The standard arm-cross gesture is a universal gesture signifying the same defensive or negative attitude almost everywhere. It is commonly seen when a person is among strangers in public meetings, queues, cafeterias, elevators or anywhere that people feel uncertain or insecure.
Reinforced Arm-Cross Gesture
The full arm-cross gesture the person has clenched fists, it indicates a hostile and defensive attitude.
The person using this gesture cluster has an attacking attitude, as opposed to the person.
Arm Gripping Gesture
A superior type can make his superiority felt in the presence of persons he has just met by not folding his arms, but take an arm-fold gesture with both thumbs pointing vertically upwards.
This gesture is the defensive version of both arms being held horizontally in front of the body with both thumbs up to show that the user is 'cool'.
Partial Arm-Cross Barrier Gestures
The full arm-cross gesture is sometimes too obvious to use around others because it tells them that we are fearful. Occasionally we substitute a subtler version - the partial arm cross, in which one arm swings across the body to hold or touch the other arm to form the barrier.
The partial arm barrier is often seen at meetings where a person may be a stranger to the group or is lacking in self-confidence. Another popular version of a partial arm barrier is holding hands with oneself, a gesture commonly used by people who stand before a crowd to receive an award or give a speech.
Disguised Arm-Cross Gestures
Disguised arm-cross gestures are highly sophisticated gestures used by people who are continually exposed to others. This group includes politicians, sales people, television personalities and the like who do not want their audience to detect that they are unsure of themselves or nervous.