Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, which consists of body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals subconsciously.
It is often said[weasel words] that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves; however, Albert Mehrabian, the researcher whose 1960s work is the source of these statistics, has stated that this is a misunderstanding of the findings (see Misinterpretation of Mehrabian's rule). Others assert that "Research has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning is derived from nonverbal behavior."
Body language may provide clues as to the attitude or state of mind of a person. For example, it may indicate aggression, attentiveness, boredom, relaxed state, pleasure, amusement, and intoxication, among many other cues.
Physical expressions like waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbal communication. The study of body movement and expression is known as kinesics. Humans move their bodies when communicating because, as research has shown, it helps "ease the mental effort when communication is difficult." Physical expressions reveal many things about the person using them. For example, gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message, posture can reveal boredom or great interest, and touch can convey encouragement or caution.
* One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person's arms are cold which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.
* Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn't trust the speaker enough to "take his eyes off" the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety disorders are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Eye contact can also be a secondary and misleading gesture because cultural norms about it vary widely. If a person is looking at you but is making the arms-across-chest signal, the eye contact could be indicative that something is bothering the person, and that he wants to talk about it. Or if while making direct eye contact a person is fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate the attention is elsewhere. Also there are three standard areas that a person will look which represent different states of being. If the person looks from one eye to the other then to the forehead it is a sign that they are taking an authoritative position. If they move from one eye to the other then to the nose, that signals that they are engaging in what they consider to be a "level conversation" with neither party holding superiority. The last case is from one eye to the other and then down to the lips. This is a strong indication of romantic feelings.
* Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. When a person is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and the eyes will stare away for an extended period.
* Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck or Amblyopia, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocular problems in the listener.
* Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact, such as standing and listening properly.
* Deceit or the act of withholding information can sometimes be indicated by touching the face during conversation. Excessive blinking is a well-known indicator of someone who is lying. Recently, evidence has surfaced that the absence of blinking can also represent lying as a more reliable factor than excessive blinking.
It should be noted that some people use and understand body language differently, or not at all. Interpreting their gestures and facial expressions (or lack thereof) in the context of normal body language usually leads to misunderstandings and misinterpretations (especially if body language is given priority over spoken language). It should also be stated that people from different cultures can interpret body language in different ways.
Body Language Meanings
When you display an erect body or walk briskly with the body erect then it is the sign of confidence. Standing or walking erect conveys that you are ready and able to face anyone or anything.
Hands On Hips
Keeping the hands on the hip displays aggression. It also sends across the message that you are in a state of readiness.
When you sit with your legs crossed with the foot tapping lightly then it is the sign of boredom. Boredom can also be signified if you rest your head on your hand and with down cast eyes.
Sitting with the legs spread apart is the sign that you are relaxed. This posture also signifies that you are open for any communication.
If you keep your arms crossed then you spread across the message that you are in a defensive state.
When you are in a dejected mood then you will be in a posture where your shoulders will be hunched and your fists in your pocket.
Hand On Cheek
This body gesture portrays that you are in a brooding state of mind. In this position others will think that you are in deep thinking.
Rubbing The Nose
If you are talking to somebody and you unconsciously rub your nose lightly then the other person will get the impression that you do not believe what you are saying. That is either you are lying or doubting.
Clasping The Hands Behind The Back
This is the sign of an angry and frustrated person. He or she is full of apprehension.
Rubbing The Hands
This body language signifies that you are anticipating something.
Legs Crossed With The Palms Clasped Behind The Back
In this posture you show your confidence and superiority. Observe that when you achieve something how you subconsciously adopt this posture.
Tapping The Fingers
When you are impatient you tap or drum your fingers.
Lack of self confidence or a sense of insecurity gives rise to this body gesture. You tend to keep your hand on your head fondling the hair.
Tilting The Head
Tilting the head shows the sign of interest. When you are absorbed in something interesting the head tilts slightly to the side.
Stroking The Chin
Stroking the chin signifies that you are either indecisive or trying hard to come to a decision.