How to Instantly Recognize Whether Someone Feels Powerful or Weak 1

By Chris Simmons

Have you ever noticed how much space people take up when they feel powerful? Everything becomes BIGGER. They talk with their hands outstretched. Their feet are planted firmly on the ground; spread 12-24 inches apart. If sitting, they are likely leaning forward on the edge of their chair or couch. When speaking, their speed and volume tends to increase. All these indicators come together to create an impression of energy and power.

Conversely, when feeling less confident, weak, or vulnerable, one’s body language becomes defensive and draws in close to our body. If gesturing, the hands remain close together and generally within 12 inches of the body. Arms and/or legs may be crossed. Eye contact decreases sharply. If seated, the person draws back into their seat. In fact, the only behavior which may remain steady or increase is vocal speed and volume, and that is wholly dependant on the emotional commitment at the moment.

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