Body Language: Sitting Styles

Recently, I’ve been observing people and the way they act.¬†Specifically, I concentrated on the body language of sitting. I was curious how people thought when sitting in specific positions, so I researched about it.

The following is a compilation of the things that I’ve read.

Sitting Styles:

  • Leg Twist — the human version of Olive Oyl’s¬†confounding limb twists

This, when done by real humans, generally means a feeling of insecurity and nervousness.

The way we sit & what it means

  • Crossed Kicking — this is when the legs are crossed and are slightly making a kicking motion

The way we sit & what it means

This usually indicates boredom.

  • The Bare Crotch — this is when the legs are wide open

The way we sit & what it means

This indicates a feeling of arrogance and a¬†combative nature; it’s also seen as a sort of sexual posturing

  • Leg Cross — one leg is crossed neatly over the other

When this sitting position is accompanied by crossed arms, this basically means that the person has emotionally withdrawn from the conversation. In general, when people sit like this, they speak in shorter sentences and remember less details.

  • Figure Four — legs crossed as shown below, with one foot resting over the thigh of the other leg. This is supposedly very American

The way we sit & what it means

This usually indicates a feeling of confidence, superiority, and of being self-assured. It also indicates competitiveness and an argumentative attitude. Men who sit like this are supposedly dominant, relaxed. It is also associated with being youthful.

  • Figure Four Leg Clamp — a variation of the previous position, but with either one or both hands locking the position in place

This indicates tough-mindedness and stubbornness.

  • Wide Thigh Join — legs are wide apart, but the thighs are joined at the knee

The way we sit & what it means

This indicates nervousness.

  • Ankle Lock — legs are locked together at the ankle, but the knees are apart

The way we sit & what it means

This supposedly indicates apprehension and a defensive attitude. Women tend to minimize the space they occupy by sticking their legs closer together, while men take up more space, as shown above. However, both variants mean the same.

  • The Neutral — this is when both legs are grounded

The way we sit & what it means

It indicates neutrality, and it is seen as stable and focused.  One thing to note, however, is that this is more commonly seen in men, as women tend to sit in cross-legged positions, either due to their skirts or due to societal norms taught them.

  • Leg Stretch — one leg is crossed over the other leg, stretching out the leg muscles

crossing legs in sexy fashion.

This is usually used by women as a flirtatious gesture to draw some sort of attention.

Leg Movement & Positioning:

  • Usually, final decisions are made when both feet are firmly on the ground.
  • Locked ankles are a sign of self-restraint, hiding inner emotions.


This, to me, is a very fascinating topic, but I haven’t really covered everything there is to cover here. For more reading, check out the sources below, especially the first one; that’s quite in-depth.


Disclaimer: Of course, everything has to be taken in with a grain of salt as different circumstances need to be taken into consideration.