Quick tips for reading her body language
Body language is a complex area of study. One simple gesture by one person could mean 100 different things if you see it 100 different times in 100 different settings.
But picture yourself in a conversation in a bar with a girl. Here’s a guide to interpreting the most common signals she’ll throw at you:
Reading someone’s facial expression isn’t as easy as you’d think, because the face is easy to manipulate. It’s easy to force a smile when you’re feeling sad, for example. Women, in particular, tend to smile a lot in social situations when they’re not happy, per say, but just want to avoid appearing standoffish, according to research.
So if a girl smiles at you, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s interested, it might just be a knee-jerk social reaction she has developed. You have to scrutinize her face more closely. A smaller smile with her lips pressed together is likely a perfunctory, socially-obligated smile. A wider smile with her teeth showing is much more likely the result of attraction toward you.
Notice whether she pushes her hair back to expose her neck. It’s usually a sign she’s attracted to the man she’s talking to, according to research.
Also, when people are uncomfortable around another person, sometimes they’ll touch their necks, or rest their hands on their chests, slightly below the neck and above the heart in a pledge of allegiance sort of way. If a girl you’re talking to touches herself like that, it’s a sign you need to build more comfort.
If she stands close enough to you to the point where her upper arm is grazing your upper arm, that’s a sign of comfort, if not attraction. People only allow that to happen while speaking to people with whom they’re comfortable around, according to research
And obviously, when a girl you’re talking to has her arms crossed, it’s a sign you need to build more comfort.
When you’re sitting next to her, it’s a good sign if she crosses her far leg toward you, as seen in the above picture of Jay-Z and Beyoncé. If her closest leg to you is crossed over the other one, however, maybe she’s not that into you yet.
Believe it or not, feet are the most revealing body parts when it comes to reading someone’s body language. Your amygdala, the instinctual part of the brain, positions your feet as it sees fit.
If a girl’s feet are pointing at you, it’s a good sign; she’s comfortable around you. She’s even more comfortable if she stands with one foot crossed over the other one. Your amygdala doesn’t allow you to cross your feet unless it knows you’re in a safe environment, otherwise you might have to flee from predators at a moment’s notice. Even though humans haven’t been regular prey for any other species for a long time, our brains still contain a lot of outdated software that was much more useful to our caveman ancestors than it is to us now.
One foot pointed toward you and the other pointed away likely means she doesn’t mind talking to you, but she wouldn’t mind finding an out either.
Two feet pointed away from you means she’s not conveying any interest, and if she doesn’t turn toward you at least a little as you talk, maybe it’s best to move on.
Also, when two people are standing next to each other, they’ll instinctually allow one of their feet to point toward the other person only when they have known each other a long time and like each other. So if you’re talking to two girls and you see they each have a foot pointed toward the other, you can do a quick cold read, telling them they must be really good friends.
But, as mentioned earlier, the most important thing about body language to remember is that it’s meanings can change based on any number of variables. Maybe her body language seems closed around you, but really it’s because another person she doesn’t like is within close proximity. There’s always room for interpretation, so don’t live and die with every signal she’s sending with her body.
About Luke Harold Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.