How to Take Control with Body Language

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Learn how to assert dominance and control with your body language and how to read other body language in this free video on body language communication skills.

Part of the Video Series: How to Read Body Language
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Video Transcript

DR. MICHELLE COHEN: There are also other bodily movements that you can use to thwart someone's controlling or power plays as well. So, in this particular demonstration, I'm going to show you how to subtly take over and not allow someone to overpower you. As Dave will show you in this particular clip, he is thwarting Mark's power plays. Now, what he's going to do when Mark extends his hand is quickly remove his hand. This is the first step in showing he's in control. Mark again puts his hand on Dave. Dave will remove his hands, saying, "Its okay. It's great but I'm not comfortable with you putting your hand on my shoulder." Now, Dave is again taking dominance by saying, "Please sit down and let's get to the discussion." As you can see, Dave is looking directly in Mark's eyes. Mark's looking comfortable as well, but this will sometimes as you can see push the other person's body movements back. Mark is a little uncomfortable because Dave is indicating to him that he is control now. David's legs are crossed towards him, all attention is on Mark. Sometimes, when you're trying to thwart someone's power plays in speech, you'll find that the person who tries to take control will continuously talk and interrupt what you're saying, and I always suggest to people who want to be subtle and thwart these power plays to say, "Could you let me finish? I wasn't through speaking," kindly, not aggressive or too assertive. Also, I have something called "Name the Game" and what that means is you explain to someone how you're seeing them appear. So, if someone is trying to take over the situation with their body language, they're being very controlling as we've showed you in the earlier clip with Mark, especially couples, many times to communicate with each other and say, "Well, I can see that you're really kind of intimidated or am I misinterpreting you? You seem to be like you really need to be in control because you're crossing your legs, you're crossing your arms, you're glaring at me." Naming the game is pointing out to the other person kindly, not aggressively, what you're seeing and say, "Are you projecting control or anger or that kind of appearance towards me?" And sometimes pointing that out makes the other person back off, maybe they won't be aware that they're doing it, but naming the game is a real good tool as well.


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