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Non-verbal signs or indicators are ways we communicate non-verbally. Many of these signs are involuntary and may give away our underlying intentions. Some non-verbal indicators as related to self-defense are:
- Adam's Apple Jump. A conspicuous up-and-down motion of the Adam's apple such as when gulping or swallowing. It is an unconscious sign of emotional anxiety, embarrassment, or stress.
- Clinching Teeth. Clinching the jaws in frustration and anger. A manifestation of the biting defense mechanism.
- Hands-on-Hips. Enlarges or exaggerates the body's size to dominate, threaten, or bluff an opponent. Hands-on-hips shows that the body is prepared to "take steps."
- Cutoff. A form of gaze avoidance in which the head is turned fully away to one side. In a conversation, a sudden cutoff gesture may indicate disagreement with a speaker's remarks. Sustained cutoff may reveal shyness or disliking.
- Fist. A gesture made with the hand closed, the fingers flexed, and the tactile pads held firmly against the palm. Clenched fists signal an aroused emotional state, as in anger, excitement (to cheer on a team), or fear. In Pakistan, displaying a clenched fist toward another is a nonverbal sign used to display an "obscene insult."
- Hand Behind Head. Touching, scratching, or holding the back of the neck or head with the opened palm, or reaching a hand upward to scratch an ear, grasp an earlobe, or stimulate an ear canal, or touching, scratching, or rubbing the cheek or side of the neck. In a conversation, hand-behind-head may be read as a potential sign of uncertainty, conflict, disagreement, frustration, anger, or disliking. In the United Sates, leaning back and placing both hands behind the neck in the bilateral head clamp posture is a nonverbal sign of dominance.
- Lip Roll. A gesture produced by compressing, in-rolling, and narrowing the lips to a thin line. A position of the mouth in which the lips are visibly tightened and pressed together through contraction of the lip and jaw muscles. Lip and jaw tension clearly reflect anxious feelings, nervousness, emotional concerns, or anger. Thus a tense-mouth precisely marks the onset of a mood shift, a novel thought, or a sudden change of heart.
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