They heard something negative
In body language, a person might touch their ears if they heard something they didn’t want to hear. Hearing negative news, for example, could motivate a person to touch their ears.
They said something they don’t like
If a person said something that they didn’t like, they might touch their ears as they hear themselves talking.
They are lying
If a person started lying and didn’t like that or didn’t like how they told a lie, they might touch their ears while speaking. If the person is okay with lying, this gesture won’t happen.
They don’t want to hear that.
A person might touch their ear if they don’t want to hear what is being said. This gesture might be the adult version of putting both hands on both ears. (See Why do people touch their nose while speaking?)
They disagree with you
If a person disagrees with you on something that you just said, they might touch one of their ears right after saying that thing.
It might signal lack of interest
If the person doesn’t want to hear what someone is saying, this might lack interest. The gesture itself does not mean that a person lacks interest, but they don’t want to listen. (See Why some people are not interested in others?)
They thought of a negative thing
If a person thought of a negative thing in their head, then they might touch their ears. In such a case, the thought represented a talking person who said something negative.
What does touching your ear mean in body language?
Is touching your ear a sign of lying? What does tugging or touching of ears mean in body language?