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Reading Body Language

Here are some general tips and tricks for reading body language. These are not hard and fast rules, there will always be outliers, these are strong generalities; i.e. you’re not about to becomea human lie detector.



  • Train yourself to read facial micro expressions
    • Genuine smiles reach the eyes and create crow’s feet
    • Non-genuine smiles are used to hide thoughts and feelings.
    • Raised eyebrows can indicate surprise, worry, and fear
    • Clenched jaws mean stress
  • Mirror or match body language. It shows interest and helps train you to express your own thoughts and feelings.  
  • Research suggests the most commonly used and easily recognized expression for flirting by women is head turned to one side and tilted down slightly, a slight smile, and eyes turned forward toward the implied target
  • Women also flirt by smiling, arching their eyebrows and widening their eyes, tucking their chin down and turning slightly to the side, tossing their hair, putting their hands near their mouth, and laughing
  • Women will sometimes place their hand on someone they are interested in hand or arm.
  • Men flirt by arching their back, stretching their chest, and laughing
  • Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, the more of these pointing towards you, the more interested they are.
  • Crossed arms (and possibly legs, the research isn’t conclusive) can represent resistance to you.
  • Open body language, taking up space, head tall, chest out suggests confidence and power. Slouching projects less power, possibly submission.
  • Intense eye contact, i.e. blinking or not occasionally looking around the environment, can make people feel uncomfortable. Most eye contact lasts for periods of 7 – 10 seconds.
  • Exaggerated nodding indicates worry about being able to meet expectations
  • Firm handshakes indicate positive feelings and confidence
  • Proximity, the closer someone is willing to share space with you, the better – try not to get too into their bubble. 
  • Fidgeting, small nervous movements indicate stress or disinterest.

Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Broken link? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.