Body Language Of The Hands Mean (Hand Gesture)

What Does Body Language Of The Hands Mean (Find Out More)

The hands are extremely expressive and can tell quite a bit about what someone is feeling and thinking its the one place we naturally look at when we meet people. In this post, we will take a look at the way we use our hands to express ourselves and other body language gestures.

Our hands serve many purposes in body language. We use them to emphasize points (illustrators), pacify ourselves (pacifiers), hide away (blocking), and defend ourselves if necessary.

A person’s palm position can give clues about their state of mind. For example, if someone has their palm up, they may be open to new information. On the other hand, if their palm is facing down, they may be closed off or defensive.

The way a person clenches their fingers can also communicate emotions such as anger or stress. Understanding the sign language of the deaf is a must in order to communicate with them.

If you believe in evolution, then understanding body language is a given. Our ancestors came from the jungle and plains of Africa, and their front legs became our arms and hands, while their rear legs became our feet and legs.

This enabled them to use their hands in many different ways. Could it be that before words existed, hand signals were used instead? It’s possible, don’t you think?

Next up we will take a look at a few common ways we use our hands in body language.

If you would like to learn to read body language quickly then check out these books Six-Minute X-Ray: Rapid Behavior Profiling. Or Understanding Body Language: How to Decode Nonverbal Communication in Life, Love, and Work.

25 Body Language Hand Gestures.

  1. Hands in pockets.
  2. Hands behind the back.
  3. Hands-on hips.
  4. Hands to face.
  5. Hands behind the head.
  6. rubbing hands together.
  7. Hand holding.
  8. Hands-on Knees
  9. Hands-over gestures.
  10. Hand wave.
  11. Handshake
  12. Handshaking.
  13. Fidgety hand.
  14. Pulling sleeves over hands.
  15. Hands folded under the chin.
  16. Hands near the face.
  17. Hands around neck
  18. Hands folded across chest.
  19. Hands in a triangle.
  20. Hands through hair.
  21. Pulling hands apart.
  22. Two hands on chest.
  23. Hand behind the ear.
  24. Hands Clenched.
  25. Interlaced fingers.

Here are the examples of how we use our hands.

Hands in pockets.

Hands in pockets is a body language that can indicate a few different things. It can show that someone is relaxed, comfortable, or disinterested. It can also be seen as a power move, as it takes up more space and can make someone seem more intimidating. If someone has their hands in their pockets around you, it’s best to take cues from the rest of their body language and context to determine how they’re feeling.

Hands behind the back.

Hands behind the back can be a very powerful body language cue. It can convey confidence, authority, and even intimidation. When someone stands with their hands behind their back, it shows that they are comfortable and in control. This is a great position to take when you want to project confidence and power.

Hands-on hips.

Hands-on hips is a common body language gesture that can communicate a variety of messages. It can be used to express confidence, and assertiveness, or to simply draw attention to oneself. It can also be seen as a defensive posture, or as a way to intimidate others depending on the context

Hands to face.

Hands-to-face is a body language gesture that can communicate a number of things. It can be used to signal interest, as well as to deflect or hide emotions. It can also be used as a way to self-soothe or calm down.

Hands behind the head.

Hands behind the head is a body language gesture that can communicate a number of things, depending on the context and situation. It can be a sign of relaxation as if someone is leaning back in their chair with their hands behind their head. It can also be a sign of frustration or impatience as if someone is tapping their fingers or drumming their hand on their head while they wait. In some cases, it can also be a defensive gesture, as if someone is putting their hands behind their head to protect themselves from something.

Rubbing hands together.

This gesture can communicate a variety of messages, such as excitement, anticipation, or even nervousness. While the meaning of this gesture may vary depending on the context, it is generally seen as a positive sign.

Hand holding.

Hand-holding is a gesture of affection, support, and friendship. It can convey many different emotions, from love and happiness to comfort and reassurance. This simple act can also be a way of showing solidarity or unity, as in a handshake between two people who have just met or been introduced. Whether you’re holding hands with a romantic partner, friend, or family member, the meaning is usually the same: you care about the person and want to show it.

Hands-on Knees.

