While your sitting style can vary based on your surroundings and particular mood, a person’s plopping patterns can say a lot about his or her personality, according to Lilian Glass, Ph.D., a body language expert and author of 18 books including The Body Language Advantage.
To help you interpret other’s people’s poses and tweak your own posture for an A+ impression, see what these common positions really mean:
WHAT 13 SITTING POSITIONS SAY ABOUT YOU:
Sitting up straight with your shoulders back, and feet firmly planted on the floor sends a strong message: You’re confident AF. You get extra points if you use your hands to gesture as you speak. Who run the world?
When you cross one leg over the other you’re making yourself smaller while physically tucking your bottom leg out of sight, which signals insecurity, according to Glass. And of course confident people don’t shrink away like that — they spread out like they own the place.
That said, like most rules of body language, there are situational exceptions: Crossing your legs toward someone can be a bold statement that says you’re into the person you’re cozying up to. Crossing away from someone, however, can send the message that you’re checked out.
Unlike when you cross your legs while sitting in a chair, sitting cross legged on the floor indicates openness. «It says you’re very loose, casual, and easy-going,» Glass explains. Never mind the fact that this pose, which involves knees splayed out to opposite sides, signifies open-mindedness. Folding yourself into cross-legged position means you’re agile and athletic. (See? Yoga is a sport!)