle v ia te b ore d om an d d em onstr a te th at a p ers o n is in
ch arg e.
392
.
FO OT T U RNIN G A W AY
—When w e’re ta lk in g to so m eo ne, w e m ig ht sig nal
th at w e n eed t o l e av e b y g ra d ually o r s u dden ly p oin tin g o ne f o ot t o w ard t h e
door. T his is o ur n onverb al w ay o f c o m munic atin g “ I h av e to g o.” I t is a n
in te n tio n c u e,
a n d if th e p ers o n w e’re ta lk in g to ig nore s it, w e c an b eco m e
very i r rita te d . B e m in dfu l o f o th ers , a n d r e co gniz e t h at w hen t h eir f o ot t u rn s
aw ay, c h an ces a re t h ey h av e t o g o.
393
.
FE ET T U RNIN G A W AY
—When w e a re in th e p re se n ce o f s o m eo ne w e d is lik e,
it is n ot u nusu al f o r o ur f e et to tu rn to geth er to w ard th e d oor o r a w ay f ro m
th at p ers o n. I n w atc h in g ju rie s o ver th e y ears , I h av e n ote d th at ju ro rs o fte n
tu rn th eir fe et to w ard th e ju ry ro om th e in sta n t a w itn ess o r a tto rn ey th ey
dis lik e b eg in s to s p eak . A t p artie s, y ou m ig ht s e e tw o p eo ple lo ok a t e ach
oth er an d ev en ex ch an ge a so cia l sm ile w hile th eir fe et w ill tu rn aw ay,
in dic atin g t h eir m utu al d is lik e.
394
.
TO ES P O IN TIN G I N W ARD/P IG EO N T O ES
—Som e p eo ple tu rn th eir to es in w ard
(s o m etim es calle d “p ig eo n to es” ) when th ey are in se cu re , sh y, or
in tr o verte d , o r w hen th ey f e el p artic u la rly v uln era b le . T his
beh av io r, w hic h
is g en era lly se en in c h ild re n b ut a ls o in so m e a d ults , d em onstr a te s so m e
so rt o f e m otio nal n eed o r a p pre h en sio n.
395
.
TO ES PO IN TIN G UP
—Occasio nally , when so m eo ne is en gag ed in
co nvers a tio n, e ith er in p ers o n o r o ver th e p hone, y ou w ill s e e th e to es o f
one fo ot p oin t u p, a t a n a n gle , w ith th e h eel fir m to th e g ro und. T his is a
gra vity -d efy in g beh avio r,
whic h is usu ally asso cia te d with positiv e
em otio ns. W hen g ood frie n ds ru n in to e ach o th er, y ou w ill a ls o se e th is
beh av io r a s t h ey t a lk .
396
.
EX PO SIN G SO LES O F FE ET
—In m an y parts of th e w orld , esp ecia lly th e
Mid dle E ast, A fric a, a n d p arts o f A sia , d is p la y in g th e s o le o f o ne’s f o ot o r
sh oe is in su ltin g. W hen tr a v elin g a b ro ad , b e c are fu l h ow y ou s it— re stin g
th e a n kle o n a k nee e x pose s y our so le s. It is u su ally p re fe ra b le to e ith er
keep b oth f e et o n th e g ro und o r to d ra p e o ne le g o ver th e o pposite k nee s o
th at t h e s o le i s p oin tin g d ow nw ard .

397
.
BO UNCY H APPY F E ET
—We s o m etim es r e g is te r a n e m otio nal h ig h w ith h ap py
fe et— th e f e et a re a n im ate d a n d ju m py. T his is c erta in ly v is ib le in c h ild re n ,
when y ou te ll th em y ou’re ta k in g th em to a th em e p ark , fo r e x am ple . B ut
we a ls o s e e it in a d ults . P oker p la y ers , f o r in sta n ce, m ig ht b ounce th eir f e et
under
th e ta b le w hen th ey h av e a m onste r h an d. W hile th e f e et th em se lv es
mig ht n ot b e v is ib le , o fte n th ey w ill c au se th e c lo th in g to s h ak e o r tr e m ble
all t h e w ay u p t o t h e s h ould ers .
398
.
FO OT T A PPIN G
—This is a fa m ilia r b eh av io r u se d to p ass th e tim e, to k eep
te m po w ith m usic , or, lik e fin ger str u m min g, to in dic ate th at w e are
beco m in g i m patie n t. U su ally j u st t h e f ro nt o f t h e f o ot i s i n volv ed , w hile t h e
heel r e m ain s g ro unded , b ut i t c an a ls o b e d one w ith t h e h eel o f t h e f o ot.
399
.
TO E W IG GLIN G
—Ever fin d y ours e lf w ig glin g y our to es? C han ces a re y ou
were fe elin g good ab out so m eth in g, ex cite d , or eag erly an tic ip atin g an
ev en t. T he m ovem en t o f th e to es stim ula te s n erv es th at h elp to a lle v ia te
bore d om o r s tr e ss a n d c an s ig nal e x cite m en t in m uch th e w ay h ap py fe et
do.
400
.
AG IT A T ED F E ET
—Every p are n t re co gniz es th e a g ita te d fe et o f a c h ild w ho
wan ts to le av e th e ta b le to g o p la y. O fte n o ur fe et w ill te le g ra p h th at w e
wan t to le av e, ev en in a board ro om fu ll of ad ults , th ro ugh ex cessiv e
unco m fo rta b le movem en ts . These mig ht in clu de re p etitiv e sh if tin g,
movem en t fro m sid e to sid e, fo ot w ith dra w al, o r re p etitiv ely ra is in g a n d
lo w erin g t h e h eels o f t h e f e et.
401
.
NER V O US P A CIN G
—Man y p eo ple w ill p ace w hen th ey a re s tr e sse d . T his a cts
as a p acif ie r, a s a ll r e p etitiv e b eh av io rs d o.
402
.
LEG S A S IN DIC AT O RS O F D ESIR ES
—Our le g s o fte n s ig nal w hen w e w an t to
get c lo se r to s o m eth in g o r s o m eo ne. L eg s a n d fe et w ill g ra v ita te to w ard a
sto re w in dow d is p la y in g c an dy, o r a p ers o n w e a re in te re ste d in . O r w e
mig ht le an a w ay a s if to le av e b ut o ur le g s r e m ain f ro zen in p la ce b ecau se
we l ik e t h e p ers o n w e a re w ith .
403
.
LEG T A NTR UM S
—These a re m ost o fte n se en in c h ild re n w hen th ey tw is t,
move, a n d e n erg etic ally s to m p th eir le g s, le ttin g e v ery one k now h ow th ey
fe el. A nd it’s n ot ju st c h ild re n , f ro m tim e to tim e y ou w ill s e e a d ults d o th e
sa m e, as I d id w hen an ex ecu tiv e w as b um ped fro m a flig ht. T his is a

