The full arm-cross gesture is sometimes too obvious to use around others because it tells them that we are fearful. Occasionally we substitute a subtler version - the partial arm cross, in which one arm swings across the body to hold or touch the other arm to form the barrier, as shown in Figure 75.
Figure lb Partial arm barrier
The partial arm barrier is often seen at meetings where a person may be a stranger to the group or is lacking in self-confidence. Another popular version of a partial arm barrier is holding hands with oneself (Figure 74), a gesture commonly used by people who stand before a crowd to receive an award or give a speech. Desmond Morris says that this gesture allows a person to relive the emotional security that he experienced as a child when his parent held his hand under fearful circumstances.
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