What Does Hands in Pockets Body Language Mean?

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Communication

What Does Hands in Pockets Body Language Mean

Keeping your hands in your pockets is a small thing, but it has a lot of meanings. It tells whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. It can even indicate whether you’re confident or weak. In this article, let’s discuss what you convey by keeping your hands in your pockets.

Why Do People Put Their Hands in Pockets?

1. Hide Nervousness

When you get nervous or anxious, your hands start trembling, and putting them inside your pocket is an excellent way to hide them. It reduces your anxiety and provides a sense of comfort. However, if you want to appear confident, don’t put your hands in your pockets during a conversation, as this will make you appear weak.

2. Be Casual (Trying To Look Cool)

Putting hands in your pockets can make you look cool in casual settings. Picture this: you’re at a party, sipping on your coffee, engaging in light banter. One hand in your pocket while you lean against a wall or a table. You convey that “I’m relaxed, I’m comfortable, and I’m here for a good time.”

Having said that, keeping hands in your pockets doesn’t work well in a formal setting.

3. Boredom

Some people may put their hands in their pockets out of boredom or lack of interest. It suggests that they aren’t fully engaged in the conversation.

If someone suddenly puts their hands in their pockets while speaking with you, you can assume that your speech is boring to them. But is that person doing the right thing? Of course, no.

4. Reserved

A reserved or introverted person may find comfort by keeping their hands in their pockets. It indicates the person isn’t quite ready to open up and is also a sign of nervousness.

5. Fiddling With Something

Some people put their hands in their pockets to play with their phones, keys, or other items. Well, this can indicate boredom, but it may also be because you’re anxious, impatient, or uncertain. Sometimes, the speaker may find it disrespectful, especially if you do this in formal conversations.

6. Fashion Statement

Beyond body language, pockets are also a fashion statement. If you’re wearing a well-tailored jacket or elegant pair of jeans, putting your hands in your pockets will help you show it off.

7. Warm (Only if It’s Cold Outside)

If it’s cold outside and you forget your gloves at home, putting your hands in your pockets can provide some relief because warming your hands increases blood flow to your body, which makes you feel comfortable. Even if you’re wearing gloves, putting your hands in your pockets will make you feel better when it’s cold.

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Tips for Positive Body Language

Having discussed what keeping hands in pockets indicates, here are some tips for positive body language.

  • Maintain eye contact to convey confidence and attentiveness. Avoid staring, but make regular eye contact. 
  • Smile to show others that you’re approachable. 
  • Stand or sit up straight with an open and relaxed posture.
  • Use gestures to enhance your communication.
  • Offer a firm handshake to convey strength and self-assurance. 
  • Nod your head during a conversation to signal active listening. 
  • Maintain a relaxed facial expression.
  • Avoid fidgeting with objects, as some may find it disrespectful. 
  • Mirror the body language of the person you’re interacting with. 
  • Dress appropriately, depending on the event.


We often put our hands in our pockets without even realizing it. It may seem insignificant, but it conveys a lot about you. So, the next time you put your hands in your pockets, take a moment to reflect on the messages you’ll be sending to others.

If you’re a business owner and need help to improve your communication skills, book a coaching session with Ken D Foster. Ken, who has over 30 years of experience in personal and professional development, will give you the training and teach you proven strategies to master your communication.

Ken D Foster is a best-selling author, transformational leader, business strategist, and producer of the Voices of Courage Show, syndicated in 185 countries.

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