Body Language: The Arms and Legs

body-language-warning1Reading body language is like listening to someone.  Just because you understand the words they use doesn’t mean there won’t be any misunderstandings between you!  The body language signs you observe can have several different meanings – or none at all.  (Just like the words people say…)  Keep reading to discover more.

The Arms

– By the side and away from the body

–> could feel confident, strong

– Closed, crossed

–> could feel uninviting

–> could feel protective

– Touching someone’s arm

–> could indicate sympathy

–> could be a subtle invitation to trust or intimacy

Note:  Just as brushing someone’s hand (see Hands), research suggests that touching someone’s arm can make them more likely to trust you and like you.

The Legs

– Swagger (men), or discreet swishing hip walk (women)

–> could feel seductive, or indicate subtle flirting

– Crossed over the knee or at the ankle

–> could feel relaxed, but not completely at ease

Ankle crossing over the knee (mainly men)

–> could indicate confidence, arrogance or assertiveness

– Leg twine (women)


–> could indicate physical attraction

– Uncrossed legs, slightly open

–> may be inviting body language, open to communication

– Touching their thigh

–> usually unconsciously, could be a sign of attraction

(of course this does not apply if the person is walking or dancing)

– Hands in front of groin or chest area

–> closed pose, could feel protective, defensive, not at ease


The Feet

In a nutshell, our feet tend to point in the direction our mind wants to go.

– Jiggling or Tapping

–> could be nervous gesture or bored (this is not necessarily a sign of irritation as you might sometimes hear)

– Turned in your direction

–> could be interested in you

–> could be interested in what you are saying

– Turned towards the door

–> could indicate a lack of interest, impatient to get out (avoid this position when trying to make a good impression!)


Want To Know For Sure?

The Golden Rule of Reading Body Language:

Look for other signals with the same possible meaning – in different areas of their body or communication.


Because a body language signal by itself can mean many things.

To know which meaning is correct, you need to look at:

– Clusters of signs:  Other signals that could have the same meaning (at least 2 or 3)

– Context:  The context of the situation such as the environment, person’s habits, and topic of conversation.

These are 2 of the “5C Method” I recommend.  Join us to discover more:

Understand People and Attract More Appreciation – Click here to learn how.