Active Now

Discussion » Questions » Communication » Why do some people flail their arms around when they're just talking?

Why do some people flail their arms around when they're just talking?

I have a coworker like that and I happened to be walking by her when she was talking to someone and she accidentally backhanded me right in the face because she has to put on a big show for whatever reason. I've always wondered why some people flail about like that. It's irritating and that really hurt by the way..

Posted - January 8, 2019


  • 36971
    Maybe they want additional attention from everyone around. I used lots of hand gestures when I was teaching, but I didn't flail about.
      January 8, 2019 10:03 AM MST

  • 18381
    Yeah, you might be right.
    Don't know why people do it.

    On the other hand (literally), there is some potential good that can come out of all that flailing. That's me on the left . .  .

    This post was edited by WelbyQuentin at January 8, 2019 10:39 PM MST
      January 8, 2019 10:43 AM MST

  • 36971 venues, concerts, funerals, Southern Baptist Churches...
      January 8, 2019 11:06 AM MST

  • 18381
      January 8, 2019 3:11 PM MST

  • 17763
    I think those folks do it unconsciously to underscore or emphasize what they're saying.  I find it irritating to have to sit next to someone who does that because I can't stand anyone's hand in front of my face.  At work, there are a couple of people who do that, but I know who they are and make sure I sit far away from them.
      January 8, 2019 11:25 AM MST

  • 1320
    I can't stand it either, I wonder if it's for added drama? Or if it's a throw back from when we used sign language more than speech, after all most of our communication is from body language. They need "Warning, this person comes with exaggerated hands movements, prepare to duck," printed on their T-shirts. Italians are famous for it.
      January 8, 2019 12:57 PM MST

  • 1889
    Monkey see - Monkey do....  these idiots have seen it on TV and believe it is appropriate.  They are not even thinking about it, for them normal behavior.  Too the rest of us sophomoric, obnoxious behavior.  To bad we would be sued if we threw peanuts at them
      January 8, 2019 2:28 PM MST

  • I talk with my hands.   Some people in my family have told me it's an Italian thing.   It may or may not be, but I do it never the less.
      January 8, 2019 4:07 PM MST

  • 14870
    I gestate that that when it strikes me that they have no batter people to thrash things out with...:)
      January 8, 2019 4:39 PM MST

  • 5847
    Maybe they grew up watching Jerry Clower.

    This post was edited by Not Sure at January 9, 2019 7:22 PM MST
      January 9, 2019 4:45 AM MST

  • 4674
    Cultural, situational and personal reasons.
    Some cultures gesticualte a lot; others consider it rude.
    Some people are highly energetic, extroverted and expressive.

    The woman you speak of sounds not fully aware of the people around her, maybe even a bit stupid.
    I hope she apologised.

      January 9, 2019 4:28 PM MST

  • 1716
    Yeah, she apologized. I'm still a bit miffed about it though.
      January 9, 2019 7:21 PM MST