Monday, December 19, 2011

Body Language Analysis at a Holiday Party? What to Look For

The holidays are quickly approaching which means holiday parties, good food, and…body language analysis? YES!

Below are a few things to look for when observing males in action (I’ll be covering females tomorrow, so be sure to come back).



Males habitually stand in a dominant posture—legs apart, both feet firmly on the ground. Often times, in a group, other males will mirror this stance. Thumbs may be tucked into top of the pockets or the belt, outlining the genital area, which demonstrates a sexually aggressive attitude. Males in positions of authority will sometimes stand with their heads up, chins out, one hand holding the other behind the back.


Two types of sitting positions are typical of males: (1) Leaning back in a chair with his arms clasped behind the head and elbows out is frequently a sign of relaxation. This position could also be used territorially or as the intent to intimidate. (2) Straddling a backwards-facing chair is an act of dominance, permitting him control of what’s going on around him. In addition, it safeguards his front-side from any sort of attacks (figurative or verbal).


When approaching or near a female he’s interested in, a male will most times display one or more of these behaviors: (1) Use an intimate gaze and hold her gaze longer than usual, (2) Turn his body toward her, shift his stance until his foot/feet points toward her, (3) mirror the female’s gestures or posture (this only happens with dating mentality), (4) grooming behavior – straightening tie/shirt/collar, slide hands through hair, touching watch, etc. (5) when seated or leaning against a wall, he may spread his legs to display his crotch or hook his thumbs in his belt to highlight that area and emphasize his sexuality. (6) Some males will wear his tie a little to the side–opportunity for a female to straighten it.


When males are anxious or self-conscious, they will often display fidgety behaviors such as checking the contents of his wallet, clasping or rubbing his hands together, adjusting the band of his watch or any other gesture that allows his arms to cross in front of his body. When stressed, he will hold both hands in front of himself protectively.

All males are not the same, so use these suggestions as a general guideline for portraying a male character’s behavior. Any other body language behaviors in the guys around you? Leave them in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen some guys rub their jaws/chins when they're uncertain. Or rub the back of their necks (which I put in my own novel). :)