Observation/ Deduction Blog Entry 9

Topic: Nonverbal Analysis of the Arms

none of the pictures on my blog are mine by the way

Topics of Discussion:


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Analysis of the Arms

This Blog might be shorted considering it is only one part of the body. However, the information is still important to take note of.

1. Arms are very reactive. A person’s arms might rise up to protect the body even when it is illogical, like if you have a bullet flying toward you for example.

2. Gravity defying behaviors of the arms happen when happy and content. (As most gravity defying behaviors do.) These behaviors will include the arms moving freely or even swaying joyfully.

3. Our arms will go straight to the chest when injured, abused, or worried. This is a move made to protect ourselves, and is a survival tactic. This is also referred to as arm withdrawal.

4. During arguments, the point mentioned above (arm withdrawal) can be seen. This will be a subconscious reaction to discomfort and the person will not be aware of the action. This action is also a calming action and can be perceived as a “self-hug.”

5. In children, look out for arm withdrawal or the restraining/freezing of their arms in the presence of an adult or parent. This could be a sign of abuse, as the arms are the first thing to be grabbed during a confrontation. Children will try to appear invisible to threats by containing their arms.

6. These restrictive arm behaviors, however, are not limited to children. This is also just a simple response to not wanting to be noticed. Freezing/restricting behaviors of the arms can be seen when uncomfortable or in deceptive situations such as trying to commit a crime.

7. A sign of high confidence in the arms would be the placement of the arms behind the back. This is showing the other person that you see yourself of higher status or importance and don’t want to be approached or touched.

8. Humans use touch to express feelings. For example, we will recoil against things we don’t like but will reach with open arms toward things we do like.

9. As a protection behavior people often use their arms to distance themselves from others in a crowd or similar crowded situation.

10. As with territorial claims with other parts of the body, claiming territory with the arms is also a sign of high confidence and high-status. “Arms akimbo” is the general territorial arm stance and is seen commonly in occupations such as police or military because that is the taught stance. It conveys power.

11. If someone’s arms stay as close to their sides as possible as if to take up as little room as possible, they have low confidence levels. This again, is arm withdrawal but is done purposefully and consciously, when uncomfortable. Unlike the subconscious version when perceiving a threat or committing a crime.

12. Leaning back and interlacing your fingers behind your head is also a confidence pose and conveys that you see yourself as in charge of the situation. This is strictly a sitting posture.

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As always if you have any additions or questions either comment below or pm me. :)

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I am using the book “What Every Body Is Saying” by Joe Narrvo as a guide to the order I am describing these nonverbals to you. If you wish to learn more specifics this is a good place to look. I also recommend anything by Paul Ekman as he is basically the founding father of body language analysis.

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Next Blog: Nonverbal Analysis of the Hands and Fingers

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Disclaimer: I teach people inductive/deductive reasoning and related topics. Most of the information on my blog comes from my own experiences and observations but some of it will also come from various different sources and is just information I use. I don’t claim ownership of information from other sources.

I have been studying these mindsets religiously for a while now and have been practicing memory techniques since I was in the sixth grade. However, I too am still learning. So if you have any suggestions or comments that are helpful to others that I neglect to mention please do so in the comments. I do not claim to know everything there is to know about these techniques. This blog is for educational purposes for me and the readers.

There are several books on the topics which I cover in my blogs. I can send you my working book list if you would like to read them. If you are interested message me.

Also, if you want a source for daily deduction practice material message me.




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I run the Ramblings of a Deductionist publication where I teach deductive/inductive reasoning skills and discuss related topics.

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