Want to Know What Someone’s Really Feeling, Look at their Feet – Psychology

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If you want to know what someone’s really feeling in a casual conversation at a party, bus stop, or classroom, if you want to know whether they are bored, restless or enjoying your company, look at their feet.

Want to Know What Someone's Really Feeling, Look at their Feet

Contrary to what many people think, the eyes are not the best indicator of what someone is feeling. Yes the Eyes are capable of expressing a wide range of emotions and all but it’s also quite easy for most people to fake them.

If you want to know what someone’s really feeling in a casual conversation at a party, bus stop, or classroom, if you want to know whether they are bored, restless or enjoying your company, look at their feet.

According to psychologists, while we’re perfectly capable of faking emotions with most other parts of the body including the eyes, the feet aren’t easy to fool at all. You can tell if someone is stressed, humiliated, humbled, shy, in a haste, horny, angry or nervous just by looking at their legs or feet, as we have no control over it. For example, someone uncrossing his legs or turning his feet to point away from you is likely feeling a sense of discomfort, as his brain has already started making subconscious preparations to leave.

Over millions of years, our limbic system (Part of the human brain involved in emotion, behavior, motivation, and emotional association with memory) made sure that our feet and legs reacted instantly to any threat or concern; their reliability has, in part, assured our survival.

Consider the examples below extracted from The Dictionary of Body Language

Someone walks up to us late at night while we are at the ATM machine and our legs tighten up, assuring a solid footing and orienting our feet toward an escape route—preparing us to flee if necessary. In the same way, our limbic brain tells our feet not to walk too close to the edge of a steep precipice, so we approach hesitatingly.

We cross our legs when we are comfortably standing in the elevator, yet when a group of strangers enter, we immediately uncross our legs so our feet are firmly on the ground in case we need to leave quickly.

If you want to know what someone’s really feeling in a casual conversation, look at their feet.
We cross our legs when we are comfortably standing in the elevator

We are talking to a good friend but as time creeps up on us, suddenly we notice without even looking that one of his feet is pointed down the street. No need to ask: It is time to go. Our feet are transmitting “I have to leave,” even before you look at your watch or announce that you have to go.

Want to know if two people talking in the hallway want you to join them? If their feet don’t move to welcome you and they only rotate at the hips to greet you, then no matter how warm the smile they offer, just keep on walking by.

When a relationship is turning sour, there will be less and less foot contact. A couple may hold hands in public, but their feet simply avoid each other as feelings cool.

Want to Know What Someone's Really Feeling, Look at their Feet

Alternatively, when people like each other, there will be increasing proximity of the feet culminating eventually with touch or what is often referred to as “playing footsies”—especially during the courtship phase.

Speaking of courtship, women often telegraph their interest in a potential partner by how they play with their shoe, dangling it from their toes in the new person’s presence. This is a high comfort display that says, I am very comfortable with you. The minute she is no longer interested in the other person or feels uncomfortable, note now quickly the foot goes back into the shoe.

Even poker players can benefit from keeping an eye on foot and leg behavior. Often when a player has a monster hand (“the nuts” in poker parlance) they will inadvertently give that away by demonstrating happy feet (they bounce up and down on the balls of the feet) visible to all by their shaking shirts.

©psychology



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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