The Secrets of Body Language: Why You Should Never Cross Your Arms Again

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Body language is older and more innate for us as humans than even language or facial expressions. That’s why people born blind can perform the same body language expressions as people who can see. They come pre-programmed with our brains.

I’ve always been incredibly fascinated with body language and how it helps us achieve our goals in life. The power of body language is probably best described by Amy Cuddy’s famous quote:

“Our nonverbals govern how other people think and feel about us.”

If you are anything like me, then you’ve had a healthy obsession with body language for some time. In recent years, a few fascinating studies at Harvard, Princeton and other top universities shed new light on body language and how to use it at work. So whilst the power of language is extremely important to convey the right message. The power of body language however, might be the determining factor of how someone makes us feel.

Here is an insight into some of the latest studies on how we can use body language to our advantage in every day life.

Your body expresses emotion better than your face

We all grow up learning how to deal with each other based on facial expressions. And yet, that might not at all be the best way to judge other people’s emotions.

Researchers from Princeton performed a very simple experiment. They asked study participants to judge from photography whether that person is feeling joy, loss, victory or pain. Now some photographs showed facial expressions only, some showed body language and some both.

Have a go yourself at the following picture and try to say whether the tennis player’s faces on the right enjoy victory or loss:

improve my body language science tips

And the results couldn’t be any more startling:

“In four separate experiments, participants more accurately guessed the pictured emotion based on body language — alone or combined with facial expressions — than on facial context alone.”

Extremely positive and extremely negative emotions are especially hard to distinguish from each other, explains head researcher Todorov.

Now, it gets even more interesting. Body language isn’t just something we have to learn. Most emotional expressions come built into our system. For example, scientists from British Columbia observed congenitally blind people at the Paralympics.

In this example, the left athlete can see, whereas the right athlete is congenitally blind. Yet, after winning, both express the same body language for victory:

improve my body language science

So, if body language is both so ancient and ingrained and also so powerful to express our true emotions, how can we use it better in our every day lives to achieve what we want?

Amy Cuddy from Harvard has answers for us:

Body language changes who you are – literally

In one of my favorite Ted Talks, Amy Cuddy explains some of the most peculiar happenings of body language. Cuddy focuses a lot on the business world and how body language is helpful for us here and the possibilities seem to have no boundaries.

Cuddy distinguishes between 2 different types of body postures. One are powerful poses, and their counter part are powerless ones. Here is an example of a powerful pose:

improve my body language science

 

And here is an example of a powerless one:

improve my body language science

Now Cuddy’s research reveals a bunch of extremely interesting things. The first is that expressing more powerful poses helps us get better jobs, makes us feel better and makes us overall more successful.

And yet, it goes a lot further than to just change the positing of your legs or arms. Cuddy explains that inside our bodies, actual changes are happening as our body language changes. These changes largely have to do with hormones.

The two hormones in question are:

  • Testosterone: The “power” hormone, which amongst lots of other things helps us to be a better leader, have more focus and attention.
  • Cortisol: The “stress” hormone, which amongst lost of other things makes us less re-active to stress, makes us feel overwhelmed and powerless.

Here is what Cuddy’s experiment contained:

They brought people into a room. For two minutes, they would either perform a powerful pose or a powerless pose. Then they would go on into performing a job interview. The results were absolutely stunning:

Neutral recruiters, who didn’t know who performed which pose, consistently picked only those that previously performed the powerful poses as people they would want to hire.

On top of that, the actual hormone levels of people changed dramatically. Here is the increase in testosterone and drop in cortisol after performing the power-pose (for just 2 minutes!):

improve my body language science testosterone

And here are the hormone levels after performing the powerless-pose, with a significant drop in testosterone and increase in cortisol:

improve my body language science cortisol

According to Cuddy, here findings show that changing our body language doesn’t just change our outcomes. It changes who we are as people. So instead of “faking until you make it”, her advice is:

Fake it until you become it.