re m in der t h at t h e l e g s a ls o d em onstr a te e m otio ns, a n d b ecau se t h ese a re t h e
la rg est m usc le s i n t h e b ody, t h ey d o s o w ith m ax im um e ff e ct.
404
.
FO OT S T O M PIN G
—Child re n a re n ot th e o nly o nes w ho sto m p th eir fe et to
mak e th eir f e elin gs k now n. W e o fte n s e e th is w hen p eo ple a re e x asp era te d
or th ey h av e re ach ed th e lim it o f th eir p atie n ce. I’v e o bse rv ed m en a n d
wom en s to m pin g t h eir f e et i n l in es t h at m ove t o o s lo w ly . U su ally t h e f o ot i s
only s to m ped o nce, j u st t o g et n otic ed .
405
.
SO CK P U LLIN G
—Str e ss w ill cau se sk in te m pera tu re to ris e quic k ly . F or
man y p eo ple , t h eir f e et a n d l o w er l e g s b eco m e u nco m fo rta b ly w arm . W hen
str e sse d , th ey w ill ven tila te th eir an kle s by pullin g on th eir so ck s,
so m etim es re p eate d ly . T his is a n o fte n u nnotic ed b eh av io r th at sig nals a
hig h d eg re e o f p sy ch olo gic al d is c o m fo rt.
406
.
SH OE D ANG LE
—When so m e peo ple , esp ecia lly w om en , are co m fo rta b le
aro und o th ers , t h ey w ill d an gle t h eir s h oe n ear t h e i n ste p o f t h e f o ot. T his i s
ofte n s e en in d atin g s itu atio ns. T he s h oe w ill b e s lip ped b ack o n th e v ery
in sta n t a w om an fe els u nco m fo rta b le o r n o lo nger lik es w hat th e o th er
pers o n i s s a y in g.
407
.
GEN ER AL F O OT A ND L EG A G IT A T IO N
—A p ers o n m ay p re se n t in a n a g ita te d
sta te w here in th eir f e et a re r e stle ss a n d th ey s h if t o r p ace, r a cin g to a n d f ro
se em in gly w ith out p urp ose . T his m ig ht b e b ecau se o f a d ia g nosa b le e v en t,
su ch a s a n a lle rg ic r e actio n to a d ru g, illic it d ru g u se , s h ock a fte r a tr a g ed y,
or a p an ic a tta ck . C oncu rre n tly , th ey m ig ht d is p la y c le n ch ed fis ts , fid gety
han ds, so m e lip b itin g, a n d e v en e y e tw itc h in g. T his g en era liz ed sta te o f
ag ita tio n is a n o nverb al s ig nal th at s o m eth in g is w ro ng a n d th e p ers o n is
str u gglin g to d eal w ith it. M ed ic al a ssis ta n ce o r p sy ch olo gic al c o unse lin g
mig ht b e n eed ed . D on’t e x pect th e p ers o n e x perie n cin g s u ch a g ita tio n to b e
ab le t o s p eak o r t h in k c o here n tly a t a m om en t l ik e t h is .

Con clu sio n
M y h ope f o r th is b ook is th at it w ill o pen y our e y es to th e w orld a ro und y ou, to
h elp y ou u nders ta n d a n d a p pre cia te o th ers th ro ugh th is u nsp oken la n guag e w e
c all n onverb als . B ut r e ad in g a b out it is o nly th e f ir s t s te p . N ow c o m es th e m ore
i n te re stin g p art: lo okin g fo r a n d te stin g w hat y ou h av e le arn ed . B y v erif y in g
t h ese o bse rv atio ns o n y our o w n, “ in th e f ie ld ,” e v ery d ay, y ou w ill d ev elo p y our
o w n s k ill s e t f o r d eco din g h um an b eh av io r. T he m ore y ou s tu dy a n d v erif y , th e
e asie r i t b eco m es, a n d y ou w ill c o m e t o i m med ia te ly n otic e s ig ns o th ers m is s.
We h um an s a re a ll in th e p eo ple b usin ess. T o b e a ttu ned to o th ers is to c are .
L ead ers h ip is a ll a b out u nders ta n din g a n d c o m munic atin g, a n d b ody la n guag e is
a k ey p ie ce o f th at. E ff e ctiv e le ad ers lis te n a n d tr a n sm it o n tw o c h an nels : th e
v erb al a n d th e n onverb al. A nd e v en th ough o ur w orld is b eco m in g in cre asin gly
d ig itiz ed an d dep ers o naliz ed , fa ce-to -fa ce co nta ct is still ex tr a o rd in arily
i m porta n t in b uild in g r e la tio nsh ip s, e sta b lis h in g tr u st a n d r a p port, u nders ta n din g
o th ers , a n d r e la tin g e m path etic ally . T ech nolo gy h as its
use s— it h elp ed m e w rite
t h is b ook— but it h as lim ita tio ns w hen it c o m es to se le ctin g a b est frie n d o r
s o m eo ne to sp en d y our lif e w ith . T he n onverb al c u es w e g iv e, a n d th ose w e
n otic e i n o th ers , m atte r s ig nif ic an tly .
Of c o urs e , n o b ook c an e n co m pass a ll o f h um an b eh av io r. O th ers w ill f o cu s
o n d if f e re n t b eh av io rs an d co ntr ib ute to o ur k now le d ge b ey ond m y sc o pe—
p erh ap s o ne d ay it w ill b e y ou. It h as b een m y in te n t alw ay s to sh are m y
k now le d ge an d ex perie n ces w ith o th ers , an d d oin g so h as b ro ught m e g re at
h ap pin ess. I h ope y ou a ls o w ill sh are w ith o th ers w hat y ou’v e le arn ed a b out
b ody la n guag e a n d n onverb al c o m munic atio n. M ay y our lif e b e a s e n ric h ed a s
m in e h as b een , le arn in g ab out w hy w e d o th e th in gs w e d o. It h as b een an
i n te re stin g r id e. T han k y ou f o r s h arin g i t.

