Your arms say volumes about what is on your mind.
Speaking with your Hands
Do you talk with your hands? If you are nervous, do you talk with your hands more than usual? Talking with our hands can help to emphasise what we say, although being too expressive can actually distract the listener, who begins to look at your hands instead of listening to your message. In some regions, including Asia and Britain, hand gestures are not that common. In other places, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and countries where those people have immigrated, hand gestures are a part of the conversation.
If you tend to over-talk with your hands, you need to know that some listeners will see you as too demonstrative and perhaps even aggressive. If you are nervous, your hands may be busier than usual, so you’ll need to remember to rein yourself in.
Arm and hand gestures can be used to help you to emphasise an occasional point or to express yourself. For the listener, there are some gestures that make you seem more trustworthy than others. In his work as a communication expert, Chris Bowden refers to something called the “truth plane” as an ideal place to have your hands and to express yourself with honesty. The truth plane is the area around the middle of your abdomen, above your navel. If you keep your hands in front of that area, you appear more trustworthy. It allows you to keep your elbows close to the side of your body and to use your hands to gesture in front of you.
If you use your hands in a symmetric pattern, it is a more trustworthy signal than having your hands do different things. If your hands are too high and obscure your face or throat, that could signal that you are not being honest. If your hands move too far from your body, it could be a signal that you are getting desperate to make your case or close the sale.
If your hands are clasped in front in a downward manner, in front of your genitals, this can signal that you are feeling vulnerable or have something to hide (as if you are protecting yourself).
Keep your hands in front of your abdomen for the best results, using them to emphasise without saying too much. You can fold your hands together in that position or put fingertips from one hand against the other to express yourself. This is known as steepling and is highly trusted. Just be conscious if they start moving too much and distract from the conversation.
In our aim to be friendly, we can really mess things up. You have probably seen people use their fingers in a V to signal “peace.” Many people use this gesture very casually nowadays, almost as a replacement for hello or goodbye. However, you must be careful in how you present the gesture. Your first and second fingers should form a V, with the hand held up so that your palm faces the other person. If you turn your palm toward yourself (particularly if you are in the United Kingdom), you are making a very vulgar gesture, the equivalent to North America’s flashing of the middle finger.
When you consider that our arms and hands can speak for us in sign language. It is very important to be aware of the messages and signals that we are giving at all times.
Crossed arms can mean chilly weather or disinterested.
Clenched fists can be a sign of anger or fear.
Hugging yourself is something we do to calm ourselves in nervous situations. men are known to touch their cuffs and cufflinks when settling themselves down.
Touching another person can be a very tricky situations. Especially if you need to get someones attention and do not want to be accused of harassment. therefore the safest place to touch another person is between the elbow and the shoulder. It is a safe zone and if, you really want someone to do something for you, or you want to sway someone to your way of thinking. Then this is the ideal place to touch them.
Touching a persons hand or arm has been proven to improve tips for waiting staff as long as it is for no longer than 3 seconds. otherwise you appear plain creepy.
If you find you are insecure and find yourself at a loss as to what to do with your hands always keep a pen of a cup of coffee handy. Holding a pen, can make you appear more knowledgeable and more connected with the conversation you are having.
Finally, when in a negotiation, offer the other party a drink. You can tell how comfortable they are by where they place their cup. Cups placed down across their body is another subliminal sign of discomfort. Cups placed down in front of the body or out from the body shows comfort and trust.
When you consider how many sayings refer to our hands, arms and fingers you can tell we relate to and read into much of what they do.
I found this great compilation by Mark Nichol
Many idioms referring to human behavior are based on analogies to parts of the body, especially arms, hands, and fingers. Here are explanations of many of the most common expressions.
1. “All hands on deck,” from nautical terminology, means that a circumstance requires everyone’s attendance or attention.
