Learning to speak a language isn’t just learning vocabulary and pronunciation. It’s also about learning to speak body language, learning facial expressions, and how you should react (act in response) to certain things.
Learning to speak body language is an important part of any language and culture, so check out this list to get a well-rounded language learning experience!
If you’re talking to someone with crossed arms, it could mean one of a few things. Either that position is a) super comfortable for them, b) they’re thinking over something, or c) they’re unhappy.
This one has to do a lot with context (the circumstances around something), and you should look at their faces as well to determine (figure out) what exactly they may be trying to “say” to you through their gesture (movement).
If someone is leaning forward while talking to you, they’re probably very interested in what you have to say. They’re trying to get close to you in order to show that they’re involved in the conversation and want to hear everything you’re trying to tell them.
Keep talking, ’cause you’ve got them on the hook (interested)!
This particular form of backing away is almost distinctly American. We really like having our personal space and it’s not meant as an insult if we back away during a conversation. If you’re standing close to us, we may even do it subconsciously (without realizing it).
So don’t be confused if you’re having a perfectly friendly conversation with an American and they start to back away slightly. They don’t mean any harm by it!
During a conversation, if someone is standing with hunched shoulders, they may be uncomfortable with the topic of conversation. This counts double (is more so) if they cross their arms at the same time! They could be trying to protect themselves from whatever is being discussed.
Maybe try to change the topic of conversation, so that everyone feels included!
Standing Up Tall
If someone is standing up nice and straight and looking you directly in the eye, they feel very comfortable and confident in what is being spoken about. Try and engage them more in conversation. Because who knows? You may learn something new!
Are you familiar with any of this type of body language? How did you learn how to speak body language? Share other types of body language with us in the comments below!
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Check out these other popular blogs: Taboo words in English, 7 Synonyms for Being Drunk, 7 American English Slang Words, or these Sports Idioms used in English!
Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and is always learning how to speak body language.