Examples of Aggressive Body Language

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Learn what aggressive body language looks like and how to read 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: Getting angry with someone is very normal but sometimes you don't want to come off with what I call "aggressive behaviors." So, in order to avoid this, there are certain things you need to look out for. Also, just because someone is appearing aggressive doesn't mean that they're really angry with you. They may have come from a situation that was disturbing. They may have other things on their mind going on or they just may feel frustrated and out of control, so you need to take all of these things into consideration especially when someone is exhibiting aggressive body behavior towards you. As actors Dave and Natalie show you, aggressive behavior can escalate. Sometimes, as Dave shows you, people can start squinting at someone if they're coming from a bad situation and they're upset. Also, somebody when they're about to attack, they may give visual signs like lowering and spreading the body for stability. David is taking control here. And, of course, Natalie is picking this up and she's getting upset as well. Also you can get anger signs like redness of the face. David shows us other sudden and exaggerated gestures which may include shaking fingers, fists, pounding on his hand or on his knees. Forward head butts are also an indication as well. As you can see Natalie is responding like most people do it naturally to aggression. Also, you can use physical items as substitutes like banging tables or slamming down some kind of a coffee cup. This is basically saying, "This could be you."

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