What Did She Just Say: 20 Body Language Cues That Come Across As Red Flags

Body language has been helping and hindering relationships since the dawn of time, and it’s still as relevant as ever when it comes to making an impression on another person.

When we don’t understand how our body language makes us look, we run the risk of sending red flags with our behavior that leaves the people around us with the wrong idea about us. And if we’re trying to impress someone we’re romantically interested in, paying attention to body language is even more important!

There are a lot of subconscious things humans tend to do that reveal how they’re feeling inside. If our body language makes us seem bored, uncomfortable, insecure, overly nervous, dishonest, or indifferent, it won’t help us when we’re on a date or with someone we’re interested in. Even if other people don’t know how to read body language, they’ll still get gut feeling reactions to actions that send negative messages like this.

Certain things we do with our hands, feet, eyes, and posture can send the signal that we don’t want to be in the current situation, and that’s never a good thing if we’re trying to impress a potential lover.

Check out these 20 body language cues that come across as red flags!

20Crossed Arms And Legs Show Resistance

If you’re trying to send the message to someone that you’re interested in them, you might want to re-think crossing your arms or your legs. According to Inc, crossed arms and legs are “physical barriers that suggest the other person is not open to what you’re saying.”

Even if the rest of your body language points to the fact that you do like this person, crossed arms and legs could jeopardize everything. Psychologically speaking, when someone crosses their legs or arms, it’s a subconscious way of saying that they’re mentally, emotionally, and physically blocked off from what’s in front of them.

19Slouching Shows Insecurity

Slouching is hardly ever a good look. At best, it makes someone look indifferent and like they couldn’t care less about what’s happening. And at worst, it makes them come across as insecure, since it is the result of collapsing your form and projects less power.

Since we know that confidence is key when it comes to dating, this probably isn’t the look you want when getting to know someone that you’re interested in. By comparison, someone who has a straight posture and holds their shoulders back appears to be in a power position, which tends to translate to confidence.

18Raised Eyebrows Show Uneasiness

There will be times when you just can’t help raising your eyebrows. The three emotions that cause this reaction, according to Inc, are surprise, worry, and fear. So if you raise your eyebrows during what should be a relaxed conversation, it sends a very confusing message.

The person you’re talking to won’t necessarily know that you’re freaked out or worried about how the conversation is going, but they will pick up on the fact that something is not right. So when you can help it, remember to keep those brows nice and neutral. It will probably help you to feel more relaxed as well!

17A Clenched Jaw Shows Tension

Another sign of uneasiness or tension is a clenched jaw. The person you’re talking to might not be able to see that you’re clenching your jaw, but they will probably notice the accompanying body language signs that indicate stress, such as a furrowed brow or a tightened neck.

Nervous body language like this has a way of making other people feel nervous when they’re talking to you, and isn’t the best way to go about showing someone that you’re interested in them or that you’re comfortable with them. On a first date, though, nervous body language is probably expected of you, so don’t worry!

16Clasped Hands Indicate Worry And Discomfort

There seems to be a pattern here! Body language that is tight, tensed and closed up tends to lend itself to feelings of worry and discomfort, while open, relaxed body language gives the impression that somebody is, well, relaxed. It’s exactly the same as far as hands are concerned.

When you clasp your hands tightly, you are sending the signal that you feel stressed—to the point where you are holding your own hand for comfort! On the flip side, nice, open palms that face outwards tend to give the impression that you’re more relaxed and open to talking. So stop fidgeting and keep your hands casual!

15Chopping The Air Can Be Too Aggressive

Chopping the air is something that we tend to do when we feel really strongly about something. If you’re a presidential candidate making a speech, we say chop away! But in most social settings, this kind of behavior can come across as being far too aggressive.

Even if you’re just passionate about something, it can be really off-putting, and almost gives the impression that you want to cut off your connection with the person you’re speaking to. If you do feel really inclined to chop, try to keep the hand movements small so it’s not totally intimidating to the people in your company!

14Fidgeting May Send A Message Of Boredom

If you’re on a date with someone and you’re having a good time, you don’t want to start fidgeting. This body language sends the message that you’re either bored or uncomfortable—two things that you’re not if you are into the person you’re interacting with.

Sometimes we develop twitches and repetitive behaviors that look like fidgeting, and we do them regardless of how we’re feeling, so this is something to look out for. Try and sit calmly rather than messing with your hair or bouncing your leg, since those kinds of behaviors make you seem like you’d rather be somewhere else.

13Gestures That Are Too Big May Be Mistaken For Arrogance

When playing the dating game, it’s not a good idea to make yourself look overly insecure with clasped hands, slouched shoulders, and crossed legs. But you also don’t want to look so confident that it’s bridging into cocky or arrogant territory. Huge gestures can actually make us look like we’re arrogant rather than just self-assured.

If you’re not on stage performing for a theatre of people or giving a speech in an auditorium, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not being too dramatic with your movements. The only time you should wave your hand in the air is when you’re trying to get a taxi!

12Patting The Legs Is A Red Flag Pointing To Discomfort

Generally speaking, any kind of self-comforting gesture tends to send the signal that you’re uncomfortable—or why else would you be soothing yourself through things like clasping your own hands? Patting your legs is another gesture that can point to discomfort, and this can be off-putting if you’re spending time with someone you’re interested in.

If they’re trying to read you to see how you might feel about them, patting your legs isn’t going to do you any favors. It can seem like a lot to remember, but when in doubt, just be still rather than fidgety. And keep in mind that these self-soothing behaviors are red flags to potential boos!

