Five common postures and what they say about you

Body language can tell us a lot.

If you’re on a date for example, and your date starts mimicking how you’re sat, that’s a good sign.

If they’re leaning back into their seat away from you, it could reveal disinterest.

Understanding common postures can help you make better sense of the people around you and even inform how others see you.

HSL, a furniture brand, and their expert Inbaal Hoingham, explain five common stances and what they mean.

Power posture

The pose you should enter every interview with.

Inbaal says: ‘When you stand up straight, in a confident, powerful posture you will never look out of place on a winner’s podium.

‘In body language terms, if your posture is straight, open, and accepting, then you give off an impression of being on top of things and appear trustworthy because of the way you hold yourself.

‘Working hard at having a great posture, and investing in it – will pay for itself, in the opportunities that will be available to you, and the image that you will project every day.’

Hunched posture

A common bad posture that we often don’t realise we’re doing.

Inbaal says: ‘This can project weakness. In body language terms, rounded shoulders communicate that you are closed off from the rest of the world and it may suggest that you have an air of fearfulness and tension.

‘This makes you seem like you are not interested in the people around you.

‘For most people, this is not attractive – when meeting strangers for the first time, or in a job interview setting, you’ll be known as the worrier, because slumped shoulders look as if you’re carrying the weight of the world on your back.’

Stooping posture

Stooping isn’t necessarily bad, just don’t do it for too long.

Inbaal explains: ‘Stooping forward is something we naturally do when we’re paying close attention to someone, or perhaps listening intently to a quiet talker.

‘It’s an attentive posture, but it looks odd when it’s permanent.

‘Furthermore, this posture shows the person you are with that your entire focus is on them, and whilst it can make you look caring, it does not project any self-confidence.

‘If you’re constantly leaning forward, lending your ear to somebody else, when would you be fulfilling your own needs?’

Avoidance posture

This is the opposite of having an open and welcoming stance.

‘If you practise the avoidance posture, then you appear to look like you are evading others, and you could make those in your company feel self-conscious and possibly even rejected.

‘This posture looks very stand-offish to the innocent passer-by, and your non-verbal communication says, “I’d rather be anywhere but here,” even if you don’t mean to.;

In social settings, this can be uninviting.

Defensive posture

If you’re mid-conflict, it’s not a good pose to go into.

Inbaal says: ‘This is an almost cartoonish representation of giving up.

‘In body language terms, this is the most defensive posture, your whole upper body is starting to roll itself into a protective, childish figure.

‘Our high-tech lives are ruled by screens, and this is typically caused by being wrapped around your phone for hours a day.’

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