Low vs High Status signs


Low status: Led by survival

High status: Led by domination

General body language




Bowed slightly. When the head is tucked into your chest,
it is protecting your neck from attack. 
Head nodding / bobbing is common.

Head is back and up, lengthening your neck. The head is
steady and still – there is little nodding in response to people.


Smiling often, as if to say “I am no threat to you”

Relaxed face


Short eye contact. Often followed by checking to see if
the person is still looking at them. This checking behaviour is an important
survival instinct. Looking into another person’s eyes, flicking from right to
left eye lowers status. Rapid blinking lowers status.

Longer eye contact. 
They don’t check back to see if the person is still there after
looking away. Very slow blink rate.


Touching your mouth or chewing a fingernail

Relaxed mouth. No face 


Turned in

Rolled out and back


Closed body language doesn’t emphasise chest

Chest is wide and proud


May be slightly bent over/ stooped

Straight backed

Hands/ Fingers

Fidgety, face-touching often,

If sitting, rolled out shoulders result in relaxed hands
on your thighs with the palms up.


Legs are close together, not really apart, taking up
little space. If sitting on the floor, legs are bent up to the chest to
protect your genitals

Legs spread apart with feet flat on the floor. You take up
more space.


Turn your toes inwards (pigeon toes)

Feet firmly planted in ground, and straight


Fidgety, jerky



Speak fast – speak quicker than their brain is able to think
which makes speech jerky and interrupted; shorter more closed-mouth vowel
sounds; Apologising often;  speak in
short bursts; stammering; stuttering; uncertain er/ uh noises; it’s easy for
someone to interrupt and take over their conversations; interrupting yourself
with “I mean..” and similar lines, so you don’t complete sentences; rising
inflection at the end of a sentence so much of what they say may sound like
questions – as if asking permission for your thoughts to be heard.

Speak slowly; longer vowel sounds; length of syllables
about the same.

Behaviour/ emotions

Anxiety; Horrified at the idea of performing/ making a

Calmness; Has an air of calm even in crisis.


Woody Allen; Brad Pitt when he first meets the girls in
Thelma and Louise

Sherlock Holmes, Humphrey Bogard in Casablanca, James Dean
in East of Eden

Positives of this status

Low status isn’t bad. You just have to know how to use it.
It has irresistible charm and potential likeability in their fragility

Instils calm, confidence, security, dominance


Source: Alan Marriott


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