What do hands in pockets symbolize?


From A for rejection to Z for affection

If we are opposed to a stimulus, we try to turn away from it and avoid it in the future. Disposing or pushing gestures that are carried out with an arm or leg have a negative and repellent effect. If your counterpart presses his lips tightly together and holds his head rigid, he will be negative about your statement or offer. The contraction of the eyes also appears distant. Other signals of rejection are a quick wink, tugging of the earlobe, knotted hands and rubbing the neck.

If someone invades our territory by keeping too little distance, we feel uncomfortable. Everyone has their own personal distance zone and the other's need for distance should also be respected (proxemics). Within our culture, a distance of about an arm's length is perceived as appropriate. The lateral position at a 45-degree angle enables a close, pleasant standing together already in the greeting phase. The need for distance is significantly lower when standing together to the side than when confronted directly and thus creates a trusting basis for discussion.

Defense can be the reaction to an outside influence that is negatively rejected. Raising the shoulders is used for self-defense, as it protects the neck. Crossing your arms or looking closed can also give the impression that you want to be on your own. Unintentional intrusion into the sphere of another (need for distance) also leads to a defensive reaction on the part of the harassed in order to interrupt the process of approach.

Aggression describes hostile, conflict-seeking behavior. The aggressive signals include threatening and imposing gestures. Responses to aggressive behavior can be attack, flight, or defense. Standing with your legs apart with your hands on your hips looks dominant and even aggressive.

Attack (attack)
Attack behavior is one of the aggressive behaviors. Here every movement is forward-looking and goal-oriented, you are ready to attack. Goals can be clarifying your own point of view, a new job or the implementation of an idea. Characteristic for these movements of pushing forward is the search for a secure stance that gives balance and thus strength. Open positions are characteristic in order to be able to act actively and powerfully.

Fear is a reaction to a situation that is perceived as threatening or dangerous. It is a feeling of oppression and oppression that is accompanied by physical symptoms (racing heart, dizziness, tremors). In the face of a potential source of danger, sensory perception is sharpened in order to be able to act quickly. Fear makes us withdraw within ourselves. The body cramps up full of tension and tries to take up as little space as possible. A typical fearful gesture is pulling your shoulders up to make yourself smaller. A fearful expression is accompanied by closed lips and frequent swallowing.

Antipathy is a temporary or permanent aversion to other people, which can be based on both instinctive feelings and unpleasant experiences. Often the body reacts by putting itself into a defensive position.

Arm posture
The position of our arms largely determines how ready we appear. If we keep our arms close to the body, we signal insecurity and anxiety. In addition, this attitude blocks us and our ability to act. If, on the other hand, we let our arms hang down loosely, we appear natural and confident. This is the ideal posture to be able to act or gesticulate at any time. A very energetic arm gesture can be observed in politicians and athletes: They stretch both arms in a V-shape in the air to present their victory in a particularly impressive way.

Arm barriers
Crossing your arms is a comfortable posture, but it has a repellent and negative effect. Crossing our arms not only has a negative and closed effect, but according to an American study it also reduces our ability to absorb by up to 38 percent.

Attention means increased alertness and awareness. A distinction is made between voluntary and involuntary attention. The involuntary A. is situational and rather passive, while the voluntary can be actively influenced.
An example of arbitrary attention is raising one's arm to wave greeting to someone. One sign of involuntary, i.e. uncontrolled, attention is bending the upper body forward during an interesting conversation.

Researchers found that with arms open, not folded, we can ingest up to 38 percent more. An open attitude is not only pleasant, it also increases our performance.

Sincerity, honesty and openness are characterized by open, relaxed movements and gestures. Direct eye contact is not avoided and the mouth is slightly open.

A large part of our facial expressions is conveyed through the eyes. The eyes are referred to as "the mirror of our soul" and in fact the expression of our eyes cannot hide our feelings and thoughts. The degree of eye opening allows conclusions to be drawn about our attention: open eyes indicate interest, contracted eyes indicate concentration. When we concentrate, our neck stiffens instantly so that we can focus our gaze on one point. Staring is often perceived as aggressive and threatening due to this fixation of goals. When you enjoy it, your eyes and pupils enlarge, which is why some poker players wear sunglasses.

Restless winking of the eye prevents longer eye contact and thus appears untrustworthy. In fact, more adrenaline is released while lying, resulting in increased eyelid beating.

