Body Language Reference Sheet

Use this infographic on body language to help you write your stories. 

We use body language to add depth to dialoguebecause more than 50% of human communication is non-verbal. We can use it to show rather than tell your reader everything.

Read our post on body language: Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language


Source for Reference Sheet: Go Knights Tumblr

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Posted on: 9th November 2013

8 thoughts on “Body Language Reference Sheet”

  1. The hands in the pockets or behind the back thing needs to be rethought, especially when you are dealing with those 40+. Many of us were taught by our parents to do this when we were in places where we could cause damage (stores did not take a “loss” back then when something was broken by a customer – that is where “you break it, you buy it” comes from). Also, children with a Montessori education will do this as well as it is part of their way of learning to control their behavior and learn to keep their hands to themselves.

    I put my hands in my pockets or hold them together in front of me because I need something to do with my hands. It has absolutely nothing to hiding something, being frustrated, etc. Same with crossing my arms. I always found this kind of pigeon-holing of body languages frustrating, because I am one of those people who don’t fit into the prescribed mold.

    I do have to laugh at the neck rub. It can mean that, or it can mean I need to go see my chiro, heehee!

    As I keep scrolling through them, I am even more surprised that sitting in a lady like manner is considered as having a closed or uncertain manner. Women sit like this all the time – particularly when wearing skirts – and it does not mean this. And the lies… part? Seriously? Who comes up with this stuff??? Good grief. What on earth people must think of me when they evaluate me based on stuff like this.

  2. Valerie Strawmier

    I love this but the leg crossing one for women, I think is off. That’s just sitting like a lady and I certainly don’t want to sit like a guy “open legs”-just because I feel confident. In fact, sometimes when I’m most confident, I sit with my legs crossed (show those babies off, lol!) Other than that, this was really a cool little article.

  3. Crossing the arms is how I pull myself in, as I have larger breasts and hate it when people notice them, I also cross my arms when I am trying not to interrupt someone. Its also comfortable. Crossing my legs is so comfy too and relaxed. How would you feel with someone sitting straight up legs together, arms straight down…..akward!!! Some really need to be rethought, was this published by a college student? Some are just not true at all.

  4. I think this is a very good guideline, but I don’t think it is a foolproof indication for everyone. For example: there may be some outside influential factors that may make someone rub the back of their neck (like neck pain) or someone might hide and cross their arms because they are cold. One thing that bugs me about these kind of criteria (though this one did not have it) is the fact that some think if one does not look people straight in the eye or continually avert their eyes that they are lying. Culturally, some people may avert their eyes as they have been taught they are subordinate to others.

  5. Agree that the whole cross-arm thing could use some rethinking. Several years ago, I lost over half my bodyweight and as a result I am ALWAYS cold indoors (especially in “climate-controlled” buildings). 70 degrees might as well be subzero for me. How to warm up? Cross my arms. It’s not always so simplistic!

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