Negative Body Language: Signs & Examples

Our body says a lot about the nature of our feelings. People pay attention to body posture and facial expressions trying to interpret the emotions we are having at the moment of speaking. Some gestures are perceived as positive and have a favorable effect on communication, but there is also a negative body language. Learn how to control negative gestures and build stronger connection with other people.

8 common gestures to avoid in communication


  1. Holding something in front of you. This gesture reveals your resistance and shyness. When a person holds a cup of coffee, a book, a bag, etc. in front of him/her, the person tries to hide behind this object and separate himself/herself from the interlocutor.
  1. Inspecting fingernails or checking time. These actions demonstrate that you are bored. Avoid these body signs because they show the lack of interest in the conversation.
  1. Touching your chin. This gesture indicates that you are making a judgment of your interlocutor. Try to avoid this body sign during a conversation because it may push off your companion.
  1. Narrowing the eyes. In the animal world, many species narrow their eyes to express anger. Avoid this gesture because it shows that you disapprove your interlocutor’s ideas or behavior.
  1. Standing too close. You may break personal space only if you are speaking to a good friend or family member. Usually people feel uncomfortable when a stranger stands too close to them.
  1. Touching your face. When you touch your face, especially your nose, it is usually seen as a sign of deception. Closing your mouth with the hand is another indicator of dishonesty.
  1. Fake smile. Insincere smile usually involves only lips and mouth. It is another sign of deception that should be avoided during a conversation.
  1. Slouching your shoulders. This gesture expresses low self-esteem. So, always control your posture and pull your shoulders back to demonstrate self-confidence.

Negative body language can spoil the impression of a person and ruin relationships. Learn body signs, which better to avoid in conversation and control your gestures using these body language tips.