On this page, we cover the body language of touching, including touching the face and hair, rubbing the stomach, stroking the legs, thighs and arms and other touch-body-language gestures. If that’s not quite what you’re looking for, you may find one of these alternative helpful.
Still not what you’re after? Consult the complete body language guide.
Touch body language is important for a lot of reasons. Most obviously it is important for singles dating online and in person. It’s also important in business (a good grasp of body language should be an integral part of all negotiation skills training). Whatever you’re reason, learn these touch body language gestures and you will learn a lot about a person.
Touch Body Language: Touching the Face
- Touching the nose: indicates a possible lie, a bad smell, or that a person is evaluating and making a negative judgement. If you’re a negotiator, one of your key negotiation skill tactics should be to look out for this gesture. If you spot it, strategically attempt to find out why the other person is not in agreement with you.
- Lips Touch Body Language: a body language gesture that could indicate a person is lying (when covering the mouth) or that they are looking at or thinking about someone they are attracted to ( a person will sensually touch their lips when attracted) or, finally, may show nervousness (when continually touching the lips or biting it). Example: criminal justice interviewers seeing this sign in a suspect will know that there is a chance the suspect is lying and will question them further.
- Mouth Touch Body Language: A possible sign of lying, putting a finger in the mouth is a sign of insecurity or uncertainty.
- Eye Touch Body Language: A sign of deceit, though could just as easily be an itch. This is another sign that criminal justice classes will teach to practising interviewers in order to help them spot deceit.
- Touching the hair: a sign of insecurity or preening, which suggests attraction.
Touching the ear: Sign of lying
Touching neck body language: Rubbing or squeezing the back of the neck indicates tension. Covering the neck with a hand is a protective sign revealing feelings of insecurity, nervousness or fear of attack.
Touching the Arms, Body and Legs
- Touching the opposite arm: forms a barrier in front of the neck for protection.
- Holding hands in front of body or folding arms: again, forms a protective barrier indicating insecurity
- Stomach Touch Body Language: holding a hand to the stomach will alleviate nausea associated with anxiety. In other words, he’s feeling anxious and worried if he is repeatedly touching or rubbing his stomach.
- Thigh Touch Body Language: rubbing or stroking the thighs is a sexual sign.
- Hips Touch Body Language: Holding both hands on hips is a stance used to show dominance and indicate power. One hand on one hip shows agitation and a lack of power.