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Body Language Cues: What Does Touching Your Nose Mean?

Body Language Cues: What Does Touching Your Nose Mean?

You might not be Pinocchio, but your nose provides sensitive information about you. You might see someone on the street scrunching their nose or a colleague of yours touching the tip of their nose and wonder, “What does the body language of touching your nose mean?”

Where do we even start? Body language refers to conscious and unconscious nonverbal cues we use to communicate with each other. Body language consists of mannerisms, gestures, facial expressions, body movements, postures, and even the tone of the voice that can convey a myriad of signs and signals.

We’ve all heard of the theory that touching the tip of your nose indicates that you’re lying. Whether that’s because we get itchy when we’re stressed out or because we get fidgety when we’re nervous, we’ve grown to trust body language cues. We weren’t wrong about that, we can tell you that much.

Whether you’re trying to figure out who your true friends are, catch your SO doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, or get to know your own body language better, we’ve got your back. We’re bringing you everything you need to know about the body language of touching your nose.

What does touching your nose mean?

Body Language Cues: What Does Touching Your Nose Mean?

Now, nose touching means a million different things based on exactly how and in what context it is done. When someone starts touching the side of their nose, they might be spilling someone’s secrets. When someone touches the tip of their nose, on the other hand, they might be lying about something.

Whatever the case might be, knowing what different signs and signals mean can make a world of difference. Nose touching can happen consciously and subconsciously, too.

When you get stressed out, the small capillaries on the skin surface tend to fill and cause redness and itchiness on the nose. You rub your nose to relieve the itch and now everyone thinks you’re lying!

You can get stressed out because you’re uncomfortable or because you’re excited, too. Worry not, though, because the context of the situation and the rest of the body movements can shed some light on what’s going on.

When you notice someone touching their nose, make sure you analyze the entire picture before you draw any conclusions. Nonverbal cues such as nose touching can point toward “hot spots” or topics that cause stress to a particular person. With a little help from body language, you can determine who to trust.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite nose-touching body language cues to sniff out, to ensure you always know what’s going on around you. What are you waiting for?

10 nose touching body language cues to sniff out

1. Touching the side of the nose

Starting with one of the most common nose-touching body language cues, touching the side of the nose typically means that you’re trying to hide something or you’re spilling someone’s secrets.

We might not be sure of the origin of that theory, but we do know that some cultures also take the gesture as a warning not to believe what’s being said. When someone you’re talking to starts touching the side of their nose out of the blue, know that they’re probably trying to hide something from you.

What are you supposed to do when that happens? React or don’t react, that depends on whether you’re willing to go to lengths to prove your point.

2. Brushing the nose

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People tend to get antsy and fidgety when they’re exposed to an uncomfortable situation. Whether you’re conversing with someone you’re afraid of, going on a first date, or trying to get the attention of your colleague, you might start brushing your nose with your fingers without even knowing.

We’d argue that happens because of the adrenaline rush that causes the skin on your nose to become itchy and inflamed. Brushing the nose can be a sign of nervousness, too, and that’s why you shouldn’t go around accusing people of lying every time they’re about to touch their nose with their fingers.

3. Touching the nose and pointing toward someone

Now, that gesture’s a little more intentional than simply failing to keep your fingers to yourself. When you touch your nose and point the finger toward someone, you’re consciously telling them that you’re “onto them.”

Pointing your finger toward someone typically represents some sort of a threat, whether you’re touching your nose or not.

Touching your nose and pointing toward someone happens to carry the same message as using two fingers to point at your own eyes and then point at someone. It means you are watching them closely. The person touching their nose and then pointing their finger at someone’s “nose” what they’re up to.

4. Touching the tip of the nose

We mentioned beforehand that touching the tip of the nose typically means that you’re lying. We do, however, need to add that touching the tip of the nose comes with a few other meanings, too. Those depend on the context or even the culture.

For example, the old European phrase that says “thumb your nose” typically means that you don’t care about someone and stems from the act of putting your thumb on the tip of your nose and wiggling your fingers.

Furthermore, when someone touches the tip of their nose while talking to you, that means that they don’t think much of you.

5. Rubbing the nose

Body Language Cues: What Does Touching Your Nose Mean?

We gotta be honest with you, rubbing the nose typically means that you’re itchy. Whether you’re stressed out over something, dealing with a skin condition that’s causing your nose to become itchy, or subconsciously rubbing your nose, that’s up to you to figure out.

When you’re trying to have a conversation with someone who can’t stop rubbing their nose, don’t overthink it. They’re probably dealing with an allergic reaction, a medical condition, or a little bit of stress that’s causing them to become itchy. They’re not lying to you – they’re trying to deal with an itchy nose.

6. Pinching the bridge of the nose

When you’re overwhelmed, frustrated, or straight-up angry, you might pinch the root or the bridge of your nose to alleviate some of that discomfort. Whether that’s because you’re getting a headache or because that’s your body’s response to the stress you’re experiencing, that depends on the situation.

We do know that the area around the root and the bridge of your nose is filled with blood vessels that quickly fill with blood when the body enters stress mode. Maybe you naturally know to pinch your nose to help decrease blood flow and relax. Maybe you’ve seen someone do the same thing and copied them.

7. A quick touch of an index finger to the nose

A sneaky touch to the nose might mean that the person you’re talking to can’t wait for the conversation to be over. Maybe they’re stressed out over something you said but don’t want you to know that.

Maybe they’re pretending that they’re having fun when they’re waiting for a window of opportunity to sneak away.

Whatever the case might be, a quick touch on an index finger to the nose typically means you’re trying to hide something, conceal the truth, or get away with something. “I’m having so much fun tonight,” can quickly turn into “I can’t wait to go home and tell my friend how awful this date was!”

8. Covering the nose with both hands

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Oh, that’s certainly not a subtle nose-touching body language cue. When someone covers their nose with both their hands, chances are you’re going to notice and wonder what’s going on. When that happens, it typically means that the person is shocked by something, surprised, scared, or even apprehensive.

On one hand, covering your nose with both your hands might be a sign that you’re unable to compose yourself. On the other hand, it might simply mean that you don’t know how to react to something you’ve seen or heard. Whatever your reasons might be, covering the nose with both hands is an instinctual cue.

9. Playing with the area underneath the nose

We’re talking about the philtrum, the area underneath the nose and above the mouth. When you start touching, rubbing, or playing with the philtrum, that means that you’re stressed out and you’re trying to focus your body and mind on something other than whatever’s causing you to stress.

Sometimes, your philtrum might even show little droplets of sweat that appear because you’re going through something extremely nerve-racking. Playing with the philtrum doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lying about something or trying to deceive someone – you’re simply stressed.

10. Touching the nose with two index fingers

We’re ending the article we the famous nose pyramid. You’ve probably seen people embrace their noses with the tips of their two index fingers, creating a pyramid. You might not have thought much about that, but the nose pyramid typically appears when there’s a situation of great stress or anxiety.

When your colleague accidentally deletes all their work or your SO forgets about your anniversary, you might catch them making the nose pyramid with their two index fingers.

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