So I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine, we’ll call him “Skip” for now, who is staking out a lady. This lady is a patron of an establishment that Skip frequents (and by “frequents” I mean I think he secretly lives there) and he’s had his eye on this gal for several months (and by “eye on” I mean he tracks her every move like a hound dog in heat). I don’t blame him, she’s a cute girl, and God knows he needs to get himself a woman. Anyhooser, one night last week this covert operation of his came to a head and he actually had a brief, albeit enlightening, conversation with Mystery Girl. I was not present for said interaction, but he did text me to let me know that the jump had been made; I did what any other friend would do and insisted he call me after he left the bar to discuss in detail. I mean, I do write a blog about relationship issues and what have you, so who better to go over the minutiae of even the smallest of conversations with your intended amour? We broke it down like MC Hammer, analyzing the mannerisms, conversation, company kept, and body language. The funny thing about this whole scientific process, beside the fact that Skip and I are both firmly in the 30 and over category but we talked like two 16 year old girls after the school dance, was that he actually noticed things that I did not think men (well, straight men) were too aware of—specifically, the body language angle. Either he’s been stealing his friend’s Cosmo and reading “How To Subconsciously Trap A Dude” articles, or he’s smarter than I give him credit for. I’m voting for the Cosmo, but it still made me curious. As a woman, I read said Cosmo articles and other media regarding the entrapment of hapless gentlemen, and frankly I find it a little elementary; however, there are people who make their living off of reading body language, so I can’t completely discredit their research. These articles always say things like “don’t cross your arms and legs together—it makes you seem closed off” or “brush your neck with your hand and run your fingers down your arms to subtly show him your secret erogenous zones” or something like that. Personally, I don’t think that kind of body language is all that subtle, and I think it ruins the allure of an interaction if you’re constantly repositioning yourself like a GPS in hopes of drawing attention to the inside of your elbows or whatever. To me, body language is something that should be natural and reactive, and I don’t think it’s hard to tell if someone likes you or doesn’t like you without having to maneuver yourself too much.
But I digress, so back to the lecture at hand. Skip said that MG sat down next to him to have a chat and a smoke (insert anti-smoking propaganda here), and the conversation was good, but her body language was awkward. He said that she crossed her leg away from him, which is an indicator of uncertainty, but her upper body was fairly relaxed, which is a sign of comfort. So you can see his confusion—do you go off the convo alone, or is the body language that he’s unnaturally attuned to an indicator of her feigned interest to procure a cigarette? It gave me pause to go through and consider my own body language for a moment, specifically the leg crossing and it’s strength of schedule. In combination with the crossed arms or hands tucked under the legs, it could indicate a couple of things—disinterest, sure, but also perhaps that you should have brought a sweater because it’s a might bit nippy where you are. I cross my arms not so much to close myself off from someone, but because I’d rather them talk to my face and not my glaringly obvious nipples due to the chill in the room. Without the crossed arms, I’m banking that she just has a preference for one leg over the other when it comes to crossing them. The way you clasp your hands is hereditary—right thumb over left, or left over right—so perhaps you have an affinity for one leg crossed over the other for comfort’s sake. I tend to go left over right most of the time, because I’m a lefty all the way and my right side is only here for cosmetic purposes and balance. I asked another girlfriend of mine, and she said she crosses a particular way to make her legs look more comely and appealing. I even paid particular attention to my leg crossing when meeting a new gentleman for the first time, and I noticed that though my legs were crossed away from him, I liked him quite well. So, Skip, in my estimation, man cannot gauge interest from crossed legs alone. If it were me, I’d enjoy the conversation and hope that she runs her fingers down her arm later.