Ack now le d gm en ts
I b eg in e ach jo urn ey in to w ritin g fu lly a w are a n d m in dfu l th at s o m an y p eo ple
h av e h elp ed m e alo ng th e w ay an d n ot ju st in w ritin g. M ost w ill n ev er b e
r e co gniz ed b ecau se I h av e lo ng f o rg otte n th e n am e o f a te ach er w ho a n sw ere d a
q uestio n, o r th e n eig hbor w ho s h are d a lu nch , o r th e c o ach w ho ta u ght m e to
d is c ip lin e m y f o cu s. I h av e f o rg otte n th eir n am es b ut n ot th eir a cts o f k in dness.
N or h av e I fo rg otte n th e c o untle ss p eo ple a ll o ver th e w orld , fro m B eijin g to
B uch are st, w ho h av e h onore d m e b y b uyin g m y b ooks, fo llo w in g m e o n s o cia l
m ed ia , a n d e n co ura g in g m e t o w rite . A h earty t h an k-y ou.
To A sh le ig h R ose D in gw all, th an k y ou fo r y our a ssis ta n ce in re ad in g th e
m an usc rip t a n d fo r y our v alu ab le su ggestio ns. T o th e m en a n d w om en o f th e
F B I, esp ecia lly th ose in th e pre p ublic atio n re v ie w unit, th an k you fo r your
t ir e le ss a ssis ta n ce a lw ay s.
Willia m M orro w is p re se n tly h om e to f o ur o f m y b ooks p re cis e ly b ecau se o f
p eo ple lik e p ublis h er L ia te S te h lik a n d th e w onderfu l te am w ho w ork ed o n th is
p ro je ct i n
clu din g R yan C urry , B ia n ca F lo re s, L ex M au dlin , a n d p ro ductio n e d ito r
J u lia M eltz er. To m y ed ito r at W illia m M orro w , Nic k Am phle tt, who
c h am pio ned t h is p ro je ct, e x pertly g uid in g i t t h ro ugh i ts m an y p aces, I h av e m ore
t h an g ra titu de. N ic k , y ou w ere m ost k in d a n d g en ero us w ith y our tim e, y our
i d eas, a n d th e e d itin g p ro cess. Y ou a n d y our c o lle ag ues c o lle ctiv ely m ad e th is
w ork p ossib le a n d I t h an k y ou.
To m y dear frie n d an d lite ra ry ag en t S te v e R oss, dir e cto r of th e B ook
D iv is io n a t th e A bra m s A rtis t A gen cy, y ou h av e m y m ost p ro fo und g ra titu de.
S te v e is th e k in d o f a g en t m ost w rite rs w is h th ey h ad b ecau se h e lis te n s, h e
c are s, h e c o unse ls , a n d h e g ets t h in gs d one. S te v e, y ou a re u niq ue. T han k y ou f o r
y our g uid an ce a n d l e ad ers h ip w hen i t w as n eed ed t h e m ost. A b ig t h an k-y ou a ls o
g oes o ut to y our co lle ag ues D av id D oerre r an d M ad is o n D ettlin ger fo r th eir
a ssis ta n ce o n t h is a n d o th er p ro je cts .
I w ould n ot b e h ere w ritin g i f n ot f o r m y f a m ily , w ho h av e a lw ay s s u pporte d
m e an d allo w ed m e to be cu rio us an d fo llo w m y ow n path le ss ta k en . T o
M aria n a a n d A lb ert, m y p are n ts , t h an k y ou f o r a ll t h e s a crif ic es y ou m ad e s o t h at

I c o uld tr iu m ph. T o m y s is te rs , M aria n ela a n d T erry , y our b ro th er lo ves y ou. T o
Ste p han ie , m y d au ghte r, y ou h av e th e lo velie st o f s o uls . T o J a n ic e H illa ry a n d
my fa m ily in L ondon, th an k y ou fo r y our e n co ura g em en t a n d u nders ta n din g—
alw ay s.
Lastly to m y w if e , T hry th , w ho is s o w onderfu lly s u pportiv e o f e v ery th in g I
do, but esp ecia lly of m y w rit in g—
th an k you. Fro m your kin dness I dra w
str e n gth a n d f ro m y our e n co ura g em en t I a sp ir e to b e b ette r in a ll th in gs. I a m a
fa r b ette r p ers o n s in ce y ou e n te re d m y l if e . Y our l o ve i s f e lt e ach d ay i n t h e m ost
im porta n t o f w ay s— by e v ery th in g y ou d o.

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In dex
T he p ag in atio n o f t h is d ig ita l e d itio n d oes n ot m atc h t h e p rin t e d itio n f ro m w hic h t h e i n dex w as c re ate d . T o
l o cate a s p ecif ic e n tr y , p le ase u se y our e b ook r e ad er’s s e arc h t o ols .
a bra zo ,
1 09
a ccep ta n ce, l o okin g f o r, 3 8–39
a cety lc h olin e,
9 9–100
a ctiv e l is te n in g, 4 4–45
a d orn m en ts .
See a ls o
c lo th in g; h ats
on c h eek s, 7 9
on e ars , 4 5
on e y es, 4 1–42
a ff ir m ativ e i n halin g, 5 4
a g gre ssiv e s ta re , 4 1
a g ita te d f e et, 1 71
a n glin g t o t h e s id e, 1 58–59
a n gry c h in p erc h in g, 8 8
a n gry e y es, 4 1
a n im ate d g estu re s, 1 1 0
a n kle q uiv erin g, 1 64
a n kle s c ra tc h in g, 1 63
a n kle s i n te rlo ck in g a ro und c h air l e g s, 1 61
a n kle s l o ck in g, 1 61
a n sw erin g, d ela y i n , 6 2
a p olo gy, s p eed in g t h ro ugh, 6 5–66
a rg um en ts
han d t h ru st t o f a ce, 1 27
in te rru ptiv e, 6 3
te rrito ria l c h alle n ge, 1 58
a rm s, t h e, 1 09–18
a rm c ro ssin g, 1 1 2–14
dis lik e, 1 1 3–14
hold in g w ris t, 1 1 4
massa g in g, 1 1 4
pro te ctio n, 1 1 3
se lf -re str a in t, 1 1 3
a rm h uggin g, 1 09, 1 1 2–13
a rm m otio ns, e rra tic , 1 42
a rm pit e x posin g, 1 1 2
a rm s a g ain st b ody, h an ds f le x ed , 1 1 0–11
a rm s a k im bo, 1 21–22
a rm s h eld b eh in d b ack , 1 11

arm s p re ad in g, 1 1 4
arm s s tif f e n in g, 1 11 –12
arth ritis , 1 1 9–20
ask an ce, l o okin g ( s id ew ay s), 3 8
au th orita tiv e p ose s, 1 07, 1 21–22
au to nom ic a ro usa l, 1 9, 4 4
bala n ce, l o ss o f, 1 65–66
barin g t e eth , 6 0
beard s tr o kin g, 8 8–89
beh in d b ack , a rm s h eld , 1 11
beh in d h ead , i n te rla ced f in gers , e lb ow s u p, 1 4–15
belly , t h e, 1 43–52
belly r u bbin g, 1 52
head s c ra tc h in g w ith , 1 4
belly /v en tr a l c o verin g, 1 48–49, 1 52
belly /v en tr a l f ro ntin g, 1 48
“b ir d ” f in ger, 1 32
bitin g
lip , 7 0
nails , 1 33
to ngue, 5 6
blin k r a te s, 2 9–30
blu sh in g
of n eck a n d f a ce, 1 01–2
of s k in o f e ar, 4 4
body c h ill, 1 51
body s lo uch in g, 1 50
Boto x, 1 8, 6 9
bouncy h ap py f e et, 1 70–71
bow in g, 1 08
bra in , 9 , 1 7, 1 9, 2 7, 2 8, 2 9, 9 7, 1 25, 1 29
bre ath h old in g, 5 4–55
bre ath in g
ch est h eav in g, r a p id , 1 43
sh allo w , f a st, 1 44
bru sh in g c h in w ith b ack o f h an d, 8 7
bru sh in g n ose , 5 0
“b unny n ose ,” 4 8
busin ess s u its , p ad ded s h ould ers , 1 05, 1 07
butto ck s, t h e, 1 53–56
butto ck s h if tin g, 1 53–54
cath artic e x halin g, 5 3–54
cath artic u tte ra n ces, 6 3–64
“cau lif lo w er e ars ,” 4 5
ch eek s, t h e, 7 9–82
puff in g o ut, 8 1
str u m min g f in gers o n, 8 0
to ngue i n , 5 8
ch eek f ra m in g, 8 0–81
ch eek m assa g in g, 8 0
ch eek s c ra tc h in g, 8 1–82

