Dr. Paul Hokemeyer is a licensed marriage and family therapist who regularly contributes to Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News and more. AllParenting asked Dr. Hokemeyer to help us shed some light on the body language slip-ups women are most guilty of and what they might be unintentionally communicating without even saying a word.
Covering up your cleavage
According to Hokemeyer, if you're in a work or social situation and find yourself covering up your cleavage, you could be giving the person who's observing you a sense of power. When a woman noticeably covers up her chest, she may think she's coming off modest but what her body language communicates is that she feels unsafe or sexually vulnerable.
Fidgeting with your wedding ring
If you find yourself fidgeting with your wedding ring while you're engaging socially with someone, you might actually be sending them a signal that you're sexually attracted to them. Hokemeyer says that when a woman fidgets with her ring, what she's communicating with her body language is, "You are hot and your hotness has me feeling ungrounded." He also notes that it can give the person who is observing the woman a sense of domination and control.
Covering your mouth with your hand when talking
Unless you're shielding the other person from what's left of the bite of lunch you just took, covering your mouth with your hands while you're talking could give your credibility a major ding. Hokemeyer says that this body language can nonverbally communicate, "I'm not telling the truth." At best, that hand gesture implies that you're not fully committed to what you're saying and you risk leaving the observer with a feeling of doubt.
In meetings, are you a pen tapper?
Tapping or fidgeting with a pen says, "I'm out of my comfort zone," according to Dr. Hokemeyer. If you click or tap your pen nervously during meetings you risk making the observer feel insecure or heightening their anxiety. Plus, there's always an increased risk of that awkward moment when your pen breaks or goes flying across the table.
So how can you stop doing these things? "If our eyes are the pathway to our souls then are hands are the pathway to our truth," says Hokemeyer. "What we do, or don't do with our hands speak volumes about our emotional state." If you are going into a situation where you know your anxiety will be heightened, be very mindful of your hands. Sit on them or keep them under the table if you need to, says Hokemeyer.