Negative Body Language Examples

Understanding negative body language examples will allow you to become more aware of what you are unconsciously broadcasting. Regardless of what comes out of your mouth, your posture, gestures and mannerisms often speak volumes. Some people are in tune with this and use it to their advantage while others flounder in social circles without a clue. This article explores Western negative body language and it is important to note that different cultures have different physical cues.

  1. Crossed arms. Crossing your arms is an example of negative body language. On a primitive level, you are protecting your innards. In modern society, crossed arms mean you are defensive and not comfortable with the situation you are in.
  2. Twitching legs. Restless leg syndrome is an actual medical disorder though long ago they just called you a wiggle worm. For children, it means they ate too much corn syrup or have to pee. For an adult, this type of negative body language conveys your restless anxiety.
  3. Playing with hair. While this type of body language is also viewed as erotic in the West, girls who twist their hair when they talk stand out. Other females pick up on it as a sign of weakness. Playing with your hair only works for the rare class of females who already know they got it going on. The worst display of this behavior is when males do it. Regardless of your sexuality, you will be openly mocked.
  4. Hand on hips. If you are trying to convey a calm attitude, keeping you hands on your hips while standing is not a great pose. Think of cops. Hands on the hips is the type of negative body language that lets others know you are either displeased, an authority figure or prepared to kick someone’s ass.
  5. Hands clasped behind back. The hands clasped behind the back is seen as an example of negative body language in the Western world. But in Asian countries, it shows that you are harmless, not going to steal anything and are being respectful. It is a grandfather pose. But in the West, hands behind the back may be seen nervous or shifty behavior.
  6. Ankles together. This pose is great for bitter librarian women in their 60’s but awful for anyone trying to appear relaxed. It is hard to look serene when you look like you accidentally sat on a pole. The extreme opposite is just as bad though. If your legs are sprawled out and you are reclining on a couch with one hand poised behind your head, you totally look serene. Like Buddha serene. But you also look like you are high and not a very serious person. This is an acceptable pose for friends or sexy stoners but awkward for the office or meeting new people.
  7. Avoiding eye contact. This is probably the quintessential example of negative body language. Never mind your social anxiety issues, refusing to look at someone is weird and insulting. If it bothers you, just fake it. Stare at the bridge of the nose or just make eye contact for at least a few seconds. Human eye contact is much like one dog sniffing another dog’s ass. If the other dog won’t sniff, there is definitely a problem.
  8. Too much eye contact. The opposite problem is too much eye contact. Staring into another person’s eyes for longer than a minute is weird unless you have friends that constantly mess with you. This is another male monkey game. The stare can also be seen as the glare. The weaker monkey will always turn away as the alpha ape glowers. In situations of love, eye contact is crucial. You read the mood in the eyes but stare too long and you become creepy.