You see, but you do not observe #IndieThursday

“You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.”
~Sherlock Holmes ~ The Boscombe Valley Mystery

“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”
~Sherlock Holmes ~ A Scandal in Bohemia

As part of my 2016 symbol series, I’m continuing on with yesterday’s body language post. (scroll down for the previous posts to learn more). As mentioned yesterday, we give physical clues to what we’re feeling. Not only do we do this all the time, we do it consciously and unconsciously. Our body language is filled with these symbols and most are universal. The more wide-spread it is, the older it is. One of the oldest is the head nod we interpret as yes and the head shake we interpret as no.

Yesterday we went head to collar. Today we’ll starting at the neck:

  • Covering the neck with the hand – disturbed or fearful
  • Slow palm stroke down the front of the neck – uncomfortable
  • Massaging the neck – indicates tension or anxiety
  • Massaging the neck – (situational – desire, weary)
  • Exercising the neck – boredom
  • Sudden front neck-grab – shock or surprise
  • Grabbing the back of the neck – a displacement activity for anger
  • Shrug – I don’t know or indifference
  • Shrug with arms up – I don’t know, I tell you!
  • Quick slight shrug – lying or lack of understanding
  • Slow animated shrug – aggression or disregard
  • Chest in profile – sexual overtone
  • Chest thrust – I’m tough, look at me
  • Sunken chest – meek, don’t hurt me
  • Chest leaning, crossing into the other person’s space – aggression
  • Touching your chest – highly suggestive and flirtatious
  • Breathing:
    Slow deep breath – buying time, thinking
    Shuddering breath – overwhelmed, forgot to breathe
    Gasp – surprise
    Cough – skeptical
    Panting – excited, exertion
    Choke – stunned, disbelief
  • Turning your back – (situational male. Belittling. You’re no threat to me)
  • Hunched shoulders – feeling cold or fear
  • Hunched shoulders ducked head – fearing attack
  • Hunched shoulders forward head – wishing to hide
  • Shoulders back – fearless or taunting
  • Shoulders back, back up against a wall – desire to remain unseen
  • Shoulder on the wall – relaxed
  • Shoulder on the wall with ankles crossed – carefree
  • Shoulder half turning away – disinterest or uncomfortable with the topic
  • Arms held firmly to the sides – deception
  • Arms thrown in the air – exasperation
  • Arms in motion during conversation – excitement
  • One arm suddenly thrust in the air – I have no idea! Sarcasm: That’s just great!
  • Forearm up to face with head-ducking – self-protection
  • Crossed arms – can be situational, as in feeling cold
  • Crossed arms, shoulders tense – wary and feeling vulnerable
  • Crossed arms – self-protection, feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable
  • Crossed arms hug – seeking comfort
  • Crossed arms with shoulder on wall – waiting and growing impatient
  • Crossed arms, balled fists – restraint (or situational – my hands are cold)
  • Crossed arms, hands in armpits – cold
  • Crossed arms, shoulder on wall, crossed ankles – judgmental
  • Crossed arms, shoulder on wall, crossed ankles, balled fists – intolerant and ready to
  • fight
  • Crossed arms, turn away – hurt feelings
  • One hand on arm or shoulder – I want to be friends with you
  • Reaching out – seeking comfort
  • Reaching out situational – I want to throttle you!
  • Reaching out, pulling back sharply – defensive
  • Arms back – hiding something
  • Arms back exposing torso – (situational – submissive or over confident)
  • Elbow jab – get out of my way!
  • Propped on elbows – listening

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’d planned to take it all the way to the toes, but every time I assumed I was done, I though of another! We humans sure say a lot when we keep our mouths shut. Writers often color their stories with these little actions.  I certainly do.



Words Worth Msnowman-mdentioning for January

I have always a sacred veneration for anyone I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher.”
~Jonathan Swift

RB4U goldSMallToday is Author Renee Vincent’s blog day
Authors and Industry representatives all month long.

Our January is on! Prizes often include $100 in gift cards for Amazon/B&N, ebooks, print books, audiobooks, additional gift cards, and non-book items.


About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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