5 Body Language Mistakes You Should Avoid

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Bullies are always on the hunt for targets. Therefore, they look for signs in a target person that screams “victim.” Bullies will study their quarry’s body language first and foremost. They also note their emotional reactions to certain stimuli. In other words, they watch how the person handles conflict and adversity. But first things first. Let’s talk about body language, particularly, body language you should always avoid and ways to correct it.

1. Lack of Eye-contact (Looking down or away)

Lack of eye-contact signals either dishonesty, or a lack of confidence, which is exactly what bullies look for.

Many targets get nervous in social situations, which is understandable. When people have bullied a person for long enough, that person no longer feels safe in social interactions and will often avoid them altogether.

A little nervousness is normal. However, when you’re nervous to the point of avoiding eye-contact with others, bullies may notice and peg you for a victim. Also, even people who aren’t necessarily bullies may mistake you for being deceptive.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to relax and look others in the eye when socializing. Realize that not everything is about you. Make the interaction about the other person or people in the conversation. Smile. Act confident.

Yes, acting confident may seem fake. However, personal experience has taught me that if you act confident, you will soon feel confident. And confidence is the best way to get through any social situation. Also, it lessens your chances of attracting bullies.

2. submissive body language

This includes poor posture, such as slouching and hunching down. Also, people-pleasing is another form of submission. Behaviors such as shying away from saying what you want to say and not seeking to achieve your needs are forms of people-pleasing.

You must stop this behavior right now. Begin standing and sitting up straight. Stop trying to please other people and instead, start achieving your own needs for a change. Remember that you deserve, just as much as the next person, to have your needs and wants met. Start working toward your own goals.

3. self-protective behaviors (closed body-language)

Crossing of the arms in front of you, crossing your legs, and hunkering down into the shoulders and hiding the neck are all self-protective behaviors. Bullies will instantly notice this behavior from a mile away and think, “fresh meat!” when they see it.

Instead, open up and allow yourself to take up some space. Lengthen your neck and hold your head high. Relax. Always relax!

4. Having a Sheepish Look On Your Face

That includes downcast eyes, holding your head down, and looking bashful. Again, hold your head high. Look people in the eye and smile. I guarantee you they will appreciate it when you do and think more highly of you.

5. trying to stay motionless to avoid drawing attention

This almost always gets you opposite results. Staying motionless won’t keep you from drawing attention. It just might get you the wrong attention- from bullies. You must move freely and I’m going to say it again… relax!

In closing, you must watch your body language if you don’t want bullies to spot you as a potential target, it’s imperative that you watch your body language. In other words, if you catch yourself looking down, correct this by looking people in the eye or looking ahead. If it’s slouching you find yourself doing, sit up straight. And keep doing this until it becomes second nature, no matter how long it takes. Because body language speaks louder than words ever will. Not only should you mind your own body language, you should also watch the bullies’ nonverbal cues as well.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

10 thoughts on “5 Body Language Mistakes You Should Avoid

  1. 80smetalman says:

    Once again, all great advice! On eye contact, I went too far the other way. Because of my bullying experiences where a fist or foot would come from out of nowhere. My fears had me staring at people in anticipation of what they might do. This is also not a good idea.
    On another note, Cherie, did you get my email saying I posted the joint post?

    • authorcheriewhite_xpmr1f says:

      Thank you so much, Michael. I’ve made that mistake a few times myself in school, and I’m an NT. It comes from nervousness and trying to watch them in case they try something. It’s completely understandable. BTW, I apologize for not submitting my part of the collaborative post in time. I couldn’t sign into Microsoft because I can’t remember my password. Neither can I find it because it’s several years old.

  2. NMW says:

    Hi Cherie 🙂

    By now, I totally EXPECT you to write AWESOME blog posts! 😀

    Love this, and also the last link (to “the bullies’ nonverbal cues as well”).

    I noticed the pingbacks between posts aren’t working (or do you moderate those?). Maybe it has something to do with a new / old blog?


    🙂 Norbert

    • authorcheriewhite_xpmr1f says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. And please allow me to apologize for the failed pingback. I’ve been having trouble in that area and I’m currently trying to find out what it is. I’ve been getting a lot of return email as well. I think it’s a technological problem and I’ll get it fixed as soon as I possibly can. Thank you for the heads up!

      • NMW says:

        Ah, it’s been so long — I forgot all about the comments issues (like your replies are STILL not showing up in my “Conversations” @ WP.com :/ )

        At any rate, please DO realize that I have been reading along all along! 😀

        Oh, and I *also* blogged about that post — see fuckwith.news.blog ! 😛

        🙂 Norbert

        • authorcheriewhite_xpmr1f says:

          Thank you so much, Norbert! This means a lot! Know that the gods of wordpress found out who I was and transferred the restrictions over to my new site. They told me that the restriction are permanent but want tell me specifically what I did to piss them off. Oh, well. Maybe they’re only a bunch of four-eyed tech-nerds jockeying for power.

      • CareTrain says:

        On the subject of emails etc. can I offer some constructive criticism and you not get mad? You are offering an important service but that means being consistent in returning and checking emails, Social Media, etc. Take Social Media if someone is talking to you, it may seem random but maybe they are trying to reach out in some kind of way and just want to be listened to or whatever which is important. And if someone goes to the trouble to find your email then they definitely have something to say or need a question answered. I am not trying to be critical. I just have found many help sites, organizations, etc come across as being more of a business then really trying to help the downtrodden. Not saying you! I am just speaking in general terms. People matter and want to be heard.

  3. CareTrain says:

    I always think about Body Language as being like Cats. For those of us who know and love Cats, cats are very territorial creatures. They will arch their backs and hiss against a Predator because they are trying to appear bigger to their opponent and sometimes it works. However, if you ever seen a large cat and a smaller cat square off, if the smaller cat can’t measure up in size after arching their back, you will often see it cower down instead of continue to stand its ground. I have seen cats with strong body language face off with large dogs and the dog back down in some cases. Body language is everything!

    • Cherie White says:

      The analogy about the cats is perfect when it comes to body language, CT. I love it!

      Body language is the language of pure survival instinct. Without the ability to use it and read it affectively, one is only an endangered species.

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