Body language of licking lips: Just for a minute imagine you are sitting in a meeting and the question about the new project goes to Joe and all of the sudden he starts licking his lips. And you think “wow this is unusual I have never seen Joe lick his lips, what on earth does it mean is he lying or is he excited”?
You ask your boyfriend where he was and all of the sudden all of his body language changes into something not normal. You see him say “I was with Steve” pause … pause … licking his lips “and we went to a new bar” as he looks away. Could this be a sign and signal that your boyfriend is lying or did he really go to the new bar?
You go to a new bar and you look over in the corner and notice this girl who winks at you and slowly starts licking her lips. You pull out your phone and Google “Body language of licking lips” to find out how to interpret this sign or signal. Was that a sign of overtly flirting with you, was she thirsty or were her lips chapped?
Now it very well may be that licking lips means nothing …but just in case you decide it’s time to find out what the body language of licking lips means.
There are plenty of times where people lick their lips and there can be a few reasons why they do so.
- · Out of necessity because of lack of moisture
- · Excitement about an idea or thought non sexual
- · Out of habit
- · Nervous tick
- · Caused by a lie
- · Suggestive
Every day reason for licking lips
Now just think for a moment when you were out in the sun and were hot or even possibly when it was really cold and your lips were chapped. Did you lick your lips? The chances are great that you licking your lips meant absolutely nothing but that it was needed. Now if someone were in your peripheral they could read into a little differently. This is a reminder why you need to take a look at what the normal actions are of the person are who you are looking at while interpreting their body language.
Excitement and licking lips
There are some people that when they get excited about anything they lick their lips. This rush of energy has to go somewhere for them and the lips are the answer. You would see this as a common trait or action that happens. You would want to know this baseline before making a decision as to whether or not they are lying or if they are just excited about a thought or belief.
Habit of licking lips or biting lips
There are also men and women who have developed the habit of licking or biting their lips over time and it means nothing except that it is a routine behavior. On the other hand if the man, woman or child has a normal behavior of licking their lips and all of the sudden in a situation that normal behavior doesn’t happen there might be a reason for it and it may not be good or it may need nothing at all. This means that it’s time to ask some questions to gather further information about what is going on.
Nervous action of licking lips
On the next spectrum of the level from the body language of licking lips is the nervous tick or action. It may be the pressure of a tough question or an uncomfortable situation or room that would cause one to change their behavior and display. In this nervousness may fall the issue of lying but it doesn’t mean that there is a lie. It could very well be nervous energy just like a man or a woman tapping their foot. In fact you may see foot tapping and lip licking at the same time.
It could very well be that the man, woman or child that you are looking at is asked a tough question they pause and then they lick their lips with another pause and then answer your question. This may be a flat out sign that they are lying but be careful because remember it may be nervous energy. If you are a woman / girl and ask a guy do you love me? If he’s not ready be to answer this question be ready for all sorts of nervous behavior and stalls but even then it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or he’s lying that’s just a tough question all of the sudden.
In the case of lying you are looking for abnormal behavior or an action that is not a normal routine for the person that you are looking at. Sometimes it may seem that licking the lips may be a symbolic greasing of the lips to get the big whopper of a lie out of their mouth. This action may take place as a way to get another half a second to figure a story out.
If you spend some time watching the television show “Cops” you will see the suspects start licking their lips after a few tough questions are asked with long pauses or short pauses. Are the suspects lying before or after they lick their lips? Quite possibly but this show is a good place to look and watch for the signs and signals of lying.
Just remember before you try and confront your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, kid or coworker of lying look for abnormal behavior then question about it. You may see other signs you have never seen before or you may see normal routines remember the baseline their behavior first.
Seduction and licking of the lips
In the example of the woman licking her lips at the bar that would be considered overt behavior to induce behavior from you or whoever it was generated towards. The licking of the lips may be considered sensual when directed towards a person. Now this is the body language that movies scenes are based upon. You may see a man or woman lick their lips when they meet a new person and they may not even know that they are doing so. Just remember that this may be some nervous energy or it could mean something else entirely. This action may take a few minutes or it may happen instantly depending on what is going on in the mind of the two and the type of chemistry that they have.
Now there may be a tendency to look at the lips when a man or woman licks them but you may want to be careful because staring at the lips may be seen as being sexual. So all of the sudden you get excited that someone is licking their lips and you start staring and the other person takes your body language as sexually advanced and that’s not what they were licking their lips for.
Licking lips for many reasons
There may be more than one reason why a person would or could lick their lips while some of them may be good others reasons may be bad. It is important to take the time to learn the behaviors and characteristics of a person’s routine actions or baseline them to determine what their action means or could be interpreted to mean.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell
Body language expert Scott Sylvan Bell explains the nonverbal action of licking lips: Video credit