Can you fake it until you make it? Yes, here are 5 postures to work on today to answer the question “How can I improve my body language”:

“How can I improve my body language?” – Here are 5 postures to work on

1.) Focus on the position of your feet

Carol Kinsey Goman has researched the importance of body language in the workplace for many years. One of her best tips is to watch your feet. A lot of the time, we focus on our upper body or faces, yet our feet reveal more about our emotions than we might think:

“When you approach 2 people talking, you will be acknowledged in one of two ways. If the feet of your two colleagues stay in place and they twist only their upper torsos in your direction, they don’t really want you to join the conversation. But if their feet open to include you then you know that you are truly invited to participate.”

In another example from her book Goman explains when to know that “conversations are over”:

Whenever you are speaking with a co-worker who seems to be paying attention, and whose upper body is angled toward you, but whose legs and feet have turned toward the door – realize that the conversation is over. Her feet are telling you she wants to leave. Foot positions are revealing even if someone’s legs are crossed.

I’ve started to experiment this at the Buffer office too. Whenever I speak with someone I make sure to give them my full attention – head til toe. So far, it’s been a great experience.

2.) Smile – it’ll make you happier

We smile because we are happy. But does it work the other way around too? Researchers at Cardiff University think so. People who smile, without actually feeling happy, can make themselves feel a lot happier, says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study:

“It would appear that the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies that help and reinforce the feelings we’re having,”

Of course, being able to smile well is a whole other story. For now, give it a try to smile in the restroom or in another quiet place before a difficult conversation, job interview or meeting. It might just make you more successful.

3.) Practice Amy Cuddy’s “power poses” before important meetings

Amy Cuddy suggests 3 distinct power poses to practice for 2-3 minutes before you have an important conversation.

Try them next time in a quiet place and see if they have the same results for you:

Power-posture 1:

improve my body language science power poses

Power-posture 2:

improve my body language science power poses

 

Power-posture 3:

improve my body language science - power poses

 

4.) Realign your body more congenially with your conversation partner

Another great tip from Goman mentions that if you try to align yourself more congenially with a conversation partner you will be able to solve tension in conversations and come to solutions more quickly:

“If you physically align yourself with that person (sitting or standing shoulder to shoulder facing the same direction), you will defuse the situation. “

I’ve found this especially true with meeting people you’ve never met before. It’s hard to build rapport at the start, focusing on aligning can make a big difference. Give it a try.

5.) Lower your voice with deep breathing

Although not a specific tip for body posture, this is one of my favorite tips. Men and women with deeper voices are more likely to land in leadership positions and are generally perceived as a greater authority.

To lower your voice, especially before an interview, try to take some deep belly breaths. It will relax your throat area, which generally contracts and raises the pitch of your voice.

What other body language insights have you come across? I’d love your insights on this fascinating topic!

 

  • http://twitter.com/Soender_ Magnus Juhl

    It’s crazy what we can find out by looking at other peoples body language. Maybe we will be able to read thoughts from it one day?

    • LeoWid

      Indeed, we might! Thanks for stopping by Magnus. :)

      • http://twitter.com/anca1268 Anca Dumitru

        That would be dangerous business, but I would so give it a try. :)

      • lolo

        loo lmaggy

  • http://www.facebook.com/terrence.a.davis1 Terrence Andrew Davis

    God is perfectly just. I don’t play games — I just take what I deserve. If you work, you get rewarded. God said “pride or money, choose one.” I like pride.

    • Cory

      Too bad God was high when he said that. High in the clouds, of course.

    • Not God

      Where did god say that?

    • Jackson

      I don’t think god really exists…if he or she does exist, where was god during the Sandy Hook tragedy? Or the recent Boston Marathon bombings?

      I honestly think it would be great to have an all powerful superhuman being protecting us all. But I have trouble with thinking that there is when there is so much tragedy in the world.

      If God created the world in 7 days, it shouldn’t take him/her too long to restore all the worlds problems.

      • http://www.facebook.com/himattlevy Matt Levy

        God gives all people free will and is patient with all people, not wanting anyone to perish and all to come to repentance … Love can’t exist when free will is absent … Love is patient, it is kind, it does not envy, it is not jealous, love keeps no record of wrong, love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love never fails. And these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. God is love.

