In order to be able to read the various body language signals fairly accurately, one must first have a basic knowledge of all the possible positions and meanings attached by these various signals.
When a person’s demeanor personifies confidence the body language projected would be a brisk and erect walk. This movement successfully conveys the image and mind set of someone focused and sure of themselves.
The classic stance of hand on hips and legs slightly apart typical of people trying to portray authority actually reads as being ready for any outside reaction and potential aggression tendencies. It can also be used as an intimidating tool.
Sitting with legs slightly apart for men signals confidence and a very relaxed demeanor. This body language interpretation also applies to sitting with hands clasped behind the head and legs crossed or stretched out.
The open palm position shows sincerity, openness, and innocence, as does an easy slight smile or slight upturned corners of the mouth.
When it comes to the negative body language signs, unfortunately there are a lot to choose from and fairly easy to see and interpret. For instance, sitting with legs crossed and foot kicking slightly clearly signifies boredom while the arms crossed at the chest tells of an individual’s defensiveness.
Walking with hands in pockets and shoulders hunched slightly, is a clear indication of dejection. Touching or slightly rubbing of the nose area is most commonly seen as rejection, doubt or lying. Rubbing the eye which is unwise to say the least could simply signify tiredness or feeling sleepy or have a more in depth sign of doubt and disbelief.
Anger and frustration are usually shown as clasped hands behind the back and a stiff spine position. Sometimes apprehension is also portrayed this way.
These are just a few examples of body language you may encounter. Observe, learn and practice interpreting.