How To Master the Art Of Body Language

Neil StraussNeil, The Game17 Comments

I’m finally in the home stretch of the next big book. And the other day while writing, I was reminded of a story from early in The Game: The woman whose feet stunk up the room and turned one of my first “pickups” into one of my first “urban escape” situations.

It made me think of one of the routines I used to do during The Game days: I’d talk to a couple, and have them close their eyes, and I’d see if the man knew what shoes the woman was wearing and then if the woman knew what shoes the guy was wearing.

Almost every time, the woman knew what was on the guy’s feet, and the guy hadn’t even noticed his date’s shoes.

So that brings us to today’s lesson: Watch people’s feet. They will tell you everything.

We’ve brought in some amazing body language experts to teach The Society guys—Joe Navarro and Amy Africa, just to name two you’ve probably heard of—and they said, kids are often told things like, “Wipe that smile off your face.” So as adults they learn to conceal many facial expressions that will give their true thoughts away.

However, they don’t think about their feet. And if hips don’t lie, feet lie even less. As my right-hand man Aaron put it when I told this to him, “feet are the honest Abes of the human body.”

So today I’d like to share with you some great tips, all but one courtesy of Joe and Amy, about what people’s feet are telling you. And what your feet may be telling other people…unintentionally.

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you start reading others’ body language immediately—and changing yours. There is a lot of research out there on body language, and much of it often contradictory, but these were points that Society trainers mostly concurred on:


1. Flighty Feet—If someone’s foot is pointed towards the door, they are in flight mode. This can mean something is making them uncomfortable, that they want to leave, or that they’re being dishonest.

2. Alliance Feet—People’s feet usually face the direction of the alpha in the group or the person they most want to ally with.

3. Jiggly Feet—If someone is seated and jiggling both feet, they are feeling positive happy emotions. But if they are jiggling one foot, they are expelling anxious energy.

4. Crossed Feet—If someone has their legs crossed, their feet will point toward the person they are most comfortable with.

5. At-Ease Feet—Stand at a slight right angle to people. Standing toe- to-toe is confrontational.

6. Get-Happy Feet—Pointing your toes up is a positive sign. So if you want to be more positive in life, start pointing your toes up. Like smiling to improve your mood, your mind will take cues from forced body language.

7. Hot Feet—If a woman is dangling a shoe showing her heel, it means “notice me.” Good time to approach.

8. IOI Feet—Feet are good to check for signs of interest, more often with women. Feet crossed or tucked under her body means she’s not comfortable with you, but if her feet are moving while she laughs (especially away from her body and toward you), it’s a strong sign she’s interested.

9. Persuasive Feet—The best way to elicit a confession, or make a request, is to stand up and head to the doorway. When you’re in the doorway, as if about to leave, turn partially back to the person (feet still angled toward the door) and ask the question or make the request. Because you’re leaving, on a subconscious level, you no longer appear to be a threat. And your likelihood of getting your way will be higher.

10. Finally, from neither speaker, here’s a fun fact from another discipline: the art of feet reading, which is the pedal equivalent of palm-reading—If someone can wiggle their pinky toe separately from their fourth toe, they are an adventurous, flirtatious charmer. If they can’t, they’re more predictable, loyal, and reliable. So drop that fact in set, and soon you’ll have everyone trying to wiggle their toes.

Just be careful not to be mistaken for a foot fetishist when watching for these signs.

Unless, of course, you are one.

To Your Body of Knowledge,

PS: Do you have a favorite body-language tip or tell? Send it to [email protected], and headline your email BODY ROCKING.

I’ll compile my favorite body-language-reading tips and tricks to share with the rest of the Inner Circlers in the next email.

I may even throw in a surprise at the end of it. But only if the tips you share are good, of course.

