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  • Though often decoded as a defensive barrier sign, the arm-cross represents a comfortable position for relaxing the arms, e.g., while speaking, as well. With arms and elbows pulled tightly into the body (i.e., flexed and adducted), the gesture may reveal acute nervousness or chronic anxiety. Held less tightly against the chest, with elbows elevated and projecting outward (away from the body, i.e., abducted), the arm-cross presents a guard-like stance, suggestive of arrogance, disliking, or disagreement.

    (From The Nonverbal Dictionary of Body Language Cues)

    June 5, 2008