The Nose

Body Language Signals of the Nose

The nose is the most prominent part of the face and part by which it is easy to recognize someone’s features and identity. According to Givens, the shape and positioning of the nose ‘reinforces the vertical height of our face and accents the stability of its feature’ (Givens, 1999).

Men with larger noses seem physically stronger. Women with smaller noses—which may be further reduced with make-up to keep it from upstaging the lips and eyes—seem youthful.

Signals from the Nose

  1. Flared
    When we breathe deeply, or are emotionally aroused, our nostrils visibly flare. The widening of the nostrils allows more air to be breathes in and out and readies the person for combat. Flared nostrils may also indicate that the person is making an internal judgement about something or is experiencing displeasure.
  2. Wrinkled
    The nose can be wrinkled by pushing up from the mouth. This happens when a person senses an unpleasant odour. It can also happen when a person reacts to someone who suggests a distatesful idea. Another variation is when the person is thinking about something but is not satisfied with his own ideas.
  3. Sniffing indicates displeasure or disgust. This may also happen with one nostril, with the mouth twitching up as well. Sniffing is also the result of suffering from a cold.
  4. Touching the nose can indicate that the person has detected a bad smell. It is also common signal from a person who is not telling the truth. When a person lies, blood vessels in their nose may dilate, making the nose swell or appear redder. This also may lead to him touching or scratching the nose. Nose-picking can signify various states of mind, none particularly positive.
  5. Rubbing the finger alongside the nose can indicate disagreement.
  6. Pinching the bridge of the nose can show the person is evaluating something, usually negatively and with some frustration.
  7. Fiddling with the nose or pressing it down can just be a habit when the person is thinking.
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