        • okonomiyaki3000

          This is super off topic now but I want to point out that free will is inconsistent with the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god that western society is most familiar with.

        • lower g god

          I swear every time I read some Bible thumpers comment, it reminds me of either a Parrot or one of those cards audio cards that says the same message every time you open it.

          • Matt Levy

            Truth is consistent … thankful this has been your experience … hopeful grace has been present as well … grace + truth + time … thankful for all of those who have loved me this way

      • Bob

        You are a retard and should never write anything ever again on any blog site or even a piece of paper. Give up thinking because obviously your brain is as lost as your thoughts.

        • boB

          same to you

        • karidrgn

          And you just lost the argument. Only those who don’t have an coherent rebuttal resort to name calling. The problem with believers is that there’s no way you can ‘prove’ that there is a supreme being. Just as there is no way to prove that one DOESN’T exist, all science can do is explain phenomenon that used to be ‘miracles’ or ‘magic’ assigned to god. There’s a few left still, so go ahead and believe if you want, just don’t force me into your fantasy, and don’t force your religious laws on me either.

        • Rj

          It sounds like you have a lot of unresolved issues. Give up thinking? You have some thinking to do and need to find the truth instead of living a lie. You obviously don’t LOVE yourself and that’s why YOU feel the need to put others down, Bob-

    • Matias

      Hope you are joking… Or the world is really crazy

  • G. Nazi

    “*govern” l: 17

    • LeoWid

      thanks, fixed! :)

  • http://twitter.com/blogova Goula | Costa Brava

    Interesting it

  • gabe

    interesting that you chose to only use white male models for “high-power” poses, seems like more than a coincidence since other models were used for both.

  • http://openid.aliz.es/FullDisclosure FullDisclosure

    So why didn’t Cuddy use actual boxplots?

  • arms crossed

    So, why shouldn’t you cross your arms?

    • LeoWid

      good one! I should have probably made it more clear. Crossing your arms is a “low-power” pose according to Cuddy and avoiding it might help you to release less cortisol.

      • Bill

        I certainly disagree with that, a conclusion could be made only after taking into consideration combinations with other characteristics, such as the spread of the legs and the expression of the face.

        For example legs can be apart while one’s hands are crossed.

        A great page I just found: http://westsidetoastmasters.com/resources/book_of_body_language/chap10.html

        • mike

          ha ha.
          When I cross my arms my children know that I am an immovable object with the ultimate power to stare them down!

          • Sam Masonspops Lee

            Super Man crosses his arms all the time… So is he power-less… NO! But I get that is most cases as a human, this is a power-less pose. Great read!

          • Chris Lusk

            Superman put his hands on his hips…power pose!

      • one critical reader

        It’s a sign of a good writer to use a hook like: “Why you should never cross your arms again”. It’s a better sign to deliver the answer within the article. It’s a completely different sign to not even refer to the phrase anywhere in the article – readers’ replies don’t count. I used “search” twice and it never picked-up the phrase – until the replies. Do you always use this gimmick in your writing?

        • http://courtneyseiter.com/ Courtney Seiter

          Hey there; just jumping in for Leo! Thanks so much for the heads up on this one; I agree it is quite curious that the question doesn’t quite get answered in the post. Seems like it may have been edited out somewhere along the way? A good one to go back and revisit. :) Thanks for the nudge!

    • http://raymondduke.com/ Raymond Duke

      One thing to keep in mind is that crossing one’s arms could be viewed differently based on culture. I’ve heard that crossing arms is sign of being defensive/withheld and I’ve also heard it’s a sign of being a patient leader. My advice: don’t look to any one sign, but rather a combination of signs; body language, vocal language, attitude, etc.

    • Kevin

      Crossing your arms indicates that you are not open to criticism, new ideas, etc.

      • Isla

        For me, it indicates that I am cold.

        • ♜Donzzy™

          Hahaha. Or grumpy?

