How our body moves – where our arms are placed or where you feet points to- tells other people a lot about ourself. The ability to understand these cues are ingrained in human beings; reading whether someone is hostile to us is important for our survival. Hence although we cannot explain why, but we can feel that that someone doesn’t like us very much.
Why you shouldn’t cross your arms?
One of the most negative body language that we might display without even realising is crossing our arms. As kid, when we are threatened, we like to hide behinds solid objects like table or behind our mother. As adults, we simply do that through crossing our arms and here’s why we shouldn’t do it:
- You become less approachable
- Your ability to retain information decreases
- Your credibility reduces
…volunteers were instructed to keep their arms tightly folded across their chest throughout the lectures. The results showed that the group with the folded arms had learned and retained 38 % less than the group who kept its arm unfolded. The second group also had a more critical opinion of the lectures and of the lecturer.
What if folding your arms makes you comfortable?
What if you simply feel comfortable crossing your arms? It doesn’t change the fact that people will believe that you don’t agree with them. Besides, your body language affects how you feel. You feel comfortable folding your arms because it ‘protects’ you in a threatening environment. Let your arm loose and you might feel better.
…when you’re having fun with your friends, folded arms will feel wrong.
How the rich and famous reveal their insecurity?
Although people who are always in the limelight such as royalty, politicians or celebrities are trained to appear calm and collected, their body language can betray them. They may not cross their arms, but they have disguised form or arm crossing. For example, their hands touches or hold onto bags, bracelet, watch, shirt, cuff or objects or near the other arm’
Men wearing cuff links are often seen adjusting them as they cross a room or dance floor where they are in full view of others. The cuff-link-adjust is the trademark of Prince Charles who uses it to give himself a feeling of security anytime he walks across an open space in full view of everyone.
In a nutshell
Arm-crossing reveals a host of negative attitude such as hostility and insecurity. Not only it makes you appearing less friendly, it also makes you feel less happy. Do yourself and others a favour by avoiding it. Instead adopt better language such as standing up straight and openings arms. According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy in the most watched TED talk ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are’, it might even change your life!
Do you normally cross your arms?
The Definitive Book Of Body Language
What people say is often very different from what they think or feel. The new, definitive updated version of the million-selling classic BODY LANGUAGE helps you to read others’ thoughts by their gestures, with the help of newly commissioned illustrations.