One common gesture that is used across many cultures is placing your hands on your knees. This gesture can be used to show respect, request something from someone, or express submission. For example, if you are asking for forgiveness from someone, you might put your hands on your knees and bow your head. In some cultures, this gesture is also used as a sign of thanks.

Hands-over gestures.

There are many different types of hand-over gestures, each with its own meaning. For example, a common gesture is to place your hand on the other person’s shoulder as you hand over an object. This gesture can communicate support, friendship, or simply that you are comfortable with the other person. Another common gesture is to hold out your hand, palm up, as you hand over an object. This gesture can communicate respect or deference, as well as indicate that you are not a threat.

Hand wave.

A hand wave is a gesture often used to greet someone or say goodbye. It can also be used to show excitement, approval, or to get someone’s attention. Hand wave is a non verbal form of communication that can be used in many different ways.


Handshakes are a very important part of body language. They can convey a lot of information about a person, such as their level of confidence, their intentions, and their level of interest in the person they are shaking hands with. Handshakes can also be used to create rapport and trust between two people.

There are many different ways to shake hands, and the meaning can vary depending on the culture. In some cultures, shaking hands is seen as a way to show respect, while in others it is seen as more casual. There are also different ways to shake hands depending on the situation. For example, you might shake someone’s hand differently if you are meeting them for the first time versus if you are saying goodbye.


If someone is shaking hands with you and they seem tense or nervous, it’s a body language cue that they may be afraid or anxious. When you see the hands shaking you know internally something is going on with that person.

Fidgety hand.

Fidgety hands are often an indicator of nervousness or anxiety. If someone is fidgeting with their hands, it may be a sign that they are feeling uneasy or uncomfortable. This body language cue can be helpful in understanding how someone is feeling, but it is important to consider other factors as well. For example, if someone is fidgeting with their hands while also making eye contact and smiling, they may just be nervous about something specific and not necessarily anxious or uncomfortable overall.

Pulling sleeves over hands.

One way to show nervousness or insecurity is by pulling your sleeves over your hands. This is a nonverbal cue that can indicate a lack of confidence or comfort. It may also be a way to self-soothe, as the act of covering hands can be calming. If someone you’re talking to is repeatedly pulling their sleeves over their hands, it might be a good idea to make them feel more comfortable by giving them some reassurance.

Hands folded under the chin.

Folding your hands under your chin is often seen as a sign of thinking deeply about something, or being lost in thought. It can also be seen as a sign of boredom, or disinterest.

Hands near the face.

Hands near the face can indicate a number of things. For example, if someone has their hands near their mouth, they may be about to speak. Alternatively, if someone has their hands near their eyes, they may be trying to get a better look at something. In general, having your hands near your face can be a way of getting people’s attention.

Hands around the neck.

If someone places their hands around your neck, it is generally considered a sign of aggression. This body language communicates that the person is feeling threatened and is preparing to defend themselves. It can also be a sign that the person is feeling overwhelmed or stressed. If you see someone with their hands around their own neck, it may be a sign that they are struggling to cope with something.

Hands folded across chest.

Hands folded across the chest can be a sign of many things, such as relaxation, self-assurance, or contentment. It can also be a way to show that someone is closed off emotionally or not interested in what is happening around them. This gesture is often used when someone wants to convey that they are in control and not to be messed with.

Hands in a triangle.

Hands in a triangle can be a sign of many things. It can be a sign of someone thinking deeply or trying to figure something out. It can also be a sign of someone being closed off or guarded. Sometimes called a church steeple or steepling.

Hands through hair.

Hands-through hair is a type of body language that can communicate a variety of things. For example, if someone is constantly running their hands through their hair, they may be nervous or anxious. Alternatively, if someone lightly runs their fingers through their hair, they may be flirting or trying to look seductive. In general, hands through hair is a way to express emotions and can be interpreted in many ways depending on the context.

Pulling hands apart.

Pulling hands apart can be a sign of frustration, impatience, or even anger. It can also be a way of trying to physically distance oneself from someone else. This type of body language is often seen in arguments or when two people are disagreeing with each other.

Two hands on chest.

Two hands on chest is a dominant body language gesture that communicates confidence and power. It is often used in combination with other assertive gestures, such as leaning forward or taking up space with your body. This gesture can be interpreted as threatening or aggressive, so it is best used in situations where you want to assert your authority or make a strong impression.

