Are you interested in reading someone’s body language and wondering; why do guys put their hands behind their head?
There are a few different reasons why guys do this.
If you study their body language closely, you should be able to figure out what they’re feeling – even if it’s a subconscious move on their part.
Reading someone’s body language is a powerful way to get some non-verbal insight into what they’re thinking and feeling.
Here’s a look at why some guys put their hands behind their heads and what it means:
Why Do Guys Put Their Hands Behind Their Head?
The answer is found in psychology and the study of body language.
When a person puts their hands behind their head, it usually means one of three things.
The first possibility is that the person is trying to make themselves appear larger than they are.
This is often done when someone feels threatened or wants to intimidate someone else.
It’s fairly common in the workplace when a guy wants to overshadow someone else and portray themselves as being ‘bigger’ or more ‘important’.
The second possibility is that the person is trying to show off their muscles. This is often done by guys who are trying to impress girls or other guys.
If a guy has been working out – or some guys that haven’t – they probably feel proud of their muscles and want to show them off.
Studies have shown that of all the muscle groups, most women are attracted to biceps and abs as they’re two of the harder muscle groups to build.
A guy can’t often show off his abs, so a tight shirt and putting his hands behind his head and flexing is the next best option.
The third possibility is simply because it feels relaxing to do so. Often followed by a stretch, interlocking fingers behind one’s head can feel pretty satisfying!
So, if you see a guy with his hands behind his head, it’s probably because he’s either feeling threatened, is trying to show off his muscles, or simply relaxing!
Putting One Arm Behind Head Body Language
Putting one arm behind the head can also be a way of flirting or trying to look attractive.
When done in a casual and comfortable manner, it can make the person seem relaxed and approachable.
It’s often used as a ‘power move’ by CEOs and other high-ranking officials as it makes them appear larger than life.
In social settings, you’ll often see guys putting one arm behind their head when they’re talking to a girl they’re interested in.
It’s a way of non-verbally saying ‘I’m interested in you‘ and trying to look more attractive.
So, if you see someone doing this – especially if they lock eyes with you – it could be an invitation for you to approach them.
If you’re interested in a guy, it’s worth paying attention to how often he sits like this and who he’s around when he’s doing it.
It may just be a position he’s comfortable doing and tends to sit like this most of the time.
But if he’s adopting this position when he’s around a certain person or persons, it’s definitely a subtle body language cue that he’s in flirt mode.
What Does It Mean When You Put Your Hands on Your Head?
From a body language viewpoint, putting your hands on your head is very different from putting them behind your head and can have a few different meanings.
It could very likely mean that you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed and need some comforting.
Or, it could be a way of trying to physically ‘hold in’ your thoughts or emotions.
It’s often seen as a negative gesture as it can make someone look frustrated or angry.
In some cases, it might even be done as a way of self-soothing – similar to how someone might rock back and forth when they’re feeling anxious.
If you see someone with their hands on their head, it’s worth taking the time to ask them if they’re okay.
They might just need someone to talk to!
Why Do Girls Put Their Hands Behind Their Head?
While it’s not as common to see girls putting their hands behind their heads, it does happen from time to time.
Like guys, girls might do this to try and make themselves appear larger than they are.
It could be a way of trying to intimidate someone or assert dominance over them.
If they’re staring at another woman while adopting this position, especially if it’s anything other than friendly talk, this is likely the reason.
Or, it might just be a comfortable position for her to sit in.
In some cases, it might even be a subtle way of flirting or trying to look attractive.
So, if you see a girl with her hands behind her head, pay attention to the context and see if you can figure out why she’s doing it.
You want to also pay attention to her facial expressions. She’s rarely going to give off mixed body language signals.
Meaning; if she’s smiling or laughing, it’s one of the positive reasons. If she’s being serious or looks agitated, it’s going to be one of the negative reasons.
This is part of the fun and mystery about body language, it could be any one of these reasons – or something entirely different!
But whether we are conscious of it or not, our body language is always giving off non-verbal signals and communications to those around us.
Image credits – Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen 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.