Only the interplay of eyebrows and eyes can an (eye) expression become clear. When the eyes and eyebrows are squeezed together, our gaze is concentrated and focused; we seem skeptical. A simultaneous raising and lowering of the brows can be observed in people in grief and anger. An expression of joyful surprise and increased attention is the brief raising of the eyebrows, during which the eyes enlarge.

Anger is a slightly aggressive reaction to an event that is perceived as negative. The feeling of anger either subsides on its own or disappears after the cause has been removed. When we are upset, we raise our eyebrows together. The advancement of the lower jaw and a pinched mouth are also clear signs of irritation.

Anyone who tilts their head back and sticks their nose up appears arrogant and not very sympathetic. Sticking out the stomach and chest can also appear arrogant.

A positive effect can only be achieved if you appear authentic. Authenticity stands for credibility, authenticity and reliability. Those who are open and honest appear trustworthy and therefore personable.

Autoerotic gestures
Touching one's own body is one of the auto-erotic gestures. Women in particular often touch themselves during a flirt, for example on their necks or upper arms. This should draw the attention of the other person to the areas touched and (unconsciously) entice the man to touch them himself.

“Listen to your own gut feeling” and “Decide based on your gut” - These folk wisdoms use the stomach as a symbol for our intuition, inner voice and our subconscious. In fact, researchers found that people who rely on gut instinct more often make better decisions and are happier. If someone shows his upper body and stomach openly, he signals trust and self-confidence. If you protect your stomach with your arms, you set up a barrier and appear more closed. The soft stomach is a vulnerable area of ​​the body and is therefore protected in threatening situations.

The most common form of body language barrier is the so-called arm barrier. However, things in the vicinity such as notes, pens or lecterns can also be used as barriers. What all forms of barriers have in common is that they appear insecure and fearful.

Stroking your beard is a caring gesture that reveals the need for personal attention. If a difficult decision is to be made, this gesture is often carried out thoughtfully and unconsciously (concentration).

Bias is a feeling of insecurity in social situations that is often accompanied by self-doubt. Characteristic for this is a contracted posture, playing with accessories such as cufflinks or avoiding direct eye contact.

The greeting is the time of the first impression and thus largely determines the opinion that others develop of us. At the beginning of a greeting there is eye contact. An open look has a trusting effect (trust), while avoiding it appears shy and insecure. The first eye contact is usually followed by a handshake, at least in Europe and America. The right handshake is important to make a confident and confident impression. The greeting serves to demonstrate to the other one's own strength, position and emotional attitude and, in fact, too long eye contact still seems threatening and aggressive today.

We use our legs and feet to maintain contact with the ground and determine our stability. When standing optimally, the weight is evenly distributed on both legs. On the other hand, if you constantly change your mainstay, you seem restless and fleeting. Those who put their weight on the balls of their feet want to be active, while those who mainly stand on their heels tend to think about withdrawal. Those who cling to a leg while sitting appear insecure and fearful.

Touch and skin contact are irreplaceable for people and their development. Researchers found that every person instinctively strokes at a certain frequency (40 times per minute) and that touch stimuli cause feel-good hormones (well-being) to be released and stress hormones (stress) to be broken down. With one touch we penetrate the intimate area of ​​the other. Particularly during the encounter phase (greeting), touch should be used carefully so as not to hurt the other's need for distance and intimacy. Lovers (being in love) have an increased need to be touched.

Punishment gestures
Punishment gestures are carried out according to their name when one is resentful or doubtful to the interlocutor. Examples of this are hand-mouth reactions, tugging on the earlobe or scratching the neck.

Eye / contact
The length, type and intensity of the eye contact convey a clear message to our counterpart. Those who avoid eye contact seem to be hiding something. Frequent winking in the eye can prevent real, longer eye contact and is a sign that what has been said is not the full truth (lies). Closing the eyes also serves to break off eye contact, even if it is only brief. A very focused, direct look, on the other hand, is often perceived as aggressive and threatening (staring). A friendly look has a positive effect, especially when combined with a real smile. A restless look that changes direction leaves a searching and restless impression.

Rib cage
Dynamism and goal-orientation are particularly evident in the posture of the chest. If we are ready to take on tasks and to act energetically, we breathe actively and deeply. The lungs are full, the breath flows freely, and the chest is erect. This enables greater mobility and also relaxes the shoulders and arms. Shallow breathing, on the other hand, makes the chest appear sunken and the voice cannot develop. In this position, wide arm movements are impossible, which reinforces the impression of exhaustion and lack of energy.

