Body Language: defensive behaviour (the defensive position)

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Reading body language: being offended

When someone becomes offended he takes one of the most famous gestures in body language which is called the defensive position. In the defensive position the person crosses his arms (folds them) and sometimes crosses his legs too. People take this body language gesture when someone says something that offends them or that doesn't appeal to them.

Examples of the body language defensive position

Suppose you met a friend and the first thing he said to you was "hey, where did you get that awful shirt from? It doesn't suit you at all".

In such a case, if the comment bothered you then you might find yourself taking the body language defensive position. Because Your subconscious mind doesn't think using logic it believes that by crossing your arms you will be protecting yourself from that comment you didn't like and that's why it's was called the defensive position.

How to Deal With a person when he takes the defensive position

  • If you are in a negotiation with someone and he took the body language defensive position then know that he didn't like something that you said
  • If someone took the defensive position after you criticized him then make sure to apologize to him because this gesture shows that he was offended.
  • If you were a sales person and you were talking to a customer about the price of a product then you found that he suddenly took the defensive position then try to be flexible and to talk about something else other than the price because his body language indicates that he didn't like it.
  • Always use your mind to determine whether the defensive position was taken because the person was offended or because of any other reason. For example a person could take that position if he was feeling uncomfortable or cold.

Train yourself to avoid taking the defensive position

The defensive position can let you leave a bad first impression in a job interview or a business meeting. Its extremely important that you teach yourself how to avoid using that defensive position.

The training process should involve being conscious of your gestures. While the body movements of any person happens on the unconscious level you can easily keep them under monitor by paying attention to any changes that happen in your posture.

In the beginning you will find it difficult to keep up with every move you do but as the time passes you will get used to noticing these changes.

Once you start noticing these bad gestures bring your body back to the relaxed state. As the time passes you will be able to prevent yourself from taking such gestures whenever needed.

Your body language can control the impression people form of you. In my book How to make someone fall in love with you i explained how you can leave an impressive impression that can make someone become attracted to you by just changing your body language a little.

Want to know more?

The defensive position (feeling uncomfortable)

The 'body language' learning page

How to get over anyone in few days (book)

How to make anyone fall in love with me fast (book)

How to end Depression instantly (book)

How to control people's minds (Course)

How to develop rock solid self confidence fast (course)






2knowmyself Best Selling Books


How to make someone fall in love with you.
Based on the psychology of falling in love

How to get over anyone in few days
Breakups will never hurt like before.

How i became a dot com millionaire
The ultimate guide to making money from the internet