Turtling is a limbic response to confrontation. The head sinks, shoulders shrug, and the body takes on a smaller form to avoid being seen as a threat.

Turtling is a limbic response to confrontation. The head sinks, shoulders shrug, and the body takes on a smaller form to avoid being seen as a threat.

The posture happens by engulfing the head inside the shoulders. The shoulders are slowly being raised making the head seem to disappear. We see this posture when people are uncomfortable, have low confidence about themselves or a topic of discussion, have insecurities, feel weak or powerless, ashamed, or are carrying any other negative emotion. It can also be found when someone is centered out on their poor performance. The origins of the head turtle is to protect it from harm. For example, when people hear a very loud bang, they will quickly pull their heads inward and down, and tuck their chins. However, when it is done out of shame, it happens more slowly and deliberately so as to draw even less attention.

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