The thumb is considered to be the most dominant finger. The thumb pointing up is a positive signal of approval or praise; the thumb pointing down has the opposite message. The origin of these gestures is controversial: there is a widespread opinion that the people of ancient Rome stretched their thumbs upwards during gladiator fights if the gladiator was allowed to survive and downwards if they were to die. Historians object, however, that the thumb pointing upwards is the symbol of the deadly sword and therefore has a very opposite message than was once assumed. In Australia and other parts of the world, this gesture is an insult and, like the so-called "Okay" sign (thumb and forefinger form an "O"), should be used with caution.

While thinking, many people stroke their chin, beard or put their index finger on their nostrils, seemingly lost in thought. For this reason, the index finger is called the "thinking finger".

Distance behavior

Distance zones
The distance between two people depends on their familiarity and interest in each other. There are three different distance zones:
1) The intimate zone is the space around us about an arm's length. We only allow very familiar people into it.
2) Our family members and friends have access to our personal zone / you zone, which extends up to a width of 1.20 meters.
3) In the social zone / you zone from 1.20 to 3 meters there are friends, colleagues or other people in our social life.

Thorn Bird Kiss
The thornbird kiss means the loving kiss on the forehead, which expresses less sexual desire and passion than respect and care.

Threatening and imposing gestures
Innate behavior in animals that indicates a competitor is ready to attack or defend himself. Parallels can also be found in human behavior: Verbal threats are usually accompanied by visual threatening behavior. Threatening behavior is often similar to showing off, but usually more pronounced. A narrowed look, on the other hand, is a typical characteristic of threatening, but not of imposing. What these gestures have in common are space-occupying, sweeping gestures or gestures that represent intentional movements for an attack. An example of this is the jerky grip on your own neck.

In body language, too, dominance shows up in the attempt to influence, direct or control others. The dominant lays a hand on the shoulder of the other in greeting. Dominant gestures are accompanied by direct, open eye contact.

Jealousy is a negative feeling that leads to distrust, control, and possession. The feeling of not receiving enough attention from a loved one, low self-esteem and fear of loss are common causes of jealousy.

If you put your elbows in your side, you signal willingness to conflict.

Empathy describes the ability to empathize with others and to understand others (emotionally).

Success describes the positive result when a desired goal is reached, whereby the level of success is less important than the expectations of yourself. So everyone can define for themselves what success is. Media and advertising convey a stereotype of the successful, to which many people adjust their own success scale / "success yardstick" instead of being guided by their own wishes and goals. Body language expressions of success are clapping or raising your arms in a so-called V-position.

Sensuality, desire for sexual satisfaction that does not necessarily have to result in genital satisfaction.

First impression
Within a mere 150 milliseconds, we decide whether we find someone likable, neutral or unsympathetic at first glance. This is how we protect ourselves from sensory overload. In this first phase of an encounter, we communicate more than 90 percent through our body. For this reason, the handshake plays an essential role in making a positive first impression.

The raised fist is a very effective gesture that is powerful and dominant. Athletes often clench their fists as a sign of triumph (success).

The position of the fingers and their movements are revealing and varied gestures. The formation of a so-called pointed roof by putting fingertips together is common among politicians.This gesture shows self-confidence and the emphasis on factual and cognitive aspects. Drumming with your fingertips is a typical gesture of the impatient. The so-called hedgehog posture, in which the knotted fingers are set up, is evidence of defense.

At the beginning of a flirt is eye contact, whereby staring should be avoided in any case. When flirting, those involved advertise themselves. Men want to appear strong and confident and show a more static body language. You pull in your stomach and straighten your arms in order to appear ready to act and thus attractive. The body is tense but not cramped in order to present itself at its best. A static posture and little movement indicate disinterest and little effort in a woman to appear attractive. To show themselves at their best, women hold themselves upright and toss their hair back to show off their necks and faces. Running through your hair is also a body care movement.
Wide open eyes and prolonged eye contact show interest and sympathy.

When the desire to withdraw and withdraw is not indulged, cramping of the body is often observed. Little or less stable ground contact can also testify to the primeval instinct to flee, which is hardly (completely) given in today. A toe pointing towards the door or a leg set back are tell-tale signals that indicate that you are feeling uncomfortable and would like to flee.

