General Question

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

How can I use my hands more in conversation?

Asked by Sunshinegirl11 (1110points) December 21st, 2017 from iPhone

This is an odd question, but I’ve noticed the most charismatic people talk with their hands. This includes gestures,lightly touching peoples arms, etc.

Any tips?

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13 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

practice? But these days you must keep in mind that what you do with your hands can land you in very hot water.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It’s a regional / cultural thing! Watch any movie that features Italians, or Jews engaging in casual conversation. Their hands are always moving.
The movements seem random to the uninitiated. But, like a Hawaiian Hula dance, if you watch closely you’ll see there is meaning in the motion.
What? You got a problem with that? (hands extended slightly, palms turned up)

elbanditoroso's avatar

Be careful touching peoples’ arms. In this day and age, that can be considered harassment.

chyna's avatar

Trump looks pretty silly most of the time with his over use of his hands, IMHO. Don’t over use your gestures and it will look more genuine.

imrainmaker's avatar

Be natural and confident while talking and everything else will look fine.

marinelife's avatar

Start small. Practice in the mirror at home.

si3tech's avatar

@Sunshinegirl11 Many years ago my father told me that if I had my hands tied behind my back I wouldn’t be able to talk.! I think you just be yourself and let it happen as it may.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Practice with a stuffed toy. You could video yourself so you can decide what looks natural and what comes off as stupid.
Touching a wrist can be endearing, if the person doesn’t have their hands in their lap.
Touching upper arm tends to come off as intrusive, unless there is a close bond already.

I had the same hurdle with small talk as a youth. I tended to be like my native ancestors, and spoke when I had something to convey. I struggled with the use of small talk to begin a conversation. Mentioning the weather seemed stupid, since I grew up around farmers. We tended to know the weather by looking outside, and a sniff or two could predict the likelihood of rain.

rojo's avatar

I am a very reserved person and find it extremely frustrating and irritating when in conversation with a casual acquaintance who feels the need to continually touch me on the arm or hand . Even the act of reaching out toward me causes me to inwardly wince. I don’t do it to others and I don’t want it done to me. Loved ones and close friends are ok.

I don’t believe I am the only one. Keep that in mind.

other than a “no touching” sign I wonder how I can non-verbally communicate this message to others I come in contact with

Patty_Melt's avatar

Usually body language will cue others, @rojo. For instance, I mentioned above to not touch someone’s wrist if their hands are on their lap. Untouchables tend to have their hands on their lap, in pockets, or otherwise off limits insinctually.
Other than that, all that comes to mind is simply asking people to understand that you aren’t the touchy feely type.

AshlynM's avatar

I find hand movements during conversation distracting, Use very minimal hand gestures if you really want to go that route, especially if the gesture will help get your point across.

Sunshinegirl11's avatar

Thanks guys! I’m not going to worry about it then! :)

dxs's avatar

Learn ASL.

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