7 Things Your Body Language Can Say About You
The next time you're at a party or a job interview, take stock of your body language. How you hold yourself, and all your little ticks, can be pretty darn revealing when it comes to what's going on inside that noggin of yours. But perhaps even more fun is that body language can give away other people's motives and intentions, if you know what to look for.
That's because body language is a powerful thing when it comes to social cues and how we are perceived. As Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., noted for Psychology Today, "Body language is, just that, the language of the body. You may think that you only show your emotions through your face, but that is — quite literally — only the tip of the iceberg. Your entire body participates in the business of either showing or hiding your mental state." This includes all sorts of non verbal cues, like posture, gestures, and facial expressions.
But beyond just showing you how you feel, body language can also affect how you feel. Anyone who has ever forced themselves to stand up straight, even though they feel bad, can attest to the mind/body connection. Here's what your body language has to say about you, as well as what kind of image you're projecting to everyone else out there.
1. You Brush Your Hair Out Of Your Face All The Damn Time
Brushing your hair out of your face could simply mean you're in desperate need of a hair tie, or it could mean something a bit more romantic. According to an article on Real Simple, "This movement, a combination of nerves and flirtation, helps call attention to and frame your feminine assets (think face and neck)." So the next time you're on a date and wondering how you feel about the other person, take notice of your little hair quirks. If you're brushing your hair out of your face, it could mean nerves, a meaningless habit, or something a bit more.
2. You Are Slouching
We all have horrible posture from time to time. Whether we're sitting at our desk all day, or carrying a bunch of heavy bags down the street, it's really impossible to stand up straight like a ballerina all day every day. But if you're a chronically slouching, it could point to underlying confidence problems. As Sneha Mankani noted in Vogue India, a slouched back can indicate a person has low self-confidence, or that they're harboring conflicts or sadness. So the next time you catch yourself slumping, check in and see how you feel. Are you tired, sad, or simply just sick of carrying your backpack? It'll be interesting to see if your posture matches your mood.
3. Where Your Head Points You Will Follow
You'd be hard pressed to find an anxious person who leans back and chills as they walk. The two just don't go hand in hand. But anxiety and plowing forth head-first down the sidewalk or the halls of school? Yea, that can be a sign that a person is experiencing inner turmoil. According to Mankani, anyone who walks like this is very anxious, with a mind that is on information overload. So the next time you see someone walking this way, give them a break.
4. You're Arms Are Always Crossed
Think of all the times you stand with crossed arms — when it's freezing cold, when you're waiting in line, when you're arguing with someone, when you feel shy, etc. etc. So this stance can really mean a lot of things, but most of all it gives people the impression that you're angry. That's because it's a defensive position, according to Real Simple. You're literally closing yourself off from others by placing your arms protectively in front of you. If you want to appear more open, or welcoming, make sure your arms are comfortably down at your sides.
5. You Have That "Man Spread" Going On
We've all witnessed the dreaded man spread on the subway, or a park bench. You know the one — where a guy sits down, knees spread wide, with seemingly no awareness for how much room he's taking up. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that this is a power stance. As noted in an article in Real Simple, "Taking up space, such as by fanning out your papers in the boardroom instead of stacking them in a small pile, screams importance. Likewise, sitting with your legs apart assures others that you are large and in charge."
6. Those Feet Of Yours Have The Jitters
Foot tapping is extremely annoying for anyone near enough to witness it, while oddly calming if you're the one doing the tapping. But whether you're on the receiving end or not, do remember that tapping is a sign of anxiety and irritation. So be more choosy in which situations you let your foot jitters fly. As Krauss Whitbourne noted, "Shaking your legs while sitting sends a giant message to everyone around you about your inner feelings of anxiety or irritation or both. Your legs are the largest area of your body, so when they move, it’s pretty hard for others not to notice."
7. Where Your Feet Point Says A Lot
The next time you're out and about, take a look at everyone's feet. As Joe Navarro M.A., noted for Psychology Today, "They reflect our true emotions and intentions, in real time, unlike our face and other parts of the body, and they can be instrumental in the detection of deception." For example, if someone really likes you, their feet will likely point in your direction. And, on the flip side, if someone really wants to get out of a situation, they may subconsciously point their feet towards the door. Very interesting indeed.
Paying attention to your body language is a great way to learn a little more about what's going on inside that head of yours. It's also a sneaky, spy-like way to figure out other people's intentions. Have fun with it, and remember to stand up straight.