An Expert Explains How To Read Body Language Like A Pro

Blanca Cobb is a famous body language expert who works for leading media outlets like Good Morning America, Harper’s Bazaar and CNN. She has recently explained what some of the signs we transmit with our bodies mean and how we can use the knowledge of them in our daily life and relationships.

Cobb says that she gets “called on by national and international media to weigh in on what I can see in interactions between people in the public eye—celebrities, politicians, famous athletes, or high-profile criminal cases.” Her job is to discover details not just about a specific situation, but human behavior in general, and the main goal is “always to understand people better.”

Pay Attention to the Little Things

Two female friends talking at a coffee shop

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While talking to someone, we usually focus on what the other person is saying. But our bodies reveal a lot of information too. If you’re nervous, you might rock from side to side, touch your lips with your finger, or play with your hair.

“There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when reading body language. Culture and context are really important, as are “clusters.” In body language, a cluster is two or more types of gestures a person makes at around the same time. A cluster gives me more confidence in what I believe I’m observing.”

A great example is when someone wrinkles their nose while talking. Wrinkling the nose is usually a sign of surprise, uncertainty, or even disgust. It’s a clue on its own, but it reveals a lot more when paired with other movements. Wrinkling the nose and leaning away from someone means the person doing it doesn’t like either the topic of the conversation or the other person. If you wrinkle your nose when nodding, it might mean you’re trying to agree with something you don’t actually approve of.


Are You Telling Me This Is a Sign?

Flirting in a cafe

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There are some specific body language signs when it comes to dating too. A friend of Blanca’s recently asked her opinion on the fact her date doesn’t really look her in the eyes and looks over her head often. He’ll touch her arm sometimes though, especially when she tells a joke. The woman suggested her friend watch her date while he’s talking.

“He might be uncomfortable, lying or hiding something if he looks everywhere but her eyes, or gives eye contact to others, but not her. Since I didn’t see their interactions myself these are of course only guidance points–everyone needs to trust their own instincts.”


Try It For Yourself

Woman during job interview

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Giving the right signals with your body is important in any environment. For example, in a job interview, lean forward when the interviewer is talking, keep your hands visible and keep both feet on the floor. On a night out, if you want others to approach you, don’t sit in the corner and avoid eye contact. Be more welcoming by standing up to the wall or the bar and taking a look around the room.

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