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How Your Legs Secretly Tell Others About What You Are Thinking

How Your Legs Secretly Tell Others About What You Are Thinking

The only time I’m acutely aware of my legs, or what they are doing, is when I’m in spin class. Otherwise, I just accept that they exist. Walking and breathing are two things you do not typically have to think about; it just happens. Unfortunately, this usually means I don’t know what my legs are doing when I’m interacting with someone. This is not to say I have no awareness of my legs, just that I don’t often think about the position they’re in when it comes to body language.

I try to constantly be aware of how “closed-off” I seem to be in regards to my arms. Are they crossed? Did I intend for them to be? Am I balling my fists? But rarely do I find myself questioning which way my toes are pointed, if my ankles are crossed or whether I seem ready to jump up and head for the door.

The farther away from the brain a body part is positioned, the less awareness we have of what it is doing. This makes sense in regards to what I just said. I always think about my arms. But why shouldn’t I? They’re almost always in my field of vision. But only while I’m writing this am I realizing I’m sitting with my left leg in a figure four over my right.

So what does all this mean? When it comes to body language and the way you appear to others, flashing a fake smile can still appear sincere. Your legs, however, are likely to betray you if you’re trying to put on a false front. The following leg-related body language graphics can help you to me more aware of what you’re saying, even if you’re sitting quietly still.

Legs apart signify dominance

    When you stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground, distributing your weight evenly, it makes a clear statement that you have no intention of leaving. While you may think you take on this position all the time, think about it: are you standing on both legs, or do you tend to jut one hip out a little bit?

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    When a man uses this legs-apart stance, it often signifies dominance, as it highlights the pelvic area. It allows men to highlight their masculinity and show solidarity as a team by all performing the same actions.

    So, if you want a confidence boost, or just to appear confident, use this stance. But be careful not to use it in the wrong situation, it could make you look unnecessarily threatening or mean.

    The ankle lock means the person is nervous

      As a woman, sitting with your ankles crossed can be viewed as polite and feminine. However, when it comes to a situation such as an interview, sitting with crossed ankles can make you appear nervous. It’s the equivalent of mentally biting your lip.

      The gesture can show that you are holding back a negative emotion or uncertainty. When you withdraw your feet under a chair, it makes it look as if you have a withdrawn attitude.

      If the situation is reversed, and you observe a peer crossing their ankles and seemingly nervous, asking positive questions about their feelings can often get those ankles unlocked.

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      In fact, one study of 319 dental patients showed that 88% locked their ankles as soon as they sat in the chair to have work done. Patients who were only there for a checkup or teeth cleaning locked their ankles only 68% of the time. A whopping 98% locked up when the dentist administered an injection.

      While those patients were most likely quite nervous, as most people tend to be at the dentist office, if you find yourself copying this position, relax your ankles and uncross them. Even if you are nervous, undoing the position can help you appear a bit braver and more open.

      Figure four leg: the person is ready to argue

        This is a position you want to be aware of. Be it intentional or not, having a “figure four” position indicates you’re ready to argue and be competitive if necessary. While you may feel this position is justified in some cases, it’s important to know when you’re making this move in case you are not trying to give off an argumentative vibe.

        Like I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I found myself sitting in this manner while writing and I certainly wasn’t in an argumentative state. But because that’s the attitude this position gives off, I’m glad I now know how often I do it.

        This position is amplified if you use one or both hands as a clamp. It locks the figure four into a permanent position giving the sign of a tough-minded, stubborn individual who rejects any opposing opinions.

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          Standing leg-cross: different meaning for men and women

            The standing leg cross is for women what “legs apart” one is for men. It shows, very clearly, that a woman intends to stay exactly where she is; it’s authoritative. Additionally, it sends a message of denied access.

            When a man takes on this position, it also says he intends to stay where he is, but it also shows an insecurity for his groin area; he doesn’t want to be kicked!

            Legs Together

              This is a very neutral position, as it illustrates an indifference as to whether you plan to stay or leave. If a child does it when talking to a teacher, it demonstrates attention. Likewise, people can do it to show respect, such as someone meeting royalty. Therefore, this one tends to be a pretty safe stance if you are trying to avoid offending anyone.

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              The Direction in which your Feet are Pointing Indicates where you’ll go

                Looking at the position of someone’s feet can prove to be very telling. For instance, if you’re standing in a group, take note of where the person beside you has their feet. We tend to point our lead foot toward the most interesting or physically attractive person. Alternatively, when someone has their feet pointed toward the nearest exit, it’s a sure sign they are ready to leave.

                Stay Focused

                So what about you? While you were reading this, did you realize you do one or most of these?

                Try to remain present throughout your day and realize what your legs are doing in any given situation. You may be surprised at the messages you’re sending!

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                Brian Lee

                Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                Last Updated on March 17, 2020

                4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

                Are you bored at work right now?

                Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

                You’re not alone.

                Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

                Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

                That’s right.

                Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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                Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

                Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

                VIDEO SUMMARY

                I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

                When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

                It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

                However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

                That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

                So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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                Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

                We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

                Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

                Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

                Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

                We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

                Let’s do this.

                Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

                Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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                Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

                Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

                Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

                For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

                Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

                Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

                Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

                For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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                Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

                Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

                Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

                You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

                Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

                Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

                Rewards could include:

                • Eating your favourite snack.
                • Taking a walk in a natural area.
                • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
                • Buying yourself a small treat.
                • Visiting a new place.
                • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

                Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

                Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

                Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

                Reference

                [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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