Autonomic Signals: Stress-promoted actions or body changes, like fidgeting, fast breathing, accelerated blink rate, pallor or flushing, crying, and so on
Back-channel Signals: Gestures that encourage a speaker, like nodding
Barrier Gestures: The hands, arms or legs will attempt to "protect" their owner from "attack," or props can be used to the same effect . Barrier gestures could be folded arms and legs, a raised wine glass, or a handbag pulled across the chest Certain types of fiddling, like playing with a cuff or moving the strap of a handbag, can also be performed to create a temporary barrier pose
Baton Signals: Any gesture that emphasizes the pace of the words
Body Contact Tie-signs: The ways close friends or lovers touch each other to communicate in public
Body-guide: Using small movements like pats or touches to steer someone
Celebratory Displays: These can be instinctive, resulting from an adrenalin burst caused by a win, including leaps in the air, running, air punching, or dancing; restrained, as in a modest smile or small air-punch; or even performed in place of a win . Losing contestants or award nominees will often smile and throw their arms in the air when they hear that someone else has won
Closure Signals: The way we signal a conversation is over, for example, cutting down the back-channel signals, looking around the room, and so on
Cluster Signals: An overall view of someone's body language gestures
Cognitive Algebra: The way the mind pieces together various stimuli and signals, often visual, to produce an overall impression of the subject
Cognitive Dissonance: This can occur when the brain is sent conflicting messages or signals, as in incongruent communications Comfort Gestures: These can be symbolic, like a speaker opening his or her arms toward the audience in an empty embrace, or more personal, like a touch or hug
Complementary Body Language: This occurs when two or more speakers talk from the same body language state, or a state that is sought by the other speaker . For instance, two friends chatting might both use animated gestures and smiles . However, it would also be complementary if one person was dominant and dictatorial and the other submissive and compliant Compound Gestures: Gestures that require several stages or disciplines of movement Congruent Signals: This occurs when the visual, verbal, and vocal communications all send out the same message, making the speaker appear honest and convincing Contradictory Signals: When two different signals are sent out, usually when one is honest and one is a lie Crotch-cover Gestures: Also known as fig-leaf displays, usually male gestures of insecurity Crotch-displays: Any subconscious or overt attempt to get attention in the crotch area, for example, sitting with legs splayed, and so on
Cues: Body language cues refer to the way we draw conclusions about someone from looking at them Cutoff Signals: Usually a dropping of the head or closing of the eyes to register lack of interest or attention or a desire to be somewhere else
Dead-fish: A limp handshake .
Delayed Gratification: Pausing before moments of pleasure, usually to enjoy or relish the anticipation or to enhance the pleasure Denial Gestures: These are often small body language gestures and/or expressions that appear to disagree with or confuse the speaker's key point They are generally prompted by embarrassment or a desire to be liked and will usually appear at the end of a talk or presentation They usually take the form of eye-rolls, mouth- or shoulder-shrugs or even silly walks back to your seat
Discovered Actions: Gestures or movements we acquire without thinking about it, often because of comfort, for example, folding the arms Displacement Signals: When you carry out the body language ritual or movement on someone or something other than the person that prompted the emotion, for example, biting your own lip when you get angry with someone else
Distance Displays: Greeting or acknowledgement gestures used from a distance, for example, waving, and so on Distracted Kiss: This occurs when two people come together to kiss but one or both looks over the other's shoulder as the kiss occurs This is usually seen as insulting as the distracted kisser appears to be looking around for something or someone more interesting Distraction Signals: Seen in apes and humans at moments of agitation These appear counterproductive, for example, yawning during times of great fear or stopping to groom, and so on Dog Facing: A deadpan, downtrodden expression, often used when there are figures of authority present
Emotional Intelligence: Having the ability to be empathetic and "see" what other people are feeling or "read" other people
Emphatic Gestures: These are quite exaggerated hand, head, or even foot gestures that endorse the verbal message by accentuating its sentiments Empty Embrace: When a speaker holds his or her arms out toward the audience in a gesture that mimics an invitation to embrace Erect Thumb: This is primarily a male signal of enjoyment, also known as a "thumbs up " The thumb goes up and even back, like a gun that's been cocked It can occur during consumption of food, the playing of sports, or even during a confident or winning moment at work Expressions: Facial movements, facial expressions . Extended Gaze: When the eye contact lingers it is usually a sign of love, lust, or anger Eye-block Gesture: When a listener performs long, slow blinks, ostensibly to blank you out when they become bored
