Body language can be easily misinterpreted if you don’t watch for subtle clues.  In this picture with Zac Efron and his girlfriend, what do you think he is thinking?

Is he angry?  Upset?  Trying to make himself look big?  Demonstrating he is the alpha male?  Compassion?

His arm gesture is commonly referred to as Arms Akimbo.  It can have multiple meanings.  When the fingers are facing forward, it can be a sign of dominance, aggression, assertion.  However, when the thumbs are facing forward, it can mean curiosity, concern, thoughtfulness, supportive.  Further, if the hands are in a fist, that is further evidence of dominance, aggression, etc.  In women, however, the fingers facing forward, may also demonstrate a symbolic statement “I am an alpha attractive female.”

The two gestures, although differentiated by the slight movement of thumbs and hands can mean practically the opposite.  Take a look at a few examples.


A competition between two people or teams.







Conversation about her boyfriend taking a new role as caddy.


And Finally, a woman showing that she is the alpha attractive female