Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Body Language: Space (Proxemics)

How much space a person takes up generally illustrates their level of dominance/aggression. There are many ways people take up space.
  • Leg Splay: Legs wide apart while sitting down shows dominance and subtle aggression.
  • Arm Splay: Arms wide apart such on a couch or table shows dominance and sometimes subtle aggression.
  • Wide Stance: Some police personnel are told to stand with their feet together when talking with people so that they will not be perceived as authoritarian. Indeed, a wide stance with feet apart is a sign of dominance, sometimes aggression, and authoritarianism.
  • Hooding: With arms up, the fingers are interlaced behind the head, and elbows pointed out, this is another sign of dominance.
  • Personal Belongings: When personal belongings are spread out, they are claiming more property and are exhibiting dominance.
On the contrary, people who take up less space are often less dominant.
One should avoid taking a lot of space using the above tactics when in the presence of "superiors" like bosses and teachers. These people do not like when their supposed "sub-ordinates" seem more dominant and will develop an unfriendly bias towards the dominant people.

Knowing body language is an important part Thrivalism.

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