How to Intimidate Someone With Body Language Cues (Assertiveness)

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to look aggressive or intimidating with your body language, such as to de-escalate a fight or to dominate someone with your nonverbal cues. Learning this skill now will give you an edge when it comes to intimidating body language. If you can recognize the signs of aggressive and intimidating body language, you can also use this to move away or stand and fight.

We will take a look at 8 of the top aggressive and intimidating body language cues and now to de-escalate if needed. So before we dive into this topic, it’s important to know that if you put on these body language signals, some people will react negatively by taking it personally and thinking you’re aggressive You are more than likely going to end up in some sort of trouble if you use any of these techniques below. Make sure you understand this before you start to display the non-verbal cues below.

Top 8 Aggressive And Intimidating Body Language Cues.

  1. Jaw Thrust.
  2. Eye Contact
  3. Nostril Flare.
  4. Chest Puff.
  5. Pupil Dilation.
  6. Turning To The Side.
  7. Tensing Up.
  8. Breathing Shift.

Jaw Thrust.

The “jaw thrust” is also known as “chin jut.” This is when the chin is pushed out and the teeth are clenched. You will see the chin exposed and the neck exposed. Exposing the neck is a display of dominance. People will do this instinctively and naturally when being aggressive toward someone, it’s a way of saying “come on then” nonverbally.

Assertive Eye Contact.

When a person has a problem with you or someone else, they will lock their eyes on you with intense eye contact. They won’t take their eyes off you; they’re laser-focused. If you want to scare someone, staring at them with a frown will give the impression that you’re angry and want to start a fight.

Nostril Flare.

The nostrils flare when someone is being aggressive, widening on either side of the nose. Flare your nostrils the moment they look at you will send a signal to them you are ready. Humans do the nostril flare to take in as much oxygen as possible to allow us to fight.

Chest Puff.

One way to appear more aggressive is to increase the size of your body. This can be done as you stand up straight and puff out your chest- like gorillas do when they want to establish dominance over their troop by taking up as much space as they can with their body. The way to do this is to stand tall and push your chest out.

Pupil Dilation.

You’re most likely to see pupil dilation when someone is about to fight as they do so in order to gather as much information and assess the situation. This isn’t something you can control but if you notice it you know its game time.

Turning To The Side. (Aggressive Stance)

You will see someone turn to the side when they are becoming more aggressive and about to fight someone. This is because aggressive person wants to protect themselves and not expose vital organs. Your dominant leg will step back, giving you a more solid stance and allowing for a better punching position from the side of the body. Use your posture to your advantage whether you’re trying to intimidate another person or if you feel threatened.

Tensing Up (Notice The Fist)

When you see someone tense up this is a sign they are ready to fight or run away. This is because the muscles around the soft tissue need protection and need to be ready for what is next. You may also see the hands move into a fist, which is a giveaway that the person will fight you. You will also see the ocular orbit tense up the area around the eyes. If you want to intimidate someone with your body language cues make eye contact and show assertiveness.

Breathing Shift.

To look more aggressive, you need to control where you breathe. Taking in deep breaths will give you more energy and show the other person that you are ready for what comes next.

How Do You Tell if Someone Is Trying to Intimidate You

There are several signs that someone may be trying to intimidate you. They may stand too close to you, invade your personal space, or make threatening or derogatory comments. They may also try to scare you by making aggressive gestures or expressions. If you feel like someone is trying to intimidate you, it is important to stay calm and assertive. You can try to defuse the situation by making jokes or asking them to stop. If the intimidation persists, you may need to walk away or call for help.

Final Thoughts.

There are many ways to look aggressive and intimidating with your body language, but we hope you never have to use them. If you do, make sure you can back yourself up for whatever comes next. These tools and techniques work on a subconscious level every day, but people won’t understand what you’re doing and will react emotionally and instinctively if you display them. We hope you have found this post useful you may also enjoy reading Aggressive Body Language (Leave No Room For Misinterpretation)

Phil Taylor Author Body Language Matters
Phil Taylor Author Body Language Matters

Founder Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor, the founder of, embarked on a journey to unravel the secrets of non-verbal communication and to delve deep into the intricacies of body language. His passion didn’t stop there; it expanded to encompass various realms of psychology. A professional hypnotherapist and a master of close-up magic, Phil possesses a vast reservoir of knowledge and understanding in the field of communication. His multifaceted experiences have honed his expertise, turning him into a formidable force in the exploration of human interaction.

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