11Touching Someone Using Only The Fingertips Sends The Wrong Message

Body language can also make a difference when it comes to physically touching other people. If you’re trying to build a bond with someone, whether it’s a romantic interest or a friend, lightly touching them is a great way to connect. This can also be an effective way to hint that you are romantically attracted to them.

But how you touch them can make all the difference. You might be hesitant to touch them with your whole hand, especially if you’re still getting to know them, but if you use only your fingertips, this can send a message of dislike or even repulsion.

10Checking The Phone May Be Taken For Rudeness

The etiquette surrounding technology and dating is something that past generations never had to worry about, but it is incredibly significant for millennials and those after them. The way you handle your phone when in a social setting can reveal a lot about how you feel about being there. If you keep checking your phone, and actually responding to messages, it sends a very strong message that you’re just not that interested in the other person.

If you absolutely have to respond, excuse yourself from the conversation, the same way you would if you were physically leaving. Because if you’re on your phone, you’re not actually present, so in a way, you are leaving.

9Feet Pointing Away From Someone Indicates A Lack Of Interest In Them

That’s right, body language signals can extend all the way to your feet! Our feet tend to subconsciously reveal how we’re feeling on the inside. If we tap our feet, it shows impatience or irritation. And if our feet point away from the person we’re talking to, it’s a sign that we don’t actually want to talk to them anymore.

This isn’t a major sign since most people pay more attention to your face, your posture, and your hands rather than your feet. But it is something to be aware of! It can’t hurt to make sure your toes are pointing toward the person you like.

8Wrapping Feet Around Chair Legs Does Not Show Confidence

This is another signal that you’re not feeling very confident. Wrapping your feet or legs around your chair is basically the lower-body version of clasped hands. If you’re trying to give the impression that you’re confident and comfortable in your own skin, avoid this! You also want to avoid tapping your feet—just be still and calm.

And if you’re trying to impress someone whom you’re romantically interested in, then showing confidence should be one of your priorities. We’re naturally drawn to people who are confident, no matter what they look like. It’s not easy to feel confident all the time, but with the right body language, you can easily fake it.

7Touching The Face Isn’t The Best Idea

Another form of fidgeting can be touching the face, which is basically never a good look. Not only does this send the message that you’re bored or uncomfortable, the way all fidgeting does, but it can also give the impression that you’re deceiving the person you’re talking to.

When we’re being dishonest, we tend to touch our noses and mouths. If you’re listening to someone and you touch your face, then it tends to send the message that you’re resisting what they’re telling you. None of that is helpful if you’re on a date with someone you like and hoping that it goes well!

6Hands Behind The Back May Send A Message Of Dishonesty

Speaking of signs that someone is being dishonest, hands held in the pockets or behind the back are a red flag. This comfortable position is quite common, and many people do it naturally simply because it is comfortable. But it can still send the signal that you have something to hide.

Hands in the pockets, especially, can indicate that you want to keep to yourself and you are not in the mood to socialize, so it’s not really a great physical stance to take when you’re trying to get to know someone. Unless it’s freezing cold, keep those hands where they can be seen.

5Leaning Back Can Indicate Indifference

When you’re talking to someone you have feelings for or you’re hoping you move closer to, indifference is not a good thing. To show that you care about someone, and the conversation you’re having with them, it’s a good idea to show through your body language that you’re emotionally invested in the present and what’s going on between you.

To do that, avoid leaning backward in your chair. This is the position you take if you’re about to take a nap at your desk, not one for subconsciously letting someone know that you’re interested in them. It’s better to sit up straight at the least, or even lean in.

4Too Much Nodding Isn’t A Good Idea

There’s nothing wrong with nodding occasionally when someone is talking to you since this shows that you’re listening to what they have to say. But like anything, there’s such thing as too much nodding. When you’re nodding at every single thing they say, it looks much less authentic than the occasional nod.

Rather than looking like you’re interested in the conversation, you tend to look like you’re worried about what they think and are nodding so much to try and compensate for that. It can also look like you’re hoping they’ll just stop talking. For best results, keep the nods to a minimum!

3Staring For Too Long Comes Across In The Wrong Way

When you’re moving closer to someone, eye contact is important. Looking at each other in the eyes is a good way to build up trust, but this is something else that you don’t want to be doing too much.

Because it’s common knowledge that it’s hard to lie when looking someone in the eye, many people who are being dishonest will deliberately hold eye contact for an unnatural amount of time, in order to cover up the fact that they’re lying. According to Inc, ten seconds is the longest most people stare at someone in the eyes for when they’re talking to them. Anything longer looks unnatural and suspicious.

2But No Eye Contact At All Is Worse

You don’t want too much eye contact since that makes you look dishonest and brings about a sense of discomfort for both of you. At the same time, though, you don’t want to completely avoid looking at the person you’re talking to in the eyes, especially if you like them.

It’s also common knowledge that we make eye contact with people we’re interested in, so if you don’t look at them in the eyes, at least a couple of times, they might get the impression that you have no feelings for them. They could also feel as though you’re lying to them since this is also the behavior of someone who’s got something to hide.

1A Smile That Doesn’t Crinkle The Eyes Looks Fake

Smiling shows that you’re comfortable, friendly, and having a good time. But a smile that is fake or forced can end up doing more harm than good since it can make you look like a phony.

Sometimes we have to fake smiles, but there’s a way to go about this: make sure the smile reaches your eyes and crinkles the skin to create crow’s feet around them. To achieve this, you have to think of something that genuinely makes you happy, so the actual smile is real, even if the situation you’re currently in isn’t actually making you feel good.


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