Having objects in front of your body
Having an object in front of you serves as a barrier between you and the other person you are speaking to and barriers normally indicate a sense of insecurity whether it is rooted from shyness, intimidation or maybe just plain distrust. For instance a desk between you and an upset worker at the office, a stool between you and a person you don't really want to speak to and a notepad between you and that person you are about to give bad news to all serve as a barrier or defensive mechanism in the same way you cross your arms when you a feeling insecure. Small objects can serve as barriers also such as a pen on a desk between you and someone else sitting on the other end the same goes for mugs, cups and utensils. Just about anything can be used as a form of a barrier to limit exposure to your body in case of a potential emotional attack. Joe Navarro an ex FBI agent speaks about body language and the use of objects in detail in his book What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People
Pupil body language
Whether someone is feeling either emotionally open or defensive isn't just indicated through the main parts of the body such as the arms, legs and torso, these emotions are also signaled via the pupils. For instance when you see something you favor, like or you're feeling aroused your pupils quickly open up and dilate to let in a substantial amount of light allowing a large amount of information to reach the brain, while on the other hand when you feel defensive or an unpleasant stimulus presents itself the pupils will close and constrict blocking information from reaching the brain as well. Keep in mind for contextual reasons changes in lighting as they affect how your pupils will react even before any emotions are present; in a brighter setting your pupils will constrict to stop too much reaching the brain while in a darker setting your pupils will dilate to allow more light to reach the brain giving you a better view. Think of the pupils as a something similar to a dimmer switch. Lastly these responses are purely subconscious; meaning we have no control and are barely aware these responses are even happening while there happening.
Early attraction signs and body language
In regards to dating and courtship males and females are two different sides to the same coin. In the presence of the opposite sex who they find attractive they will carry out behaviours to emphasize certain characteristics and use body language and non verbal communication to also make themselves seem more attractive. For instance males may act more dominant when around a female they find attractive because dominance is a masculine trait females find attractive. When sitting down or walking he may spread his arms, legs and feet out more giving the impression that he needs more space to take up his large stature. The male may be more controlled in his general behavior also talking in a more deeper evened out voice while making the use of his hands to highlight what he is saying (again taking up space).
On the other side of the coin females will act more submissive when in the presence of a male they find attractive as submissiveness can emphasizes her femininity and males are more attractive to females who are very feminine. When she is seated or standing her legs are more close together to give the impression that she doesn't take up much physical space, the same reason goes for when she uses her hands when she speaks; she'll keep them close to her body not using a lot of the space around her and maybe highlighting parts of her body. She is more likely to perform other behaviors such as tilting her head to the side which exposes her neck making her seem more submissive, she may also have her back arched to tighten and highlight her buttocks while at the same time this same position pushes out her chest to emphasize her breasts also, though some females may lean forward to expose her breasts to give them more shape.
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