        • kittendelight

          If you are cold you be exhibiting other body language that will convey that like goosebumps and the way the rest of your body is positioned

    • http://www.TechKnowledgeCorp.com TLMurray

      It depends on the setting. Consider this example: An employee comes in to the manager’s office with a problem, maybe something at home. If the manager assume a power pose, it would send a message (at least to me), of “I really don’t care. Now get back to work or go home and don’t come back.” Now consider the manager standing up, crossing arms, putting a hand under chin (think Rodin’s The Thinker), it would mean this fellow cares and is really thinking through a solution for me.

  • http://giacomoballi.com/ Giacomo Balli

    hard to see it as a power-posture when wearing flip-flops…

    • Cariona Neary

      Yes, that was quite funny, and that’s before the sound effects of squeaky flipflops as you walk in to an interview!

      • Shadab Tahir

        Yes, I agree. It’s funny going to an imp interview wearing flip flops. They will reject the candidate for sure no matter how empowered you feel or how much capable you’re.

    • Marcus

      Obviously not in a business setting, but I think having that open of a posture and being that relaxed signals that you’re in control of your situation.

    • Brandon Heat

      whats so bad about it the King of Pirates wears flip flops

  • James Ranier

    I spent five minutes in a power pose before I wrote this comment. My feet are toward the screen and I did 7 minutes of deep belly breathing… I’m feeling good, confident, manly. It is time to hit the submit button, I feel like I nailed it!

    • LeoWid

      Haha, totally awesome James and yes, I think you did nail it! :)

    • Jenny Craig

      And you nailed it. Well done James.

    • Not you.

      LMAO that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read in a comment.

    • NÜK (N.U.K. no E)

      Indeed.

    • John G.

      Indeed. Indeeldo.

  • http://www.thepetedesign.com/ Pete R.

    I have a conference that I need to speak in a few weeks. Oh boy, how this article came right on time for me. :) Thanks for writing this up with extensive research.

    I was wondering how did you find all these scientific proof?

    • LeoWid

      Hi Pete, thanks a bunch for stopping by and really glad you found the article interesting.

      That’s a good one, I should probably blog about this at some point! I generally start with an interesting study by one of the main big schools (Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, etc.) and then work my way through other journal articles on the same topic! :)

      • http://www.thepetedesign.com/ Pete R.

        Thanks for the reply! That’s a great way to get reliable sources. I’ve never thought of doing that before.

        Looking forward to your post man! :)

  • aaronklemm

    The left side social sharing bar sits over the text of your article, which is incredibly annoying. Using Chrome on the latest OSX.

    • LeoWid

      Hey Aaron, thanks a ton for the heads up! That’s no good, any chance you could send me a quick screenshot?

  • pxbang

    Stumbled on this via Hacker News, great article. If anyone’s interested I’ve got a video course on how to improve your body language. The course is 100% free and you can register at: http://gobodylanguage.com

    • LeoWid

      thanks for sharing this, looks awesome!

  • Yakob A

    The first picture with the “High Power Poses” is way too funny. Last week was my performance review, and my boss was using the pose on the left, while i was using the pose on the right. If i think about it now, i must verify this article: I was extremly confident, although i had little reason to :)

  • RuTHaL

    Power poses No3 are no power poses just genitals exposure, those men show a bar like attitude rather than power … They are relaxed alright but their composure shows more of some lack of parental education in early childhood in terms of sitting … Their attitude and pose show high arrogance mostly

    • A. Nonymous

      Cocky and arrogant is exactly how I view someone when they sit with their arms over there head like that too. The second just looks like poor posture or that you are sitting around BSing. Maybe it conveys power due to the looking relaxed when others aren’t?

    • Kris Thrasher

      This was my first thought as well!

  • nhr215

    If only 2 minute poses could change our personality. They cannot. Your hormone levels may change temporarily but they will return back to baseline. Your sense of “power” may change, but it too will return back to baseline.

    This is why trite write-ups of preliminary social science research aren’t very helpful. Makes for entertaining though.

    • http://www.passiveproductive.com/ Sam Matla

      Sure, but the point is to change it temporarily. Of course they’re going to return back to baseline, as will power – but that takes time.

    • Marcel

      Many people go throughout their entire day in these ‘low-power poses’.

      By pointing them out, this study/article might help people improve their ‘default’ postures or become more aware of how their body language is affecting them socially and neurochemically.

