Which contributes to a dominant personality

Dominance gestures: how to recognize them

Communication plays an important role in human understanding. If two people speak the same language, the chances of misunderstanding are significantly lower than if they are not. The same language is not only meant literally in this case, but also figuratively. People recognize each other through clothing and habitus long before a word has been exchanged. Facial expressions and gestures also help to assess the other person. Especially Dominance gestures should show to the outside who is in charge here. How you recognize them and how you behave ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Dominance gestures Definition: Demonstrating one's own superiority

Dominance means the predominance over others: It shows when the dominant person takes out rightswhich she does not allow others to do.

The other way round the losers consent to this power relationship. Even if, in contrast to the Middle Ages, there is no longer a class society, there are different hierarchies.

In the "good old days" it was typically the case that the man in the family was considered to be Breadwinner and head of the family not only got the largest piece of meat, but was allowed to eat first.

He was also the first to speak, children had to be silent anyway. Incidentally, these power relations and gestures of dominance are not that far back: they were in the 1950s widespreadIt was not until the sixties and seventies that some social upheavals were brought about.

And yet, gestures of dominance are still there today widespread. Whether with politicians, celebrities or executives: who has what to say, who has influence, shows this to the outside world. And these signals are mostly understood by others.

Dominance gestures: man and woman hardly different

Even to a large extent non-hierarchical companies there will always be employees with more and others with less decision-making powers. Dominant behavior in humans can show up in different ways.

There are dictators who are obsessed with power, because of something Complex or Narcissism have to announce to the world that they could destroy a hemisphere of the earth with the push of a button. Other gestures of dominance are far more subtle.

In part, of course, it depends on the resources that are personally available to you. The average manager may have little power to threaten a nuclear detonator. His sphere of influence is much more limited, on the other hand he is for it immediately.

It has been shown time and again that dominance gestures have long since taken place not only between supervisors and employees, but also among colleagues.

When it comes to showing body presence, men are one step ahead of women because men are on average bigger and heavier as women, that is, they can be more intimidating just because of their physicality. And not only that:

The psychologist David Terburg was able to prove in a study that in situations in which people usually subjugate out of fear testosterone is helping not to do this.

Men usually have significantly more of this than women. Still, the differences in body language seem to be marginal. Clear however, education is more effectivewho have often trained girls to submit gestures of submission such as crossed legs or tilted head.

Dominant people: psychology of eye contact

The Dutch psychologist David Terburg and his team from the University of Utrecht found out in an experiment that social status is common in people fought out through eye contact becomes.

For the experiment, 40 young adults looked at a screen showing colored ovals. Underneath, points in differently arranged blue, green and red appeared on which the test subjects were supposed to concentrate. Little did they know they were using at the same time suddenly appearing faces would be distracted from it.

These showed different facial expressions; sometimes angry, happy or with a neutral facial expression. The researchers now measured how long the test subjects needed to get their Look away from the respective faces.

It was found that the dominant test subjects lingered longer on their faces with angry expressions, while others looked longer at friendly faces.

Together with evaluated questionnaires, this was confirmation for the researchers that eye contact should be kept for dominant people some kind of reflex represents.

Verbal dominance gestures: The tone makes the music

How do I say something? The The tone of voice, the melody and the volume say something about how much power a person has, how dominant they are. The more certain someone is, the stronger and clearer the voice is.

A person who yells around often does not seem very confident on the one hand. On the other hand, it is a clear gesture of dominance: No trainee is guaranteed to shout at his boss. And if he did, it would be his last day at the company. On the other hand, those who are unsure will appear much more shy, the voice will be low, and may be barely audible.

Verbal dominance gestures can turn into Insults and threats demonstrate. Verbal utterances that seem harmless at first glance can also be dominance gestures, such as sarcasm.

It can be funny to a certain extent among friends or colleagues. However, if it is directed against a person, it can degenerate into bullying. The important thing at this point is to do it immediately Put a stop to itby saying what you think of these hurtful statements.

This is not about teasing, but about attacking your self-esteem. Call it what it is: immature, insensitive, and disrespectful. If the other person does not accept your request, it is better to keep a distance.