Weak leadership
Leadership weakness is accompanied by insecure movements that are often broken off in the middle of execution. Excessive immobility is also evidence of an insecure negotiating position.

The foot communicates with all parts of the body. A firm stand gives security and is a prerequisite for convincing your point of view. One example is the Asian martial arts, which train a firm stance in order to be able to act optimally from there. Paying attention to the position of your feet can be very instructive. If the tip of the toe of the person you are speaking to points towards you, he signals interest. On the other hand, if the tip of the foot points towards the door, this can reveal a "thought of escape". The one who wraps his feet around the chair legs and unmistakably searches for support makes an unsafe impression.

The gait is determined by the type and speed of the step. A single-minded walk, which is characterized by a quick step and relaxed arm position, conveys self-confidence. A drooping sip leaves a sad or listless impression. The stride length also allows interesting conclusions to be drawn about a person or situation.

goose bumps
Goosebumps can be a reaction to cold or to a pleasant or uncomfortable feeling that is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. A conscious control is therefore not possible. It is always a reaction to particularly intense stimuli. The skin contracts and thus reduces its surface area; in this state it is less susceptible to external stimuli.

Thoughts and body language form an inseparable unit that influence each other. A thought causes a physical reaction (ideoplasia); conversely, posture can affect our mental and emotional state. Even a “forced” smile leads to the depletion of stress hormones in the body.

A dejected person walks with a sluggish gait, a slouched upper body and a limp posture. Gestures and facial expressions are reduced to a minimum and have a lifeless expression.

When we like something, our pupils subconsciously enlarge. For this reason, poker players wear sunglasses so as not to reveal their luck with the cards.

Feelings are subjective sensations that cannot be consciously controlled. Feelings can be felt in varying degrees of intensity. Convincing with objective arguments will not succeed if the interlocutor "has a bad feeling about the matter". A productive conversation can only take place when the other person's feelings are perceived. What we feel and think is reflected in our body language (ideoplasia). And body language, in turn, influences our feelings.

Gender-specific signals
Certain gestures and postures are considered gender-specific. Men tend to use expansive gestures and arm movements to assert their (spatial) position. Men also make themselves wider while sitting, while women lean back and hold their legs together or cross over. Women express a lot through their facial expressions, while men hardly change their facial expressions. A man who arches his chest wants to impress with his strength, while the stretching out of the female breast is interpreted as an erotic signal.

The speed at which a movement is carried out is important for its effect. A quick and pronounced movement can have a completely different meaning than slow and calm movement. Fast movements are often part of threatening and imposing signals, as they demonstrate the ability to react and the willingness to act.

The face has the most muscles in a very small space and is therefore capable of fine, differentiated facial expressions, so-called microexpressions. These are difficult to control consciously, which is why the face is an insightful and informative means of communication. All human emotions can be read off the facial expression.

Conversation is the linguistic exchange between people, in which the exchange of information takes place on the verbal level and on the non-verbal level (facial expressions and gestures). In a good conversation, not only the content of the verbal statements is congruent, but also that of the body language (mirroring).

Gestures below the waist have a negative effect, above it positive and neutral at waist level.

If our words and body language convey the same message, we appear authentic and believable. If I offer my help and at the same time keep my arms open, I appear honest and helpful.

basic needs
Across cultures there are numerous gestures that consciously or unconsciously indicate basic needs. These include needs such as hunger, thirst, sleep and security. Well-known signals are rubbing your stomach to indicate hunger or rubbing your arms when it's cold.

Greetings are gestures and language formulas that are used when meeting or saying goodbye; the greetings differ among other things according to social position, the relationship to one another, the context of encounter, time of day and cultural convention

The posture has a major influence on the effect of a person. Anyone who “hangs” over in a limp position will not be able to exude the strength and self-confidence of an upright posture.

The neck is a very sensitive and vulnerable place. It seems all the more trustworthy when we present it unprotected. Pointing the neck, whereby the head is usually held at an angle, is one of the erotic signals.

Clapping hands is a variant of shaking hands that has its origins in American football and signals team spirit and athletic competition.

Hand and neck gestures
A sign of hiding or even lying can be when someone touches their neck or face shortly after saying something.

Hand-mouth gestures
Punishment gestures

Hold hands
A couple holding hands demonstrates togetherness and affection. Researchers found that holding hands has a calming effect.

