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Submissive Body Language


A significant number of body movements used together (known as a cluster), is a sign of fear and readiness to give in.

This is most commonly seen in animals, where fighting (that could potentially kill one another) is avoided by the animals showing displays of anger like aggression (roaring etc) or submission.

The human body position turns to a closed position when looking for submissive body language. Closed body language could be folding the arms across the chest or crossing the legs.

Humans may actually try to make their body smaller by hunching forward making their head appear closer into their chest; a sure sign of submission. Closing up like this limits the possibility of vital body parts being attacked.



The Head

Another point about bringing the head down helps to protect the vital lifeline part of the neck - the throat. Lowering the head shows you are protecting yourself.

The Mouth

Submissive people tend to smile at dominant people, but it may be noticed as not being a genuine smile more a threatened smile.

The Eyes

Our eyes tend to widen when we are submissive; we open them up more. This is to make our eyes look more like a baby's eyes - none threatening.

The hands

Holding our hands out when threatened tells the dominant person that we are carrying no weapons.


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