The author is interested in behavioral psychology and body language.
Left Side and Right Side Body Language
When you are reading body language, it is important to see which side of the body is doing the talking.
When a mother holds her baby, most of the time, she will hold it on her left side because this side is closest to her heart—the baby is naturally soothed by the sound of her heartbeat.
As you are talking to people, pay attention to what side of you they are on. If they are standing on your left side, they trust you more than if they were standing to your right side.
Also, think about this when reading body language—if a person stands on your left, they have better access to the creative part of your brain because they are looking in the left direction. If a person stands on your right, they have better access to the logical part of your brain because you are looking toward the right (and accessing the left part of your brain).
Watch a person's hands, too! Do you see someone with their right hand on top of their left? If the right hand is on top, chances are they are accessing the logical side of their brain; if you see the opposite, the opposite is true.
Left Side Body Language Cheat Sheet
To the left
Closest to the heart
To your left
They trust you
On top of left
Thinking in logic
Upper Torso and Feet Body Language
When you are reading body language, pay attention to where the person's body points.
If you are in a meeting, pay attention to the person's upper torso. Where is it pointing? It usually points at the speaker or the person they have the most respect for in a group.
Watch their feet as well. Are that person's feet pointed toward the speaker? The door? Someone of interest? Where a person's feet point will tell you what that person is interested in.
Upper Torso and Feet Position Cheat Sheet
|Part||Pointed Toward||Possible Meaning|
They admire or respect that person
They want to leave
They admire that person
They want to leave
Eye Movement Body Language
When you are reading body language, pay attention to the direction the eyes move in.
Read More From Owlcation
What direction are their eyes pointing in when a conversation is taking place? If they point to the upper right, the speaker is more than likely recalling a visual memory. They are accessing the logical side of their brain by looking to the right, and they are accessing a picture image by looking upward.
If the person looks to the upper left, chances are they are accessing a creative image. They are accessing the creative part of their brain by looking to the left and the visual part by looking up.
If the person looks toward their ears and to the right, they are remembering a sound. They are looking to the right and accessing the logical part of their brain and looking toward the ears to access a sound. They may be thinking about what was just said or remembering what they heard.
If the person looks to the left and toward their ears, they are accessing the creative part of their brain, and they are accessing a sound.
If the person looks down and to the right, they are remembering a feeling. If the speaker looks down and to the left, they are probably trying to understand how another person is feeling.
Eye Movement Cheat Sheet
Remembering something they have seen
Creating an image
Side-ways (pointing towards ears)
Remembering something they heard
Side ways (pointing towards ears)
Creating something they heard
Remembering a feeling
Imagining a feeling
Pupil Body Language
Another important thing to pay attention to when you are reading body language is their pupils.
A person's pupils can tell you a lot about them. If you look into a person's eyes under a steady light—not too dark, not too bright—and that person is not under the influence of any kind of substance, watch their pupils. If you can see their pupils, that can tell you a number of things about that person.
A person's pupils may grow when they look at something they like, talk about something they like, or tell the truth. If a person's pupils shrink, perhaps they don't like what they are looking at or the subject you are talking about, or they could be lying about something. Remember, it is important to take many factors into consideration when you are reading non-verbal communication.
You need to take several things into consideration when you are reading someone's body language. Not only are cultural differences important, but when reading someone, don't just read one cue, read all of them and put it all together.
For example, if a person does not look you in the eyes, it doesn't necessarily mean they're lying; it could mean they are shy. You need to read all of a person's body language before you attempt to determine what they are feeling or thinking. Read, read, and read about body language, and you will learn more.
Foley, G. N., & Gentile, J. P. (2010, June). Nonverbal communication in Psychotherapy. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)).
Jiang, J., Borowiak, K., Tudge, L., Otto, C., & von Kriegstein, K. (2016, October 20). Neural mechanisms of eye contact when listening to another person talking. OUP Academic.
Todorov, A., Baron, S. G., & Oosterhof, N. N. (2008, March 26). Evaluating face trustworthiness: A model based approach. OUP Academic.
Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Reit, E., Khambatta, P., Eastwick, P. W., Finkel, E. J., & Carney, D. R. (2016, April 12). Dominant, open nonverbal displays are attractive at zero-acquaintance.
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Dhiiny on February 23, 2015:
At last! Someone who undeastrnds! Thanks for posting!
karim on October 21, 2013:
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Aishwarya on December 24, 2012:
Thank you so much for this information may be too much useful for me
sarclair (author) on August 05, 2011:
It would be from the point of the speaker.
froch from Tychy on July 30, 2011:
It is very good hub (so vote up!) but I want to ask you question. I'm always thinking about table with eye's direction. I mean left/ride - from our point of view or speaker?
Thank you for answer ;-)
sarclair (author) on June 19, 2011:
Body language is fun to read. Thank you.
Umna Safdar on May 30, 2011:
I love to read body language and to make out what a person is thinking, surely your Hub is a helpful one. Thanks for sharing.
sarclair (author) on March 12, 2011:
I hoped some of this information would be new. Thank you.
Ingenira on February 24, 2011:
Interesting non-verbal communcation. Something new for me. :)