Hand behind the ear.

A person who has their hand behind their ear is typically signaling that they are trying to listen to something or someone. This body language cue can be helpful in determining whether or not someone is interested in what you are saying. If they are not paying attention and their hand is behind their ear, it is likely that they are not interested in what you are saying.

Hands Clenched.  

Hands clenched is a form of body language that can communicate a variety of things. It can be a sign of anger, frustration, or fear. It can also be a way to physically express tension. When someone’s hands are clenched, it can be difficult for them to relax or to communicate effectively.

Interlaced fingers.  

Interlaced fingers is a body language gestures that can indicate many things, depending on the context and situation. For example, interlacing fingers behind the head can be a way of relaxation or can indicate confidence. Interlacing fingers in front of the body can be a way of self-comfort or can show vulnerability.

Next up we will take a look at a few commonly asked questions.

frequently asked questions

Do we speak with our hands?

First impressions count, we all know this and have been told this many times. You have made your mind up within five seconds if the person you are looking at is a friend or foe

Hands are used to conceal weapons or tools, so they are the second place a person will scan automatically when meeting someone for the first time.

As the hands are the second place we took our first impressions of them are important. If you see a clean, open palm, you will assume the person is non-threatening. Conversely, if you don’t see the hand or it is behind the back, you will automatically be aware of the person trying to hide something.

Hand Health

Your hands will send a strong signal about your health and well-being. Keeping your hands in top condition is important if you want to send the signal that you are not a threat.

There are some jobs that should consider the condition of their hands as extra important.

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Lawyers
  • Public Facing Customers Service Representatives
  • Sales Executives
  • Child Care
  • Teachers
  • Entertainers

Think about how your hands interact with your environment on a day-to-day basis and consider how this shapes you as a person.

Do We Talk With Our Hands?

The way we use our bodies to express ourselves is an important form of communication. It can help us to share our feelings, emotions, and opinions, as well as give others clues about our attitudes. Different cultures often have different gestures that they use to communicate specific ideas, so if you are talking with someone from a different culture it might be difficult to understand what they are trying to communicate through their body language if they use different gestures than you would expect.

We often communicate with our hands to illustrate points, demonstrate how we feel, or communicate when people can’t hear us. Body language is a form of communication that uses hand gestures to convey meaning. There are many universal meanings that we communicate with our hands. We have listed the main ones below.

  • Ok.
  • Thumb up.
  • Middle finger up (Commonly known as the bird or flipping someone off)
  • Stop.
  • Come on.
  • Pointing at something or someone.
  • Holding our hands on our heads.
  • Gun sign or signal.
  • Throat-cutting action.
  • Finger Crossed.

There are many more gestures we use with our hands, but the above are the main ones we understand in the Western world.

What Does Wringing Or Rubbing Of The Hands Mean?

Body language communicates messages about an individual’s thoughts, feelings, or state of mind through hand gestures. Wringing the hands is usually indicative of inward tension or stress in the body. It can be a way of pacifying oneself or self-soothing when feeling out of place or under threat. Therefore, it is worth taking note when observing someone wring their hands together.

Questions to ask yourself: What is the context of the conversation? Who is in the room that could make them feel under pressure or uneasy? What has changed in the environment to make them wring their hands?

Remember that there are no absolutes in body language. We have to read in clusters in order to get a true understanding of what’s going on. You can learn about reading body language here.

Hand rubbing or wringing can have a few different meanings. Some people think it means the person is excited and ready to get started on something, while others believe it means they are lying. The best way to know for sure is to read the person’s other body language cues in addition to this one.

Hands-On Hips Meaning In Body Language.

A person’s body language may give information about what they are thinking or feeling. For example, a man with his hands on his hips may want to look like he is in charge. Another way to tell if a person is confident is if their thumbs are behind their hips and their elbows are sticking out.

The meaning of a woman placing her hands on her hips varies depending on the context. It could be a way of showing off her body to a potential mate, or a flirtatious gesture. The interpretation also changes if the woman is in a position of authority, as the gesture then takes on a more dominant meaning.

