Through body language walking can communicate much about a person’s personality and feelings. We judge an awful lot from a person’s walk, which is perhaps unsurprising given the amount of time spent doing it. From fitness level to mood to emotion and personality type, the way we walk communicates a great deal about us. Whether you’re a runway fashion model. working in customer service for small business, or if you’re a single woman / man looking to make the right impression, be sure to read through this body language walking style guide with a fine-tooth comb.
Strut: Chin raised high, body stiff and inflexible, with the chest pushed forward and an almost comical exaggeration to the arms, the strut shows pride and arrogance. The strut carries a false sense of superiority and is closed off, meaning it will make us appear less approachable. Even those of high status like corporate executive officers and managers would do well to avoid using this walk as it will create distance between themselves and their subordinates.
Hand on Hip Walk: One hand resting on a hip, pelvis pushed forward; the hand on hip walk is synonymous with catwalk models. Women will try to adopt this walk, particularly when flirting, to look stylish and high status. Single women who want attention but are also keen to maintain a high status image will adopt this walk.
Arms Folded Walk: Walking with the arms folded generally reveals that a person is feeling defensive and perhaps insecure. If it looks like a person is hugging themselves, there’s a good reason: they are. The folded arms act as a reassuring self-hug when feeling vulnerable. People who are depressed and anxious will likely walk like this, as will those simply wishing to close themselves off from their environment (for instance, a woman walking down a street at night will walk this way, using the arms as a barrier between her body and the street).
Hand in Pockets: A person may put their hands in their pockets when feeling cold, but this walk can also signify that a person wants to be private or that they are insecure. When a person is feeling insecure, the hands in pocket walk will be coupled with a low eye level. If the person is angry the walk will be quick with a lot of kick. If they are depressed, it will be slow and with much less leg movement.
Contemplative Walk: When we are deep in thought we bow our head, often with eyes that appear to be searching the ground for something. The walk may be slow and shuffly because the person is not really walking in order to move physically, but rather walking in order to create some action that will get them to think more freely (physical activity helps limber up our mind, not just our muscles).