Aggressive Body Language: Leave No Room For Misinterpretation

  • By: Phil Taylor
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Aggressive body language is often subconscious and can be detected by observing a person’s posture, what they do with their hands, how they move around, the tone of their voice, and their facial expressions.

There are many different types of aggressive body language. For example, a person might use intimidating touch behavior to threaten another person. They might be aggressive by being physically overly bearing.

They could even show aggression through physical violence or gestures of anger towards others. Aggressive language is often used as a way to intimidate another person so that they feel threatened and back down from the situation without arguing back.

What Is Aggressive Body Language

Aggressive body language is a form of body language that is used to show off dominance. aggressive body language can be seen in the way someone walks, their posture, or how they look at another person.

There are many types of aggressive body language that are used by people. Some people use the following types of aggressive body language:

  • Looking down their noise
  • Clenched fists
  • Staring
  • Pacing
  • Pointing
  • Slapping hands on thighs
  • Hands on hips
  • Intimidation
  • Touching or patting other people’s faces or hair
  • Arms of akimbo
  • Hands in pockets
  • Invading personal space
  • Hovering over you when you sitting
  • Blocking your exit
  • Steepling the fingers
  • Pounding of fists on a desk or table
  • Pointing at others aggressively with fingers or an entire hand

There are many small gestures that people use when being aggressive, we usually see them in clusters or groups when someone is being aggressive towards you.

How to Catch a LIAR! Body Language ...
How to Catch a LIAR! Body Language Reading! (Normal People)

How To Describe Aggressive Body Language

How To Describe Aggressive Body Language

Aggressive body language is an aggressive display of posture or gestures that are meant to threaten or intimidate another person. Dominant body language is used to intimidate or coerce someone into doing something against their will.

Misinterpretation of Aggressive Body Language

Misinterpretation of Aggressive Body Language

Some people may interpret a person’s body language as being aggressive when in reality, the person is just being assertive. This can lead to an inaccurate inference that the individual is hostile or violent when in reality they are just being assertive.

How To Read Aggressive Body Language

How To Read Aggressive Body Language

There are certain cues that you can use to figure out what an aggressive person is feeling.

When reading body language, it’s important to understand the context. For example, if someone is sitting in a chair with their arms crossed, the person might be feeling confident or angry. On the other hand, if someone is sitting in a chair with their arms crossed and they’re leaning forward towards you, this person might be feeling very dominant and aggressive.

We need to take the context into consideration and analyze what is really going on. Think about the conversation you are having, what environment you are in, past behavior of the person being aggressive, and your own bias towards that person. Before we can make a judgment, we have to learn to read body language correctly.

If you would like to know more about reading body language, check out our blog here.

How To Deal With Aggressive Body Language

How To Deal With Aggressive Body Language

First of all, we should try to stay calm and not show any emotions. It is important to remain still and avoid eye contact as much as possible. Do not react in a negative way even if it comes from a co-worker or a friend, this could cause them to escalate their aggressive behavior.

It is also important not to show signs of fear or weakness because that can increase the aggressiveness of the person who is trying to intimidate us.

To suppress your emotions in the moment, curl your toes in your shoes. This will force your brain to focus and bring you back to the center.

It’s important to stay in front of your eyes and not to analyze anything after the fact, stay alert to shifts and movements of the person who is being aggressive.

If there are other people around and you feel safe, talk about how the aggressive person is making you feel to them.

If you are not confident or have any worries about your safety, get out of there.

In general, we should only show our emotions when we are sure that they will be positive for what we want from the other person.

How To Look Aggressive With Body Language

How To Look Aggressive With Body Language

Aggressive body language can be confusing and show mixed messages.

If you intend to use aggressive body language, do so consciously and with caution.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make direct eye contact
  • Clench your fists
  • Clenching your jaw
  • Take physical space up
  • Move slowly an deliberately
  • Invade personal space

Security guards and law enforcement might find these tactics useful. We would not recommend using these in the real world, as you could make others feel uncomfortable or confused.

Aggressive Body Language In The Workplace

Aggressive Body Language In The Workplace

Aggressive body language is a form of non-verbal communication that is used to intimidate, threaten or unnerve somebody else. It can be used as a way for someone to gain power and control over somebody else.

Passive-aggressive behaviors are just one example of non-verbal communication in the workplace which is often present when people want to control or intimidate others.

Examples of aggressive body language:

Crossing arms across the chest

Intimidating stares

  • Arms folded across the chest
  • Leaning towards somebody’s personal space
  • Rolling the eyes
  • Staring for prolonged amount of time

When you start to notice this kind of nonverbal directed toward you, it’s time to analyze the situation or leave.

What is Passive Aggressive Body Language

Passive-aggressive body language can be difficult to identify, as it is often subtle and nuanced. People might not even realize they are doing it.

The person displaying passive-aggressive behavior is usually thinking negative thoughts, rather than trying to sort them out directly.

Fortunately, we can read their body language and adjust the conversation to a more positive outcome or simply choose to leave their presents.


In summary, aggressive body language is not uncommon, but you should always know what to look out for and if you choose to engage or leave the situation, the choice is yours. We hope this blog has been of use to you and if you would like to read more of our articles on nonverbals check them out here.