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It can reflect competitive or an argumentative attitude. If we are reticent or not interested, we put our feet back, usually under a chair if seated. Men don't realize it, and women may rarely think about it, but the human male is attracted to females who show signs of increased fertility. If the woman doesn't find him attractive and wants to give him the brush-off, she holds her legs together, faces her body away from him, folds her arms, and makes herself appear as small as possible. The rule here is simple - for social contexts, exposed crossed legs are fine but avoid it in business. They tend to do it only around other women though, not men, as they don't want to appear too masculine. While open legs can show openness or dominance, crossed legs shows a more closed, submissive or defensive attitude as they symbolically deny any access to the genitals. This standing 'opening-up' procedure tends to follow the same sequence everywhere. It's either the knees are kept close together or they're spread out. Unsurprisingly, many polls and surveys have revealed that men find the seated legs-crossed position the most attractive sitting position a woman can take. All are gesturing with their hands and moving in and out of each other's personal space. Because the human brain is hardwired for these two objectives - to go towards what we want and move away from what we don't want - the way a person uses their legs and feet reveals where they want to go. The basic army march consequentially evolved as an exaggerated walk, suggesting that the marchers are vigorous and possessed of youthful energy and not to be messed with. I’ve written 270+ articles about human behaviour on this blog with over 3 million views and 80k monthly visitors. The more the body size, the more dominant an organism is perceived to be. It conveys the non-verbal message, “I’m not going anywhere. Many women will imitate this in the business world. Practice using positive and open gestures. If a person sits in the waiting room with his ankles uncrossed he's probably there for a routine dental check-up that he knows won't take too long and won't be particularly painful. Legs and feet are therefore a more accurate source of information. We have less awareness of what a particular body zone is doing physically the further away it is from our head. A trap is that restrained or defensive gestures can feed back into and reinforce a reserved or negative attitude. It requires that your legs are straight, and that your feet are placed wide apart with your weight equally distributed between them. When a man does it, it also shows he'll stay but wants to be sure you don't 'kick him where it hurts'. Women's legs and hips have bone structure enabling them to sit in this manner, projecting strong feminine signals. During a conversation, it can indicate a withdrawn attitude. This is the normal crossed leg position used by most European and Asian cultures. Walk away and watch how, one by one, the members of the group assume their original open poses once again. Even those less adept can readily simulate a staged smile or frown on command to evoke an emotion for someone else though other subtle gestural clues in conflict might give you away. Feet placed closely together reduce the foundation for standing and make the stance more precarious. Further studies into patients in a dental surgery showed that, of 150 male patients observed, 128 immediately locked their ankles when they sat in the dentist's chair. Second, when a person feels cold he may use a type of body hug and when the legs are crossed they are usually straight, stiff and pressed hard against each other as opposed to the more relaxed leg posture of the defensive stance or position. High heels make the legs look more toned, giving the illusion of better health and more fertility. Research with law enforcement and government bodies revealed that most people being interviewed knot their ankles at the start of the interview. Since their lower extremities are out of the way, liars forget about them and are betrayed by micro-muscular movements in their legs and feet. When she realized how she was standing, she placed both feet firmly under her and found that she felt more confident and secure, and was able to speak with authority and assurance. Another leg crossing variation happens when the leg is tucked under the body and sat on with the knee pointing toward her interest. Finally, Nierenberg's and Calero's research showed that patients who were being wheeled into an operating room with their ankles crossed and their hands clenched, tend not to have reconciled themselves to the unavoidable. The reason why we the guys tend to sit with our legs wide open is that we have some special organs in between the legs, the so-called testicles, casually called âthe ballsâ. They Lean In. If, however, the ankles remain in the locked position, the crew are alerted to the fact that the person may really want something, even though he or she may be saying 'No'. Legs which are held apart when standing provide a stable base for the person. Only alpha males and guys who have extremely high levels of confidence have this involuntary body language sign built into their genes. The leg twine in which the top of one foot locks itself around the other leg is used almost exclusively by women. If he's with men he feels are inferior to him, the genial display feels right; if he's with superior males, however, this gesture makes him look competitive and he feels vulnerable. They will remember who she was but less of what she was attempting to communicate. A person sitting in this position is unlikely to be convinced by anything you may say or do. The next time you attend a meeting with men and women you will notice some groups of people standing with their arms and legs crossed. Those same studies undeniably further show these men remembering less of what women said. A person can look composed and in control while a restless foot is making repetitive punctuated motions, revealing an evolutionary base frustration at not being able to escape a situation. While less common in Europe it is arising diverse cultures around the world. In fact, a few people find it rather absurd to refer to the legs as an important tool of communication. Closer investigation would reveal that these people are friends or are known personally to each other. Today, redcarpet celebrities know how to position their legs to display them to their best advantage, turning their feet outward to reveal their inner