Body Language Experts Analyze What Your Arm Positions Reveal About You

Understanding even basic aspects of the complex meanings of body language can revolutionize how you understand other people, as well as making you more alert to how they're feeling. Whether intentionally or subconsciously (it's typically the latter), many parts of our bodies look certain ways when we're feeling specific emotions. Your head movements can reveal some facets of your current emotional state, for example, and different body parts can relay different messages. Some body language even attracts others, so if you're dating, you may want to brush up on how to present yourself.

Our face is undoubtedly the most telling part of our body, but the way we carry our arms also speaks volumes. We all know that if your shoulders and arms are slouched, you look unmotivated, for instance, but there's far more to it than that. According to Science of People, crossed arms, which typically denote anger, frustration, or general distancing of the self from the matter at hand, actually mean one is comfortable most of the time. This is one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to body language, because it's simply comfortable to hold your arms in a crossed manner.

Here's what else you need to know about arm positions.

Double arm grips might not mean what you think they do

Reading body language is hard, but if you know a few basic tips, you'll be able to connect with others more easily. When it comes to the arm positions, John English explains that holding one's arms behind their back often means they're tepid, that they're holding themselves back, or they're attempting to control how they appear to you. It can also mean they're trying to exit the conversation.

Moreover, according to Westside Toastmasters, a double arm grip — similar to crossing one's arms over their chest — is typically a result of desiring comfort. It's a way of hugging someone strictly by your own volition; no reciprocated act is required to complete this hug. It's also simply comfortable to hold onto someone you love. On the other hand, holding your hands together over your lower abdomen, which is also known as the fig leaf gesture, most likely means you're vulnerable wherever you are, but you must present a strong, confident facade. This is why professionals at events are often seen displaying this hand clasp. They want to present well, but feel the pressure from it.

Finally, as explained by Science of People, the one-arm hug, which is when one arm is hanging straight down and the other is holding onto it, displays nervousness and anxiety. This one is commonly known, but it's nice to have confirmation that this is what it really means to body language experts. When someone is doing this, they're potentially feeling overwhelmed, and they definitely want out of whatever situation they're in.