ch eek t o uch in g, 8 0, 8 1
ch eek w ip in g, 8 2
ch est, t h e, 1 43–52
palm o n, 1 45–46
pre ssin g o n, 1 44
re p etitiv e h an d r a k in g o f, 1 45
ch est h eav in g, r a p id b re ath in g, 1 43
ch ew in g g um , 5 5–56
ch ew in g t o ngue, 5 6
ch in , t h e, 8 5–90
ch in b ru sh in g w ith b ack o f h an d, 8 7
ch in c ra d lin g, 8 7–88
ch in d im plin g, 8 9
ch in d ro p w ith s h ould ers s lu m pin g, 8 6–87
ch in h id in g, 8 6
ch in -m usc le q uiv erin g, 8 9
ch in p erc h , 8 8
ch in p oin tin g, 9 0
ch in p oin tin g d ow n, 8 5–86
ch in s h if tin g, 8 8
ch in t o s h ould er, 8 9
ch in t o uch in g, 8 7
ch in u p, 8 5
ch in w ith dra w in g, 8 6
cla v ic le m assa g in g, 1 44
cla v ic le r u bbin g, 1 07
cle arin g o f t h ro at, 6 6
clo se d e y es, 3 3
fo r e m phasis , 3 3–34
ru bbin g b rid ge o f n ose , 3 4
clo se d f is t, m assa g in g, 1 34
clo th in g
busin ess s u its , p ad ded s h ould ers , 1 05, 1 07
clin gin g b eh av io rs , 1 31
dre ssin g t h e t o rs o , 1 51–52
pla y in g w ith , 9 9, 1 46
pre en in g, 1 37
pullin g t o v en tila te , 1 46
co gnitiv e l o ad,
2 1
co m pre ssin g l ip s.
See
l ip c o m pre ssin g
co nju gate l a te ra l e ye m ovem en t
( C LEM ), 3 5–36
co ughin g, 6 6
co verin g
of b elly , 1 48–49
of b elly , d urin g p re g nan cy, 1 52
of e y es, 3 4
of f o re h ead w ith h at, 2 1
of g en ita ls , 1 56
of n ose w ith b oth h an ds, 4 7–48
of s u pra ste rn al n otc h ( n eck d im ple ), 9 8
cra ck in g k nuck le s, 1 36
with i n te rla ced f in gers , 1 36–37

cra d lin g c h in , 8 7–88
crim pin g c o rn ers o f t h e m outh , 7 7
cro ssin g a rm s.
See
a rm c ro ssin g
cro ssin g l e g a s b arrie r, s ittin g, 1 62
cro ssin g s ta n din g l e g , 1 64
cro tc h g ra b bin g, 1 55–56
cry in g, 3 4–35
ch in -m usc le q uiv erin g, 8 9
fa tig ued e y es, 3 7
while c lu tc h in g o bje cts , 3 5
cu ltu re a n d b ody l a n guag e, 2 –3
cu rlin g f in gers , 1 38
dartin g
ey es, 3 5
to ngue, 6 0
de B eck er, G av in , 1 1 7
deco m pre ss l ip s, r e lu cta n ce t o , 7 2
dela y i n a n sw erin g, 6 2
dis g ust, 4 8, 4 9, 5 8, 7 7
dis m is siv e p re en in g, 1 37
dis ta n cin g, s p atia l (
pro xem ic s
), 1 57–58
dis ta n cin g f ro m o bje cts , 1 41
doublin g o ver, 1 50–51
dra g gin g f e et, 1 63
dra p in g l e g s, 1 62
dre ssin g t h e t o rs o , 1 51–52
dro p o f t h e j a w , 8 3
dry m outh , 5 5
Duch en ne s m ile ,
7 6
“d upin g d elig ht,” 9 4
ears , t h e, 4 3–45
ear f lu sh in g o r b lu sh in g, 4 4
ear l e an in g t o w ard s p eak er, 4 4
earlo be p ullin g o r m assa g in g, 4 3–44
ear o rn am en ta tio n, 4 5
eje ctio n-s e at e ff e ct, 1 49–50
Ekm an , P au l, 1 7, 7 6, 9 4, 1 32
ela tio n d is p la y s, 1 1 0–11
elb ow f le x in g, 1 1 5
elb ow o ut, h an d o n l e g , 1 38
elb ow s i n te rlo ck in g, 1 1 5–16
elb ow s n arro w in g, 1 1 5
elb ow s s p re ad in g o ut, 1 1 5
elb ow s u p, i n te rla ced f in gers b eh in d, 1 4–15
Elv is e ff e ct, 4 9
em otio nal a sy m metr y o f t h e f a ce, 9 3
em otio nal c h ir a lity ,
9 3
em phasis
clo se d e y es f o r, 3 3–34
elb ow f le x , 1 1 5
with h an ds, 1 31–32

usin g f in ger a s b ato n, 1 33
erra tic a rm a n d h an d m otio ns, 1 42
ev olu tio n, 4 –5, 4 7, 6 7, 9 1, 9 8, 1 1 7, 1 67
ex cessiv e s w eatin g, 1 1 7
ex halin g
cath artic , 5 3–54
lo ud, s h ort, 5 3
ex posin g s o le s o f f e et, 1 70
ey es, t h e, 2 7–42
blin k r a te s, 2 9–30
blo ck in g b eh av io rs , 3 3, 3 4, 3 7
clo se d .
See
c lo se d e y es
co verin g o f, 3 4
gla zed , 3 8
quiv erin g u nder, 2 9
re la x ed , 2 8–29
ey e-a ccessin g c u es, 3 5–36
ey e a d orn m en t, 4 1–42
ey e a v oid an ce, 3 0–31
ey eb ro w s, t h e, 2 3–25
ey eb ro w a rc h in g
ch in t o w ard n eck , 2 5
hap py, 2 3–24
te n se , 2 4
ey eb ro w a sy m metr y , 2 5
ey eb ro w g re etin gs, 2 4
ey eb ro w n arro w in g/k nittin g, 2 5
ey e c o nta ct, 3 0–31
ey e-c o nta ct s e ek in g, 3 1–32
ey elid s f lu tte rin g, 3 6
ey elid t o uch in g, 3 7
ey e p oin tin g, 3 6
ey e-p oin tin g c lu ste r, 3 6–37
ey e r o llin g, 3 7
ey es d artin g, 3 5
ey es l o w ere d , 3 9
ey e s o ck et n arro w in g, 2 9
ey es w id en in g ( s tif f ), 4 1
fa ce, t h e, 9 1–95.
See a ls o
in div id ual e le m en ts o f f a ce
han d t h ru st t o , 1 27
fa ce a v oid an ce, 9 2
fa ce b lo ck in g, 9 2
fa ce i n c ro w d, o dd, 9 3–94
fa ce s h ie ld in g, 9 2
fa ce t o uch in g, 9 5
fa cia l d en tin g, 8 0, 8 2
fa cia l f lu sh in g/b lu sh in g, 1 01–2
fa cia l i n co ngru en ce, 9 3
fa cia l m assa g in g, 8 0
fa cia l t ic s, 7 9–80
fa ls e s m ile s, 7 6
fa r- o ff l o ok, 3 7

