Body language basics

Say what you will, but know that your body might be communicating something else. Body language, said Anne Warfield, CEO of Minneapolis-based Impression Management Professionals, “is your body’s way of saying the truth.”

Perhaps you’ll see some of these gestures at the third, and final, debate Wednesday night — or maybe at your workplace on ­Thursday.


Tilted head, hand on cheek: Good. Shows you are genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.

Hands in front of chin? Oops. Now you just look bored.

Leaning forward: Also good. You are showing that you are engaged in the conversation.

Head down: Avoid doing this. Seen as judgmental.

Eyes wandering: Bad idea. You’re clearly not interested.

Open hands: A show of goodwill and camaraderie.

Continuous blinking: You’re nervous. Stop it already.

Picking imaginary lint off cuffs: Popular with politicians, sometimes wearing pantsuits, who are feeling constrained from saying what they really want to say.

Gail Rosenblum