What Part Of The Body Most Accurately Reveals Someone’s True Feelings?


Liespotting is a necessary tool for anyone involved in the legal and law enforcement fields.  This week’s Bulletin covers the human body’s “tells” – subconscious actions that reveal the subject’s true feelings and intent. 

So, as the article title asks, what part of the body most accurately responds and revels someone’s true feelings?

The Feet


The Eyes


or the Hands?


It may come as a surprise to many people that the most accurate anatomical indicator of our true feelings is our feet. Sounds off?   You’re thinking the eyes (or face) or hands?  No, it’s definitely the feet.   Taking a quick refresher course on anatomy 101:

Our feet are the most reactive to our subconscious thoughts, mainly because they’re linked to our limbic brain; our brain is separated into three parts:


Our brain controls ALL behaviors. Whether that’s going to the sleep (reptilian), feeling happy about a relationship  (mammalian), or figuring out how much paint is needed to cover an accent wall (neocortex).

The key to understanding the mind/body connection is that it’s reciprocal.  While medical science – through biofeedback –  has proven that our mind can control our body, conversely, our body can control our minds   Think about the latter for a moment and then try the two below exercises to control your mind via your body:

– Force a smile for three minutes.   (Dale Carnegie explores the power of smiling in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People:  “Don’t feel like smiling? Then what? Two things. First, force yourself to smile. If you’re alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing.  Act as if you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.”)

– Stand with your hands on your hips for 2 minutes.   (Harvard social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, ran a study that became one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time  – currently at 27 million views. She explains how “power posing” can significantly boost our confidence and decrease stress.)

So why the feet and legs? Most people are not even aware that their feet send out strong signals as to their true state of mind. What you do with your feet and legs when you are bored, impatient, nervous, cautious, shy, stressed, confident etc. Virtually all our emotions manifest themselves in our feet and legs. This is in large part due to millions of years of human evolution.

A lot of what our feet convey today, comes from what we learned to do instinctively a long time ago. Our feet and legs would freeze when a danger is near, run away to further ourselves from that danger or kick in an effort to defend ourselves. These reactions were so effective (We are the proof. We are still here.), that they are still embedded in our DNA to date. We still react the same way when danger is near or when we are faced with something unpleasant. This is instinctive and for that reason, it is hard to hide what our feet and legs are saying.

Below we note the foot/leg activity and its corresponding meaning:

Point feet towards the speaker: Interest

Point feet away from speaker; Dis-interest, hostility

Knee clasping while seated; Desire to leave

Feet/Legs moving apart; Dominance, claiming (figurative) territory

Crossing legs; Confidence

Locking the feet while sitting; Anxiety, insecurity, feeling threatened

Freezing feet or leg movements; Deep emotional change has occurred (fight or flight reaction has kicked in)

Jiggling feet; Nervousness

Leg cleansing (rubbing hands along sides of thighs); Attempting to comfort oneself or wipe sweaty palms

Granted,  the body has many more subconscious intent “tells” than those just by the feet but always check these extremities and limbs first when trying to determine your subject’s true thoughts.

BTW, I just ordered a glass conference table.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

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