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06th Jul 2012

Hands Off: Using Hand Gestures in Conversation Can Make Your Friends Ditch You

Do you use hand gestures a lot when you're speaking to someone? Well, we have some bad news...


If you’re a fan of the dropping the odd hand gesture into conversation every now and then, we have some bad news for you today – it could cause you to lose your credibility and your friends. Harsh, right?

The Irish Daily Mail reports that rather than emphasising your point, hand gestures could be sending out unintended messages to the people around you.

According to a poll, the hand gesture that irritates us the most is when people use their hands to create speech marks (or ‘air quotations’). Next up was the universal ‘talk to the hand’ gesture, which was followed by tapping your nose to indicate that something is ‘none of your business.’

The results of the poll showed that  a quarter of us actively try to stop ourselves from using hand gestures in conversations, but on average, we tend to use at least four of them per day. The results also revealed that 1 in 5 of the people questioned were actually a bit embarrassed at how much they rely on these gestures.

Interestingly, more than a third of the people polled stated that they were less likely to trust someone who used a lot of hand gestures in a conversation. Meanwhile, more than half said they get annoyed if someone continually talks at them, using their hands.

“Using too many hand gestures is a sure-fire way to losing credibility,” said a spokesman for the poll.

Hmm…we’re suddenly freakishly self-conscious about moving our hands when we speak to someone. Do you use your hands a lot in conversation or do you find it annoying?