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January 31, 2012

Reading Body Language - Common Hand Gestures

Walking on two feet and thus having free hands (fore limbs) gives us an unique ability to make different hand gestures. They are very advantageous, important and decisive too during face to face social interactions. Even if we're talking on phone, we subconscious make hand gestures as if we're standing in front of another person.

In some cultures, making too many hand gestures, too frequent hand gestures or too bold hand gestures is strictly prohibited or frowned upon e. g. Southern India especially Tamilnadu. In other cultures, it has been accepted, adored and even institutionalized.

According to body language, there are different categories under which different gestures fall. Only manipulative, pointing, regulatory, declarative and territorial gestures are quite common across the globe.

Symbolic and Emblematic gestures vary from one culture to another. Also, the meaning of same gesture might have entirely different meanings in two different cultures.

Directing ("This way."), Pointing ("It's the thing.") or Blaming ("You are a culprit.")

Skyward/Upward, Ruler's Finger or "One God"

Allowing ("Come here.", "Let it approach.")

Stopping ("It's enough.", "Don't come.")

Blessing or Suppressing

Submission or "Give me."

Powerful, Strong or Winner

Questioning or Demanding

Offering or Picking

Clarification ("Believe me.", "Nothing to hide.")

Helping Hand or Making Clear

No Arms In Hand or Hand Wave ("I'm here!")

Symbolic Pistol or Sign of Shooting

Symbolic Punch ("Beat you") or Power Fist

Related Articles:
1) Words and gestures are alike 2) Body Language Brain 3) Clusters 4) Congruence 5) Proxemics 6) Context 7) Micro Expressions 8) Para Language 9) Facial Expressions 10) Postures 11) Challenges 12) Interpretation 13) Baseline 14) Perceptual Bias 15) Self-communication by gesturing 16) Basic Bodily Clues

1 comment:

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