Our hands are not only our most important tools in everyday life, they are also an indispensable part of our communication. Our hand gestures provide information about our emotions and intentions.

- Defensive and negative gestures: If we press our hands together and keep our arms stiff, we are angry or frustrated. The so-called hedgehog posture, i.e. putting up the knotted fingers, is a sign of defense. If we do not show our hands, for example because we are holding them in our trouser pockets or clasping them behind our back, we appear indifferent or little. trustworthy. If we lower the turned down palms several times, this has a soothing effect.

- Open and positive gestures: The palm of the hand that is open and pointing upwards signals willingness to cooperate and has a positive effect.

- Powerful gestures: An energetic hand gesture that is mainly used by politicians is the edge of the hand. The outstretched hand is slapped on the inside of the other hand in order to powerfully illustrate your own point of view. If you push your hand in the direction of your counterpart during a speech, you also appear dominant and aggressive.

In this country, the greeting is usually a handshake, which has a significant impact on the first impression and can reveal a lot about the emotional attitude of our counterpart. A slack handshake usually gives the impression of weakness and insecurity. If the hand is given from above while the other's thumb is pressing on your wrist, you are dealing with a dominant and specific person. For a neutral greeting, the handshake should not be too firm or too weak. The wrists should also not be held too loosely or too rigidly.

Shaking hands
Shaking hands together with open, direct eye contact is a common greeting in our latitudes that was once developed as a symbol of equality. The partners meet “at eye level”. If the palm of your hand is stretched out vertically towards you, one would actually like to greet you in an equal relationship. On the other hand, if the palm of the other person points down, this speaks more for a dominant handshake. Whether one stands in direct confrontation in front of each other or at an open angle to one another while shaking hands can vary (as is typical for the country). In the Asian culture, bowing developed as a greeting ritual and a sign of respect, whereby the hierarchically higher bows less deeply. Shaking one hand while the other grasps the back of the shaken hand is a sign of respect and affection.

Showing the palm of the hand is associated with openness and honesty.

Hand face gestures
Hand-face gestures have a negative effect. An example is the plucking of the shirt collar together with repeated "dry" swallowing. While lying, stress hormones are exposed, which increase blood pressure and heartbeat and thus lead to a higher sensation of warmth.

Hand and neck gestures
A sign of hiding or even lying can be when someone touches their neck or face shortly after saying something.

Hand-mouth reaction
Anyone who rubs their mouth or scratches the corner of their mouth after making a statement would like to undo what has been said. This gesture can be observed particularly well in children.

Clapping the hands is a variant of the handshake that has its origins in American football and signals team spirit and athletic competition.

The skin is our largest organ in terms of surface area and serves to delimit inside and outside. The skin protects us against pathogens and UV rays, regulates the body's heat balance and is used to absorb stimuli. We come into diverse contact with our environment through our skin. Women naturally have thinner skin than men. People who literally have “thick skin” are considered insensitive and not very vulnerable. Many people touch their own fingertips or hold an object between their fingers during a conversation. This fine stimulus sensitizes the nerve endings and helps to make what is said "tangible".

Signs of domination
Gestures of domination demonstrate dominance and self-confidence. This is characterized by movements that run from top to bottom.

Those who seek help often do so with their eyes. The pleading hand-wringing happens in a religious context.

Humorous people are happier and can overcome difficult situations more easily. They are better received by their fellow human beings and appear more personable.

Hedgehog keeping
The hedgehog pose is a negative hand gesture in which the knotted fingers are suddenly spread apart.

Showing off
Imposing gestures are a preliminary stage of threatening (threatening and imposing gestures), whereby superiority and size are to be demonstrated. A swollen chest should effectively signal strength and drive. A more subtle form of making yourself bigger is folding your arms behind your head, which is often seen in men while flirting. Even those who are decidedly casual want to appear superior. Hooking your thumb into your pocket or belt may be mentioned as an example.

A leaning forward torso and tilted head show interest during a conversation. Eye contact is sought.

Intimate zone
The intimate zone is one of the three distance zones, the importance of which is primarily being investigated in the area of ​​proxemics. The intimate zone is the space around us about an arm's length. We only allow very familiar people such as parents, children or life partners into it.