The body language of someone who stands with their hands on their hips often indicates confidence in themselves or in what they are saying. If you see the thumbs behind the hips, they are preparing to take action. If you see the hands on the hips with the thumbs forward, they are thinking about something or trying to figure something out.

What Does Sitting On Your Hands Mean In Body Language?

This gesture can mean different things in different situations. Sometimes it’s a sign that someone is giving up or has been defeated. In other cases, it might show that someone is impatient or angry. Sometimes people do this when they’re holding something back. It could also be that their hands are cold. We need to look at the situation and figure out what it means. That’s why having a baseline is so important.

In most cases, this gesture is used to indicate that the person doesn’t want to do something and isn’t going to take action. It can also indicate boredom or a lack of interest in what’s being said or done.

Sitting on the hands can mean suppression of some kind of internal feeling. If you see someone sitting on their hands, ask yourself what preceded that? If you find yourself sitting on your hands, try to figure out why. This will give you a big clue into your own body language habits.

What Does Hands-On Face Mean?

When somebody feels embarrassed, they might bury their face in their hands. This is a universal human gesture that can be interpreted as feeling shy, embarrassed, ashamed, or nervous.

Researchers have found that people make this gesture when they are embarrassed because it signals to the other person that they are not looking at them or their facial expressions. It is also possible for someone to make this gesture if they feel tense and need to withdraw from the situation for a moment to calm themselves down.

What Does Body Language Hands Together Mean?

It is most commonly used to show respect to someone else. However, it can also be used as a way of saying that the person wants to hear more before responding or as a sign of agreement. Another way you might see hands come together is in the form of ‘steeple hands, which is often used as a display of confidence.

What Does Body Language Hands Touching Mean?

Touching people can mean different things in different cultures and environments. The frequency of touch is a good way to show how we feel. When we feel close to someone, we will touch them more often. Most people of higher status like your boss will touch you or pat you on the back when you have done a good job or they appreciate your work.

If you’re not used to touching people, it can be tough to know how to do it in a way that feels good. However, there are a few safe areas you can touch someone depending on the situation. For example, the back or upper arm between the elbow and shoulder are usually good places to massage. If it feels awkward to you, it’s probably best not to do it.

What Do Hands-On Cheeks In Body Language Mean?

Hand on the cheek: When someone is talking and you place your hand on your cheek, it shows that the person is interested in what the other person has to say.

Hand under the chin: Placing one or both hands under your chin while listening to someone or when you are thinking about what they said, shows that you are engaged and paying attention.

When we talk about someone’s body language, we’re usually referring to the way they’re standing or sitting, their facial expressions, and the way they’re moving their hands and other parts of their body. If a person has their hand on their face, it could be a sign of embarrassment or shyness. It could also mean that they don’t want to talk about something or that they want people to stop talking.

Body Language Hands Near Mouth

The gesture may be a way to release some of that tension. Hands near the mouth can also be a sign that someone is holding something back and doesn’t want to talk. When you were a child, you may have placed your hand over your mouth to stop yourself from talking or put your finger on your lips. We also see this in adults, but it is subconscious.

What Does Mirroring The Hands

Mirror The Hands

One way to quickly build rapport with someone you’ve just met is by mirroring their hand movements. You don’t have to copy them exactly, but this helps create a sense of connection and similarity between you two. Remember, synchrony is harmony.

Don’t Do This With Your Hands Or Fingers!

Do not point at people you do not know or in anger, as this will elicit an undesirable response. People generally don’t like being pointed at and may perceive it as an aggressive gesture. A good rule of thumb is simply not to point at people.

Instead of keeping your thumb in your pocket, keep it on display. This conveys to others on a subconscious level that you are not concealing any weapons or anything that could be used to harm someone.

Final Thoughts.

The hands are a key part of non-verbal communication, and we need to be aware of them to get an accurate read on people and understand what they are trying to say.

If we can learn how to communicate using our hands, we will be better able to express ourselves to others and create a more positive experience for everyone involved.

We really hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the hands and how we communicate with them. There is still plenty more to learn from the hands. If you have enjoyed this blog post, please check out our other post on What Does Wringing Your Hands Mean (Body Language) for a more in-depth look.

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