How someone sits or stands can indicate whether you’re welcomed or just tolerated. Behaviour expert Dr Leow Chee Seng dishes the dirt on leg reading:
How someone’s legs are positioned when sitting and standing can tell us much their personalities and attitudes. As with most aspects of body language, observation of leg positions will be able to let you obtain a lot more information than simply talking to that person.
This is especially useful in Asian culture, where people tend to wear “masks” when dealing with others.
For instance, if you ask your friend what he thought of the cake you had baked, he would most probably utter a compliment to please you.
To understand his true feelings, you should observe the position of his legs as he says those words. As to what he might have actually meant, the explanations below would give you a better idea of the actual message.
To better gauge a person’s openness or level of confidence in any situation, it would be easier to observe their legs when they’re in a sitting position. Do note that for a woman wearing a skirt, the legs will be only slightly apart due to modesty.
Most importantly, legs kept together and closed at the knees indicate openness plus a sense of self-assuredness. Frankness and honesty can be demonstrated when a person has both feet on the ground and pointing toward the other person.
Legs crossed display confidence and self-assuredness for both men and women, but only if one knee is crossed directly over the other.
When person is feeling neutral towards a situation, they have no crossed legs – which means negative or closed opinions while their feet won’t be pointing towards anywhere in particular. This position enhances the confidence level of a person and shows a sense of self-assuredness.
Further, the locking of their crossed leg position using one hand indicates a clear sign of a stubborn or tough-minded individual who is closed to any other opinion but their own.
This gesture implies “nobody will move me from here because I have my feet well positioned on the ground”
A dominant person would stretch out his legs or crossed in front of someone. This bullying behaviour shows the person has a strong will and appears to be self-centered in order to be noticed.
If you encounter such a person, try not to argue with him. Using a persuasive method is more effective than reasoning with him.
He might not listen to you – therefore, reasoning with him or even correcting his errors must be done carefully.
“ I don’t care how you perceive me. What matters is that I feel comfortable.” When writing books at home, I love to sit with one leg under the other. I love this style because I feel comfortable and I am not concerned about how and what others think of me then.
However, my mother complains of this improper sitting position. Why? A psychologist or body language specialist may interpret this gesture as someone being naturally independent, free-spirited, and informal.
When communicating with someone with lone legs, you do not need to be too serious. Flexibility and informal discussions bring greater results than the formal discussions.
Inclusive and exclusive legs
From leg position observations, we can quickly determine if we are included or excluded in any conversation. For example, when you’re at a seminar or a party, you can determine if you are welcome or simply tolerated by observing other people’s legs.
If their feet stay in place and they twist only their upper torsos in your direction, they don’t really want you to join in the conversation. However, if their feet open up to include you, you know that you are welcome to join the conversation. Also, the foot nearest you will turn slightly in your direction.
The two guys on the right are within the conversing group because their legs are facing each other. The guy on the left is excluded from the conversation because his legs do not face the speaker.
[See also: 8 Types of Smiles and What They Mean]
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