Look at my HANDS! 5 Interesting insights


The clever people say that our brains are programmed to give a disproportionate amount of attention to hands as compare to the rest of the body. Are you a hands person? Do you judge a person by their hands?

Here are some facts about our hands:

  • Our hands contain on average 29 minor and major bones, 29 major joints, at least 123 ligaments, 34 muscles and 48 nerves.
  • The thumb is controlled by 9 individual muscles
  • About 25% of the motor cortex of the brain is devoted to the muscles of the hands!

What our hands reveal – FIVE interesting insights:

  1. Hand steepling: This is when your fingertips of both hands touch, similar to ‘praying hands’, but without the fingers interlaced and the palms may or may not be touching.
    • This is one of the strongest indicators of high-confidence.
  2. Hand  wringing: This would be ‘praying hands’, the fingers interlaced, often with a strong grip.
    • The opposite to hand steepling, hand wringing is a universal indicator of low confidence, stress, discomfort.
  3. Thumbs on display: When a man has his hands in his pocket, but his thumb is sticking out; a woman holds the strap of her handbag with her thumb up and not hidden
    • Another sign of high confidence. In almost every circumstance thumbs up will indicate high confidence.
  4. Hidden thumbs: Thumb in pocket and other fingers on display, thumb tucked in a fist or held by other hand.
    • Almost always a sign of low confidence. I had a friend who suffered from some severe problem with his nails which mainly affected his thumbs. He always hid his thumbs which gave the impression of him not believing in what he was saying. Be sure to read all of these nonverbal cues in context.
  5. One hand holding the other: Often seen in photos, with both thumbs out of view, the one hand fisted around the other hand’s thumb.
    • A typical sign of self-comfort. Needless to say this is also a sign of low-confidence. A friend’s five year old had photos taken at his school. He was wearing his favourite costume, but was very uncomfortable with the photographer who was a stranger to him. The photos came out fantastic, except for his hands clutched in front of him in this self-comforting nonverbal cue.

These tit-bits about our hands are interesting, right? Pick one or two of the above insights and see if you can notice these nonverbal cues in people around you, or even better, on photos of celebrities and public figures. It can be interesting to add that insight to the circumstances and context of the photo/article/situation.


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