fa tig ued e y es, 3 7
“fe ar g rin ,” 6 0
fe et, t h e, 1 67–73
fe et a g ita tio n, 1 71
fe et d ra g gin g, 1 63
fe et t u rn in g a w ay, 1 69
fe ta l p ositio n, 1 51
fille r s o unds, 6 6
fin gers , t h e, 1 1 9–42
as b ato n, 1 33
giv in g t h e f in ger, 1 32
in te rla ced .
See
i n te rla ced f in gers
fin ger h old in g, 1 26
fin ger j a b bin g, 1 32–33
fin ger p oin tin g, 1 32
fin ger r u b, t e ep ee, 1 35
fin gers c lo se t o geth er, 1 29
fin gers c u rlin g, 1 38
fin ger s tr u m min g, 1 34
on c h eek , 8 0
fin gertip s t o l ip s, 7 0
fis t
hold in g i n f ro nt o f n eck , 1 00–101
massa g in g c lo se d , 1 34
sp eak er’s , 1 34–35
fla rin g n ostr ils , 5 1
fla sh in g e y eb ro w s ( h ap py), 2 3–24
fle x in g e lb ow s, 1 1 5
fle x in g k nees, 1 63
flic k in g n ails o n t e eth , 6 0
flip pin g h air , 1 2
flu sh in g
of n eck a n d f a ce, 1 01–2
of s k in o f e ar, 4 4
flu tte rin g e y elid s, 3 6
fo ot a n d l e g a g ita tio n, 1 73
fo ot r o ck in g, 1 68–69
fo ots ie s, 1 68
fo ot s to m pin g, 1 72
fo ot t a p pin g, 1 71
fo ot t u rn in g a w ay, 1 69
fo ot w ith dra w in g, 1 68
fo re h ead , t h e, 1 7–21
pre ssin g h an d o n, 2 0
fo re h ead f u rro w in g, 1 7–18
fo re h ead m assa g in g, 2 0
fo re h ead s w eatin g, 1 9
fo re h ead t e n sio n, 1 7–18
fo rw ard s ittin g, 1 47–48
fra m in g c h eek s, 8 0–81
fra m in g g en ita ls , 1 56
fre eze, f lig ht, f ig ht r e sp onse , 5 5, 1 49–50, 1 61

fre q uen cy o f t o uch , 1 20–21
fre q uen t b lin kin g, 3 0
fro zen f e et, 1 67
fu rn itu re , h old in g o n t o , 1 31
fu rro w in g
of t h e e y eb ro w s, 2 5
of t h e f o re h ead , 1 7–18
puzzle d l o ok, 2 0–21
gaze a n d s e n tim en ts , 3 2
gaze e n gag in g, 3 2
gaze s u perio rity , 3 1
gazin g v ers u s s ta rin g, 3 3
gen ita ls , t h e, 1 53–56
gen ita l c o verin g, 1 56
gen ita l f ra m in g, 1 56
gen ita l t o uch in g, 1 55
Giv en s, D av id , 2 , 1 0, 8 9
giv in g t h e f in ger, 1 32
gla b ella , 2 5
gla zed e y es, 3 8
goose b um ps, 1 1 6
gra b bin g t h e c ro tc h , 1 55–56
gre etin gs, 1 38–40
ey eb ro w , 2 4
han d s h ak in g, 1 38–39
huggin g, 1 09
nam aste , 1 39–40
tu rn in g a w ay, 1 48
“g ro uper” m outh , 7 4
gum c h ew in g, 5 5–56
hair , 1 0
pla y in g w ith , 1 0–11 , 1 37
ru nnin g f in gers t h ro ugh, 1 1
ven tila tin g, 1 1 –12
hair e re ctio n (
pilo ere ctio n
), 1 1 7
hair f lip pin g/to uch in g, 1 2
hair p re en in g, 1 37
hair p ullin g, 1 2–13
Hall, E dw ard T ., 2 , 1 57
han ds, t h e, 1 1 9–42
as a n ch ors , 1 27
co nditio n o f, 1 1 9–20
jitte ry , 1 26–27
pre ssin g o n f o re h ead , 2 0
in r e ad y/a ctiv e p ositio n, 1 24
han d d is p la y s, t e rrito ria l, 1 22
han d e m phasis , 1 31–32
han d g ro om in g, 1 20
han d h old in g, 1 40
han d m otio ns, e rra tic , 1 42
han d o n l e g , e lb ow o ut, 1 38

han d r a k in g o f c h est, r e p etitiv e, 1 45
han d r e str ic tin g, 1 25–26
han dsh ak es, 1 21, 1 38–39
han ds i n p ock et, 1 34
han ds o n h ip s, a rm s a k im bo, 1 21–22
han ds o n p alm s, r u bbin g, 1 35
han d s te ep lin g, 1 23–24
han d t h ru st t o f a ce, 1 27
han d w rin gin g, 1 26
hap py e y eb ro w a rc h in g/f la sh in g, 2 3–24
hap py f e et, 1 70–71
hard s w allo w in g, 1 01
hats , 9 –10
co verin g f o re h ead w ith , 2 1
lif tin g ( v en tila tin g), 1 6
head , t h e, 9 –16
in te rla ced f in gers b eh in d, e lb ow s u p, 1 4–15
in te rla cin g f in gers o n t o p o f, 1 5–16
re ach in g f o r ( s tu pefie d ), 1 5
head a d orn m en ts , 9 –10
head n oddin g
aff ir m ativ e, 1 3
co ntr a d ic tio n, 1 3
head p attin g, b ack o f h ead , 1 3
head s c ra tc h in g, 1 4, 1 1 2
with t u m my r u bbin g, 1 4
head s tr o kin g, 1 4
head t ilts , 3 8, 5 0, 1 02–3, 1 06
hid in g c h in , 8 6
hip s, t h e, 1 53–56
hip /b utto ck s h if tin g, 1 53–54
hip -o ut d is p la y s, 1 55
hip r u bbin g, 1 54
hip s w ay in g, 1 54
hip -to rs o r o ck in g, 1 54
hold in g
fin gers , 1 26
fis t i n f ro nt o f n eck , 1 00–101
on t o f u rn itu re , 1 31
han ds, 1 40
sh ould ers h ig h, 1 06
hold in g n ose h ig h, 5 0
hold in g o f b re ath , 5 4–55
“h oodin g,” 1 5, 1 6
horrip ila tio n,
1 1 6
huggin g, 1 09.
See a ls o
s e lf -h uggin g
hyp ere m ia
( s k in b lu sh in g), 4 4, 1 01–2
in cessa n t t a lk in g, 6 4
in co ngru en ce, f a cia l, 9 3
in co ngru en t t a lk , 6 4–65
in decen t f in ger, 1 32
in dex f in ger t o n ose , 4 9–50