If you rub your chin with your thumb and forefinger, you need a pause for thought or time to decide

Willingness to compromise
If you tilt your head to the side in a negotiation, you show you are ready to listen to others. If we put a hand on our chin while listening, nod from time to time or look at the other person directly (eye contact), this is how we make it clear that we are listening actively and thus show a willingness to compromise.

Conflict / behavior
The cause of a conflict is the clash of opinions or interests. Researchers found that happy partnerships find constructive conflict resolution twice as quickly as bad ones. Effective conflict management is therefore essential to successfully resolve a conflict. It is particularly important to have objective arguments, to refrain from making offensive statements and to be willing to find a compromise. Observing body language can be helpful in order to identify warning signals or signs of willingness to compromise at an early stage. The behavior of our counterpart is to a large extent a reaction to our own behavior. Therefore, we can contribute to a harmonious conflict resolution with the help of open and loving body language.

A confrontation, i.e. the clash of different opinions and behaviors, is often the beginning of a conflict. Existing differences show up not only in terms of content, but also in terms of body language. Often an attacking or defending attitude can be observed.

In concentration, the gaze is focused and the mouth is opened slightly. However, hours of pondering over a problem can cause us to frown. Such facial expressions signal insecurity to the brain and creative problem solving is becoming increasingly unlikely.

Head / posture
The movement of our head still determines the movement of the rest of the body today. A straight head position shows self-confidence and openness. However, if we lift our chin up, it quickly appears arrogant and conceited. When we lower our heads, we show insecurity or embarrassment. A head tilted to one side, on the other hand, indicates a harmonious relationship with the person opposite.

Body contact
Physical contact plays an important role in education. Anyone who experienced little physical contact as a child will also find it difficult to establish contact with other people as an adult. Body / skin contact gives children warmth, security and affection. The intensity and intimacy of body contact vary depending on the country and culture.

Body signals
Body signals can support what is said, contradict it or even replace entire words. If gestures, facial expressions and posture convey the same message as what has been said, we are convincing. On the other hand, if someone says something that he is not really thinking, the body signals contradict his words. Such a contradiction creates distrust. It is possible that the other person verbally agrees to you, but at the same time runs his hand over his mouth (hand-mouth reaction). He is expressing that he really does not agree.

Body language
Body language includes non-verbal expression. Part of the body language is used communicatively, but a large part only expresses a state (sad, happy) or represents a purposeful action.Body language also includes facial expressions, gestures, posture and movement, tone of voice and body contact. Many small individual signals together form a body language message. It is therefore often not possible to clearly interpret these signals from the body, as they can differ from person to person and are influenced by the situation and the environment. Body language should therefore always be viewed in the bigger picture. We consciously control our body language only to a fraction. The signals from our body can confirm our words, partially replace them or contradict them.

Body tension
A tense attitude shows willingness to act and dynamism as long as we remain flexible. If we are rigid with tension, we inhibit our activity.

The expression “weak knees” symbolizes a state in which one is too weak to walk and act. One is afraid or excited. Depressed knees are the other extreme: This rigid, defensive posture prevents any spontaneous reaction.

The most inconspicuous form of crossing our legs is crossing our ankles. From this sitting position it is impossible for us to jump up and act immediately. In the form of crossing legs, preferred by men, the ankle is placed on the knee of the other leg. In the Middle East, for example, this sitting position should be avoided as showing the sole of a shoe is considered impolite.

Cultures differ not only in their verbal, but also in their non-verbal languages. The Arabs, Latin Americans and Greeks are among the socially contact cultures that have a lower need for distance and a higher frequency of contact. The northern Europeans, Americans and Asians are among the low-contact cultures. The "Okay" sign, which is widespread in Europe and North America and uses the thumb and forefinger to form an "O", is an offensive gesture in Greece, Turkey, Russia, parts of South America and the Middle East.

A kiss is a very intimate way to show your affection and love for the other. A cheek kiss is a relatively non-committal kiss that has a loving intention or can mean a careful approach. The so-called affection kiss, in which the partners stand in a close hug and with their eyes closed, is completely different. 97 percent of all women close their eyes when kissing, but only a third of all men. The thornbird kiss, in which the partner's forehead is kissed, stands for respect and care. A kiss that symbolizes sexual desire, on the other hand, is the so-called vampire kiss.

