I teach my senior high school students how to be mindful of their body language, especially since many colleges require personal interviews. Most people don’t think about how their body language transmits a multitude of impressions. After reading several body language books by Tonya Reiman I was surprised and amazed with the ways I was unwittingly giving off the wrong vibes.

Here’s a few examples

  • Tucking in chin= anger
  • Lifting chin= winning attitude
  • Jutting chin= confidence ( maybe, too much)
  • Chin resting  on cupped hand= bored
  • Chin resting on top of hand=interested ( a good move to know with superiors, colleague, relatives, and  long-winded friends)
  • Leaning back in chair=bored, disinterested
  • Leaning forward in chair= interested, eager

Group dynamics:

  • Feet all pointed within the circle= do not enter; closed group
  • Crossed arms= do not enter
  • One  or more individuals with foot  or body pointed away from group= OK to enter group near that person

Signs someone is lying (works best if you know the person):

  • Higher pitched voice
  • Clearing throat,  uumms, hesitations
  • A pronounced lilt at the end of the sentence
  • Shorter replies
  • Changing tenses, repeating oneself
  • Using words like everyone, everybody, always, never ( used by teens everywhere!)
  • Increased swallowing
  • Perspiration on upper lip
  • Colloidal artery throbbing ( the neck)
  • Blinking  more than usual
  • Putting hands/fingers to one’s mouth
  • Touching one’s nose
  • Either an increase or decrease in body movements
  • Saying yes but shaking head no, and visa a versa (words don’t match gestures)
  • Either increased or decreased eye contact ( some people think if they stare  you will mistake this for honesty—it’s usually a ploy or an intimidation tactic)
  • Doing something distracting to buy more time while they think of a response ( cough, look at phone, pet the dog)

 How to seem interested in a boring meeting:

  • Tilt head to the right
  • Smile at person speaking
  • Blink more ( we decrease blinking when we’re bored)
  • Nod at appropriate times
  • Shift body if you’re starting to doze ( it should wake you up a bit)

    I am soooo bored!


You have my complete attention











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