      It’s the same as telling someone to ‘stand up straight’. Sure, they might “return to baseline” after a little while, and it might take some practice but the idea is to improve your default.

  • vvanpetten

    Hi,

    I love Amy Cuddy’s work, its fascinating that emotions cause our body language and body language can also cause our emotions. The only thing I think she missed was some of the other alpha body language people can do, like steepling. I wrote a response to this post for HuffPo if you want more ideas on Alpha body language:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-van-edwards/strong-body-language_b_2489382.html

    Cheers!

    • LeoWid

      Thanks Vanessa, awesome article and awesome tips in there, especially the colours part! :)

  • millsdelta

    Interesting study, if only it weren’t misleading. Just as @nhr215:disqus stated, hormone levels will return to baseline shortly after. In addition, this study did not use conventional units for measuring testosterone and cortisol. Once the data is converted to conventional units, the results aren’t as significant as suggested. Let’s assume that one of the participants is a healthy male around 30 years old with average testosterone and cortisol levels (about 650 ng/dl for testosterone and about 15 mcg/dl for cortisol). Once these units of measurement are converted to pg/ml and the results from the study are factored in (about + 8 pg/ml for testosterone and -0.035 pg/ml for cortisol for the power poses), we end up with an overall 0.123% increase in testosterone and 0.000023% decrease in cortisol. I’m not a doctor or scientist of any kind, but these numbers seem far from “significant.”

    • Marcus

      Significance refers to the probability the outcome could have occurred by chance. A small but significant effect size could be indicative of actual physiological changes in the body. Probably needs more study, but I bet that could change one’s testosterone and cortisol baselines over time. I’ve experienced improvements in confidence and lowered stress and anxiety by working on body language.

      • Gymbo Jones

        I would believe baselines could be changed over time too as my stress and anxiety have increased since I use my body in less eccentric ways these days compared to when I was a confident gymnast.

  • http://twitter.com/ShareThatGreen Taylor C. Judice

    I am an entrepreneur and found this article highly informative and can be useful now that I better understand the science behind persuasion through body posture, NICE :)

  • http://twitter.com/patrickspeijers Patrick Speijers

    I love high power poses :D

  • Ross

    Rad article.
    I felt like a bit of an idiot the first few times I stood like superman in front of a mirror, but now I’m totally comfortable with it. And I can honestly feel a difference in my confidence levels.
    Also, try standing up when you take a phone call that might cause stress. It will up your confidence.

  • Rationale

    While these are good tips, I don’t think you have to always pretend ans show off only High-Power poses.
    If you just try to be yourself, that is – know your strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly .. you should be OK.

    • Martina Collins

      I think you can come across as arrogant. I personally dislike those power poses. I think somewhere in the middle gets my respect. Stand sit straight confidently but do not look all crouched up I would say. Be yourself.

  • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

    Great article @LeoWid:disqus! I saw this related article on the Forbes link, it compliments this post well – The 10 Worst Body Language Mistakes. http://onforb.es/Z2Unmg I thought I had posted it earlier, but couldn’t find it in the comments. Thanks!

  • http://www.incion.com/ profesional web design

    Thanks for the cool article,and enjoyed the most.

  • http://www.SocialAna.com/ Ana Lucia Novak

    all good to know, I loved learning about the power poses, and feet pointing in a different direction…I am reader of body language – and can tell when I am intruding in someone’s space, so this is super stuff! Thank you!

  • comonbear

    I also heard that steeple pose with hands is a power pose

  • http://twitter.com/v1talyg Vitaly Gashpar

    This is interesting, but I think it’s missing one key point. While we may be able to recognize emotion best through body language than facial expressions (I’m actually not fully convinced of this, and won’t be until a cross-cultural study is conducted), the study does not address whether facial expressions or body language dominate preception. Reading about bodylanguage and practicing coming across in a certain way by positioning yourself in a certain way is great, but unless you have the facial expression to match, more likely than not people will see throught the facade.

