Examples of intimidating body language
If one is with friends or colleagues, it doesn’t register as a blocking behavior; in fact, many people report it as showing interest and being seriously engaged on a topic.This may explain why we see this behavior so often among those who regularly work together but have serious business to discuss.Kennedy off the air, because, as his biographer noted, Nixon always felt insecure around “Ivy league types,” even though he was Vice President at the time and had international stature. Speaking of insecurity, when we're scared or experiencing high anxiety, arm crossing helps us to deal with anxiousness or psychological distress.We can differentiate by noting that arm crossing is joined by frequent neck touching or covering of the neck dimple. The fact that they are mirroring each other, with their legs crossed, says everything is between them.In any case, as with many primate behaviors that make us look larger, this does communicate that.Superman is often depicted in this pose, and it is interesting to note that the new statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. In schoolyards this is what teachers unfortunately call "the bully pose.” The Insulating Arm Cross.I have seen grown men at the airport act similarly—their arms tightly crossed with fisted hands, their faces angry, restraining themselves because they were bumped from a flight. Men in particular will use the crossed arms pose to make themselves look bigger, but I have also seen female police officers do it.Bouncers at clubs do this all the time, as do other men who feel they need to intimidate others.
I think it really does matter then whether the individuals are known to each other or not.Neck touching, you may recall from other articles, is indicative of tension, anxiety, insecurity, or emotional distress—a person starts out with arms crossed then frees one hand to touch the neck, later returning it to the torso. What do we make of two men who both have their arms crossed, each leaning against a wall with one shoulder and with their legs likewise crossed? We only cross our legs—placing ourselves off balance—when we feel comfortable enough around another person. Simply because they are comfortable and focused on a topic. No question about it, we use our crossed arms when we are upset, but this is mostly as a form of self-restraint and, again, to comfort ourselves. When asked to do something they don’t want to do, they cross their arms, sometimes making fists, squeezing their torso tightly, almost like a straight jacket.In many ways, it serves to communicate, quite vividly, how they feel, without saying a word.Every once in a while, you will run into someone that is just obnoxious—and you want to create distance, if only to insulate yourself.
Next to walking away, the crossed arms can help create a psychological and physical barrier.
Keep in mind that while it may help you deal with this person, most of the very people you need to “get” this behavior don’t, so don’t count on it to keep the unwelcome from you. Sometimes the simplest explanation will do: Let's face it, sometimes we do it just because it's cold...