how do you walk?
“What flaw could you possibly find in his appearance?”
“His posture,” Hannah muttered.
“What about it?”
“Our nonverbal behaviour (including posture) gives away our inner personality and reflects our inner attitude.”
― Cindy Ann Peterson,
YOU really think you know yourself? Then answer these:
How do you stand? When you walk (if you can) how do you walk?
In other word, what POSTURE do you assume when you are stationary or when walking? What has this got to do with who you are? How do your posture give information about you? What does your posture portray?
Posture is the shape in which we put our body when we sit, stand or walk. It is the position or attitude of the body; Gartland (1992:463) defines it as ‘the relationship of the parts of the body to the line of the centre of gravity’. He explained that posture is affected by the constant forces exerted by gravity and the increasing muscle strength, which develops at varying rates in different parts of the body. Gartland (1992:463) further posited that:
In normal posture, the body weight is carried forward on the balls of the feet, the legs are straight, the pelvis inches slightly forward, the abdomen is retracted, the shoulders are level and flat and the head is held erect.
There are however atypical postures. Atypical postures may be symptoms of personality problems or emotional disturbances. A fact, which other scholars pointed out that:
The hanging head and drooping shoulders of some adolescent girls are often not physical in origin but symptoms of shyness and poor self-respect’. (Luttgens and Wells 1989:435).
The posture of an individual gives information about him and affects the way he behaves and reacts to issues. Postures also affect how we communicate. Most human beings can be categorised into four postural groups. They are:
(a) Head centred (b) Chest centred (c) Stomach centred (d) Waist centred
(a) Head centred
The head centred YOU is known through the fact that another person looking at you sees your head first before seeing other parts of your body. When walking, sitting or standing, your head leads. Your head comes out first like that of the ostrich and it drags other parts of your body with it.
YOU are highly likely to be cerebral in nature. You tend to think fast, you are very sensitive and do not ‘suffer fools easily’. When faced with problems you tend to analyse. The head centred individual is usually a loner who is attuned to solitude. When you get angry (easily though) you are quick to dissipate your energy but when hurt, you become quiet and then only react in actions. Your type of individual is usually blunt, open and witty. You can be sarcastic and analytical in your use of language.You are prone to placing all your cards open on the table for everybody to see. Communication wise, the you are analytical and will spend much time explaining, and tends to say more than is needed during communication encounters unless you learn how to control your speech.
(b) Chest centred
The chest centred individuals push their chests forward. One sees the chest before other parts of the body. They are constantly tensed up and are highly strung emotionally. They like taking risks and are adventurous. They like to dominate the environment and those around them. In times of anger, they vent their spleen on the nearest object or people. They can be aggressive and are always tense. During communication, they tend to believe in actions and speak with force. They also have the potential of being aggressive verbally. They are mostly found in military related jobs or sports and if not in these types of job, they tend to love sports, outdoor activities or exerting actions. When they are very angry, they lash at the nearest object or immerse themselves in activities mostly the physical type.
(c) Stomach centred
The stomach either comes first literally or physically in the stomach centred posture. Their centre of existence is the stomach, for it is the first part of their body seen. They have the tendency of being fat and are prone to obesity if they lack control. They cannot do without food and when they are not able to get food, there is the tendency to become uncomfortable and restless. They are very relaxed and what matters to them is their comfort. These type of individuals take their time when making decisions but whenever such decisions are taken they are always slow in changing it. They are usually pleasant personalities and they get on well with people. They love to explain issues to people through examples drawn from the immediate environment and experiences.
(d) Waist centred
The waist centred individual’s centre of control is the waist. When this group of individuals walk, the waist is pushed out and they walk with short quick strides. They are usually goal getters and will always like to control the people they are in relationship with. They do not let go easily when involved in a project or with a person. They are very sensual and passionate in their reactions to people. They are also very sensitive in their reactions to issues, thereby, leading to quick reaction time and response. In language use, they are not as straightforward and blunt like the head-centred individual or relaxed in their choice of words like the stomach-centred individual.
The ability to interpret and understand a person’s postural orientation helps in developing relationships and easing communication between people. For example, a relationship between a stomach centred individual and a chest centre individual may succeed, depending on whether the stomach centred individual loves being dominated. The language which the chest centred will always use may be a source of problem for the other person.
Really, can you see YOURSELF in any of the POSTURE types above? Do you have the characteristics attached to each type that looks like you?
WHERE ARE YOU WALKING TO?