An authentic smile starts with the eyes and ends with the mouth, the entire facial muscles are involved. A natural smile relieves tension and is friendly. If it is used in a targeted manner, it can appear "fake" and artificial. Smiling is healthy because the increased blood and oxygen supply stimulates the production of endorphins ("happiness hormones"). Those who smile are doing something good for themselves and at the same time have a more positive effect on their environment.

Boredom is a subjective feeling of inactivity, listlessness and a lack of distraction that are perceived as negative. Rhythmic tapping with the fingers or feet, frequent changing of the sitting position and staring into the distance are body language expressions of boredom.

Love is associated with a feeling of deep trust and togetherness. It is the willingness to put one's own interests aside for common ones, to show consideration, to have honest interest and attention for the other. Love demands openness and therefore brings with it the risk of being hurt.

Pinched lips indicate resistance and rejection. If we run our tongue over the lower lip, however, we are still thinking. Full lips, on the other hand, appear emotional and sensual, because they swell when aroused. Using red lipstick is designed to simulate the natural flow of blood. The so-called grinding of teeth or the frequent clenching of teeth can be a sign of unsolved problems and dissatisfaction. Overall, people with compressed lips absorb less than someone with relaxed lips.

Research shows that almost everyone lies several times a day. Many lies are intended to create a pleasant situation (e.g. a dishonest compliment) or to avoid an unpleasant one (e.g. minor excuses). When lying, the body often does not react as intended, but can betray the lying person. Eye contact is often interrupted by repeated winking, looking away or vigorous eye rubbing. Gestures in which the neck or face are touched can also indicate small untruths (hand-neck gestures). Lying causes us stress and we are nervous. This is characterized by restless and uncoordinated movements. If we tell something untrue, our tone of voice, intonation and speech rhythm often change.

facial expressions
Describes the visible movements of our facial muscles. Let us relax our facial expressions, let us relax our thoughts (ideoplasia).

Microexpressions are the small, subtle facial expressions that only a few can consciously influence. It is precisely these subtleties that are decisive in correctly interpreting the behavior of our counterpart.

Gestures that are familiar to us can have a completely different meaning in foreign cultures and thus cause misunderstandings. But even within one's own culture it is crucial to look at body language as an overall picture and not to jump to conclusions from individual gestures / facial expressions. It is equally flawed to rely on body language stereotypes.

Body language expression of disregard is when we give someone the "cold shoulder" or raise our head.

If there is a lack of trust in a person or situation, one behaves attentively in order to recognize possible dangers or traces of betrayal. The stiffening of the neck can be a sign of special care. The immobility of the neck increases concentration and focuses the gaze.

Like fear, fatigue causes us to withdraw into ourselves to seek protection. A closed, powerless body language like the crossing of the arms should shield us from the environment, we are looking for peace.

An open mouth shows the willingness to take in information, food or sensory impressions of the environment. In moments of great surprise, the mouth often unconsciously opens. Clenching your mouth, on the other hand, shows that you are focused on yourself in this phase and closed to the environment. Even a shy person will hold their lips tightly together.

Mouth kiss / affection kiss
A quick kiss on the mouth has a similar meaning to a kiss on the cheek, while an intense kiss on the mouth has a very erotic effect. A kiss on the mouth, in which the bodies nestle against each other while the eyes and mouth are closed, symbolizes affection and deep trust.

Thinking / thinking
Thinking is the activity of the mind that serves to process information, solve problems or search for meaning. Thinking is often associated with unconscious body language.

The neck allows us to turn our heads to look in all directions. We can only be open to new things with a mobile neck and head. If you keep your neck stiff and your head straight, you concentrate on a goal and don't want to be distracted. This can also be the reaction to danger or suspicion in order to direct all attention to the source of danger. An inclination of the neck, on the other hand, has a more understanding effect that requires harmony. It is also known as a trusting gesture, as the vulnerable neck is shown unprotected. Crossing your arms behind your neck gives you a smug and relaxed impression.

Many people bite their nails in situations of uncertainty.

Being close to people we like fills us with satisfaction and well-being. Emotional closeness occurs when we open up to the other. The closer the emotional bond between two people, the more similar their gestures and postures (mirroring) are. People who have difficulty allowing emotional closeness quickly feel restricted in their freedom.

The nose has a significant impact on our appearance and, as an olfactory organ, enables us to perceive scents. Pheromones, sexual messengers, play an important role, especially when choosing a partner. Wrinkling the nose is considered a negative gesture that expresses disgust. If the index finger is placed on the nostrils, this indicates a pensive person.

