Touching the face is a body language mistake made by a lot of people. It’s quite possibly the number one body language mistake and rarely does it have a good meaning. Here are some of the things that touching the face can mean.
Touching the Face Body Language Gestures and Meanings
Fiddling and Touching the Face Body Language
Touching Nose, Mouth or Eyes while speaking: This is one of the primary signs of deception that criminal justice interviewers, infidelity private investigator and body language specialists look for when routing out deceit. Touching the face body language can be a dead give away. We touch a hand to one of these areas when feeling stressed during speech, which is a big clue that someone is lying. A person may also grab at their earlobe in a similar display of deception in what is called the “hear no evil” gesture.
Resting Head on Hand: Here’s a gesture of touching the face body language you certainly don’t need a degree in body language to understand. This body language gesture is a sure sign that someone is either bored or tired. In this gesture, we prop our head up with a hand to stop our head from drooping when we feel like nodding off. Using this gesture when listening to someone will almost certainly offend them!
Neck Scratch: A person will scratch at the back of their neck with their index finger in a subconscious move which says, “I’m not sure I agree with you.” If you’re talking to someone and they use this gesture, you may wish to ask their opinion so you can discover why they disagree and can solve any potential issues early on. An early sign of marriage breakdown can be seen when husband or wife routinely scratches the back of the neck without saying anything, especially when this move is coupled with lack of eye contact because both these gestures indicate inability to communicate properly.
Holding and Supporting Touching the Face Body Language
Collar Pull: When we get angry or feel stressed (often as the result of being uncomfortable with what we are saying) we literally get “hot under the collar” and will pull at our collar to ventilate our neck. If you see someone doing this while talking to you, ask them to clarify what they just said. You’ll likely uncover a lie.
Hand resting on head: The hand resting on head gesture is one of the few positive hand on face body language gestures. This is a position we assume when we are thinking deeply about something. If it is coupled with the rising of the index finger to point up the face then it becomes a sign of decision making. You should give the person who shows this sign a few moments to think.
Hand on chin: The hand on chin gesture, where a person holds a few fingers around their chin, is a sign of wisdom and shows deep thought. (note: this is not the same as resting the head on the hand)
Hand on chin and supporting head: This is the combination of the boredom gesture (where a person holds their head up with a hand) and the thinking / judging gesture (hand on chin) and means a person is making a negative judgement. Be on the lookout for this gesture in sales negotiation and if you notice it change your angle.
As can be seen, the most common meaning of touching the face body language is nervousness and stress, which could be related to deceit. Because of these negative meanings, you should always be aware when you see this touching the face body language because it’s likely you’re either being lied to or that the other person is feeling stressed, both of which are issues that need to be dealt with.