What to make of guys who walk with hands in pockets?
Having hands in pockets is an interesting display of body language. Depending on how a guy carries himself, it can mean he’s being defensive, shy, feels awkward, or a number of other things.
If you’re trying to figure out what it means when a guy walks with his hands in his pockets, I can explain how you can better decipher this body language:
Why Do Guys Walk With Hands in Pockets?
There is no set rule for why a guy would walk with his hands in his pockets and what it means.
You’re going to have to do a little more investigating to understand why a particular guy does it, but you should be able to figure out how he’s feeling.
I can tell you what it usually means when a guy has this posture, walking with hands in pockets usually means one of the following:
- He is nervous and feels comfort by putting his hands in his pocket
- He is a fidgeter and wants to avoid visibility fidgeting with his hands
- He is being defensive and putting his hands away so he can’t use them
The interesting thing about all of these reasons is that it could be your presence that is causing it!
The reason why a lot of guys feel shy, need to fidget, or put up barriers is often because they are around someone who is making them nervous!
This can, of course, be due to an authority figure. But it may also be because they are walking past someone they find attractive.
What Does Keeping Your Hands in Your Pocket Mean?
From a pure body language standpoint, putting your hands in your pocket is a very defensive gesture.
Some people do it without thinking about it, it just comes naturally to them. While others will be mindful that they’re doing it and know what it’s saying about them.
Either way, if you put your hands into your pockets it’s going to come across as being defensive, powerless, shy, nervous, and so on.
If you need clarification on this, just spend some time observing the body language of people who are confident, or in a position of authority or power.
You won’t see them putting their hands in their pockets, crossing their arms, or hiding their hands in any way.
Confident people use their hands to help communicate what they’re saying. Both verbally, and to get across what they want to say non-verbally.
Does a Guy Find You Attractive if He Has His Hands in His Pockets?
If a guy puts his hands in his pockets when you’re around, it could be a sign that he is attracted to you.
You can’t go on this body language cue alone though as it could mean he’s feeling nervous, anxious, or defensive for some other reason.
If you want to know if a guy likes you or finds you attractive, you should start to pay attention to the other signs that giveaway when a guy likes someone.
Some of the most obvious signs a guy likes you include:
- He looks down and smiles instead of making natural eye contact
- He acts nervously around you, like fidgeting and stuttering on words
- He remembers little things about you
- He’s genuinely interested in you and the things you enjoy
- He speaks about you with other people
- He always finding excuses to be around you
If you spot some (or all!) of these things along with him having his hands in his pockets, you can be sure that the guy has the hots for you.
Hands in Pockets Body Language Flirting or Innocent?
I see a lot of questions outright asking if it’s flirting when someone puts their hands into their pockets.
It’s really not, at least not very often or as an act on its own.
Some people will put their hands into their pockets while flirting, but you need to evaluate all of their actions and behaviors and not take this as a pure act of flirting.
There is one particular pose, I’m sure you’re all aware of it, where someone puts just their thumbs in their pockets and kinda leans back and poses (see image below).
This is a pretty flirty pose, especially if you’re smiling too.
It’s not as defensive as putting your entire hand in your pocket, quite the opposite, in fact. So, if you want to rock a flirt hands-almost in the pocket pose, that’s the one to try.
Is It Weird to Walk With Hands in Your Pocket?
It’s not natural to walk with our hands in our pockets. Just try it yourself, it doesn’t feel comfortable, does it?
It can also present some problems not having your hands free to do stuff when you’re walking.
For one, if you trip over, you’re not going to be able to put your hands out and protect your face from hitting the floor!
It does look a little odd to walk around with your hands in your pockets. If you find yourself doing it without thinking about it, it’s a habit you should try and break.
You’re better off working on a positive and confident walking posture. This means standing straight up, putting your shoulders back, and allowing your arms to swing freely.
Image credits – Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.