People can be judgmental. We as humans, naturally have our own unique, or even common, habits that we just can’t seem to stop doing. Some body-language habits have a way of sneaking into our everyday lives that we may not even realize we are doing them. These subconscious behaviors may be fine with us, and they should be, but some others may tend to make judgments about us because of this.
While you shouldn’t care what other people think about you, some of these behaviors could possibly be the culprit for why you aren’t landing that job after your interview, or perhaps why all your blind dates tend to ghost you for no apparent reason.
So, if you have a hunch that a body language habit of yours might be the culprit, here are six not-so-great body language habits you should look out for.
Some of us have jobs where we are hunched over our computers for long hours, (-ahem! Me. Ah, writer’s life.) Or perhaps we stay browsing YouTube videos for additional long hours to relieve our boredom (– ahem! me again). Whatever keeps us slouching over our screens all day, we can develop bad posture.
Slouching is not a good body language habit to get into. It can lead to bad posture and back problems and also doesn’t reflect well to others. Because, instead of them thinking we slouch because of the hours hunched at our screens during work, they think it’s just because of the YouTube videos.
And those are occasionally! …Sometimes.
Hey! They’re educational. …Sometimes.
2. Holding a Defensive Position
Sometimes people are jerks.
Yeah! They can be annoying sometimes! So you may be in the habit to hold a defensive pose such as crossing your arms in reaction to the meanies out there.
But, don’t let this seemingly ‘defensive’ pose become a habit!
Often times people will associate crossed arms as someone being disinterested or… well… defensive. So they might not think you like them or what they have to say.
Try showing your hands more when you talk with someone. According to body language expert Patti Woof, “you should always keep your hands in view when you are talking.” This could be invaluable advice, as “when a listener can’t see your hands, they wonder what you are hiding.”
3. Not Walking with Confidence and Good Coordination
How we walk can tell a person a lot about us – at least they think so. A lot of people judge another by how they simply walk down the street. Some people are just clumsy and simply like to dance down the street. Don’t judge us!
In the 1980s, two New York psychologists, Morris Stein and Betty Grayson, conducted research to find out what violent criminals look for in their victims. They had violent prisoners rate individuals on how easy it was to attack them from recorded tapes of the people walking.
They then had professional dancers analyze the clips using a Laban movement analysis system to rate how coordinated the individuals in the clips were.
This may remind you of the classic episode of Rhett and Link’s YouTube show Good Mythical Morning: “The Safest Way to Walk“.
Ah, gosh dang classic.
In the episode, the two internet personalities learned how to walk the ‘correct’ way, according to researchers, in order to not be a target for a mugging. It’s hilarious. Rhett and Link, gosh dang internet legends.
So, next time you’re walking down the street, walk with a good amount of confidence and coordination. It may just save you a couple bucks, – and your favorite purse!
4. Appearing Distracted
Some people naturally tend to look away onto other things while another is talking. They may still be actively listening to the person they talk to, but glancing away may be a habit!
While it may seem innocent, if you were on the other end and someone kept glancing away during your serious story about how your beloved Goldfish ‘Crackers’ died, you may think they were distracted. Or, that they simply didn’t care about Crackers.
The dead pet goldfish. Not the addictively yummy crackers.
5. Overly Intense Eye Contact, or No Eye Contact At All
Some people just don’t like looking into the depths of your soul. Hey, some people may have creepy eyeballs! Or seem intimidating! Or, you’re just really tired and don’t feel like looking up. Hehe. 🙂
But, not using any eye contact may make your job interviewer think you’re not a serious worker, or perhaps too much eye contact during a casual party may make someone think they have food on their face.
Aggressive stares can make someone feel a bit uncomfortable. And when you drift your gaze too often, not looking the other person in the eye at all, it could make them wonder if you lack confidence or are simply uninterested in what they’re saying.
Pay attention to the Goldfish story! Pay attention to Crackers.
No! Not the goldfish snacks!
6. Fidgeting During an Important Conversation
Nearly everyone fidgets. It’s something to do, and it can be entertaining!
Enter: Pencil Drum Solo!
This is a difficult habit to stop, and it may take time. But, it may be worth it in some situations.
Like, it’s probably best not to break out into a drum solo during a funeral. Your friend is mourning the loss of their pet fish. For Christ’s sake pay attention!
According to, body-language expert Tonya Reiman, author of “The Power of Body Language”, fidgeting can imply you lack power or that you may be nervous.
So it might be best to leave the drum solo’s to the experts, …and someone with a drum set.
Now, while your amazing pencil rendition of Queen’s We Will Rock You, may be appropriate – or not – for a boring day in class, it maybe isn’t the right time during a serious conversation with your friend involving the mourning of their goldfish.
His name is Crackers!
Not the snack!
Check out another one of my articles: “9 Types of Intelligence, Which One Are You?“
Written by Michal Mitchell
- Cain, Áine. “11 Horrible Body Language Mistakes That Are Hard to Quit but You’ll Be Glad You Did.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 4 Apr. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/bad-body-language-habits-2017-12.
- Stafford, Tom. “How the Way We Walk Can Increase Risk of Being Mugged.” BBC News, BBC, 2013, www.bbc.com/future/article/20131104-how-muggers-size-up-your-walk.
- Rhett and Link’s “The Safest Way to Walk” from Good Mythical Morning