How to read body language has long been regarded as a relatively mysterious artform. And that’s unfortunate because, without the skills to truly understand another person just by looking at them, people are missing out. People with high emotional intelligence know that understanding body language cues is pivotal in helping them find meaningful relationships and keep meaningful relationships.
So can you get better at how to read body language? Absolutely. It’s not really as confusing as you may think. Just like any skill, a bit of practice and know-how can make you an expert pretty quickly. Let’s get concrete and look at how to read body language better and more efficiently from their head to their toes.
Well, maybe not just their feet. It turns out who is and isn’t getting a pedicure isn’t as important for someone trying to communicate. However, you are going to want to take a look at where their feet are pointed. People tend to position their bodies facing in the direction of interest.
- Feet facing away from you
This person may literally be trying to walk away from the conversation. If someone can’t consistently stay close to you, they may be uninterested, uncomfortable, or afraid.
- Feet facing towards you
This person is both interested in connecting with you more and unafraid.
Look for those feet facing you to know they are interested. Noticing this subtle cue will allow you to understand more about them than they are telling you. We find the best possible relationships when you connect on purpose, and paying attention to body cues like where feet are pointed will unlock how to read body language.
Hips don’t lie
Hips are strongly connected with our sexual desire. So when it comes to hips, learning how to read body language in that part of the body will give you the key to a potential sexual connection. When reading body language cues in this area, look for:
- Hips pivoted away from you
When we tuck our pelvis, it’s a sign that we’re safeguarding our sexual organs.
- Hips that push a tush out
When hips are moving rhythmically or emphasizing the ass, it’s a great sign of arousal.
- Hips that are open or splayed
When we’re leaned back with legs wide, it’s another sign that we’re aroused and feeling safe.
Looking for open or flared hips will give you the body language cues you need to find an interested partner. Although open hips are a great indicator of interest and excitement, it isn’t detrimental to turn towards someone when their hips aren’t open. It can be an opportunity to ask them how they’re feeling and potentially learn more about them. If you’re in an existing relationship, this is a great way to tell if your partner might be ready for some sexual action.
Shoulders that show, and torsos that tell
When we aren’t feeling our best, our shoulders are the first posture to shift. And when we feel our best, it’s our shoulders that carry the confidence. Be sure to check out how to read body language of your partner’s shoulders by checking for these body language cues:
- Scrunched shoulders
These shoulders are raised, possibly with crossed arms, and reflect a great deal of tension.
- Stooped shoulders
When someone feels inadequate, insecure, or afraid, forward shoulders and a slight hunch are the body language cues to look for.
- Proud shoulders
Open shoulders reveal relaxed ease and even confidence.
When you’re looking for a partner who feels comfortable with you, look for those relaxed open shoulders. Understanding body language doesn’t mean looking for the severely pushed back shoulder posture of the past either. You’ll connect best with someone who is comfortable and at ease around you.
Hands can say a lot
If you’re wondering how to read body language, look no further than hands. We work with our hands quite a lot and often engage them in expression. They’re often the first expression of excitement, anger, and even sadness. And the ways we use them to express can vary wildly across cultures. When reading body language in the hands, look for:
- Frequently moving hands
Expressive hands reflect excitement and emphasize how important what we’re saying is to us. This is different from hands that rapidly shift from face/hair below.
- Hands in pockets
When we place our hands in pockets, it shows restraint, which could reflect some hidden part of us or a desire to listen rather than share.
- Arms crossed
Crossed arms carry tension. They say, I need to protect myself. When someone uses crossed arms, they are uncomfortable in one way or another.
- Hands on hips
When they place their hands on their hips, they are likely feeling confident or even powerful. They’re enjoying themselves and ready to play.
- Hands on face/hair
These hands most commonly provide care for them through some kind of anxiety. They may be experiencing social anxiety. However, with a sly smile and a more suggestive posture, this could reflect their desire to connect with you more intimately.
When reading body language through hands, look for the range of comfortable, relaxed, and expressive hands.
Mouths matter, even without words coming out.
A guide on how to read body language wouldn’t be complete without looking at lips! They give us insight into how the verbal connection is going for us. Plus, for many people, they’re just fun to look at. Be on the lookout for:
- Mouths pinched
This reflects confusion or concern in the conversation.
- Lips pressed in
These show that we’re holding in words in a conversation, uncomfortable somehow with expressing ourselves.
- Lips pressed out
Pressed out lips are eager to share and connect more.
Look for a partner whose lips are full and engaged in connecting with you.
Eyes: the most talkative body part
To completely understand how to read body language, the eyes are really the most important players. Reading body language requires understanding the intimacy of eye contact.
- Direct eye contact
This shows a desire to engage. They want to keep talking and connecting.
- Indirect eye contact
The amount of eye contact directly correlates to how much they want to connect. So little eye contact translates into little connection.
- Bulgy eyes
If you haven’t seen these before, bulging eyes are incredulous. They ‘can’t even’.
- Looking down
This can reflect feeling uncomfortable or intimidated in connection.
- Looking to the side
Side eyes are looking for something else to engage with.
Look for a partner who is actively engaged with you. You’ll see that in the amount of eye contact they engage with. And the same goes for you too. Engaging in eye contact can make them feel comfortable doing so as well.
Once you have the basics down of how to read body language, be sure to check in with your partner. Different people have different body cues. It would be valuable to check in with how to read body language specifically about your partner. Consider a fun game even- guess what my body is saying to you. Being transparent with your partner that you care about how to read body language specific to them is a great way of showing how much you care.
In the end, body language cues can tell you so much about your partner. If you’re just getting to know them, or if you’ve been connected for a while, learning how to read body language is key to a successful intimate relationship.