Listen Live Graphics (Indy)

Noticing the signals people send out with their body language is a very useful social skill. Some of us can read it naturally and some of us are notoriously oblivious. Fortunately, with a little extra attentiveness, you can learn to read body language and with enough practice it’ll become second nature.

Pay attention to how close someone is to you.  The closer they are, the warmer they are thinking of you. The farther away that someone is the less they actually care of the situation or person. If you move slightly closer to them, do they move slightly further away? That means they don’t want your interaction to be any more personal than it already is. If they don’t move further away, then they are receptive. And if they respond by getting even closer to you, they probably really like you or are very comfortable around/by you.

Overly tilted heads are either a potential sign of sympathy or if a person smiles while tilting their head they are being playful and maybe even flirting. Lowered heads indicate a reason to hide something. Take note if someone lowers their head. If it is when he is complimented, he may be shy, ashamed, timid, keeping distance from the other person, in disbelief or thinking to himself or herself. If it is after an explanation, then he may be unsure if what he said was correct, or could be reflecting.Cocked heads mean they are confused or challenging you, depending on eye, eyebrow and mouth gestures. Think of how a dog slightly cocks its head when you make a funny noise. On the other hand when coupled with a smile, a tilted head will mean they genuinely like you and are engaged in playful conversation.

People who look to the sides a lot are nervous, lying or distracted. However, if a person looks away from the speaker, it very well could be a comfort display or indicate submissiveness.  Looking askance generally means the person is distrustful or unconvinced. If someone looks down at the floor a lot, they are probably shy or timid. People also tend to look down, when they are upset or trying to hide something emotional. People are often thinking and feeling unpleasant emotions when they are in the process of staring at the ground. If their eyes seem far away, that usually indicates that a person is in deep thought or not listening.

See if they’re mirroring you. Mirroring is another common gesture. If someone mirrors or mimics your appearance, this is a very genuine sign they are interested in you and trying to build rapport with you. Try changing your body position here and there. If you find that they change theirs similarly, they are mirroring. People with crossed arms are closing themselves to social influence. Though some people just cross their arms as a habit, it may indicate that the person is  reserved, uncomfortable with their appearance or just trying to hide something on their shirt. If their arms are crossed while their feet are shoulder width or wider apart, this is a position of toughness or authority.

A fast tapping, shifting of weight, laughing or movement of the foot will most often mean that the person is impatient, excited, nervous, scared or intimidated. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s entirely subconscious and, while eccentric, it can’t be stopped. Some people also do it out of habit. If the person is sitting, feet crossed at the ankles means they’re generally at ease. If while standing, a person seems to always keep their feet very close together, it probably means they are trying to be “proper” in some way. Sometimes feet together means that they are feeling more submissive or passive.

If they purposely touch their feet to yours, they are flirting. Some people may point their feet to the direction of where they want to go or  sometimes their interest.