Hectic and uncoordinated hand movements are characteristic of a restless person. Someone who is nervous will struggle to keep their hands still. So-called “substitute movements”, ie movements that are not required, are caused by nervousness. Rubbing the nostrils, scratching the face or playing around with objects that are lying around are such substitute movements.

Curiosity is a human drive to experience and get to know new and unknown things. Inquisitive people have an interesting and attractive effect on their fellow human beings, because they go full of energy and energy to explore and understand new relationships.

Nodding is a positive body signal that suggests approval and attention. However, nodding is a gesture that can easily lead to misunderstandings between cultures: in the Arab world, Greece or southern Italy, throwing the head back is seen as a negative signal. In India and Bulgaria, on the other hand, the shaking of our heads is a sign of approval.

upper body
A leaned upper body together with closed lips shows rejection, while leaning back relaxed means a feeling of wellbeing and security. If your interlocutor bends his upper body in your direction, he signals interest.

Those who are open and honest appear more trustworthy and the person you are talking to is also more open. Openness is characterized by loose and sweeping movements that lead away from the body. This includes raising your arms up with your palms facing up. During such movements I show myself unprotected and fearless.

Unlike our eyes, we cannot close our ears. An unexpected noise instantly puts our entire body in tension and readiness (to flee). Music makes us more agile. Those who scratch their ears are insecure and doubtful.

If the other person touches their earlobe during a conversation, they probably do not agree with what you are saying one hundred percent.

The English term pacing includes the phenomenon of (body language) mirroring.

Personal zone / you zone
The personal distance or you zone is one of the three distance zones. Our family members and friends have access to our personal zone / you zone, which extends up to a width of 1.20 meters.

Positive hand movements
In order to have a positive effect on the person you are talking to, you should always move your hand from the bottom up, i.e. from the belt line upwards.

A provocation is the deliberate elicitation of a certain behavior in another person. Stretching a leg into the territory of our counterpart has a provocative effect, as it forces the other to react (territorial behavior). The obscene gestures include pointing the middle finger or tapping the forehead ("pointing the bird").

Proxemics as a sub-area of ​​communication science and psychology deals with the (social) spatial and distance behavior of people. Then the space around a person is divided into the intimate, personal and social zone (distance zones). Unwanted intrusion into this room is perceived as uncomfortable and annoying. This space is often violated in public transport or elevators.

The pupils reveal a lot about a person's inner state of arousal. They widen when one is excited and contract when one is thoughtful or negative.

Cleaning movements / signals
In addition to the so-called cleaning movements, wiping away imaginary lint from the sleeve or adjusting the tie. Grooming signals are often carried out while flirting in an effort to make a good impression. If, on the other hand, it is a cleaning / throw-away gesture, the wiping-away movement symbolizes rejection. A dismissive gesture, in which the hand is moved from top to bottom, also indicates a dismissive attitude.

If we resign, our facial expression is characterized by lines falling downwards. We come to terms with a situation and don't expend energy in changing things. Immobile gestures are another characteristic of resignation.

Role models
In order to meet the expectations of society, we orientate ourselves on roles and images. Am I the strong one or the loser of the group? Do I want to be the popular, independent, or reliable? Our thoughts correspond to our physical effect.

Stride length
Detail-oriented people often take smaller but more secure steps. You can significantly reduce the risk of "missteps", even if you may need a little more time for the same route. People who are willing to take risks tend to take big steps, which means more uncertainty, but also faster progress.

Walking pace
If you run fast, you will reach your goal quickly. But if you want to work, you have to give others time to perceive and judge your appearance. Anyone who “hurries ahead” misses the reaction of the environment to his appearance. Anyone who walks through life with sagging shoulders and shuffling steps appears listless and not very dynamic. Security and self-confidence, on the other hand, are conveyed by taking a firm step, not too fast and not too slow.

If the person you are talking to reacts to a touch with immobility or fearful freezing, this can indicate shyness. Other signs of shyness can include a dry mouth, clenched lips, and upper arms drawn close to the body.

When we feel burdened, we let our shoulders hang as if we were carrying a heavy physical burden. Those who keep their shoulders straight appear all the more carefree and flexible. Only with a relaxed shoulder can we move our arms freely and widely. If we want to keep our distance from someone, we literally give them the cold shoulder. In this posture, it is always possible to turn away and move away.