2. One who is all thumbs is clumsy (as if one had thumbs in place of fingers and is therefore not dexterous).
3. To have something at hand is to have it accessible or nearby.
4. To be hand in hand is to be in close association.
5. A backhanded compliment is one that explicitly or implicitly denigrates the recipient.
6. To be in good (or safe) hands is to be in a secure position.
7. To be on hand is to be in attendance or available in case of need.
8. To bite the hand that feeds you is to attack or reject someone who has helped you.
9. “The devil makes work for idle hands” means that those who do not have enough to occupy them are susceptible to risking illicit behavior.
10. To say that someone did not or would not lift a finger is to criticize the person for failing to assist.
11. “Elbow grease” refers to influence that will enable something to occur that would otherwise be hindered or stalled.
12. Elbow room is space to be free to live the way one wants to or engage in activities as one wishes.
13. To finger someone is to identify someone, especially a perpetrator of a crime or someone who is to blame for doing something wrong.
14. To experience something at first hand (or firsthand) is to experience it directly rather than to merely become aware of it through an intermediary.
15. To force someone’s hand is to maneuver so that someone is compelled to act prematurely or reveal his or her intentions.
16. To give someone a free hand is to allow that person autonomy.
17. “Five-finger discount” is a euphemism for stealing, especially shoplifting.
18. To gain the upper hand is to become dominant or victorious.
19. To get one’s fingers burned is to experience a painful lesson, often about issues such as trust in interpersonal relationships.
20. To get one’s hands dirty it to directly engage in an activity that may not be appealing, rather than leave it to others, or to become involved in illicit activity.
21–22. To give one’s right arm (to right-handed people, the more useful one) or an arm and a leg is to offer a significant sacrifice to obtain a desired result.
23. To go hand in glove means to be in close agreement or in a close relationship.
24. To hand it to someone is to acknowledge someone’s accomplishment.
25. To hand something to someone on a plate or a platter means to make something easy for someone.
26. To hang on by one’s fingernails is to barely manage to cope with something.
27. To have a finger in every pie (or many pies) is to be involved in many activities or projects
28. To have one’s finger on the pulse of something is to be acutely aware of its condition or status.
29. To have one’s hands full it to be busy or too busy to take on other activities.
30. Something done with a heavy hand is done excessively and/or oppressively.
31. A reference to an iron fist (or iron hand) in a velvet glove is to authoritarian behavior concealed behind a facade of benevolence.
32. To keep someone at arm’s length is to maintain emotional and/or physical distance from someone who is a bad influence or may otherwise cause harm.
33. To keep one’s fingers crossed is to wish for good luck.
34. To know something like the back of one’s hand is to be intimately or thoroughly familiar with it.
35. When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, one entity associated with another is unaware of the second entity’s actions or intentions.
36. To lend a hand means to help.
37. To live from hand to mouth is to live on a subsistence level, with no cushion of comfort.
38. When something gets out of hand, it is out of control.
39. The long arm of the law is the influence of law enforcement, which can be more far reaching in time or space than one expects.
40. “On the other hand” means “alternatively.”
41. To overplay one’s hand is to be overconfident.
42. To play into someone’s hands is to engage in activity or behavior that makes one vulnerable to another person’s manipulation.
43. A show of hands is a literal or figurative assessment or vote to determine support for or opposition to an intended course of action or agreement or disagreement with an opinion.
44. To stick out like a sore thumb is to be conspicuous.
45. To take the law into one’s own hands is to seek justice or retribution instead of obtaining assistance through law enforcement or legal procedures.
46. “Thumbs up” refers to the gesture of approval.
47. To be under someone’s thumb is to be subject to someone else’s influence.
48. To be up in arms is to be indignant or agitated about a wrong done to oneself and/or others.
49. To wash one’s hands of something is to decide that one no longer wants to be considered responsible for an action or policy that one does not have control over.
50. To work one’s fingers to the bone is suggest that one’s fingers have been stripped of flesh from the exertion.
Here is a link to the original article