Physical dominance gestures: Intimidating through pure physical presence

Dominant behavior is often expressed on a physical level. The dominance gestures between men and women are not even fundamentally different. These five typical behaviors can be observed again and again:

  • room

    A typical gesture of dominance is to take up a lot of space. This can also be completely inappropriate space that you are not entitled to: For example, when your colleague sits down behind your desk. Or your boss comes into your office and sits down on the edge of the table to talk. Likewise, one can often observe in everyday life how men demonstratively sit with their legs apart in public transport, claiming a seat and a half for themselves, putting their arm on the back of the seat next door: all signs of a higher status - at least in their own perception.

  • Touches

    This signal can often be observed in politicians, at conferences and other gatherings: The more dominant person grabs the shoulder of the inferior from above - sometimes with a handshake at the same time. This combined gesture of dominance was often observed in Angela Merkel. Typically, the touches are only one-sided from the person with the higher status.

  • facial expressions

    As Terberg found out in his experiments, people with a high status have little difficulty in competing with other people in face-to-face duels. Dominant people are literally looking for the other person's gaze. And as in the animal kingdom, whoever looks away first has lost. In addition, dominant people tend to have almost impenetrable facial expressions. It is difficult for outsiders to assess your emotional state, which is why motionless facial expressions can unsettle people with less self-confidence. Knowing about this dominance gesture can be of use to you if you should ever doubt yourself in such a situation.

  • posture

    A straight posture with hunched shoulders is seen as a sign of high status. Military uniforms, for example, take advantage of this fact, and they often have shoulder pads on top: wide shoulders automatically look more impressive. Conversely, someone who crouches in the corner with huddled shoulders appears significantly less dominant.

  • serenity

    Even in stressful situations, people with a high status exude a comparatively great serenity. Women, for example, typically play with their hair. Both sexes begin to nervously play with the ballpoint pen or drum their fingers on the table. Another clear gesture of dominance with the fingers that exudes calm and serenity is the "Merkel diamond"; folded hands also show one's own superiority.

Dominant Behavior in Humans: Why We Do This

We live in the 21st century, have come through the Enlightenment and two world wars. Actually, one should think that dominance gestures are superfluous. Somehow they have something of "marking territory" and it has been a while since man lived on the tree.

Anyone who needs to point out their power tends to appear unsupervant. It is not for nothing that long-established dynasties often turn up their noses at upstarts who join Money and flashy status symbols have to demonstrate their power, while those who are sure of their importance prefer to be understated.

That's not to say they don't have dominance gestures - but they may show them in more subtle ways.

Nevertheless, dominance gestures play a role. On the one hand, not everyone accepts the undisputed supremacy of another person. On the other hand wake up Influence and power Desires.

Likes someone of lesser status driven by envy try to steal the hard-earned position from someone else. Colleagues who saw on the chair are not uncommon.

Recognizing dominant people: status, not clothing

How can a supremacy be recognized? If you follow the logic of ostentatious people, then it starts with clothing. And yes, clothes make the man. However, it is not just clothing.

Dominance gestures can be conveyed independently of clothing, jewelry and expensive status symbols. The best evidence of this is the so-called status game:

Take four people and loose them four secret, different statuses to: Number one is the highest, number four is the lowest status. It is easy for the two extremes: one appears very dominant, the other very submissive. The two statuses in the middle are interesting.

After a short time, it becomes clear that the ranking is obvious to both the players and any spectators - regardless of what clothes the four are wearing or what words they choose. Rather, it is the mixture of dominance gestures, submissive gestures and their gradationsthey reveal:

  • The high status

    Recognizable by slow, smooth movements combined with a relaxed smile and an upright posture. When sitting, the impression is conveyed by a calmly leaning back posture. The voice is clear and strong, the gestures symmetrical: both legs firmly on the floor, both hands in front of the body, both arms on the arm of the chair.

  • The low status

    Recognizable by faster, hectic movements. The whole body expresses insecurity by turning the feet inwards or placing them nicely next to each other while sitting or standing. Little space is taken up, which means that the person hides in the farthest corner. When she is sitting, it is often on the outermost edge of a chair so that she can jump up at any time.

Other readers will find these articles interesting

[Photo credit: Giulio_Fornasar by Shutterstock.com]