THE BLOG
01/30/2014 03:00 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2014

How to Read A Man's Body Language

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Men can be extremely hard to read -- especially because the average man uses 13,000 less words on average per day than women.

I have learned to decipher the difference between my husband's phlegmy grunt and his guttural hurumph. Then I realized there was a better way. As I became a body language expert I watched my relationships change and deepen. I learned to listen to people and read people beyond their words. Even though men might not say much with their words, they are saying everything with their body language.

Here are some interesting facts about male body language:

1. Men and Body Language Cues

First, we need to know that men use different areas of their brain to read body language and often are not as good at reading body language as women.

Researcher Monika Moore found men often miss a women's first courtship signal. On average women need to eye-gaze three times before a man takes notice.

Women might be better at reading body language because more of their brain is active when they evaluate other's behavior. When in an MRI women have 14 to 16 active brain areas while evaluating others, whereas men only have 4 to 6 active.

2. Men, Women and Lying

Men and women lie differently. This is because their motivations for deception are different:

Men lie to appear more powerful, interesting, and successful. They lie about themselves eight times more than they lie about others. Women lie less about themselves and more to protect others feelings or to make others feel better about themselves.

3. Men Like Availability Over All Else

Which body language cue do men find the most attractive? Being available. Studies show that men are more attracted to a woman who engages in flirtation behavior to show she is available over the best-looking woman in the room.

Flirtation behaviors:

  • Smiling
  • Having an expressive face
  • Minimal arm crossing
  • Keeping hands outside of pockets
  • Using feminine body language
  • Intimate eye gazing (from the eyes to the mouth to the body)
  • Leaning towards the other person

4. What is a woman's favorite male body part?

Legs, butt, chest or arms?

The answer: The majority of women favor a man's butt as her favorite male body part. If you think he is looking at your butt, you are probably right!

5. Male Attraction

Men often point their toes towards the person the are most interested in. Research 1has studied the psychology of attraction and found that we unconsciously point our feet where we want to go or towards who we want to go. In groups watch where men point their toes. You can even use this in work situations to understand who the leader in the room is as we typically aim our feet towards the alpha.

6. Why Men Take Up So Much Space

Research2 has shown that there is a biological reason men like to take up as much space as possible--the arm rest on the plane, the space under the dining table, the entire bed! Splaying legs and arms is actually a territorial display of dominance. In other words, when we make our body take up more physical space we are actually trying to claim it as our own and assert power. Men do this because men often feel the need to claim power in a room or assert dominance.

Men say as much (if not more) with their body as with their words, be sure you are getting all of the clues!

Additional sources:
1. Knights, BJ. Alpha Body Language. N.p.: Amazon Digital Services, 2013. Print.
2. Navarro, Joe, and Marvin Karlins. What Every BODY Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People. New York, NY: Collins Living, 2008.