The hand is a very important part of the body language; it can be very expressive during communication because it mainly interacts with other parts of the body. The hand has been proven to have nerve connections which lead to the brain. The thumbs are part of the hand and can be expressive as well during communicating by sign language or even when unconsciously communicating unrevealed feelings.
The thumbs body language can be quite effective and may be done consciously or unconsciously. One can use the thumbs to point, jab, make signals or gestures. They are often used with the other fingers.
Below are some of the thumbs body language gestures that can be used to communicate meaning:-
The Thumb(s) up sign:- This is done when one holds their thumb(s) facing upwards with the rest of the fingers clenched. One can use it to show acceptance or when approving of something. Using the thumbs up sign with both hands is conveying the approval message in a more pronounced way or strongly.
The Thumb(s) down sign: – This is done when one holds their thumb(s) facing downwards with the rest of the fingers clenched. This is used to convey disapproval on a matter or signaling failure. Using both hands to make the sign emphasizes the disapproval.
The thumb(s) within the fist(s):- This can convey several messages such as feelings of frustration or fear. It can also be a sign of insecurity and comforting oneself. Anxiety too can be one of the feelings communicated. This sign is mostly done unconsciously by majority of persons.
The thumb in the mouth: – This is mostly common with kids but a few adults have also been known to do that too though with adults it is mostly used in a different context of the adult nature such as when one wants to look flirty. The kid will constantly put the thumb in the mouth and suck on it. This mostly communicates insecurity and a need to be safe and unafraid. The kid will feel better when they suck their thumbs. The sign is mostly done unconsciously by the kid.
The Thumb touching with the index finger at the tips: – When the two fingers touch, the other fingers need to be spread out for this sign to be complete. This sign signals the ‘OK’ message. The signal can be conveyed to others or to oneself when one sees something they approve.
Cracking the knuckles: This is done when the thumb is used to make cracking sounds with the fingers by pressing each of them. This communicates anxiety, insecurity or fear. It is often accompanied by fidgeting.
Thumbs in the Pockets:- This is done when one simply puts their fingers into their front pockets. It is mostly common with jeans wearers and conveys a feeling of confidence and contentment.
The Fidgeting Thumb:- This happens when motions are made with the thumb while the other fingers remain inactive. This conveys the message of anxiety and discontentment or simply a nerve problem.
Pointing with the Thumb: This happens when one uses the thumb for illustrations. They can be used to point at something often in a derogatory way. One uses the thumb in this case often when they disapprove of what they are pointing at.
The Fist: – For a fist to be complete, the thumb is clenched over the other fingers. This is done when one is nervous or angry. It is often a sign of someone trying to reign their emotions which threaten to go out of control.
The fist raised in the air can also be a sign of triumph. When someone is triumphant or approving triumph. Rising both fists in the air is strongly conveying the feeling of triumph.
However, when one makes punching motions in the air with the fist, they might be angry too. And it is advisable to stay clear of them because one punch might just land where not approvable.
Ring on the thumb:- In some cultures the ring on the thumb indicates that one is in control of their life and they are therefore making a bold statement. In others wearing the ring on the thumb means one is gay. It has diverse meanings depending on the culture one comes from or how one decides to perceive it. The wearer in most cases is the only one with the answer to the reason why.
Thumbs body language can be used to communicate a lot if one is keen on watching out for the signs. There are many more thumbs body language actions especially on the sign language for the deaf. The thumbs body language is a very effective way of communication, that is if you are watching.