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Published on August 29, 2017

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

                Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow 1 Minute Book Summary: Always Hungry? 2 Minutes Book Summary: How to Read a Book

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                Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

                Narcissistic Personality: What Is It and How to Deal with a Narcissist?

                He asks you for your opinion, but only follows his own advice regardless of what you say.She loves to talk about herself, everything about her is just better than you.  When you try to share anything happy about yourself, she seriously doubts it.

                If you know someone who acts like these examples, there’s a chance they might be a narcissist.

                What is a narcissistic personality?

                Narcissism is a spectrum personality disorder which most of us have.

                In popular culture, narcissism is interpreted as a person who’s in love with themselves, more accurately, their idealized selves. Narcissists believe that they are too unique to be understood and that they are so good that they demand for admiration from others.

                Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that,[1]

                the narcissist is someone who has buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

                The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describes narcissistic personality as a personality disorder. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it exists on a continuum ranging from some narcissistic traits to the full-blown personality disorder.[2]

                Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not very common, but the truth is, we all have some of the narcissistic traits.

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                Traits of a narcissist:

                • They have a deep need for admiration and validation. They think they’re special and too unique to be understood.
                • They feel they are superior to other. They achieve more and know a lot more than you.
                • They do not show their vulnerabilities. They fear what others think of them and they want to remain superior in all situations.
                • They are unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. They want to be the centre of attention and believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.
                • They are skilled manipulators and are emotionally abusive. They know how to make use of their charm to take advantage of others to get what they want.

                How are narcissists different from others?

                Narcissism expert and the author of Narcissism in a Nutshell, Zari Ballard, tried to answer some common questions asked by non-narcissists about what a narcissist thinks and feels from a narcissist’s perspective.[3]

                Do narcissists know they are narcissists and are they happy?

                We could really care less about how others feel. We enjoy our so called cold existence. True narcissists don’t want to change. We feel in total control of our lives using this method.

                Do narcissists know or understand right from wrong?

                Narcissists know the difference between right and wrong because they understand cause and effect. There is no “guilty conscience” giving them a clue and they are displaying the symptom of being “indifferent to social norms” while most likely presenting as ‘cold-hearted.’

                Narcissists have a very different thinking mechanism. They see things from a different perspective. Unlike non-narcissists and empaths, they don’t have much sympathy and are reluctant to show emotions to others.

                Why do people become narcissists?

                1. Narcissism is vulnerability taken to an extreme.

                The root of a narcissistic personality is a strong resistance to feeling vulnerable with anyone.[4]

                Narcissists refuse to put themselves in a position where they feel vulnerable. They fear that others will take advantage of their weaknesses, so they learn to camouflage their weaknesses by acting strong and powerful. The think showing emotions to others is a sign of weakness, so they learn to hide their emotions and act cold-hearted most of the times.

                Narcissists live in a state of anxiety because they are highly aware of their emotions and how others think of them.

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                Vulnerability aversion, is the root of a narcissistic personality.

                2. A narcissistic personality could be a result of a wounded past.

                Narcissists are desperate to seek validation constantly because they either didn’t feel worthwhile and valued in the past, or were being paid too much attention as the most precious and unique one in the world.

                Faulty or inadequate parenting, for example a lack of limit setting, is believed to be a major cause, and both permissive and authoritarian styles of parenting have been found to promote narcissistic symptoms.[5]

                Both parents who fail to see the worth in a child, and parents who spoil and give excessive praise to the child promote narcissism as the child grows. While the former ones make the child feel inferior of others and want to get more attention, the latter ones encourage an idealized-self in the child.

                How to deal with a narcissist?

                1. If someone close to you is a narcissist, embrace the differences.

                There’re different personality types and not everyone will think and act the same as you do. Instead of trying to change others, learn to accept the differences and strike a balance when you really have to communicate with them.

                2. Don’t try to change them, focus on your own needs.

                Try to understand that narcissists are resistant to change, it’s more important for you to see who they really are, instead of who you want them to be. Focus on how you feel, and what you want yourself to be.

                Embrace the fact that there’re different types of personality and the only thing you can control is your attitude and your own actions.

                3. Recognize what they do only comes from their insecurity.

                Narcissists are quite vulnerable deep inside, they question others because that’s how they can make themselves feel better.

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                When you learn that what a narcissist does to you is nothing personal, but something that comes from their insecurity, you know that sometimes they just need a certain amount of reassurance.

                This is especially important if the narcissist is someone you have to closely work with, or if they’re your family member. The right amount of reassurance can calm them down and get the tasks on hand completed.

                4. Ask them what would others think instead of what’d others feel.[6]

                Narcissists don’t feel guilty, but they care about how others think of them deep in their heart.

                Clinical psychologist Al Bernstein explains:

                There are just things, like other people’s feelings, that narcissists rarely consider. If you have their ear, don’t tell them how people might react; instead, ask probing questions. Narcissists are much more likely to act on ideas that they think they thought up themselves.

                If you have to work with a narcissist closely, focus on the facts and ideas, not the emotions.

                5. Let go of the need of getting a narcissist’s approval.

                You’re not who a narcissist says you are. Don’t let their blame game undermine your self-esteem, and don’t argue with them just to defend what you believe is right.

                There is no point arguing with a narcissist just to prove them wrong because they will not give in proving themselves right. It’s more likely that you’ll get more upset when they disagree with you in an unpleasant way.

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                Know your own worth and detach from a narcissist’s opinion on you.

                6. If a narcissist is hurting you, stay away from them.

                Remember, a healthy relationship is two-sided. It’s about mutual respect and it’s based on give and take. But any kind of relationship with a narcissist is likely to be the contrary, it’s about making the narcissist happy and constantly supporting them. A relationship like this will only weigh you down and is unhealthy for your growth.

                7. Set a boundary and always keep it.

                If you’re setting a boundary, you have to be willing to keep it. When a narcissist sees that you’re trying to take back control of your life, they will try to test your limits, it’s just their instinct to do it.

                Be prepared that your boundary will be challenged. Make your boundary clear, have all the actions needed to be taken in your mind.

                For example, if you have decided to stop communicating with them, they will likely to show up in front of you just to talk to you. Be brave enough to keep your boundary, don’t back down and get close to them again; or else they will not take your boundary seriously any more.

                8. Learn when to walk away.

                When a narcissist starts to make you feel uncomfortable and doubt about yourself, it’s time to pick yourself up and give yourself enough respect to just walk away from them.

                If you’re in love with a narcissist, you should seriously think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life. If the narcissist is your family member, you don’t have to be cruel to them, but it’s better to keep distance from them.

                Reference

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