How to Decode Body Language

It doesn’t matter how good a liar you are or that you are skilled in hiding your thoughts and feelings, body language will always give you away. Reportedly 65% of non-verbal communication is delivered through body language so it is just as important as what you say. It can betray our true self all day everyday and it’s a simply fascinating subject.

It is said that when meeting someone for the first time many people decide whether they like them within the first 20 seconds, so it’s crucial to get it right. Once you can decode aspects of your own body language that display you in a negative light, you may find that a whole new range of opportunities open up to you.

If you have ever wanted to know how to impress a prospective boss, whether the guy in the office is flirting with you, or how to portray yourself to others, read on.

Job interviews

Many people know that during a job interview you should not cross your arms and display your hands palm up, but did you know why? Crossed arms are a defensive gesture that implies “Keep away,” and up facing palms have been shown to help the listener see you as being honest, trustworthy and friendly.

Maintain regular eye contact as failing to do this will set alarm bells ringing in the interviewer’s subconscious that you may not be trustworthy or that you are hiding something.

You may feel the need to fiddle with your pen or some other displacement activity but these all show signs that your are nervous. Instead take a deep breath and have your arms resting palms up on your lap, as this will portray you in a better light.


If you are not naturally confident, you can use your body language to fake it. You may have heard this before but it really is important – stand tall, straighten your back and pull your head up. This will automatically boost your self-esteem and force others to look up to you.

Smile! Our faces give away most of our feelings, and as people respond warmly to a happy face, you will be creating an instant bond with others. Look others right in the eyes, too, and they will assume you are confident because that is what confident people do.

If you feel nervous and your hands shake, then try and steeple your hands. Rest your elbows on the table and bring your palms together so the tips of your fingers touch, almost like praying hands. This is a gesture that displays self assurance, stops trembling hands and helps you to focus on the person you are talking to. Next time you switch on the news, look out for it, as it is a popular stance used by people of importance such as politicians.


A common way to tell if someone is lying is that they cover their mouth when they talk. They are practically trying to stop the truth coming out and they don’t even realize that they are doing it most of the time.

Is the person you suspect of lying touching their nose? When we lie our bodies become stressed and begin pumping blood throughout the body. This causes the nose to tingle and many people respond by rubbing or scratching it.

We communicate with our eyes more than any other part of the body. A person lying will look down rather than straight at you. Guilt can do funny things and people subconsciously worry that if you can see into their eyes you will know what they are really thinking.

Skilled liars know all this so will still look into yours eyes instead, although this is not fool proof as they tend to do it excessively in order to convince you. A little sign is that if their eyes look to the left as they naturally break eye contact; they are using the imaginative side of the brain and could be preparing to tell an untruth or fabricate a story. If the eyes moves to the right it is likely that they are telling the truth as this is where information is stored about things that have actually happened.


Ever heard the term “batting your eyelashes?” When we see something we like, we begin to blink, as if we can’t believe our eyes and our pupils dilate. If the person you are talking to is doing this it’s a surefire way to know they like what they see. If they are staring at your lips too then you are definitely onto a good thing as we do this when we subconsciously want to kiss someone.

You may find that women will begin to play with their hair, flick it or pull it up and expose their neck and throat. They want you to look at them and realize their attractiveness. You might also find them stroking their legs, their wine glass or touching their lips. Subconsciously they are possibly thinking of being touched or kissing you.

Men do this too but rather than the hair they will play with the buttons on their jacket subconsciously undressing themselves, smooth down trousers and pull up socks to make sure they are looking their best. They may open their legs wide to show what’s on offer, and this also releases the natural male pheromones, too.

These are just a few examples on how bodily language can be used in everyday life. To learn more, two recommended books are:

Body Language by James Borg. ISBN 978 0 2737 1734 8 – covers all aspects of body language and how it can be used effectively.

Superflirt by Tracey Cox. ISBN 1 4053 0065 5 – some really great tips and tricks to turn people into a master seducers simply by using body language to maximum effect.