Feet are almost never considered as an interesting point of observation for body language. Yet it is hugely revealing! It can tell you if someone likes you, trusts you, wants to leave, feels comfortable, feels unsafe, and many other cues. Let’s start with the direction of your feet.
People are prone to turn towards things that are fun, pleasurable, nice – things (or people) they like. The opposite is also true. If you like what someone is saying or you are interested, you will face that person (with your whole body). If you don’t like/trust the person, or don’t like what they are saying, it is very probable that you will turn away from them. Often it is the feet that point away first – usually to the closest exit!
A few interesting notes:
- If another person’s feet are pointed towards you, you can be pretty sure you have their interest.
- If the person shifts and one foot points away, as if in an L-shape it could mean a few things:
- He/she is displeased with what you said or the direction of the conversation,
- He/she might have to leave because they have another appointment,
- He/she might desperately be wishing to be somewhere else! 🙂
- We don’t allow people we don’t like/trust to stand too close to us. If the other person’s feet are touching yours, or even better, if sitting across from you, they put their feet between/next to/on the outside of yours, it very probably points to trust/like/intimacy.
Some more interesting notes about feet:
- Walking on clouds is a good indication of feet behaviour. When we hear good news, we are lighter on our feet, walking with a bit of a bounce in our step.
- If someone is standing with his/her heel on the ground, but the toes are pointing skyward, it is probable that something good happened. If you watch someone speak on the phone and that happens, he most likely just got the contract he’d been waiting for.
- A side note: people with depression seldom have this gravity-defying behaviour. Our bodies reveal our moods quite clearly.
- The starter position: This is when one foot moves a bit to the back, the heel elevated and the body weight on the ball of the feet. That person is about to ‘ready-set-go’. This could mean:
- Needs to leave NOW!
- Is really interested in what you are saying and wants to engage more,
- Is ready to something physical that would require walking.
Interesting stuff, right? Of course, the above cues come with the usual mention of reading everything in context and never to isolate one specific body language cue.
I can highly recommend Joe Navarro’s book, What Every Body is Saying for this and more on body language. There are also a lot of photos. 🙂