“I can’t do it! Is there a way to look invisible? I better stay quiet so they don’t notice I’m here.” In a nutshell, this is what a submissive body language looks like, and it’s not a pretty sight.
When you feel like you stand no chance fighting against someone or something, you may choose to simply stay away from everything. In that case, your body starts showing all of the signs of submissiveness as you play the role of your life, acting like you’re not there at all.
The more insecure and anxious you are, the more often you’ll end up in situations like this one. You convince your brain that the best way to get out of any unpleasant situation is simply to let the dominant people lead the way. So, your body follows that decision by making you feel invisible.
Sometimes, you may not even notice that you’re trying to hide from others. That’s how used you get to this feeling.
But what you don’t realize is that this behavior is only making it worse for you. So how do you step away from it and change the way you act around other people? First, you need to spot the signs of submissive body language. And here’s what to look for.
8 signals of submissive body language you should know how to spot
Being submissive is literally about giving up. Your body stops going into the “fight or flight” mode and from that point on, you let others guide you through life.
You stop standing up for yourself and the only thing that’s on your mind is this wish to become invisible. You would love it if others wouldn’t even notice you because that means that you wouldn’t have to explain yourself or talk to them.
In the beginning, you may find excuses for this kind of behavior. You may believe that you’re doing it because you don’t like conflicts or that you’re saving yourself from unnecessary drama. In reality, you’re afraid of being at the center of attention and letting the world know what you’re thinking.
However, the more you put your body in a submissive mode, the harder it becomes to get out of it. At one point, you may even give up on yourself completely because it’s much easier than building your confidence.
So, how do you spot that you’re stuck in this vicious circle? What are the signs of submissive body language that you keep on neglecting?
Here’s the truth.
1. Handshaking with a palm up
Submissive people will often give you a weak handshake which instantly suggests that they have low self-esteem. But what’s also interesting is that they’re going to keep their palms up. It’s as if they’re trying to tell you that they’re not going to hurt you.
You’ve seen many movies with robbery scenes. What do the hostages do in those cases? They raise their arms with their palms facing the robbers. This is a sign that they’re not going to cause any danger and they’re going to stay quiet and listen to the commands.
So, when you give someone a handshake and you notice that your palms are facing upward, take this as the first sign of submissive body language. Maybe you haven’t even noticed it before but now you know why you’re doing it.
2. Taking as little space as possible
A confident person will take as much space as they can in order to be seen in a room full of people. They will stand firm on the ground, with their weight equally distributed on both of their feet and they will keep their shoulders wide and open.
You don’t even have to start a conversation with them to know that they’re self-assured and powerful.
A submissive person, on the other hand, will try to get into themselves as much as possible. Hunched shoulders, crossed legs, and arms held in are all signs of a submissive body language.
You’ll do everything you can not to be noticed and the first way to achieve that is to take up minimum space in the room. You’re almost trying to become a ghost since you believe that’s the best way to defend yourself from any unnecessary exposure.
3. Staying still
“If you don’t move, other people won’t notice you. Just stay still and smile.” I believe this is the mantra of a submissive person who doesn’t want to be seen.
If this sounds like something you do often, you should know that the main reason for it is that you probably don’t want to end up in a disagreement. You’re afraid that anything you say may be taken too seriously so you rather choose to stay quiet.
Staying still is a way of telling others that you’re not here to cause drama and the best part about it is that it usually works.
4. Keeping your chin down
When you’re talking to someone, do you tend to keep your chin down? When you hear someone asking questions, are you trying to avoid their attention by putting your head down?
This is one more way submissive people try to avoid any kind of exposure. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a conversation with someone or simply listening to what others have to say, there’s a chance that you’re going to tilt your head down.
Why? Well, dominant people keep their heads up high as they talk since they’re trying to gain control and attention from the crowd. Submissive people don’t want to get that exposure so they choose to minimize their appearance by keeping their chin down.
This can make it harder for others to hear what they’re saying so people may choose to disregard them and end a conversation with them. And that’s exactly what they’re trying to achieve in a way.
5. Avoiding eye contact
Whenever you’re reading about confident body language, you’ll always find that they tell you to maintain eye contact. This way, you let other people know that you’re not insecure and that you believe in yourself.
So, it’s only natural that submissive people will do exactly the opposite. They will do their best to avoid any kind of eye contact since they’re trying to be invisible.
The less confidence you have the harder you’ll try to look away when talking with someone. This is your body’s defense mechanism that you’re using to avoid attention.
6. Fake smile
You would think that smiling is a sign of positive body language. And it really is, but there’s a difference between a natural smile and a fake one.
When you’re smiling with your eyes, you’re radiating calmness and positive energy that’s going to attract people. When you try to fake your smile, on the other hand, you’ll only look weird and others won’t feel comfortable talking to you.
So, a submissive person will always choose to fake a smile instead of being honest about what they find funny. This way, they cherish their neutral stance and keep that distance from the rest of the group.
7. Leaning towards the person in charge
Do you know that we tend to lean toward the person for whom we think is in control? Whenever you’re having a chat with a group of people, you’ll easily spot the dominant one. As a submissive person, you’re going to stay close to the person in charge since you’re trying to get protection from them.
This is something you can notice even in romantic relationships. A person who’s leaning towards their partner is usually the one who is more in love. So, they’re either looking for approval or seeking protection from them.
Try to be aware of your body position the next time you find yourself with a group of people. Does it seem that you’re leaning toward someone who’s in control? That’s your proof!
8. Rushing yourself
Have you already convinced yourself that you simply talk fast? Or that you move from one conversation to the other because you don’t want to waste time?
Well, what if I told you that these are some of the signs of submissive body language? What if I told you that you’re rushing yourself up for several different reasons?
For example, you may end a conversation fast simply because you don’t want to bother someone with your ideas. You’re insecure and don’t think that you deserve that attention so you sabotage yourself from getting it.
Even though this other person never told you that you’re bothering them, you still choose to take a step back and get away from them.
Another reason why this happens is because you’re afraid of talking to someone. You believe that you don’t have anything smart to say so you would rather end the conversation instead of letting them make that conclusion on their own.
Even though we don’t usually notice it, most of the things we do have a deeper meaning. So, your submissive body language probably stems from the fact that you don’t trust yourself and your own instincts.
You’re insecure but don’t want others to find that out. That’s why you choose to get lost in the crowd and stay neutral.
You’re trying to be invisible but with a few simple steps, you can change your own attitude. You just have to be willing to try it.