Watch Those Hands!

many handsAfter to our faces, our hands are the most animated and communicative part of our bodies. Interpreting hand movements is not an exact science but there are some general interpretations of what various hand movements mean. See if you agree with any of the following:

  • Clenching your fist is usually taken as a sign of anger or frustration
  • In most cultures a ‘wave’ of the hand is a sign of greeting
  • Open face up palms are seen as a sign of honesty. Oaths of allegiance are often taken with open palmed hands placed across the heart. We put our palms up to show we mean no harm, to be submissive and say we have no weapons, for example.
  • Showing off our thumbs by poking them out of the top of a pocket can be a gesture of dominance.
  • Rubbing our palms together indicates that we think something good is about to happen.
  • Another dominant hand gesture is making a steeple with our hands; fingertips and tops of fingers are pressed together to form a steeple or church spire shape. This is often used by individuals who are, or believe themselves to be, of higher status than the person they are speaking to.
  • A hand may be used to grasp the wrist of the other behind the back.  Prince Charles frequently uses this hand position. This is a sign of dominance as the person feels confident enough to leave their front exposed.

What gestures with the hands have you noticed in others and in yourself?


Posted on November 23rd, 2009 by

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