Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

What does your body language reveal about your personality?

Merkel and Trump's body language said a lot (Pat Benic-Pool/Getty Images)
Merkel and Trump's body language said a lot (Pat Benic-Pool/Getty Images)

FROM Donald Trump and Angela Merkel’s non-handshake to Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May’s steely stares, body language has been talking loud and clear in the last week.

According to expert psychologist, Dr David Cohen, politicians use every possible gesture to show they are in control.

He said: “Trump is like a sulky five-year-old whose nanny has told him off. Ms Merkel is not going to kowtow to their president. It is all about power play.”

But it’s not just our political leaders who Dr Cohen can read like a book.

Below, he looks at the messages YOU are sending out unwittingly.

Whether you’re a nervous fidgeter, or an alpha male who loves a confident handshake, here’s what your physical actions reveal about your personality.


Looking down: you’re tense

“It’s generally a sign of anxiety and submissive body language. Another tell-tale tension sign can be seen if someone puts their finger to their mouth. It’s akin to an adult form of thumb-sucking.”


Hand on shoulder: I need control

“Men often like to establish their dominance in a situation. They will do this through a firm handshake. Or by putting a hand on another’s shoulder. It’s a way of saying ‘I own you’.”


Playing with your hair: I need attention

“Touching your hair can be a sign of craving admiration. People want to look as good as they can but are often nervous that they don’t. Twisting hair around a finger is something different, though. It’s a sign of aggression.”


Touching your nose: I’m hiding something

“One of the most interesting things about body language is when people touch their noses.

“Not deliberately, like you sometimes see in old comedy sketches, but naturally. People quite often touch their noses unconsciously. They do this when they want to hide something.

“Also, for years people thought that if you looked someone straight in the eyes you were telling the truth. But there are unscrupulous characters who will lie through their teeth and look straight at you without blinking.”


Striking the same pose as the person you’re talking to: I like you

“There is good evidence to show that we mirror the body posture of the people we like or want to impress.

“Boffins argued that we had mirror neurons, or cells, in our brains which allowed us to imitate other people’s behaviour.

“Yet how people position their feet can be a tell-tale sign of what is really going on in the relationship.

“When a man and a woman are talking to one another it is interesting to see whether their feet are pointing to one another. When people are flirting they tend to do this.”


Changing physical distance: I don’t like you

“Body language is a great deal about the distance between you and the other person. So, unsurprisingly, if you move away or cross your arms it literally means ‘don’t come too close’.

“Conversely, moving forward or closing in is a sign of aggression.”


Fidgeting: I’m stressed

“People fidget when they start to feel tense.

“Tension can be nerves or signs of suppressed aggression so anything done with your small body parts, like drumming or twisting your fingers and tapping your toes.”

Dr Cohen has written a string of psychology books, including How The Child’s Mind Develops. His latest is Great Psychologists As Parents.