in halin g
aff ir m ativ e, 5 4
su ck in g i n a ir t h ro ugh c o rn ers o f m outh , 5 4
in su lts
ex posin g s o le s o f f e et, 1 70
han d t h ru st t o f a ce, 1 27
poin tin g a t f o re h ead , 2 0
to ngue, 5 8
in te n tio n c u es,
1 69
in te rla ced ( in te rla cin g) f in gers
beh in d h ead , e lb ow s u p, 1 4–15
knuck le c ra ck in g w ith , 1 36–37
modif ie d h an d s te ep lin g, 1 24
palm s u p o r p alm s d ow n, 1 35–36
te ep ee f in ger r u b, 1 35
th um bs d ow n, 1 28
th um bs u p, 1 28
on t o p o f h ead , 1 5–16
in te rlo ck in g e lb ow s, 1 1 5–16
in te rru ptiv e a rg um en ts , 6 3
is o pra xis ,
1 49
ja b bin g a f in ger, 1 32–33
ja w , t h e, 7 9, 8 2–83
ja w d is p la cem en t, 8 3
ja w d ro ppin g, 8 3
ja w j u ttin g, 8 3
ja w m usc le s p uls in g, 8 3
ja w s h if tin g, 8 3
ja w t e n sin g, 8 2
je w elr y , p la y in g w ith , 1 23
jitte ry h an ds, 1 26–27
jo y, 6 7, 7 5, 7 6, 1 11 , 1 65
ju m pin g ( jo y), 1 65
ju ttin g j a w , 8 3
ju ttin g t o ngue, 5 8
knee c la sp in g
le an in g b ack , 1 61
le an in g f o rw ard , 1 62
knee f le x in g, 1 63
knee-h ig h s e lf -h uggin g, 1 64
knee r u bbin g, 1 63
knittin g e y eb ro w s, 2 5
knuck le c ra ck in g, 1 36
with i n te rla ced f in gers , 1 36–37
kow to w in g, 1 08
la u ghte r, 6 7
“le ak ag e,” 9 3
le an in g a n e ar, 4 4
le an in g a w ay, 1 47
movin g c h air a w ay, 1 50

le an in g b ack , k nee c la sp in g, 1 61
le an in g f o rw ard , k nee c la sp in g, 1 62
le g s, t h e, 1 57–66
han d o n, e lb ow o ut, 1 38
as i n dic ato rs o f d esir e s, 1 72
ta p pin g s id es o f, 1 37
le g a g ita tio n, 1 73
le g c le an se r, 1 62
le g d ra p in g, 1 62
le g k ic k in g, s ittin g, 1 64–65
le g r u bbin g, 1 62
le g s s p re ad in g a p art, s ittin g, 1 60–61
le g s t o geth er, s ittin g, 1 60
le g t a n tr u m s, 1 72
lic k in g
lip s, 7 0–71
to ngue l ic k in g t e eth , 5 9
lif tin g h at, 1 6
lim bic s y ste m , 3 , 1 1 6, 1 29, 1 65
lip s, t h e, 6 9–78
fin gertip s t o , 7 0
th e O , 7 5
upsid e-d ow n, 7 3
with dra w in g, 7 2
lip b itin g, 7 0
lip c o m pre ssin g, 7 1
pulle d d ow n, 7 2
re lu cta n ce t o d eco m pre ss l ip s, 7 2
slig ht p re ssin g o f l ip s, 7 1–72
lip f u lln ess, 6 9
lip l ic k in g, 7 0–71
lip n arro w in g, 7 1
lip p lu ck in g, 7 0
lip p urs in g, 7 3–74
pulle d t o s id e, 7 4
lip q uiv erin g, 7 3
lip r is e , u pper, 7 7
lis te n in g, 4 4–45
lo ng s ta re , 4 0
lo okin g a sk an ce ( s id ew ay s), 3 8
lo okin g a t c eilin g o r s k y, 3 8
lo okin g a w ay, 3 9–40
lo okin g f o r a ccep ta n ce, 3 8–39
lo ss o f b ala n ce, 1 65–66
lo ud, s h ort e x halin g, 5 3
lo ud i n halin g, 5 4
lo w ere d e y es, 3 9
“m an sp re ad in g,” 1 56
massa g in g
arm c ro ssin g, 1 1 4
ch eek o r f a cia l, 8 0
cla v ic le , 1 44

clo se d f is t, 1 34
earlo be, 4 3–44
fo re h ead , 2 0
neck , 9 9
re p etitiv e h an d r a k in g o f c h est, 1 45
th um b, 1 28
vag us n erv e, 9 9–100
mir ro rin g, 1 49
modif ie d h an d s te ep lin g, 1 24
Morris , D esm ond, 2 , 1 53
mouth , t h e, 5 3–67
mouth o pen , j a w t o s id e, 7 5
mouth s tr e tc h in g, 5 6–57
movin g c h air a w ay, 1 50
musta ch e s tr o kin g, 8 8–89
nail b itin g, 1 33
nails , f lic k in g o n t e eth , 6 0
nails f lic k in g, 1 38
nam aste , 1 39–40
“n arc is sis tic s e re n ity ,” 9 4
narro w in g
of e lb ow s, 1 1 5
of e y eb ro w s, 2 5
of e y e s o ck et, 2 9
of l ip s, 7 1
neck , t h e, 9 7–103
hold in g f is t i n f ro nt o f, 1 00–101
neck d im ple , c o verin g o f, 9 8
neck e x posu re , 1 02–3
neck f lu sh in g/b lu sh in g, 1 01–2
neck la ce
cry in g w hile c lu tc h in g, 3 5
pla y in g w ith , 9 9
neck m assa g in g, 9 9
neck s tif f e n in g, 1 03
neck s tr e tc h in g, 1 01
neck t o uch in g, 9 7–98
neck v ein s p uls in g, 1 01
neck v en tila tin g, 1 00
need le t r a ck s, 1 1 8
nerv ous p acin g, 1 72
nerv ous s m ile s, 7 6
nerv ous w his tlin g, 6 6–67
nose , t h e, 4 7–52
co verin g w ith b oth h an ds, 4 7–48
hold in g h ig h, 5 0
in dex f in ger t o , 4 9–50
sn eak in g t o uch , 5 1–52
nose b ru sh in g, 5 0
nose i n halin g, r a p id , 5 2
nose t a p pin g/s ig nalin g, 5 0–51
nose t w itc h in g, 4 9

