Are you looking for information on what hands in pockets mean from a body language point of view?
You have come to the right place.
By the end of this article you will know what the different types of hands in pockets mean and how you can make it work in your body language arsenal.
- Hands in Pockets: Body Language Meaning
- Both Hands In Pocket – Fingers Out
- Both Hands In Pocket – Thumbs Out
- One Hand In Pocket – Fingers Out
- One Hand in Pocket – Thumb Out
- One Hand In Pocket – All In
- Both Hands In Pockets – All In
- Bonus: Hand in Pocket Move
Hands in Pockets: Body Language Meaning
Hands in pockets when standing is usually a no-no in the body language literature.
Vanessa van Edwards says that hands in your pocket murders rapport, makes you come across as unconfident and is associated with lying and defensiveness.
And she’s is right.
Mark Bowden author of “Winning Body Language” says that showing our hands is one of the most crucial aspects of building trust with the people around.
Can Hands in Pockets Be Sexy?
But of course, sometimes you don’t want rapport.
Sometimes you don’t want trust.
Sometimes, you just want to look cool. Or sexy.
Can hands in pockets then, be sexy?
Sure it can…
2 Types of Hands in Pockets
There are 3 variables that will determine how confident or un-confident your hands in pockets will be:
- Visibility: how deep in the pockets? Do they have a thumb or fingers sticking out? The rule of thumb -pun intended- is: the more visible your hands and thumb is, the more sexy/confident;
- Body Language: how’s the rest of the body language? The overall frame will determine if your hands in pockets are sexy, weak or even strategically deployed to, for example, spice up a bland outfit or offset an otherwise too imposing frame;
- Quantity: Both hands in pockets or just one? Usually only one hand in your pocket is sexier and more confident.
Both Hands In Pocket – Fingers Out
Both hands with fingers out is probably the most sexually aggressive hands in pockets pose you can have.
The fingers outside conspicuously draw attention to your genitalia, making it a very gaudy, obvious pose.
If used while talking to a woman it will also give your game away.
- Hyper mannish cowboy style
- Younger guys
- For “play poses”
- Most anyone outside cowboys, juvenile rebels and gay party posters 🙂
The problem with the cowboy pose is that it’s too obvious. It’s the equivalent of a woman biting and licking the rim of a glass as she looks at you. Yes many men would happily take that lay, but most women prefer a bit more subtlety –Undercover Sex Signals and The Art of Seduction both agree too much and obvious a display of masculinity is a turn off-.
Both Hands In Pocket – Thumbs Out
This is the less extreme version of drawing attention to your nether regions with both hands: thumbs are less obvious and conspicuous and it’s considered a confident and authoritative position.
- When you’re posing for a shot,
- When you’re cold and hence have a real reason to hide your hands.
- With slim fit clothing or hipster styles to get some more mannish edge.
- Overcoats, so more mature or “serious” looking men can use it while looking professional and… Authoritative
Also works well with the shoulder shrug. The thumbs out -confidence- Coupled with the defensive “head duck” (I don’t know), communicates with endearing cuteness -but still a mannish side- that you either don’t have much influence on the result or that you got found out. As if to say “Well… You know how it is”.
- Interacting with people: you’re better off using hand gesture and possibly touching your conversation partner;
- As your main resting position -Martin Sheen doing it for the whole Badlands movie looked rebel, but in a non powerful, juvenile fashion.
One Hand In Pocket – Fingers Out
We’re starting to get now to more “usable” daily poses.
One hand in the pocket with fingers sticking out is sexually allusive without being too showy. You will still rarely see mature men in this position though.
- Holding with one hand onto a rail or bar
- Impressing a strong sexual vibe on the interaction (imagine yourself reclining against the bar as you speak to her)
- Getting to know people (unless you’re playing the cool guy)
Note: try to keep your fingers together because open fingers are perceived as less powerful (Pease and Pease).
One Hand in Pocket – Thumb Out
Hand in the pocket with one thumb out is a great all seasons.
This is a common resting position of mine: it’s allusive in a great, slight “under the radar” way.
- Your go-to resting position
- When reclining against the bar
- Whenever it’s not comfortable (ie. you can barely fit your hand in the pocket)
One Hand In Pocket – All In
With one hand fully in the pocket we start going further down in the “blandness” side of the curve.
- With a suit and a nice watch, as embodied by James Bond
- When holding a drink to look casual or…
- When holding a gun to take the edge off (remember this one next time you’re out at the bar 🙂
Both Hands In Pockets – All In
Both hands in pockets is at the highest risk of looking unconfident and shifty because we hide our palms when we want to hide something (Pease and Pease).
But it can still work if you couple it with great posture and relaxed look because hands in pockets is also non commital, as if to say “whatever”, which can be sexy a comfortable, soothing way. The secret to make it work is the expression in your face: relaxed and chill.
- Laid back, hippie types (picture below would have been better with a pendant and a couple brown wristbands)
- When you want to give an aura of “whatever”
- Comfortable, casual look
- When feeling down (it contributes to down-spiraling)
- When you tend to slouch (both hands in pockets will make you slouch more)
- With any other negative signs such as low gaze, slouched shoulders, downward lips and hips drawn back (ie.: moving genitals away rather than forward)
Bonus: Hand in Pocket Move
And don’t forget the actual movement. Slow. With a slight smirk for social situations sexiness and a dead pan face for edgy sexiness. But don’t take my word for it and look at who did it much better than I have.
Note: here’s an example where the movement gave away nervousness in a “hide my hand” way more than a “look at my crotch” move.