Body Language Crossed Legs: A Language All Their Own

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

Body language crossed Legs can mean many different things depending on the context you see the body language behavior.

When we read people’s non-verbals the first thing we must do is baseline their behavior in order to get a true read on their body language. The reason we have to baseline someone first is that we are looking for shifts from their natural body language. For more information about baselining please read our post on what you need to know before you baseline.

This is a common body language signal of discomfort. Crossed legs may also indicate that the person is shy or reserved, while a leg crossed on top of the other may mean that the person feels confident and in control.

When you notice someone crossing their legs, we can’t take this one movement as a whole. We have to look for clusters of information, shifts from comfort to discomfort, or becoming more agitated or more comfortable. Here is a link to our cluster post.

Body Language Crossed Legs Sitting

Body Language Crossed Legs Sitting

People who cross their legs at the knee and sit with the ankle on their other thigh are generally confident and feel comfortable in their surroundings. People usually sit with their legs crossed when they’re feeling confident or relaxed.

They don’t see any threats or danger because if the legs are crossed they can’t quickly move into a more defensive stance. But as stated above context is king, we need to read other pieces of information in order to get a true understanding.

Collie Pulling from Side to Side
Collie Pulling from Side to Side

Body Language Crossed Legs Man

Body Language Crossed Legs Man

Body language is a nonverbal form of communication. It can be used to express thoughts and feelings, as well as to send messages to others.

When you cross your legs it indicates that you are confident and want some space from the other person or people around you – it is an act of self-preservation showing that you don’t need anything from them at that moment.

It can also show or indicate composure or they could be mirroring the other person to build rapport. Typically, if you see a man’s legs crossed, it means he’s comfortable.

Body Language Crossed Legs Female

Body Language Crossed Legs Female

The gesture is most often used by women. The reason for this may be because women are more likely to wear skirts or dresses and don’t want to come to appear overtly sexual. This becomes a habit and you will see this in older women even when they are no longer wearing a skirt.

If they cross their legs at the same time as you can tell they’re paying close attention to what you’re saying and building subconscious rapport. You will usually see a woman cross her legs with friends or when they are courting.

Body Language Crossed Legs While Standing

Body Language Crossed Legs While Standing

Body language when standing is often more complex when compared to body language in a seated position. We can learn a lot from how they stand and maintain their balance.

In the standing position, the dominant leg is usually placed in front of the other leg. The person will use their hands to help them maintain balance or grip on objects that are close by. They will also be more likely to cross one or both of their legs.

When you see crossed legs while standing, this means they are in control of their environment and feel safe.

Body Language Crossed Legs Figure Four

Body Language Crossed Legs Figure Four

Body language is often misunderstood, but it’s an important part of communicating effectively.

Crossed legs can represent a person who feels they don’t have the floor and they are not in charge of the conversation.

Figure four is a chair position that usually signals that the person wants to be in control or has authority and doesn’t mind exposing their genitals this is typically seen in male behavior.

The 4-figure can also be seen as an insult, as it shows a dirty uplifted sole. The shoe could touch an adjacent person’s clothing, a sign of lack of respect. In some cultures, the 4-figure sitting position is considered an insult because of the exposure of the dirty sole.

Positive Body Language Crossed Legs Etiquettes in Positive Body

Enthusiasm and excitement are communicated through open arms, a smile, and a big welcoming gesture.

In contrast, closed arms or crossed legs can indicate being closed off from other people.

This is also the case if the person turns away from you, as this movement shows that they are not interested in you or what you have to offer.

The appropriate body language etiquette depends on the message you’re trying to send and also being aware of your surroundings.

Does A Woman Sitting Cross-Legged Imply Arrogance

Does a woman sitting cross-legged imply arrogance

Depending on culture, a woman crossing her legs could be seen as disrespectful or arrogant. If a woman were to cross her legs in front of her boss in Asia this sends a strong negative signal.

What Does It Mean When A Woman Crosses Her Legs While Standing

What Does It Mean When A Woman Crosses Her Legs While Standing

This is a sign of confidence. She has taken up space in order to feel comfortable. She is just making herself attractive to the opposite sex.

It is a sign of confidence when a woman takes up space. It’s not because she’s being bossy. It’s because she needs to feel comfortable in her own skin. Girls are told they should be small, so it can be difficult to let go of that idea.

Body Language Crossed Arms And Legs

Body language is a valuable way to understand your audience, especially when they’re not speaking.

Crossing arms and legs is a defensive posture that we take when we feel threatened by the person we’re with. Crossing arms and legs can also be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or disagreement with what the speaker is saying.

This could be barriers, blocking or shielding, closed body language, or defensive body language depending on the context you see the arms and legs crossed.


Crossed legs have many meanings, but we should always analyze them with other information in order to reach a well-founded conclusion.

There are no certainties with reading body language, but crossing one’s legs is *certainly* one of those behaviors we should take note of when we see it or notice this in another person. If you want to learn more, please visit my other complete guide about reading body language.