When you communicate, your brain automatically involves your hands to convey thoughts and emotions.
Using your non-dominant hand to make your point or putting your hands in your pocket can be signs of nervousness or lack of conviction. Submissive positions such as turning the palms upward implies pleading or begging, while finger pointing is dominating as in making a command ("Do it now!").
When the fingers are pressed together forming a steepled shape, pointing upwards, the person may be thinking. This may also be done with just index fingers pressed together and other fingers interlinked ('the church'), with all finger-tips touching ('the cage') or with fingers interlinked.
Steepling can indicate confidence and a sense of superiority over others. It can say "I know something you don't know."
When the hands are pressed together more, the person is feeling more tension and may be hoping for something. The face may give more clues about what they are thinking and feeling. The steepled position forms a barrier against the other person and may be held lower when the person wants to connect more, such as when they are listening.
When we become uncomfortable we tend to cover our vulnerable areas and do what is called the "Fig Leaf" position with the hands together in the front of the body covering the mid section.
No matter how much you practice and prepare, nervousness can make you go back on auto pilot and go back to your normal behavior. However; practice DOES make perfect. You can train yourself to use the right body language if you are preparing for a big presentation or event. Keep checking out our blog for more information.
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