thighs, the softer and most erogenous part of their legs. Search for: Categories. It is used as a dominance signal by men because it highlights the genitals, giving them a virile look. Body Language of Leg Spreading. This is one reason men like to be larger or taller and women want to appear smaller and thinner. Men have a funny way of showing women that they are interested in them; for example, men will sit across from you with their legs spread wide open as if to show you their crotch. If one of them uncrosses his legs, it either means he’s opening up to the other person or preparing to leave. Male participants at sports contests can be seen standing around with each other in this position at half time, scratching or giving their crotch an adjustment. A wider stance makes the body wider and hence appear bigger and is a signal of power and dominance. Women's arms tend to swing even further back because their arms bend further out from the elbow to enable them to carry babies more effectively. Beware if he crosses his legs. One leg presses against the other and gives the legs a healthier, more youthful look, which instinctively appeals to men from a reproductive standpoint. Visual media regularly presents female hosts in programming wearing shorter dresses and skirts exposing a good deal of leg real estate. It tells you tells you that a person is standing his ground and is favored by those who wish to show their dominance. During a conversation, it can indicate a withdrawn attitude. Others may read this as a reserved attitude and react accordingly. What It Means When He Pushes Your Hair Out of Your Eyes. They’re also are more inattentive to what’s going on compared to those who sit in a more ‘open’ position. If you're sitting with your legs crossed, you may twitch the hanging foot up and down, or back and forth. A more subtle clue to look for if you're trying to read a man's body language is to take note of how he sits when he's next to you â particularly how he crosses his legs. Although the legs and feet are also under conscious control, they are mostly ignored and often out of sight. When people, especially young couples, meet each other for the first time, they feel a bit defensive. The parallel stance is a subordinate position where the legs are straight and the feet are placed closely together. ... Legs: If his legs are splayed out, he's confident and trying to claim his territory. The fashion designs that saw men's dress move from hose to tight breeches accessorized with fine shoes, permitted and encouraged men to indulge their desire to preen and pose, showing off their legs and their masculinity. Our feet tell others where we want to go and who we do or don't like. On the downside this posture is interpreted as an insult in parts of the Middle East and Asia because it shows the sole of the shoe which is culturally associated with filth. "Body language is hardwired into our brains, and therefore most often used in unconscious movements," says Allan Pease, body language expert and author of The Body Language of Love, (Harper Collins, $19.85). Studies demonstrate that male viewers will watch video programming longer the more legs are exposed. Both arms unfold next, and one arm gestures or may be placed on the hip or in the pocket. Additionally, they might be feeling slightly defensive in the back of their minds. By adopting this powerful position, you can create the matching feeling. One leg is crossed neatly over the other, with 70% of people crossing left over right. When a person feels extremely defensive, they might cross their legs besides crossing the arms. The crew member responds by asking if the passenger is sure that he doesn't want something. If you put one hand on the table, sheâll soon do the same. Open legs Legs which are held apart when standing provide a stable base for the person. Standing with feet about the width of the shoulders is a normal, relaxed pose. We do this gesture when we know we have to stay in one place for quite a while. She Matches and Mirrors Your Body Language. Even when they have their legs crossed, it's generally with their legs spread and stretched out and only crossed at the ankles or with their legs spread and one leg brought up onto the other knee. It requires that your legs are straight, and that your feet are placed wide apart with your weight equally distributed between them. Sometimes you cross your legs, sometimes maybe the ankle or with your legs in a wide four with the ankle resting on the opposite lower thigh aka the American way of sitting. When a person is totally committed to a conversation, unwilling to leave, they might ‘fold-up’ in position and rivet themselves to the spot by taking up this gesture. For a woman, positions like the scissors stance and the single leg crossed stance send two messages: one, that she intends to stay, not leave; and two, that access is denied. High heels also accentuate the arch in the lower back, they contract the gluteus muscles which emphasize the derrière, they tilt the pelvis forward, and lengthen the legs. Using appropriate questioning techniques during a negotiation, in which one party locks his ankles, the questioner can get the other to open up and reveal valuable information. The findings showed that liars pay more attention to what their hands, arms, and faces are doing because they know that's where people look. Open or uncrossed leg positions show an open or dominant attitude, while crossed positions reveal closed attitudes or uncertainty. The way people swing their arms when they walk gives insight into their personality - or what they want you to believe they're like. Women should avoid crossing their legs in business meetings unless wearing a dress or business suit that has a skirt with a hem line below the knee. This custom was mostly reserved for royalty and meant that the women whose feet had been bound were unable to stand on their own two feet without causing pain. This may be a sign of the tough-minded, stubborn individual who rejects any opinion other than their own. It begins with the closed position, arms and legs crossed (image 1). Do: Sit erect in the middle of the chair with legs in a 90 degree with a gap of 6-7 inches between one's feet or slightly sideways in the corner of a sofa. To be more precise, it works in ways that don’t seem rational to us. Others simply say they're 'comfortable'. The legs apart stance, predominantly a male gesture, is a resolutely stable immovable posture. Modelling classes commonly teach this posture to women. 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