The Way We Sit & What It Means
How do you sit? You take a chair and plonk yourself. Sometimes you cross your legs, sometimes maybe the ankle or with your legs in a wide four with the ankle resting on the opposite lower thigh aka the American way of sitting.
Every time you take a seat, your body is engaged in non-verbal communication, and body language for the simpletons.
Emily Post, the first lady of etiquette, discusses the technique of sitting elegantly. Her advice: never cross your legs or sit with your legs wide open. The ideal stance is a mix between a relaxed yet dignified sitting position. Men and women should sit in a formal meeting or party with an upright posture and composure.
Do: Sit erect in the middle of the chair with legs at a 90 degrees with a gap of 6-7 inches between one’s feet or slightly sideways in the corner of a sofa.
The way you sit: With your legs intertwined and twisted, especially if you’re a woman
Basically, it means insecurity and nervousness.
Especially if they are wearing skirts or dresses, women shouldn’t cross their legs at the knees. In place of crossing at the ankles, cross at the knees. Leaning against the back of a seat, with one hand or elbow resting on the arm, is appropriate for most men, unless it is a deep lounging seat.
The last thing you should do is scramble for a seat. Once you’ve greeted everyone, scan the room discreetly and decide what to do.
When you sit, your legs should be crossed, and your foot should be slightly kicked
Basically, it means: Workplace boredom
The ideal situation is to not cross your legs when you are a junior and sitting in front of a senior.
You Sit: With legs wide open
The meaning of this is: Arrogance, combativeness, sexual posture
American sitting style-basically resting the ankle on the knee on the opposite side-is a no-no.
That position reflects arrogance and power.
The wide-four style of sitting is a common mistake in corporate society. Such a posture should only be taken when consciously projecting power.
Remember to smile frequently and nod frequently to demonstrate that you are listening. The way you communicate with others should demonstrate your attentiveness, interest, and involvement.
Lean in to show interest in what your senior says during a meeting by keeping your posture erect.
You Sit: With hands clasped behind head, legs crossed
Confidence and superiority are implied by it
Slouching or sinking in your chair is never a good idea. As a result, it can be construed as an attitude problem indicating disinterest or fatigue.
You Sit: With legs apart but thighs joined at the knee
It means: Nervousness
At a Business Lunch or Dinner
If the place cards are missing at a business lunch or dinner. The senior most sits at the head of the table. And the second in command sits next to him or her.
You Sit: With locked ankles with knees apart
It means: Apprehension, defensiveness
The management trainee would sit at the far end of the table from the CEO.
The sitting posture should follow the one in the formal do.
At a sit-down dinner, talking across the table is considered a major gaffe.
Do: Sit up straight with your legs at a 90 degree
Never: Sit with elbows on the table.
On a Date
If you are in a restaurant, first of all, a male should not sit next to the lady, he should sit opposite her.
To begin with, his posture should be erect as time goes by he can be relaxed but still maintain an erect posture.
Maintain a pleasant and expressive face.
Do: Lean in to show interest in her and what she’s saying
Never: Stretch out your legs under the table. You might end up hitting her and it can send out a wrong signal.
You Sit: With legs intertwined and all twisted, especially for women
It means Insecurity and nervousness.
Sitting Etiquette for Men
Examples of ways to sit and what messages are sent
- Wide Leg- most offensive because it sends the superior and overly confident message. The look is also low class and low budget.
- Cross Figure Four- great posture for interviews; however, exposing the bottom of your shoe is offensive to some cultures.
- Knee Cross- a bit more comfortable and professional. You sit up straighter and more confident.
- Simple Ankle Cross- keep knees in check with a bit of a gap.
The most fundamental sitting position is to have both of your feet flat on the ground. This is a neutral and formal stance that allows you to focus on the conversation while preventing others from focusing on how you’re sitting. Nonverbal communication accounts for 95 percent of all communication; the way you stand, walk, and make eye contact all transmit a message before you open your lips. Even how you sit, and most men are unaware of how men should sit.
Keep reading to learn the 5 main sitting positions and which ones you ought to use or avoid.
What this article covers:
- Legs Out Front & Knees Together
- Legs Out Front & Knees Spread
- The Leg-Over-Leg Cross Position
- The Ankle Lock Position
- The Figure-Four Leg Lock Position
- What Is The Best Sitting Position?
Position #1 Legs Out Front & Knees Together
The non-crossed-legs poses come first. Either keep the knees close together or stretch them out. The legs are 2-10 inches apart, which is uncomfortable and not advised for how men should sit.
This position does not necessarily “conceal” your manhood, but the thighs still press against it. That is why it is normal for mature males NOT to sit with their knees close together. You’d notice yourself getting tight and wanting to open your legs if you attempted it.
According to scientific evidence, sitting with one’s legs together is biologically simpler for women. The female pelvis is wider overall than the male pelvic. And the female femoral neck has a smaller angle than the male.
Position #2 Legs Out Front & Knees Spread
Men emanate strength when they sit with their feet firmly on the floor and their knees 11-24 inches apart. It is not only more comfortable (greater breathing capacity for the groyne area), but it is also a modern-day territorial marker. This makes an excellent first impression.
When we look at persons in positions of authority, we notice that they take up more space. Kings sit on massive thrones. CEOs sit at the table’s short edge, while everyone else has a seatmate. But there’s another characteristic that guys who sit like way exude: openness to dialogue.
When the body “opens up,” the mind follows suit. You are neither guarded or defensive (which is the message sent when sitting with your knees together, guarding your vulnerability). As a result, this kind of straight legs is preferred in terms of communication.
Position #3 The Leg-Over-Leg Cross Position
The classic crossing of the legs is usually a source of contention. It is supposed to be quite widespread throughout Europe (whereas Americans tend to go for the Figure-Four Leg-Lock). Crossing one leg over the other. Legs became entangled.
This position extends how males should sit beyond sitting with their legs straight and knees near. It might indicate that you’re constructing a fortress around yourself (especially your crotch), with your thighs clumped together.
This helps to explain why some individuals think crossed legs are less manly than straight legs. Crossed legs keep your manhood “hidden” rather than “exposed,” which is not an issue for ladies who sit this way.
Keep an eye out for this at business meetings or informal discussions. When a man crosses his legs (and, worse, his arms), he has effectively removed himself from the debate. Trying to persuade someone to change his viewpoint may be pointless.
People who sit like way speak in fewer sentences, reject more offers, and remember less of the debate than those who sit with their legs “open” and straight. So, before you present, look to see if the other person is seated with straight legs.
It’s more likely for two people to agree on something with no crossed legs.
Position #4 The Ankle Lock Position
It’s an ancient Army adage to keep your heels locked. It indicates you are not required to reveal everything. However, if your ankles are locked when you’re seated, it might indicate that you’re concealing something. A indicator that others may pick up on immediately if they notice it.
This move is analogous to “biting your lip,” or suppressing a bad emotion. It might be worry, anxiety about hidden knowledge, or something similar. Men who sit like this frequently (1) place their clasped hands on their knees or (2) tightly hold the arms of their chair.
Some common instances when men lock their ankles:
- In grueling scenarios like job interviews, some people sit with their ankles locked.
- Defendants who sit outside the courtroom before their hearing are more likely to have their ankles tightly locked under their chairs (to help control their emotions).
- Airline flight attendants can spot apprehensive travelers because they sit with locked ankles (especially during takeoffs).
However, if you find yourself in a circumstance where your legs are covered, locked ankles might be a brief sitting posture to help you relax. Do it with your hands folded in your lap – it will immediately improve your composure.