Body Language Lips (You can’t say it if our lips are sealed)

Body Language Lips (You can't say it if our lips are sealed)

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The lips are usually one of the most expressive features on the human face. Whether you are smiling, frowning, or talking through your teeth – your lips show it all!

There are many different ways that you can interpret what someone’s lip movements might be telling you in regards to their emotions or intentions.

The most common expressions are lip pulling, lip biting, compressing the lips, lip withdrawing, sad lips, and lip pursing. We will take a deep dive into their meaning and more in this full guide of the lips.

In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the most common and noticeable cues of the lips. Yet, before we get to that, we have to acknowledge that there’s a lot more to understanding body language than highlighting these cues.

There are context and non-verbal cues for example we must read in order to get a true understanding of what we are seeing and reading.

Understanding The Basics Of Reading The Lips

The human face is a complex system of subtle and complicated movements. The most significant of these movements are made up of the lips, which can say a lot about what the person is really trying to say.

We can understand both a person’s verbal and nonverbal communication through lip reading, including their facial expressions and gestures.

What we see on a person’s face can communicate how they feel about what they are saying or what others are saying to them – anger, sadness, disgust, etc

Reading the context is important to understand what someone really means. What is context?

Context is the surrounding circumstances that form the setting for an event or statement. We need further details to fully understand it.

When we analyze the body language of the lips we have to take into account who is around them, where they are, and finally what is the conversation about?

For instance, if we see a lip compression while someone is negotiating to buy a car from another person. In this example, the context would be that we know what they’re doing (negotiating the purchase of a car), who they’re speaking with and what’s going on around them.

This would then give us the correct data to analyze and read your expressions so we can find out what is really going on.

We will now look at the most common meanings of the body language of the lips.

Lip Compression

Lip compression is important to reading people since it can lead to a lot of clues about the person. Lip compression is so important that we have written and detailed more on the topic of lip compression you can check out by searching up top.

Lip Biting

Lip biting is usually an indication of stress or anxiety. It is sometimes called a pacifying behavior in body language a way of self-regulating or calming ourselves down.

We also lip bitting when someone is angry or becoming angrier with us.

Lip Barrowing

Lip narrowing is a gesture that may serve as negative emotions, an indicator of social affiliation, or an index of empathy or emotional resonance.

People will use this gesture to show their understanding of the emotions of others. It can be seen as a form of empathy.

It is also common to use this gesture to signal concern, fear, anxiety, or lack of confidence in what is being said.

It is important to pay close attention to the person’s body language. For example, if a person’s lips are narrowed, it could be because they are thinking about what they’re going to say or they might be sad.

Paying attention to their body language will give you a better idea of how they’re feeling and what is going on in their life.

Lip Withdrawing

Lip Withdrawing

In a lip-withdrawing display, a person stiffens their lips and pulls them back into the mouth, disappearing altogether.

It is a signal of offense, great shock, refusal to listen to an opinion, request, or suggestion which is not liked by the other person

Lip withdrawal is the term to describe the physical pain or emotional reaction in response to a negative event.

Turned Down Lips

When someone’s lips are turned down, it usually means that they’re sad, but it can also mean that they’re unhappy with other people’s actions.

The phrase “turned down lips” is a colloquialism that refers to the lips being downturned at the corners.

In most cases, this is a sign of sadness or unhappiness about something going on in their lives. However, it can also be a sign of displeasure with other people’s actions.

Sometimes called “sad lips” in body language.

Ooo Lips

Ooo Lips

The term “Ooo lips” is often used in body language to describe some who is scared

When someone does an Ooo lip, the person will usually be in fear or surprised about something.

What Does Lip Rise Mean In Body Language

A lip rise is a facial expression where the upper lip raises up. It is sometimes mistaken for a smile.

The lip rise can also be used as a greeting or as a form of politeness. This generally happens when someone is introduced to someone else for the first time and they want to be polite and show that they are listening.

What Does It Mean When Someone Bites Their Lip While Looking At You

What Does It Mean When Someone Bites Their Lip While Looking At You

When someone bites their lip while looking at you, it can be a sign that they are feeling awkward or self-conscious. If this person licks their lips after biting their lip, they are likely trying to flirt with you.

Another possible interpretation of this gesture is impatience. The person may be anxious to hear what you have to say and is waiting for a response from you so that they can continue on with their day.

Context is essential in order for you to truly appreciate lip biting; we feel it’s that important that we wrote a whole post about it you can check out with quick search.

Lip Plucking

When we talk about the lips, we usually refer to two shapes: puckered and pursed.

Puckered lips are typically considered people who are in fear, anxiety, or concern. When we see someone pulling their lips it tends to mean self-doubt.

If you see someone plucking their lips in a way that’s out of the ordinary, this is a sign that something is wrong. The important thing to remember is that context is important when reading body language, especially when plucking or pulling the lips.

Tongue Touching The Lips

When we see the lips touching the tongue it could mean a few different things depending on the context surrounding the non-verbal behavior.

For example, if you see the tongue licking the top lip, this is usually seen as a positive emotion.

Yet if you see someone rubbing their tongue on both the lower and upper lip this is seen as a negative cue. Or it could simply mean they have dry lips, context is key to understanding the tongue touching the lips.

If we were to draw a conclusion and had to state one thing about the tongue touching the lips, we would say this is a sign of stress.

Lips Curled

Lips curled in a certain way can be interpreted as meaning different things. For instance, when the lower lip is turned out and inside the upper lip, this can be interpreted as a sign of disgust.

When you see the lips curled into the mouth this could mean deep concern or anxiety.

The most common meaning for curled lips is a sad face or an upside-down smile. This is when the lips are turned down at the corner, if you see this within a person you know they are feeling sad or having a deep emotional action.

Again, context is key to understanding any expression concerning the mouth, as they could just be playing.

Touching Lips Fingers Meaning

Touching Lips Fingers Meaning

Let’s start with the meaning of lip-touching when done by a female. Lip-touching is often seen as a signal that the woman is romantically attracted to the person she’s interacting with or that she’s flirting with him or her.

If you’re trying to figure out if someone likes you back, watch their lips closely – have they touched their lips at any point during the conversation? If so, there may be some hope for you.

You see a man touching his lips with his fingers. This usually means he is thinking about something or someone.

What Does It Mean When You See Lips Quivering

Lip quivering is a sign that is often associated with fear, sadness, and worry. This can be seen in children who are scared, adults who are sad and worried. It can be a result of the brain’s neurons firing or blood vessels around the nose dilating.

Other physical reactions to stress include:

  • A rise in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Increased perspiration
  • Increased saliva production
  • Nausea and vomiting

Lip Reading For The Deaf

It’s important for people with hearing problems, such as deafness or hearing loss, to know how to read lips because it enables them to understand conversations that they would otherwise be left out of.

It’s also helpful for people with speech impairments and those who have certain types of neurological disorders. It’s worth noting here that it’s another form of body language communication.


Understanding what body language of the lips can say and how to use it is an important life skill.

The lips are a great way to understand what is going on within a person as they are often on display and hard to control. Most people don’t think to control their lips, so this is done on a subconscious level.

Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor Body Language Expert