A Complete Guide to Interpreting Gestures and Body Language

Body Language Gestures
Body language gestures are nonverbal forms of communication, and can be a powerful tool to interpret the thoughts of people around you.
Sometimes, a single posture can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the situation.

You can understand what is going on in the other person's mind by 55% of their nonverbal communication in the form of body language gestures and 38% by the tone of their voice. Body language and gestures can help convey most of your feelings, without having to put the emotions in words. If you understand the hidden meanings of the various signs of body language, you can virtually read a person like a book. Let us see some of the gestures that will help in interpreting body language.

For example, people who cross their arms, generally close themselves to social influence. They tend to be slightly reserved and maybe uncomfortable with their weight. Well, resting arms behind neck mean the person is open for a discussion and waiting to give his opinion. Similarly, a boy with his hands in his pockets is probably relaxed, while a man tilting his head and smiling means he's flirting.
Different Gestures in Body Language and their Meaning
Girl Standing with Hands on Hips
Standing with Hands on Hips
A man standing with hands on hips indicates aggressiveness and a dominating attitude. However, women use this gesture to appear more attractive to the opposite sex.
Woman Standing with Legs Crossed
Standing with Legs Crossed
A man standing with crossed legs indicates a lack of confidence, but not a woman, because women are more used to crossing their legs, especially when they wear skirts.
Man Sitting with Legs Uncrossed
Sitting with Legs Uncrossed
Sitting with Legs Uncrossed indicates an open attitude, both in females and males.
Woman Playing with Hair
Touching or Playing with Hair
Touching or playing with hair is a flirting gesture seen in women. It might also indicate a lack of self-confidence.
Woman Tilting the head
Tilting the head
Tilting the head is seen in both men and women, and is usually accompanied by a smile. It indicates display of affection.
The Cowboy Stance
The Cowboy Stance
The Cowboy Stance is a flirting gesture observed in men who're trying to attract the attention of the woman they are attracted to.
Woman Covering her Mouth
Covering the Mouth
Covering the Mouth is used to hide an emotional reaction, such as a frown or a smile. It is also used to express surprise and amazement, as seen in the image above.
Woman crossing her arms
Crossed Arms
You'll find many people posing with crossed arms in photographs. However, this is a negative body language gesture that indicates defensiveness or stress.
Man Pinching the Bridge of Nose
Pinching the Bridge of Nose
Pinching the bridge of nose indicates that the person is contemplating or trying to evaluate something. It may also indicate disapproval or frustration.
Guy rubing his eyes
Rubbing the Eyes
Rubbing the eyes is a gesture that indicates that the person is tired and feeling sleepy. It may also indicate doubt or disbelief.
Man with Clasped Hands Behind Back
Clasped Hands Behind Back
Clasped hands behind back indicates confidence and authoritative behavior.
Stroking the Chin
Stroking the Chin
Stroking the chin indicates that the person is trying to make a decision.
Woman with head up and chin thrust
Head Up or Chin Thrust
Head up and chin thrust is a posture commonly used by models to pose for photographs, and is an indication of confidence.
Girl Biting Nails
Biting the Nails
While it can be a habit for some, more often than not, the gesture of biting nails is a proof of insecurity and nervousness.
A Man Adjusting his tie
Adjusting One's Tie or Cuff
This gesture is a sign of nervousness, and can take other forms, such as adjusting one's watchstrap or holding a file close to the chest. This is known as a "barrier signal".