How to Read a Person like a Book

(This is only a prelude...there is much more to come, stay tuned!!!)


Openness, Defensiveness, Evaluation, Suspicion


  1. 3 pairs of attitudinal positions:
    1. Defensiveness & suspicion
    2. Readiness & cooperation
    3. Confidence & self-control
  2. Insights needed for accurate attitude/emotional prediction
    1. “Gesture clusters are a group of more than 1 gesture that can be used to more accurately determine the persons attitude/emotional feeling(s)
    2. Remember if only one of these gestures is recognized, attitude can’t necessarily be assumed.  More than 1 gesture is required to do this, i.e. “gesture cluster.
  3. If verbal statements are consistent with emotions and attitudes revealed through gestures, they’re probably telling the truth.
  4. Openness
    1. Open hands demonstrates sincerity
    2. Open hands on chest demonstrates frustration
    3. Shoulder-shrugging & open hands, palms upward
    4. Guilt or suspicion can be noted by hidden hands (in pockets or behind back
    5. Unbuttoning coat demonstrates open or friendly behavior especially if done in your presence
    6. Uncrossing of legs
    7. Move closer to the other person (sit at edge of seat, or physically move seat)
  5. Defensiveness
    1. Arms crossed on chest
    2. Turn back to opposer
    3. Cross arms
    4. Will most definitely affect behavior of others (1 crosses arms, all will!)
    5. Comfort or defensiveness? (Check for gesture cluster, fists or relaxed fit?)
    6. Grip armrests of seat
    7. Sitting with leg over arm of chair (not cooperative, possibly hostile and/or uninterested) possibly show superiority, territorial rights or dominance
    8. Sitting with the chair back serving as a shield along with feet on table can illustrate a superior/subordinate situation (boss/employee)
    9. Crossing legs can be a sign of doubt or defensiveness (this position can also denote a person that will give much competition and needs a lot of attention)
    10. A woman that crosses her legs and moves her foot in a slight kicking motion usually means she’s bored (get to work!)
  6. Evaluation
    1. Sitting on the edge of seat, body leaning forward, head slightly tilted supported by 1 hand indicates interest
    2. If hand-to-cheek and subject is leaning back, that indicates critical, cynical or negative attitude
    3. Arms crossed can indicate a “show me” attitude
    4. Sitting back can indicate a “wait-and-see” attitude, possibly a skeptic
    5. Head tilted – information-overload. 
    6. Stoke chin – think/evaluate
    7. Squinting eyes (rather obvious) will indicate a thought process
    8. Gestures with glasses can indicate a negative reaction, possibly peering over the rims of eyeglasses.  Someone/thing is being scrutinized by the subject
    9. Taking off glasses to procrastinate an answer/conversation (may also involve putting the earpiece of the glasses into the mouth, though this may also indicate a need for nourishment or a need for more information)
    10. If glasses or object is thrown on table then understand there is much hostility
    11. Tobacco smokers use preparing the cigar/cigarette as time to think/evaluate
    12. Pacing – Encountered a difficult decision, or attempting to solve a hard problem
    13. Pinching the bridge of the nose – Usually accompanied with closed eyes and communicates great thought and concern with a decision that’s a bout to be made; self-conflict
  7. Suspicion & Secretiveness
    1. In sign language the right thumb extended upward means good while the left little finger means evil
    2. Hand covering the mouth, especially while speaking
    3. If a person tends to avoid looking at you at all, most likely hiding something
    4. All the gestures that communicate suspicion, uncertainty, rejection, and doubt essentially have a  common message: negative
    5. Sideways glance – (cold shoulder)suspicion and/or doubt
    6. Feet and/or entire body pointing toward the exit indicates anxiety about a situation