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Understanding Body Language

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Posture
Posture

Posture can tell a lot about how a person might be feeling.

Photo by David Simmonds

How we hold our bodies can also serve as an important part of body language. The term posture refers to how we hold our bodies as well as overall physical form of an individual. Posture can convey a wealth of information about how a person is feeling as well as hints about personality characteristics, such as whether a person is confident, open, or submissive.

Sitting up straight, for example, may indicate that a person is focused and paying attention to what's going on. Sitting with the body hunched forward, on the other hand, can imply that the person is bored or indifferent.

When you are trying to read body language, try to notice some of the signals that a person's posture can send.

  • Open posture involves keeping the trunk of the body open and exposed. This type of posture indicates friendliness, openness, and willingness.

  • Closed posture involves keeping the obscured or hidden often by hunching forward and keeping the arms and legs crossed. This type of posture can be an indicator of hostility, unfriendliness, and anxiety.

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