Guide to Reading Body Language

Reading body language doesn't have to be as hard as it seems. Actions tend to speak louder than words, so you can figure out what a person really means by watching his body language in relation to the words he is speaking. Simple movements can say a lot about a person. As you are trying to read a person and his body language, it is important to remember that he is doing the same to you. Be conscious of how you are standing or holding yourself, as well as facial expressions paired with the words you are speaking, so that you can send the right message. First impressions are significantly based on body language, so being able to read a person is important in knowing how future interactions may go.  

Showing Confidence or Comfort
Standing or sitting up straight is often a sign of confidence in a person. If she leans into you, she is comfortable and interested in what you have to say. If she leans back, especially with her hands behind her head, she could either be showing arrogance or dominance in the conversation or that she doesn't take what you're saying seriously. If you notice her arms are crossed in front of her, she may be uncomfortable around you or closed off to you. Eye contact is almost always a sure sign of confidence or comfort, as someone who is not at ease will have shifty eyes, look away repeatedly or not make any eye contact at all. Someone who mirrors your own body position, stance or gestures may feel very comfortable with you as well. Likewise, if you find yourself mirroring someone else's body language, the two of you could be very much in sync.

Showing Boredom, Anxiety or Nervousness
A sure sign of boredom is if someone rests his head on his hand while talking with you, if he repeatedly glances at his watch, or if he is quiet and simply nods in agreement to what you say. He could be anxious if he is tapping or shaking his foot, tapping the table with his fingers, or touching or rubbing his temples. A person may also show anxiousness or nervousness if he hides his hands. Look to see if a person wipes his hands on his clothing, as in trying to dry sweaty palms, or if he fidgets with his clothing or squirms in his chair.

Body language accounts for almost 70 percent of communication, and you can almost always tell what a person really means by paying attention to body language cues. You can use these cues to decipher anything, from someone lacking confidence to a person being nervous around you, despite what her words may say.

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