How to Make Your Arms and Legs Less Awkward

How to Make Your Arms and Legs Less Awkward

Body language of arms and legs

I was recently at a conference with an attractive keynote speaker.  She was dressed in an crisp business suit which sent the message that she earned the honor of speaking.  She also spoke eloquently which sent the message that she knew what she was talking about.  So what was the problem?

Her problem was that as she spoke, her arms and legs were crossed as tight as possible without cutting off her circulation.  She looked like she wanted to hide.

I was perplexed at the sight of a well-dressed and well-spoken speaker looking like she wanted to flee. I couldn’t concentrate!  To be honest, I don’t even remember what she was speaking about.  All I remember are the mixed messages her body language sent.

I want you to avoid the same problem.

IT IS NATURAL TO WANT TO CROSS YOUR ARMS

Crossing your arms and legs is such a hard habit to break because it is ingrained in you.

From an evolutionary perspective, crossing your arms is a sign of submission — a way for your ancestors to make themselves look smaller and less threatening in the face of danger.

From a psychological perspective, arm crossing is a self-soothing act which calms your nerves in uncomfortable situations by reducing your skin tension.

For some people, it is just plain comfortable, and for almost everyone, it is what you do when you are cold.

Since there are deep biological and psychological reasons for crossing your arms, don’t be ashamed if you forget to uncross them from time-to-time.  I promise, even I forget to uncross them sometimes.  Nevertheless…

OPEN ARMS = OPEN HEART

CROSSED ARMS = MIXED MESSAGE

When you talk to a potential partner, crossing your arms and legs is a bad idea for a bunch of reasons:

  • It is a sign of submission at a time that you want to project confidence
  • It is a sign of nervousness at a time that you are striving to project fearlessness
  • It is a visual barrier between you and your potential partners when your goal is to project openness
  • It is a physical barrier between you and your potential partner when your goal is to move towards touch

TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR ARMS AND LEGS SEND THE RIGHT MESSAGE

Ok, a little clarification.  When I say “open arms,” I do not necessarily mean that you should talk to people with your arms spread like an eagle.  That’s just weird.  Here are suggestions for what to do with your arms so that you don’t send mixed messages:

  • Keep them at your side when you’re listening
  • Use them to emphasize what you’re saying
  • Put them on your hips to show authority
  • Place one hand on your belt and the other on your gun holdster (For police only.)

Now you just need to remember to do it!  What do you do to remind yourself to keep your arms open?  Share your advice in the Comments, below.

THE DRINK PROBLEM

Drinks pose a special problem.  People generally hold their drinks across their chests.  For men, I call that pose the Beer Raise and for women I call it the Martini Raise.  Both are related to the dreaded arm cross, and both sends mixed messages for the exact same reasons.

Men, fix the problem by holding your drink to your side.  Yes, you might spill some.  That’s a risk you’re just going to have to take.

Ladies, fix the problem by holding your drink waist high, with your arm either in front of you or a little out to the side.  It is a sexy pose and you probably won’t spill any of it.

One more tip, hold the drink in your left hand so you can shake with your right hand.  Someone once summarized it for me this way:  Cold drinks make cold hands, and cold hands make a cold heart.

SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR DOMINANT HAND

You generally use your dominant hand to direct your computer mouse.  Take your dominant hand and direct the computer mouse to the share buttons:  Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon.  Now click a few of them:  Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon.  You’re the reason why our Village grows, remember?

QUICK REVIEW

  • Crossing your arms sends the mixed message that you aren’t interested in talking
  • Keep your arms at your side when you are listening
  • Make gestures with your arms to emphasize what you are saying
  • Hold drinks at your side or in front of you.  Don’t hold your drink across your chest.
  • Share your advice for how to remember to uncross your arms in the Comments, below
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh
Follow: Follow Me On Facebook Follow Me On Twitter

PS:  This is a chapter in Hitchcraft Dating’s *FREE* STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO DATING SMARTER AND FINDING LOVE FASTER.  You can get it quickly and easily at by clicking here.   You also get other great freebies:

  • FREE articles loaded with actionable dating tips and advice sent directly to your inbox
  • An exclusive FREE Report: 15+ THOUGHT PROVOKING DATE QUESTIONS TO SPARK A REAL CONVERSATION
  • A buy-one-get-one FREE certificate for private coaching

Get it now!

Comments

  1. Jeremy Hamburgh says:

    The way I remember to uncross my arms and legs is by training myself to see others doing it, and when I do, correcting my own body language.

Speak Your Mind

*