Normal standing posture with feet at shoulder width apart – shows calm confidence.

Normal standing posture with feet at shoulder width apart – shows calm confidence.

There are four main ways in which a person might stand [a] straight up with their feet together [b] feet slightly apart, but parallel [c] one foot forward and [d] legs crossed at the ankle.

The first posture with the legs straight and feet together is an “attentive pose” seen in obedient children when speaking to their parents. It is a neutral, honest pose and is found in adults of differing status like a boss and his employees.

The second pose, as we saw earlier, where the legs are spread at shoulder width while standing, is a form of crotch display. This posture says “I’m ready for action and not afraid of anything.” The standing crotch display can be made even more powerful by adding the thumbs in a belt loop, called the “cowboy pose.”

The third posture where one foot is moved forward, with respect to the other, indicates subtle interest toward the direction in which the foot is advanced. To show interest, the foot will be moved toward the speaker, but it can also be moved away from the speaker toward someone we would rather have speak, or to the door when we wish to end the conversation.

The final pose where the legs are crossed at the ankle is a submissive posture. It reveals that the target isn’t ready to commit to a proposal, and shows reservation to the situation, but also that he isn’t ready to leave. The ankle cross is figurative denial of access to the body and mind. Our minds and bodies are linked so when we uncross our bodies we show others that we are willing to hear them out, which is an excellent indication that our opinions either already match, or that there is at least a willingness to consider the facts. An open posture while standing shows supreme confidence because it exposes the midsection to attack. When people meet for the first time, they will show timidity by crossing at the ankle. In fact, this is the most common way in which people will stand when meeting new people.

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