nose w rin klin g
unila te ra l, 4 8–49
upw ard ( d is g ust) , 4 8
nostr il f la rin g, 5 1
O, t h e, 7 5
obje ct p la cem en t, 1 23
obje cts
dis ta n cin g f ro m , 1 41
pla y in g w ith , 1 23
odd f a ce i n c ro w d, 9 3–94
OK s ig n, 1 40
th um b u p, 1 30
orie n ta tio n r e fle x ( O R), 1 2
out o f p la ce s m ir k ( “ d upin g d elig ht” ), 9 4
overe atin g, 5 7–58
oxyto cin , 1 21, 1 39, 1 52–53
pace d urin g w alk , 1 59–60
pacin g, n erv ous, 1 72
pad ded s h ould ers , 1 05, 1 07
palm o n c h est, 1 45–46
palm o ut, p la y in g w ith h air , 1 1
palm s-d ow n d is p la y s, 1 25
fin gers s p re ad , 1 25
in te rla ced f in gers , 1 35–36
palm s-u p d is p la y s, 1 24–25
in te rla ced f in gers , 1 35–36
pan ic a tta ck s, 1 44, 1 45, 1 73
pattin g
back o f h ead , 1 3
sh ould er, 1 21
pers p ir a tio n.
See
s w eatin g
philtr u m , p la y in g w ith , 5 1
pig eo n t o es, 1 69–70
pilo ere ctio n,
1 1 7
pin ch in g t h e c o rn ers o f t h e m outh , 8 2
pitc h o f v oic e, 6 1
pla y in g f o ots ie s, 1 68
pla y in g w ith a r in g, 1 41
pla y in g w ith h air , 1 0–11 , 1 37
pla y in g w ith n eck la ce, 9 9
pla y in g w ith o bje cts , 1 23
pla y in g w ith p hiltr u m , 5 1
pla y in g w ith s h ir t c o lla r, 9 9
pla y in g w ith z ip per, 1 46
plu ck in g l ip s, 7 0
poin tin g
ch in , 9 0
ey e-p oin tin g c lu ste r, 3 6–37
ey es, 3 6–37
a f in ger, 1 32
at f o re h ead , 2 0

politic ia n ’s t h um b, 1 40–41
postu ra l e ch oin g, 1 49
pre cis io n g rip , 1 41
pre en in g, 1 37
pre g nan cy ( p re g nan t w om en ), 1 52
“p re g nan t p au se ,” 6 2–63
pre ssin g h an d o n f o re h ead , 2 0
pre ssin g o n c h est, 1 44
pre ssin g t h e f le sh , 1 21
pro tr u din g t o ngue, 5 9
pro xem ic s,
1 57–58
puff in g o ut c h eek s, 8 1
pupil c o nstr ic tio n, 2 8
pupil d ila tio n, 2 7–28
purs in g l ip s, 7 3–74
pulle d t o s id e, 7 4
push in g a w ay f ro m t a b le , 1 22
puzzle d l o ok, 2 0–21
quic k s h ould er s h ru ggin g, 1 06–7
quiv erin g
an kle , 1 64
ch in -m usc le , 8 9
under e y es, 2 9
lip s, 7 3
ra is e d p alm t h ru st, 1 27
ra is e d t h um b.
See
t h um bs u p
ra is in g o ne s h ould er, 1 05–6
ra is in g s h ould ers w ith p alm s u p, h ead c an te d , 1 08
ra p id b re ath in g, 1 43, 1 44
ra p id n ose i n halin g, 5 2
re ach in g f o r h ead ( s tu pefie d ), 1 5
re cip ro cal t o uch in g, 1 30–31
re g al s ta n ce, 1 11
re la x ed e y es, 2 8–29
re lu cta n ce t o t o uch w ith p alm , 1 42
re p etitio n o f w ord s, 6 5
re p etitiv e h an d r a k in g o f c h est, 1 45
re str a in ed e la tio n, 1 1 0–11
rig id s ittin g, 1 49
rin g p la y in g, 1 41
ro ck in g f o ot, 1 68–69
ro gato ry h an d p ositio n, 1 24–25
ro llin g o f t h e e y es, 3 7
ru nnin g f in gers t h ro ugh h air , 1 1
sa d e y es, 3 9
sa d m outh , 7 4
sa liv a b alls o f m outh , 5 5
sc arre d e ars , 4 5
sc ra tc h in g
an kle , 1 63

ch eek , 8 1–82
head , 1 4, 1 1 2
knee, 1 63
se cu rity b la n kets , 1 31
se lf -h uggin g, 1 1 2–13
knee-h ig h, 1 64
se lf -in ju ry , 1 1 7–18
se lf -to uch in g, w hile a n sw erin g, 1 27
se n tim en ts a n d g aze, 3 2
se re n ity i n t u rm oil, 9 4
sh ak in g h an ds, 1 21, 1 38–39
sh allo w , f a st b re ath in g, 1 44
sh ie ld in g f a ce, 9 2
sh if tin g c h in , 8 8
sh if tin g h ip /b utto ck , 1 53–54
sh if tin g j a w , 8 3
sh ir t c o lla r
cry in g w hile c lu tc h in g, 3 5
pla y in g w ith , 9 9
sh oe d an gle , 1 73
sh ould ers , t h e, 1 05–8
ch in t o , 8 9
pattin g, 1 21
sh ould er i n te re st, 1 06
sh ould er r u bbin g, 1 07
sh ould er s h ru ggin g, 1 06–7
sh ould ers w id en in g, 1 07
sile n ce, 6 2–63
sittin g b eh av io rs , 1 47–50, 1 60–63, 1 64–65
sk in b lu sh in g, 4 4, 1 01–2
sk in p ullin g, 1 00
slig ht p re ssin g o f l ip s, 7 1–72
slo uch in g, 1 50
slu m ped s h ould ers , 1 05
ch in d ro p w ith , 8 6–87
sm ile s/s m ilin g, 7 5–77
sm ir k , o ut o f p la ce, 9 4
sm okin g, 5 7
sn eak in g a c h eek t o uch , 8 1
sn eak in g n ose t o uch , 5 1–52
so cia l s ta tu s, a n d t o uch , 1 21
so ck p ullin g, 1 73
so le s o f f e et, e x posin g, 1 70
sp atia l d is ta n cin g, 1 57–58
sp eak er’s f is t, 1 34–35
sp eed in g t h ro ugh c o m men ts , 6 5–66
sp eed o f r e sp onse , 6 5
sp eed o f t a lk in g, 6 4
sp re ad in g a p art l e g s, 1 56, 1 60–61
sp re ad in g o ut a rm s, 1 1 4
sp re ad in g o ut e lb ow s, 1 1 5
sq uin tin g, 4 0

