Decoding Female Body Language

The Author of "Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101," Vanessa Van Edwards, is an expert at reading body language and says we can learn a lot about people by picking up on their non-verbal cues.  Today we uncovered the secrets of female body language.

Female body language or the body language of women is not all that different from males, however there are a few noticeable differences in female body language that both sexes can make note of.

Female Flirting Behavior
Men and women have completely different courtship behaviors. Here are some of the behaviors that women do (consciously and subconsciously) while trying to entice a man:

  • Looking up and to the side at a man is another 'come hither' look from a woman to a man. This is because a sideways glance over a raised shoulder highlights curves and the roundness of the female face. This signifies estrogen and exposes the vulnerability of the neck and releases pheromones. Women instinctively do this when trying to flirt.
  • Women toss their hair or touch their neck when flirting because it exposes the armpit, which releases sex hormones, and it shows the curvature of the neck and highlights shiny healthy hair.
  • Like Marilyn Monroe, women who are trying to entice a man tend to raise their eyebrows and lower their lids because it looks similar to the face women make when they are experiencing pleasure.

Assertiveness vs Submissiveness
Women struggle with trying to stand their ground while not intimidating men. From a body language perspective this happens in a number of ways. Women use cues of ‘submissiveness’ to show vulnerability, but also can employ certain moves for assertiveness to show they are not pushovers.

  • Women pluck their eyebrows higher up their forehead because it makes them look more helpless. This causes a hormone release in a man's brain connected with protecting and defending the female.
  • Oddly, a limp wrist or exposed wrists are a sign of submission and both women and homosexual men tend to do this subconsciously when in a room with people they want to attract. This is why while smoking, many women hold the cigarette with one wrist turned out and exposed.
  • When women want to be assertive they can stand with feet spread further apart. This ‘claiming of territory’ is a subconscious cue to men that the woman is feeling confident.

Tips for Men and Women:
Taking into account some of the female body language cues, here are some tips for both men and women:

  • When approaching a woman, men should never come up to a woman from behind, as this will put her on guard. They are better off coming in at an angle and then standing at an angle.
  • You do not need to have perfect looks to attract a man. Studies show that men are more attracted to a woman who engages in flirtation behavior to show she is available over the best-looking woman in the room.
     

Likeable Female Body Language:
What do people consider “likeable” body language. Here are some of the behaviors that are attractive and likeable in both social, business and romantic situations:

  • Smiling
  • Having an expressive face
  • Keeping your hands below chin level (above can be seen as aggressive or over-animated)
  • Minimal arm crossing
  • Keeping hands outside of pockets
  • Triple head nods to show interest
  • Intimate eye gazing (from the eyes to the mouth to the body)
  • Leaning towards the other person
  • Subtle mirroring

Overall, women tend to be more aware of their body language and others body language cues. A post on male body language is coming up!

For more body language information from Vanessa Van Edwards, check out her Science of People website.

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