What your body posture communicates about your personality

It’s time to set things straight. 

02 September, 2023
How does your body posture communicate your personality

Non-verbal communication is the key to understanding the true meaning of the words spoken. Our body posture and gestures speak as much as our words, if not more. The way we sit, stand, move our hands, all are a major reflection of our thoughts and emotions. You will be able to gauge the air around the person you are talking to just by looking at their posture. And this is no new discovery. Think about it, isn’t your body the first to react when you’re overwhelmed with emotion? 

What does your posture indicate—the basics

Our body posture is a way our body expresses our inner self. Our mood influences our muscle tone, and moods can broadly be divided into discomfort (where you distance yourself, and block those emotions) or comfort (where you show willingness to share). Standing or sitting upright while talking shows you are being focused, interested, and attentive to what is being communicated. On the other hand, your slouching, hunching, and holding your chin with the palm gives the impression you’re tired, annoyed, disinterested, or plain bored. Here are some tell-tale postures that communicate how you feel.   

Confident: The posture is upright and the person might seem swelled up because they’re literally carrying that confidence in them, and their arms are either open or outstretched. This power pose makes you feel powerful, yet relaxed. The increased testosterone levels, thanks to your posture, will take little to no time to put you in control of the situation and seize the moment. 

Not confident: We all have bad days and it’s absolutely normal to feel deflated and dejected. When one feels this way, their hands are often joint together or their arms are crossed. The emotion of feeling down translate in their body posture in the form of stooping low and the head pointing downwards. Those who suffer from depression tend to have slumped shoulders, while people with anxiety often sit with their arms crossed. Maybe the next time you’re feeling low, try standing up tall; the results might just even surprise you. 


Worried or upset: When you’re worried, your shoulders are usually tense and raised. Your hands are often interlocked or gripping onto something. 

Relaxed: When you are relaxed, you tend to move your body slower and in a calmer way than usual. The way you move your fingers, hands, and head is also more controlled and at ease. 

Angry: While the facial expressions of an angry person are very evident, the body will communicate differently to you. Their head and chest will be leaning forward and their fists will be clenched. 

Sitting and standing vs. slouching


Your brain is impacted by the way you sit. People tend to recollect negative memories and experiences when they’re sitting in a slouched posture. On the other hand, when one sits in an ideal posture, they are happy and content and are thinking of only good things. The science behind it is simple. When you sit or stand with an ideal posture, your lungs expand and take in more oxygen, which allows the brain to function better and helps you feel calm and composed. Slouching takes the body into self-defence mode making us believe we’re in danger. The stress hormone cortisol is lower in people who sit with an ideal posture compared to those who slump. While sitting up straight reduces stress, depression, tiredness, exhaustion, boredom, and anxiety levels, slouching does the absolute opposite. 

How do I reflect positivity through my posture?

All it takes is the right intent to change things for the better. As far as your posture is concerned, all you need to do to set the right impression and stay relaxed by not slouching. Lean forward and maintain eye contact when someone’s talking to you to show you are listening intently and are interested in the conversation. Try not to be distracted or fidgety with your hands and feet. Lastly, it may not have to do anything with your posture but don’t forget to smile. 

Inputs by Archana Singhal, Counselor and Family Therapist