Penny For Your Thoughts? 5 Arm Positions That Unveil A Person’s Real Emotions

Date November 26, 2018

Many of us probably have watched at least one episode of the series Lie to Me where a team of experts could expose a liar based on the tiniest eye movement or facial twitch. In fact, non-verbal communication conveys a lot of information. And we have prepared for you some interesting facts about arm positions, which will help you understand what actually is on a person’s mind.

Body language

Most people communicate through the medium of words – that is, verbally – whereas body language is a type of non-verbal communication in which information is expressed or transmitted with the help of physical behavior. It includes gestures, facial expressions, postures, gait, and the like. Experts use knowledge in this area to clearly determine the emotional state of a person, since we’ve all learned to use words to conceal what we actually feel.

READ ALSO: Read Minds Through Body Language: Learn What People's Gestures Give Away

Who is Allan Pease?

Allan Pease is a well-known Australian writer and member of the Royal Society of the Arts. Together with his wife Barbara, he has published several books, and there are 6 BBC programs based on his works. One particular book entitled The Definitive Book of Body Language has become a bestseller. It teaches how to figure out thoughts and intentions of a person by observing their movements, postures, hand positions, etc.



Positions of the arms

Sometimes, to really know your conversational partner, all you have to do is observe their arms and body position. 

Penny For Your Thoughts? 5 Arm Positions That Unveil A Person’s Real Emotions

1. Partial arm-cross barrier

The gesture is used when we experience fear, anxiety, or lack self-confidence. It brings back the moments of our childhood when our parents used to hold our hand and inspired the feeling of security.

2. Upper arms grip

Such a reaction can be often observed at the doctor’s door or before an airplane takes off. It is a sign that a person is struggling to contain a negative emotion. This position gives a person a sense of security and confidence in their decision, but also provides protection from the outside world.

READ ALSO: Like An X-Ray: 6 Zodiac Signs With Highly Developed Intuition

3. Clenched fingers

If in addition to crossing the arms a person also clenches their fingers, they are extremely hostile and do not trust you. Your interlocutor does not agree with you and is going to defend their point of view.

4. Clenched fists

The gesture signals extreme hostility and aggression of your opponent. It is better to postpone all further debates and find the right words to solve the issue because now all your arguments are hitting a brick wall.

5. Arms crossed on the chest

This is a defensive reaction familiar to us from early childhood. It means that a person does not like the words or the situation in which they find themselves. In this way, people are subconsciously trying to create a barrier between themselves and others. This also indicates that your interlocutor may be hostile or on the defensive and is not perceiving the information you are trying to convey.


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You will definitely learn something new on the subject from Allan Pease’s lecture and find real-life application for this knowledge.

As you can see, words can be deceptive, but not the body. Knowing the basic meanings of gestures, you can easily find out what others are thinking about and then figure out their true intentions.

READ ALSO: Everybody Lies: How To Spot A Good Liar