slig ht, 4 0
sta m merin g, 6 2
sta n din g l e g c ro ssin g, 1 64
sta re , l o ng, 4 0
sta rin g a g gre ssiv ely , 4 1
sta rin g v ers u s g azin g, 3 3
sta rte r’s p ositio n, 1 62
ste ep lin g, h an d, 1 23–24
stif f e n in g
of a rm s, 1 11 –12
of n eck , 1 03
sto m pin g f o ot, 1 72
str e ss l in es, 1 9
str e tc h in g n eck , 1 01
str u m min g f in gers , 1 34
on c h eek , 8 0
stu ck -o ut t o ngue, 5 8
stu tte rin g, 6 2
su ck in g i n a ir t h ro ugh c o rn ers o f m outh , 5 4
su dden f a cia l t ic s, 7 9–80
su pra ste rn al n otc h , c o verin g o f, 9 8
su rro gate t o uch in g, 1 30–31
sw allo w in g, h ard , 1 01
sw ay in g h ip s, 1 54
sw eatin g
ex cessiv e, 1 1 7
fo re h ead , 1 9
han ds, 1 54
pla y in g w ith p hiltr u m , 5 1
ta lk /ta lk in g
an glin g t o t h e s id e, 1 58–59
cath artic u tte ra n ces, 6 3–64
co ughin g o r c le arin g o f t h ro at, 6 6
dela y i n a n sw erin g, 6 2
fille r s o unds, 6 6
fo ot t u rn in g a w ay, 1 69
gestu rin g w hile , 1 1 0
in cessa n t, 6 4
in co ngru en t, 6 4–65
in te rru ptiv e a rg um en ts , 6 3
pitc h o f v oic e, 6 1
politic ia n ’s t h um b, 1 40–41
re p etitio n o f w ord s, 6 5
sile n ce, 6 2–63
sp eak er’s f is t, 1 34–35
sp eed in g t h ro ugh c o m men ts , 6 5–66
sp eed o f, 6 4
sp eed o f r e sp onse , 6 5
stu tte rin g/s ta m merin g, 6 2
to es p oin tin g u p, 1 70
to ne o f v oic e, 6 1
tw o-h an ded p ush b ack , 1 33

upta lk , 6 1
usin g f in ger a s b ato n, 1 33
“ta lk t o t h e h an d,” 1 27
ta p pin g
fo ot, 1 71
nose , 5 0–51
sid es o f l e g s, 1 37
te eth , 6 0–61
te ep ee f in ger r u b, 1 35
te eth b arin g, 6 0
te eth t a p pin g, 6 0–61
te m ple v ein t h ro bbin g, 1 9
te n dere d h an dsh ak e, 1 39
te n se e y eb ro w a rc h in g, 2 4
te n sin g j a w , 8 2
te rrito ria l c h alle n ge, 1 58
te rrito ria l d is p la y s
th e a rm s, 1 1 4, 1 1 5
th e h an ds, 1 22, 1 27, 1 38
th e h ead , 1 5
th e l e g s, 1 58, 1 60–61, 1 62
te rrito ria l s ta n ce, 1 58
th ro at c le arin g, 5 6, 6 6
th ro bbin g t e m ple v ein , 1 9
th um b d is p la y s, 1 29–30
th um b m assa g in g, 1 28
th um b o ut, 1 29
th um bs d ow n, i n te rla ced f in gers , 1 28
th um bs u p, 1 29–30
in te rla ced f in gers , 1 28
OK s ig n, 1 30
th um b t w ir lin g, 1 28
th um b w ith dra w in g, 1 29
tic s
fa cia l, 7 9–80
vocal, 5 6
tie -k not t o uch in g, 9 8–99
to es p oin tin g i n w ard , 1 69–70
to es p oin tin g u p, 1 70
to e w ig glin g, 1 71
to ne o f v oic e, 6 1
to ngue b itin g/c h ew in g, 5 6
to ngue d artin g, 6 0
to ngue i n c h eek , 5 8
to ngue i n su lts , 5 8
to ngue j u ttin g, 5 8
to ngue l ic k in g t e eth , 5 9
to ngue p re ssin g a g ain st p ala te , 5 9
to ngue p ro tr u din g, 5 9
to ngue r u bbin g, u pper- lip , 7 8
to rs o , t h e, 1 43–52
tr ic h otillo m ania ,
1 2–13

tr iu m ph d is p la y s, 1 11
tr u e s m ile s, 7 6
tu m my, t h e.
See
b elly , t h e
tu rn in g a w ay, 1 48
fe et, 1 69
fo ot, 1 69
“tu rtle e ff e ct,” 1 06
tu t- tu ttin g, 6 7
tw id dlin g t h um bs, 1 28
tw itc h in g n ose , 4 9
tw o-h an ded p ush b ack , 1 33
unco opera tiv e l e g s a n d f e et, 1 65
unila te ra l n ose w rin klin g, 4 8–49
upper l ip r is e , 7 7
upper- lip t o ngue r u bbin g, 7 8
upsid e-d ow n l ip s, 7 3
upta lk , 6 1
vag us n erv e, m assa g in g, 9 9–100
ven tr a l c o verin g, 1 48–49
durin g p re g nan cy, 1 52
ven tr a l d en ia l,
1 48
ven tr a l f ro ntin g, 1 48
vocal t ic s, 5 6
voic e p itc h , 6 1
voic e t o ne, 6 1
Vrij, A ld ert, 1 25–26
“w ag gin g” f in ger, 1 33
walk in g b eh av io rs , 1 59
walk in g p ace, 1 59–60
What E very B O DY I s S ayin g
( N av arro ), 7 , 9 8
whis tlin g n erv ously , 6 6–67
wid en in g s h ould ers , 1 07
wig glin g t o es, 1 71
wip in g c h eek s, 8 2
with dra w in g
ch in , 8 6
fe et, 1 68
lip s, 7 2
th um b, 1 29
word r e p etitio n, 6 5
wrin gin g h an ds, 1 26
wris t b eh av io rs , 1 1 6
xero sto m ia ,
5 5
yaw nin g, 5 7
zip per, p la y in g w ith , 1 46

Abou t t h e A uth or
J O E N AVA RRO
h as s p en t a l if e tim e o bse rv in g o th ers . F or t w en ty -fiv e y ears , a s
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D is c o ver g re at a u th ors , e x clu siv e o ff e rs , a n d m ore a t
hc.c o m
.

Als o b y J oe N avarro
What E very B O DY I s S ayin g
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Louder T han W ord s
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© Anna
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