As we get older we are taught that certain behaviours and habits are unacceptable. Carrying a security blanket, for example, while acceptable as a toddler is unbecoming in adulthood. Without the comfort of a blanket we develop alternative strategies for comforting. Even those that spend a lot of time in front of large audiences can still be found with “security blankets”, as it were, whose purpose is to keep our free appendages busy.
The cuff link is a common choice for men attending formal affairs because it gives their hands a use instead of dangling awkwardly. This type of body language is defined as ‘leaked’ the person is trying to prevent it from happening, but their conscious mind is only successful at blocking a more obvious gesture. The gestures are also considered “masked arm crosses” because they create a barrier-effect, but are not a full blow arm cross. Other forms of gestures that fall in the same family include holding or clutching a bag, playing with a bracelet, watch, or shirt button, and holding a drink with one or both hands. Any sort of motion that allows one hand or arm to cross the centre of the body, or where a “crutch object” is sought, that otherwise serves little or no appropriate purpose, qualifies as a security blanket.