Eye Contact: When a speaker and/or listener looks into the eyes of the other person Eye-flash: A sudden intense and meaningful glance, often for warning or to obtain agreement Eye-gaze: Usually prolonged in lovers, creating the concept "love at first sight. " Normal eye-gaze can be an intentional gesture though, signaling where the gazer would really like to be, for example, the exit Eye-puff: Widening the eyes by pulling the lids back Eye-shrug: When the eyes are raised temporarily upward, usually in a gesture of exasperation Eye-shuffle: Looking quickly from side to side in an attempt to find escape Eye-stutter: Irregular blinking, signaling confusion
Face Framing: Holding your hands around your face during a conversation in an attempt to make the other person focus on that area of your body
Finger-baton: When the finger (usually the index finger) is held erect and waggled at someone, implying a desire to hit or beat them into submission Finger Counting: A way of holding an audience's attention or letting them know you want to say more, by keeping track of your points on your fingers while holding them at chest level
Gated Hands: Made famous by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, gated hands is a term I coined to describe his habit of constantly holding both hands in front of his chest with palms turned inward, like a gate that he then kept opening out and closing tight A gesture that suggests closed thoughts or dominant status Gestures: Actions that send out signals Usually performed with the hands Grooming Display: This can be real, as in picking a hair from someone's jacket or self-grooming, for example, touching your own hair, or it can be ritualized, the body language equivalent of small talk.
Hamster Hands: A term I coined to describe a habit women have of talking with their hands clasped high on their chest, like a hamster clutching a sunflower seed Hand-chop: A gesture of anger or signaling the end of a discussion or conversation The hand is literally used like a chopper, sometimes landing on a desk or the other palm
Hand-sandwich: A two-handed handshake, also referred to as the Glove .
Hand-swat: Displaying the back of the hand toward someone and then miming swatting or pushing them away with it
Head-baton: Popular with impassioned speakers like British politician Neil Kinnock, the head-baton involves swiping the head or pushing it through the air to illustrate commitment
Hug Patting: When a couple hugs, the pat is a recognized sign to break . Men tend to overly pat during man-on-man hugs to signal there's no sexual motive .
Illustrative Gestures: The hands are used to mime or define what the person is talking about
Inborn Actions: Gestures you do by instinct, rather than learn or copy
Incongruent Body Language: When the words, tone, or body language signals appear to be out of tune—that is, saying different things In this case it is usually the body language that is seen as the most credible
Inconvenience Displays: The more a host inconveniences him-or herself to greet a visitor the greater the apparent status of the visitor, for example, standing to greet someone or even waiting out on the street when their car arrives
Instant Gratification: Someone taking what they want when they want it, rather than waiting
Intentional Eye-gaze: The eyes look toward the true area of interest or the place the gazer would like to be or intends to be
Intentional Gesture: Any gesture that gives warning of the gesture or movement that is to follow
Interactional Synchronization: When people move in the same way This seems like coincidence but can often be a result of following each other's body language cues
Intimate Territory: The zone of space around us that we are only comfortable with close friends or family members invading
Jaw-jut: Sticking out the lower jaw, usually to display displeasure or the sulk state . It can also be an aggressive signal When the jaw is jutted toward an enemy it can be a strong sign of defiance
Killer Walk: A term coined by me for my book Sex Signals, where I explained how vital a smooth, sensual walking style can be as part of the attraction process
Leading: This is where someone will mirror another person's body language before changing their own state in a bid to lead the other person to do the same Leakage: This occurs when your body language "leaks" out your true feelings in one or a series of giveaway gestures
Leg-clamp: This usually follows the leg-lock, when the hands grip on to the upper leg Leg-lock: When the legs are crossed but with the upper leg crossed high, across the thigh of the lower leg Lightning Smile: As used by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the lightning smile disappears just as quickly as it appears, like a bolt of lightning coming out of the blue
Lowered Steeple: When the fingers are steepled with the tips pointing toward the ground, usually a sign of critical listening
Masking: Performing body language expressions or gestures to deliberately mask your true feelings This can be done for deliberate deception or to be socially polite Matador Stab: Term coined by me during the 2005 British election to describe the overly emphatic method of nailing a point by pointing both index fingers toward the lectern and stabbing them in a downward direction Used frequently by both former British
Prime Minister Tony Blair and current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown .
