How to Read Faces
Nibbling Your Lips
If you bite, suck on, or lick your lips when under pressure or in an awkward situation, you’re attempting to comfort or soothe yourself, says psychologist Carol Kinsey Goman, the author of The Nonverbal Advantage ($22, amazon.com).
Scratching Your Nose
Don’t get caught in a lie. “When a person fibs, it’s often accompanied by an adrenaline rush,” says psychologist Michael Cunningham, a professor of communication at the University of Louisville. This release causes capillaries to expand, making the nose itch. Another tall-tale tell: a sustained glance. A liar often overcompensates for being perceived as shifty by focusing a bit too intently on the person he is fibbing to.
Sending Darting Glances
This catch-your-eye game, usually played in guy-girl situations, tends to mirror your scattered thoughts. Does he like me? Do I like him? Do I want him to come over here? Also, unlike a direct gaze, the back-and-forth variety is a protective measure: If he doesn’t approach you, you won’t feel rejected.
Nodding Your Head
If you nod in clusters of three, the speaker will sense your interest, and this can lengthen her response threefold, says Goman. Word to the wise: Nod only once when trying to escape Chatty Cathy.