6 hand gestures that betray your counterpart

Hand gestures mirror our thoughts and intentions. Read on to learn the hidden messages being conveyed by the person talking to you.

The steeple position
This hand position, where the fingers are making a little “roof top”, is showing a lot of confidence. signals to your counterpart that you are listening intently and thinking hard about what to say next.

The woodcutter
In the open version of the steeple position, the hands are parallel and face inwards. It is often accompanied by brief chopping movements to underline important arguments and negotiating points. Here your opposite number is saying to you: “This is an extremely serious matter to me!”

Helping hands
The classical “open” hand movement is intended to indicate that the speaker has no aggressive intentions. Anyone who extends upwards-facing open hands across the negotiating table to their counterpart, like an olive branch, wants to make peace and offer mutual support.

The pistol gesture
Hands clasped firmly together with both thumbs pointing upwards, the index fingers stretched out in front and pointing at the other person; this is someone who is unsure of themselves entering self-defense mode! Avoid this gesture wherever possible as it is not well received by people who understand body language.

Hand in front of the mouth
The other person has known for some time what they want to say and is waiting impatiently to say it. In actual fact, they have already formed their opinion and have not really been listening for a while now.

Holding the nose
Before an animal eats, it sniffs at its food. Anyone who holds their nose whilst listening is critical and is looking to be convinced.

Tim Cole

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