• Jul 26, 2021
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Meaning of body postures

Studies on the relationship between posture and personality are not many. However, it is well known that the extent to which you change your position in the presence of others is an element that provides information on the level of self-esteem of the person, extraversion or introversion, or even behavioral styles and roles lived.

Postures adapted to different circumstances and social contexts are defined by cultural norms, but in the presence of certain moods or emotions postures are assumed recurring. In this Psychology-Online article, we will see the meaning of body postures With Images.

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  1. Socially recognized positions
  2. Meaning of the postures for Lowen
  3. Bent posture
  4. Posture split in two
  5. Bloated posture
  6. Submissive posture
  7. Stiff posture

Socially recognized positions.

Despite the decoding of non-verbal communication dictated by the position of the body in space, it maintains a certain ambiguity, it is possible to identify some typical positions that refer to meanings easily recognizable by the interlocutors.

Sarbin and Hardyck used drawings of stylized human figures to test experimentally the agreement of the interpretations given to the different positions. The experiment consisted of subjecting some subjects to stylized images representing people in different positions and asking them to attribute a precise meaning to each figure. Most of the research participants correctly interpreted the meaning of the represented body postures.

Some positions presented by Sarbin and Hardyck (1953) are the following: a) curious; b) puzzled; c) indifferent; d) rejection; e) observe; f) self-satisfied; g) cozy; h) result; i) stealth; j) search; k) observe; l) attentive; m) violent, anger; n) agitated; o) distended; p) surprised, dominant, suspicious; q) stealth; r) shy; s) careful; t) affectionate.

Meaning of body postures - Socially recognized postures

Image: University of Siena

Meaning of the postures for Lowen.

Alexander Lowen, in his 1985 book "Body Language," stated that a person's body structure is also affected by changes in character. According to Lowen, in fact, By observing the body structure and attitudes, it is possible to obtain information about the emotional state of the individual. Through postural attitudes we can recognize certain characteristics of the posture and character psychology of the person.

The posture, in fact, depends on the environment in which we have grown up and also on all the events that we have passed in our lives that have caused certain contractions of the muscles, facilitating a certain posture rather than other. For example, if we have a strong need for affection within us, our back will tend to stoop, while if, for example, we are very angry it becomes larger. And it is precisely on the principle that body and mind are a single entity, that Lowen has developed 5 different types of attitudes that delineate different traits of psychology and posture. Next, we will see the meaning of the main body postures with pictures.

Bent posture.

As the name itself indicates, the body of those who take the folded posture is characterized by

  • Bent towards themselves
  • Curved shoulder muscles
  • Sunken chest
  • The head is tilted and forward.

In general, it is possible to observe this posture in people with a thin, tall body, still similar to adolescents despite being in adulthood, often with glasses because they are myopic. The feet appear to have little contact with the ground and the legs are so thin that they require the knees to wobble to support the body.

They are people who have a great inner emptiness inside them, probably due to a low maternal affection received during childhood and are people who tend to depend on others, although this weakness masks himself with extreme independence.

It would represent the first drawing in the following image.

Meaning of body postures - Bent posture

Posture divided in two.

This posture stands out for the following characteristics:

  • A body with very nervous muscles
  • Thinness
  • Feet facing outward
  • Lean and static face
  • Arms swinging

This attitude implies, in a characterized way, low self-esteem and repression of one's feelings due to a rejection that most likely occurred during the childhood period. The person will try to fill the gap of affection they have been deprived of by showing - with words - very sentimental to make themselves more kind to other people, without actually being so. Duality consists precisely in expressing one thing, but demonstrating - physically - another.

It would roughly represent the second drawing in the following image.

Meaning of body postures - Posture divided into two

Bloated posture

This position is characterized by:

  • Swollen chest
  • Tight neck
  • Stiff pelvis
  • In general, the upper part of the body stands out in relation to the lower part, making the legs and feet appear disproportionate.

Of character, he is a person who denies his feelings a lot, in the sense that he precisely rejects his existence and prefers the idea of ​​being able to control everything and everyone. Whoever has this type of posture, although he can often reach important positions in life, will always need to exercise power over others to fill his own weakness. want to control and dominate all situation; this power play will inevitably lead him to be dominated by other people, as a kind of addiction.

An example is the last drawing in the image.

Meaning of Body Postures - Puffy Posture

Submissive posture.

The body of the person who takes a submissive posture is:

  • Literally squashed in on himself, making him lower
  • The neck appears larger when hiding behind the shoulders;
  • The twisted pelvis
  • Buttocks contracts;
  • in general, all muscles contract.

Determine the character of people often infantile, who behave as they want to the detriment of the rest: they think that only by acting as others want they can be loved. Often irascibleThey will tend to develop good muscles: by keeping them tense, they will try to avoid their greatest worry, that is, lose control and make the true feelings come out. Many times he hates his boss or someone with a higher social position than hers.

The posture might look like the third and sixth drawings in the image.

Meaning of body postures - Submissive posture

Rigid posture.

Very similar to the position that soldiers take, the body is:

  • Well positioned, as if always on alert
  • Stiff neck
  • The back is straight
  • The chest is out, swollen

The rigidity that it expresses on the body is nothing more than the portrait of what it has inside, that is, a rigid personality that leaves little room for new stimuli; a rejection by a parental figure may have influenced the attitude of rigidity in the adult, expressing deep sadness.

An example is the fourth drawing in the image.

Meaning of body postures - Rigid posture

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Meaning of body postures, we recommend that you enter our category of Social psychology.


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