Body Language – Your Feet Say A Lot!

Did you know that the brain speaks to the hands more often than any other body part?

This occurs because we habitually gesture with our hands as we communicate with others. Have you ever caught yourself on the telephone talking with someone else and using your hands and other body movements to emphasize a point or conclude a statement? Of course, we all have.

What about the feet though? Have you ever considered how much information is relayed through foot position and movement? A lot!

Unlike the hands, the feet receive the least amount of attention from the brain. The feet however receive a lot of attention from the brain if the body is in fight or flight mode or otherwise threatened or uncomfortable.

Take for instance a conversation between two people who are very interested in each other. Upon observation, you will probably note that their bodies and feet are pointed towards each other.

Sometimes when one foot is crossed over the other knee, a female will slowly roll their foot from the ankle in an up and down or in a circular motion.

A male will usually play with their ankle area too. Sometimes you can observe a display of interest by gestures such as pulling up a sock or rubbing the ankle slowly. These are non verbal indicators of liking.

Of course there are other signs to include as well which make up the cluster of gestures and body movements indicating interest such as a genuine smile, a head tilt and open posture to name just a few.

However, it may occur where everything on the surface appears to be fine and genuine between two people, yet upon observing the feet and legs, one of the individuals has their leg(s) pointed towards an exit or door.

This is a strong indicator that they may want to move on or are not interested in the other person or uncomfortable in the moment. Body shuffling, micro or macro facial expressions of boredom and other cues can further conclude disinterest in that person or conversation.

Remember that the feet will tell the body where it wants to go at that particular time or moment.

Going forward, the next time you are networking or find yourself at a social function, pay close attention to the direction of the feet of others. It will give you a strong indication of the interest level that the other person has in the conversation or company around them and allow you to use the non verbal message cues to your advantage.

This being said however, it’s also important to note to pay attention to our own feet and their position when communicating with others. Especially if our intent is not to let the other person know how you really feel.