If you use these 6 hand gestures, you may look remarkably unprofessional
It's been established over the last few thousand years that people are quite strange.
The more we believe that humans are becoming normalized, the more they decide to surprise us with their penchant for the bizarre.
I'm moved, therefore, to protect you from certain gestures that might not be playing perfectly to the many audiences you have to satisfy.
You think you've got your body under control. You think you're behaving normally.
But do you really know what others are thinking?
Take seemingly innocent hand gestures, for example. They might even come out unconsciously. They might also communicate things that you wish they didn't.
Here, then, are some to watch out for next time you're watching yourself on video. (Admit it, you know you do it.)
Naturally, these examples are entirely subjective.
1. The Innocent Hands-At-Rest Thing That Says You're A Member Of The Illuminati.
This is where all my pondering started. Some observers are looking at pictures of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May and concluding that there's something weird in how they bring their fingers together and make a strange shape with them. Apparently, this is sending a signal that they're members of the secret society known as the Illuminati. This all might be just mischievous nincompoopery. It shows you, though, how some people might see things that you really wish they wouldn't see.
2. Tugging At, Touching Or Adjusting Your Clothes.
Some regard this as a nervous gesture. It can be. I suspect, though, that some people might see it as the speaker drawing attention to themselves. Several times I've been in meetings or presentations in which a speaker is stroking, pinching, adjusting or making some other contact with their clothing. It seems to me as if they're subconsciously saying: "Hey, this is Prada, don't you know?
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3. The Hand Mimicking The Words On A PowerPoint Or A Teleprompter.
I hadn't quite realized that this was a thing until I saw Donald Trump do something odd during his Republican Convention speech. Trump enjoys right-hand gestures over left. For once, he wasn't allowed to roam free. His most favored hand gesture during this speech was the Circle With Your Thumb And Forefinger And Three Fingers In The Air. Yet here he was moving his hand to the rhythm of the words on the teleprompter so often that all I could think was that the hand was talking to me. This is not, in my view, alluring. Especially if you, as I thought I saw Trump doing, move your hand from left to right, as you're reading the words from left to right.
4. The Circle With Your Thumb And Forefinger And Three Fingers In The Air.
In the US, we sometimes use this to emphasize certain things (see Donald Trump). We also think of this as meaning "OK." We're positive thinkers. However, in places such as Germany, Russia and Brazil this gesture means something entirely different. It does indeed mean A-hole. Please beware therefore in suggesting that you think someone is OK with this gesture. In certain countries, they'll think rather the opposite.
5. The Hook-Em Horns Gesture.
You know this one. Forefinger and little finger in the air, the other three down and touching. This is readily accepted in the US as meaning such things as "Yeah!", "This Rocks!" or "Go Texas Longhorns!" Some business leaders might like to try this one because they think it's, you know, down with the kids. Please be careful. In Spain, Portugal and many other countries this is the common way of communicating that your spouse is an unfaithful rogue. Which is something that doesn't really rock at all.
6. The Nose Wipe.
Again, you'll tell me this is a nervous tic. You'll mutter that perhaps the speaker's nose is really itchy because the air in the room is dry. Once in a while, some of this might be true. These days, though, there are other reasons people wipe their nose. Especially those who like to come across as hard-driving, unrelenting, dynamic beacons of capitalism. Whenever I see someone regularly doing this as they speak, I think their problem might not be nerves, but might be the same as that of a number of executives who were recently arrested in New York.