  • Amonite

    I’ve found mirroring helps. I don’t know if there is any psychology behin this (other than that it unconciously happens when you care about someone); but when meeting someone new, in tense situations, or if the conversation is having difficulties, I will begin to subtly mirror the body language of the other person. This both focuses me on listening and paying attention to them, and seems to have an affect of relaxing them as well. This seems to work whether they are nearby or across the room in a group.

  • Scotty

    I love teaching body language and this is certainly info that I will add to my repertoire. Of course I’ll practice the power pose before delivery for maximum impact!

  • Deya

    TED Talks.
    I like how this article entirely copied the info, images and graphs from a TED Talks presentation.

  • Thor H

    I think body language still has a long way to go. I almost never cross my arms in social settings (without intention). But sometimes while I’m thinking out loud by myself I will cross my arms automatically.

  • Gloria

    These are good tips, but contentment and self-esteem are the ultimate power poses.

  • http://www.semihealthyblog.com/ Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut

    Those high-powered poses look kind of silly to me. The two gentleman kind of look like jerks who don’t really care about anything..and is the one in flip-flops supposed to be interviewing? And the gal on the left looks like she’s going to attack someone. Great idea overall, I think just sitting up straight, smiling and relaxing a bit should do the trick. It’s also very interesting to know that our hormones change with our posture!

    • kittendelight

      Your interpretation might be a little close minded or based on stereotypes… if they look like jerks maybe you are associating their dominant poses with jerks because those two go hand in hand ;)

    • Trevor

      I think the way to interpret the pictures is to imagine the same person, wearing the same clothes, in the different poses. Of course, it would have been nice if the images had been tied more closely to the text.
      However, sitting upright might not be so beneficial, if you are attempting to control your body rather than allowing your body to slide into one of the ‘power poses’ – are you trying to relax, or to control?

    • http://www.smarteraffiliatemoney.com Remco Boom

      I think you nailed it there Amanda. The key is to ‘relax’. A relaxed body will signal your conversation partner to relax as well.

      Being relaxed also sends out the signal of being in control (even if you are not) and that makes you a leader.

  • TC Spear

    Great concepts to embrace if we want to change our impact. Leadership and success can be developed, and often with minor, but powerful tweaks.

    I’ve observed similar impact related to sitting in meetings and taking notes (high power pose), distracted with “smart” phone (low power pose).

    Keep it up!

  • nithisha

    i hope it really helps me a lot… thanks a lot! really now i feel burdenless after an year after reading this page today i’ve got the tips about it and hope helps me and i can regain my previous body language :-)

  • nithisha

    and also those amy cuddy’s power poses are really working!!!

  • Marc

    Amy is no BS, it work I snagged a SVP post after using thus techniques speaking to the CEO of a major PLC. Power pose work! Thanks Amy.

    • nonlinearmind

      I’m sure you landed a SVP position with those grammatical skills. lol.

  • Yomna_isa an architect

    Before I was told to make a research about body language or as we call it body talk I learned nothing about this science ,thank you for making a better vision off life and thanks also to our teacher who asked us to do this research

  • http://www.nikhilchandra.in/ Nikhil Chandra

    Some very good advice here. I would for one definitely going to experiment how they impact the next interview that I appear for :-)

  • Yeezus

    Ily bae

  • nonlinearmind

    No amount of power-posing can mitigate against the wearing of flip-flops to a business meeting.

    • buddaboy

      Only a hipster would attempt to pull it off.

    • kittendelight

      If you are focusing on the minor details you might be missing the actual point -_-

      • nonlinearmind

        Your focus on the literal meaning of my comment means you’re actually missing my obvious use of sarcasm. I can’t imagine what that must be like for you.

  • KN

    So I decided to do this high power pose while working http://blog.bufferapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Screen-Shot-2013-04-17-at-4.49.22-PM.png

    Then my boss came complain about it. How should I counter that?

    • buddaboy

      Take your feet off the table and get back to work.

  • Jahsah

    I like this video run through.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUXtGQkJcQ0

  • Jahsah

    Thank you for this great information.

  • precious lucy

    Hhhhmmmm deed i am very happy for this bc i got some to show up for my presentation on body language thanks so so much

  • http://ifdattic.com/ Andrew M.