17 Comments on “How To Master the Art Of Body Language”

  1. I think feet tell a lot. Your feet will take care of you. A bit off subject but I notice from different sources of information that; how you take care of your feet its a you can say “having a higher survival and replication value” we all know “back in the day” Jesus cleaned his disciples feet expect judas, lol so I always wonder why that was. And I also noticed even since I was in high school, that I met a lot of girls that always have said that they always look at the guys’ shoes and decide whether or not the guy is attractive by either having nice shies, new shoes, and not attractive if they have busted shoes! Not only that I also noticed on how in think a girl in high heels with a nice pedicure n polished nails is way more attractive as well rather than a girl with some beat up flip flops. So anyways loosely typing this on my phone I think that how you take care of your feet n how clean your shoes are is a hmmm you can say having good genes and a higher value….

  2. I wonder if the type and colour of the shoe that a woman wear can tell what she is thinking. For example red shoe be more like “look at me” or a black shoe can tell that she is not in the mood to be approached.

  3. A slight right angle?? Sorry a right angle is exactly 90 degrees. You can’t have a slight one.

    Possibly just ‘a slight angle’ is what you meant?

  4. I remembered something now. I noticed a while ago that people is having sex, and their really turned on, they tend to put their feet like a gymnast, pointing forwards, and making the whole leg be like a straight line. Is it possible that you can see if she’s having pleasure by that feet position?

  5. Hello guys. I got two quick questions.
    1) On tip number 4, I should consider both feet or the foot that is on ground or the other one?
    2) What is the meaning of when a person is rubbing his feet?

    1. The foot on the ground is not considered here. The most important is if the other leg is pointing you or just the opposite direction. if it’s pointing you-well done. Also, If she/he locks the other leg behind the on-the-floor one it is the same sign as the crossed on the chest hands-she/he is locked and not comfortable with the situation.

  6. Hi Neil! great article here.
    I have used this tactic every day of my life since I read “the game”. It’s really useful.

  7. The stroking glass or stroking ring is always a good sign.

    Neil can you please do an interview with Leil Lowndes! She’s a dating/body language rockstar.

  8. I like the mouth. If its open they’re taking you in. Literally opening up to you and feeling in the moment, they’re subtlety showing their teeth etc.. Closed mouth is sort of the opposite. They’re hesitant a bit, not sure. Tight lips means they’re strongly thinking about what you’re saying. Doubtful or negative.
    The other one I love is touching their hair.
    And also their arms, are they crossed, are they open, are they expressive?

    1. Also, the feet sensors in the brain are right next the sexual receptors, or something like that which explains a lot.

  9. An effective conversation starter and way to pass the time!
    It was funny reading the “couple” shoes piece!

  10. Number 9 is also a good tactic when prospecting in Network Marketing Business according to one of my mentors. This stuff is great! Now I’m more confident to try it out on my own.

  11. Hi Neil, dangling the shoe and revealing the heel…yep its a good one. I enjoyed the post, even learnt a few more things about feet.

  12. With regard to number 7, that is very true. I know a stripper who uses it with her legs crossed to get men to agree to private dances. Roughly a 90% success rate she reports. Almost got me until I told her knew what she was doing.

  13. My question to you Neil, is how creditable are your sources? I am currently going to school to become a psychologist for families, soldiers, and anyone seeking help. Not going to get personal on why I chose this as a career, let’s just say I have been through and currently am going through a great deal of stress. I was introduced to NLP from reading “The Game” and I currently use NLP on myself to help deal with stressful situations. The ability read feet sounds quite intriguing. Being a soldier, getting divorced, having family members with suicidal tendencies, and more has given me the wonderful ability to listen, and my passion for psychology makes me focus on the body language of others. Words as you are probably aware of are only 7% of a conversation. I want to ensure that I read a person as correctly as possible, aiding the mind is completely different than playing the game in the field (which I really enjoy even if I don’t get laid, social value is a good feeling). I respect your intelligence and I thank you as well, “The Game” introduced me to a whole new world 4 years ago. So if you could what are current books or articles that would provide me with more insight with foot language, which are truly creditable.

    Thanks for your time on reading this and please excuse my grammar.

    Swift Artist.

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