Continuing with the arm cross gestures, we stumble upon the “Thumbs-Up arm cross”. This type of gesture is important to understand because it gives us another meaning besides just negative, or defensive emotion. We will start reading gestures in clusters in greater detail as we continue to learn what separate gestures try to tell us.
What the Thumbs-Up Arm Cross Means
When you see someone with the thumbs-up gesture it generally means the person is feeling defensive, but still feels pretty “cool”. This person wants others to know that he or she still feels in control, but the arm cross is also telling us that he or she is feeling threatened by something being said or someone in the room. This type of body language shows we have self-confidence, but we still feel the need for protection, hence the covering of the vital organs to feel safe. If you witness someone with this type of gesture, it’s very important to remember the rules of body language and read that person’s gestures in clusters. Observe the environment and try to figure out what is making this (usually confident) person feel the need to cover up.
Different Variations of This Gesture
When reading body language, it’s pretty cool when you understand how many gestures fit into one definition or meaning. When someone is sitting in symmetry with the thumbs-up arm cross that person is still feeling defensive. The symmetry of the body is telling us that this person is tense and bracing for an attack, either verbally or physically. When someone is sitting asymmetrical they’re actually defensive in that moment, but are still displaying dominance. This is a slight variation in the way someone is sitting and it completely changes the message being sent to others subconsciously. Hopefully this has stressed the importance of reading body language in clusters.
“Getting The Thumbs-Up”
After researching the thumbs-up arm cross, I have come across a useful tip when selling a product, presentation, or yourself in an interview. First let’s look at this gesture paired with, or clustered with positive gestures. If you see the thumbs-up arm cross with things like:
- Genuine smile (smile with crows feet)
- Eye Contact
- Attentive Listening
- Tell me more gestures, or interest
After witnessing these clusters, you can feel much more confident about presenting your sales pitch or continuing with your answer in an interview. You can feel confident about your presentation as well.
If you see the thumbs-up arm cross with negative gestures:
- Tight-Lipped Smile
- Contracted Eyebrows
- Troubled Looks
- Poker-face or puzzled look
After viewing these clusters, I would highly suggest changing up your strategy. It’s clearly not the time to present your sales pitch, and it may be time to take your answer or presentation in a different direction.
It should be obvious that body language is based on percentages, and the more clusters and gestures you
read , the more accurate you will be.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below and don’t forget to subscribe
You can find me on twitter @CaddyQuinn