    Decided to give standing high-power pose a try (I’m standing either way with my heads free) while reading documentation on new framework I’m learning. I will need to give it a couple more test runs as a data sample of one is not enough, but probably it’s like smiling – something I will have to start doing. Not only you feel more confident and information gets processed at a better value, but I also receive a background process which looks for parts to improve from the information what is being consumed.

  • horny1

    daaaaaaaam baby I want you inside me

    • AnotherDude

      OK man a place and a time.

  • buddaboy

    Power-posture 3 looks like somebody in a lap dancing club enjoying the view than somebody in a business meeting.

  • Darius Ihop Pancakes Teel

    I’m An Arm Crosser Everyday. Is That a Bad Things

  • Jason Burns

    So in power poses, exposing your armpits is a good thing. Remember to wear deodorant/antiperspirant.

  • HSelye

    It simply doesn’t make sense that “posing” will decrease cortisol levels. We would all be in serious detriment every time we stood for too long a period with arms akimbo. Cortisol is a vital body hormone with essential, beneficial effects. It is not a “stress knob”. While cortisol increases with stress (to help you survive a threat), it does not decrease in proportion to decreased stress in an acute setting (not to mention that similar arguments can be made for testosterone). I question this entire research program which seems based more on media hype than hard science.

  • Billy

    Simple question: Given that women have significantly lower levels of testosterone in their bodies, is the effect of power posing different in men and women?

  • Nick

    Ho

  • Nick

    Hello just recently been aware that in some situation people tend to touch each others arms in an an-usual way and push each other. Could that be a signal of some sort what kind of posture is this. Many thanks

  • Laur

    Power Posture 1 looks rude and lazy. Also, in a number of cultures, pointing the bottoms of your shoes/feet at someone is considered an insult.

  • Wendy S. Huffman

    Hi Leo! Another great technique is mirroring. I was hired for a job where I used it in the interview; when my boss & I discussed it later, he said he felt an instant connection to me. I explained mirroring to him, and shared I was “mirroring” him in the interview, and we had a great laugh about it. We started using it when meeting clients for the first time, and it seemed to break down barriers and create a connection. Tony Robbins leads an unbelievable exercise in UPW using it to show how you can experience another person’s emotions by mirroring their posture. It was a powerful experience I will never forget!

  • @Bitcoinrat

    What do I do with my Tail ? .. just asking

  • Richard

    Some of these poses, while yes they exude confidence and power, are not necessarily appropriate for an interview or a formal setting. They may come off as arrogant or disrespectful. But the basic idea behind them is true. I think it has a lot to do with exposure to danger. By leaning back, we are essentially in a very vulnerable position to attack. By doing so in a setting where you may expect to be threatened, whether that is physically or psychologically, it says “I’m not afraid of the threat.” Of course, in today’s world there aren’t as many ‘real’ physical threats. This likely predates to a time where our fight or flight instincts were used daily, and a saber tooth tiger might jump into your cave and give you the job interview of your lifetime. Interesting overall.

  • http://www.eyestir.com/ Bill Owen

    I’ve read a lot of articles on body language and this is one of the best ones. Thanks!

  • http://will2power.com/ Martin Jul Hammer

    Great article – Loved it :)

  • Natalie Heslop

    I’m unsure about the power poses as not only is placing your feet up on a desk is impolite, in Arab countries, it is the biggest insult to show the soles of your shoe!

  • Alice

    thanks for the reminder how our body language affects the way we feel about ourselves and how people perceive us. Consistency theories in communication tell us that we behave according to how we feel. What is good to know is that recent studies show that we can also change how we feel by changing our behavior.

  • angela Denis

    I disagree with the low power pose on the left. The young man is according to Chinese medicine holding two power points to balance himself energetically. Triple burner and spleen. In no way is this a lower pose pose. You are soooooooo wrong.

  • MuzikMojo

    Coming from someone who tends to default to lower power poses, this idea of power poses is new. I’d heard of the direction your feet face conveying your true feelings, like if you wanted to be there or not, and so I try to actively do that. I personally really like this article, and appreciate the content.

  • Deep’k Hell ANgel

    really good