Metronomic Gestures: A term I coined to describe finger, foot or even pen drumming or tapping This works like a mini metronome, placing pressure on a speaker to hurry up
Micro-gestures: Fleeting gestures or facial movements that can be almost invisible to the naked eye, but which are nonetheless seen as significant in body language terms . Often analyzed by watching video footage in slow motion
Mime Gestures: As the name implies, these gestures tend to mime the action they describe, like wobbling a hand in front of the face when asking if someone would like a drink, or placing the thumb by the ear and the little finger to the mouth to signal "call me . "
Mimic Gestures: Gestures that mime or copy real objects or actions
Mirroring: This is a term for postural echo, although mirroring will usually be applied to conscious copying of another person's movements or pace to create a feeling of empathy or rapport
Mirthless Smile: Term coined by me to describe wide-mouth smiles that don't reach the eyes
Mock-attack Gestures: Ritualized attack movements that can be used as a first-stage sexual exploration/flirt ritual or just to break down formality
Mouth-shrug: The mouth-shrug resembles a small, upturned smile with the chin crumpled, the lips raised in the middle and dropped at the corners It's a very common social "smile," especially in the workplace . It suggests long suffering and stoicism
Nonverbal Leakage: Body language giveaways of true feelings
Overcongruent Body Language: When the speaker overexag-gerates his or her gestures or facial expressions to put the message across This overacting is often seen as false or patronizing .
Overkill Signals: Overreaction signals
Oxbow Mouth: Similar to the mouth-shrug but with a firmer chin and jaw line, signaling determination or even stubbornness
Pacing: Picking up on someone's pace of movement and copying it to create empathy
Palm Displays: Showing the palm can be considered a signal of honesty unless it's overly displayed .
Palm Rocking: Waving a hand from side to side to signal "maybe . "
Personal Heckling: When your body language signals appear to disagree with your verbal message
Personal Zone: A distance of about 45-100 centimeters around someone
Physiological Signals: Physical body language responses like blushing, sweating, and so on Pinging Smile: A sudden, exaggerated smile Pit Baring: A term I coined to describe the act of sitting back and placing your hands behind your head This bares all the delicate body parts, including the armpits, and suggests arrogance Women might toss their hair around or preen to get the same effect Pointless Point: A term I coined to describe the way royals and some politicians point toward nothing in particular in public to feign interest and act directive and in charge
Poker Face: Used by poker players to avoid other players reading their expression, this method of sitting very still and moving very little, with a deadpan facial expression, is often used outside the poker room Postural Congruence: Sitting or standing in the same way as others
Postural Echo: Like mirroring, copying someone's body language and pace of movement, possibly without realizing .
Power-pat: Another status-boosting gesture used by politicians and the like . The shoulder-pat is a signal of almost parental approval Therefore, by patting another politician at a critical moment, the patter manages to appear friendly but at the same time takes the parental and therefore higher-status role
Power-shakes: Handshakes that are intended to emphasize high power or status, like getting your hand on top in the shake or crushing the other person's hand Precision Gesture: Often a pinching together of the thumb and index finger with the fingers pointing upward to suggest precise, exact knowledge Primary Emotions: Your instinctive emotions like fear, anger, and so on
Pseudo-infantile Remotivator: Displays of childish helplessness used to promote noncritical, nurturing responses Public Zone: Distance of over 12 feet from another . Pupil Dilation: Usually occurs when the watcher looks at something pleasant or someone they love Courtesans in earlier centuries used to put drops of belladonna, a poison, in their eyes to mimic the effect
Raised Steeple: When a steepling gesture is performed with all the fingers pointing upward Relic Gestures: Any gesture that has outlived its original meaning
Remotivating Action: An action or gesture used to close down the existing mood and replace it with a new one Apes that feel threatened will often employ flirt signals to change the aggressive ape's thoughts from fight to sex Rictus: A rigid, stretched smile
Ritualized Combat: Gestures that mimic aggressive or fight gestures, used as a warning albeit subconsciously, for example, pacing, making fists, jutting the jaw, and so on
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