Are people who work with their hands more likely to flailing them about in a conversation?
I discovered that talking with my hands was essential when lecturing to classes with up to four hundred in them. Animation is necessary to keep attention -- and it's correlated to student course evaluations . Just imagine how good my ratings would have been if I could do cartwheels!
While I don't work with my hands, I am an animated talker, usually with facial expressions. I do sometimes use my hands to emphasize what I am saying, especially when I'm around travelers who don't speak English as their first language, and also the elderly and hearing impaired. While my many are good lip readers, I feel sometimes a bit of hand motion adds depth and confirmation of what they're hearing.
Some of my hand motions habit may be related to my love of hula and exposure to baby sign language. I was amazed at how much my grandchildren could communicate (without crying) their needs using baby signs before they could talk.
I have been told on numerous occasions that if I had no hands I would be mute. Seems I cannot even request my french vanilla creamer in a restaurant without showing the waiter what I mean by the word "creamer." This seems to give my wife great amusement. How better to get one's message across than by making a well-timed gesture?
It depends. If someone is using aggressive body language, I may not have a good reaction because it's necessarily making threats, especially if the person is close to hitting me.
I a good deal of mind not to use body language with others because I tend to carry more force than the average person, which is insulting, even if it's an American norm to be loud and forceful.
However I am much less emotional than a typical person, so this is not an issue.
I accept attentive interaction and conjugality.