14 Body Language That Will Show Your Lack of Confidence

14 Body Language That Will Show Your Lack of Confidence

Confidence in life is a must. With confidence you can talk to other people with ease, find a romantic partner, and even make your dreams come true by pursuing them. Confidence is mirrored with body language, because the two are intertwined. With poor body language, you can't have self-confidence.

With the right body language, you will appear to be more confident and more credible, making people comfortable with you and will trust you. There are a lot of small habits that will disrupt your self-confidence, and if you have one or more of them, you need to work to break them to gain more confidence. These are the 14 body languages that will show your lack of confidence.

Unable to Smile

Smiling is a very basic way of communicating, but often forgotten. Smiling is so crucial to determine how people are perceiving you. If you want people to think that you are approachable, open, and friendly, don't forget to smile.

Smiling can have surprising effects and can be contagious so you can change an awkward and uncomfortable situation into a friendly and comfortable one. A study has found that people who are talking with someone who is smiling, will have difficulty frowning and tend to also smile. Smiling will show people that you are an easy going person, and will be really useful when you talk to someone new.

Poor Eye Contact

Try to remember, do you always look down or look at something else when someone is making eye contact with you? If yes, then you are uncomfortable with eye contact and acknowledging it is the first step you need to do before changing this habit.

It is true that for most of us, having eye contact and maintaining it for a couple of minutes is indeed hard and uncomfortable, but you just make it a bigger issue by avoiding it. By doing this, you will appear as inattentive, unreliable, and unworthy of anything that is being presented to you. Obviously, this will have a great negative impact to your personal and professional life.

But, you need to remember to also not overdo eye contact and don't stare since it will creep people out. Having eye contact is engaging with someone you're talking with, with a smile, and responding with expressions or nods, while staring is just looking at someone blankly with no emotions or body language. Good eye contact is also about the right facial expressions.

Crossing Arms

Crossing your arms is a defensive body language that will tell people that you are hiding something or a closed person and should not be used if you want people to know that you are open and friendly. When saying something with your arms crossed, nobody will buy anything you say since your mouth is saying something, yet your crossed arms are saying something else.

For example, if you tell your coworkers that you like the company party or outing while crossing your arms, you will come across as uncomfortable and nervous. Crossing your arms will make you contradicting yourself, and for confidence to be nurtured, it is important to stay true to yourself. If the work event is boring, don't be afraid to say it.

Poor Posture

Another common body language that will show your lack of confidence is slouching, and if you are used to slouching, you need to change this posture. Most people have developed bad posture while sitting, standing and walking.

Slouching is a posture that shows people that you are uncomfortable. You should have your chest forward and your shoulders back to signify that you are a confident person who are comfortable in your own skin and easy going.

You might think that this is baseless and not true, but physically speaking, by just lifting your head and pushing your shoulders back, you will boost your testosterone and will lower cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. Changing your posture that you're used to is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

Having a Weak Handshake

In terms of touch, a handshake is the first connection you will be able to develop with someone, and in a professional setting, it could be the only physical touch. A good and firm handshake can have surprising effects on bonding and having a human connection that is trustworthy.

If you are greeting someone, whether it is the first time or not, you should actually feel their hand and not just their fingertips. Your handshake also needs to be firm that both of your hands should be interlocked, but also don't squeeze it too hard. Also, don't forget to smile and make eye contact while doing it.

Try to do a handshake that tells people you're meeting with that you are a confident, charming and friendly person, but don't be too firm because you will come across as aggressive and they will be uncomfortable with you.


Most people will do something with their hands when they are nervous or bored. If you have one of these habits like waving your hands in a certain way, ditching it would not be easy and would need a lot of work and dedication.

First step to do is acknowledging what kind of habit you have when you are nervous in an important meeting with future clients or boss, or when you are bored in a meeting room full of people. After that, you should try to that less and less.

For example, if you will be in a nervous and bored situation five times a day, try to only do your habit four times a day. Next week, try to do it only three times, and then less and less. This gradual process will help you cope with situations that feel uncomfortable for you.

Playing with Your Hair

This usually happens with people who have long hair, especially women. Some people with long hair will flick their hair every second when they are in an uncomfortable situation. This is a body language that will show your lack of confidence, so if you have this habit, you need to work to ditch it.

This doesn't mean that every time you touch your hair you are nervous, but playing or touching your hair aggressively or even panicky, will show your anxiety and nervousness. This aggressive hair touching could soon be distracting and you will feel the discomfort and tension building up and then will be overwhelmed.

Not only that, your distracting hair touching and playing will also make the people you're talking with uncomfortable. Imagine if you are in an important interview or presentation and you're doing it while panicky touching your hair, you wouldn't be able to ace it.

Play with Your Hand

A lot of people will play with their hands when they are in a nervous and uncomfortable situation, like chewing the nails, counting the fingers, some people even use the hands to play with things nearby like the table or a pen.

This is not particularly harmful, but could be really distracting especially when you are in important situations like a big presentation, interview or meeting. Ditching this habit could be really hard since you are used to it, but if you feel that you can't ditch it altogether, try to at least reduce it to the level that it wouldn't distract anyone.

Touching Your Face

While some people use their hands to play or touch things nearby, some people also use their hands to touch their face repeatedly when they are nervous or bored. Some people will rub their eyes, touch their nose, or touch their cheeks. This might be okay if you are alone, but if you are doing this while talking to someone else, it could be really distracting.

Because this habit is distracting, you won't be able to convey your message clearly to another person. Excessive face touching also will tell people that you are uncomfortable and nervous. Try to acknowledge this habit every time it happens, because only when you are fully aware of it can you start to work on it.

Hiding Your Hands

Another thing you could do with your hands to signify lack of confidence is hiding your hands whether on your back or in your pockets. If you are used to this gesture, you will show people that you are nervous, uncommitted, and uninterested.

Try to reduce this by just keeping one hand on the pocket or back, while the other one is visible and gesturing. Next, try to do this with both your hands, open and visible hands are showing openness, honesty and willingness to connect with people.

Speaking Too Loud

You can also tell people that you are not confident by using your voice. Sometimes, the least confident person in the room is also the loudest. This might sound a little bit weird, but when a person is trying too hard to be heard and establish their presence, that means they're not confident with themselves and their abilities and believe that the loud voice will mask their insecurity and hesitation.

So if you think that speaking with an abnormally loud voice will give you more authority and make people listen to you, it wouldn't always work like that. Instead, you will come across as aggressive and overcompensating.

True confidence is not about volume, but about the belief that your words are important and have values to the people around you. The key is not always about raising your volume, but try to speak clearly with conviction.


Nodding to your speaking partner is a sign of how you are engaging and listening to them, but you don't want to overly do it. Over-nodding is body language that will show your lack of confidence. Nodding too frequently will show a lack of understanding and a desire to please the speaker.

Over-nodding will be perceived by others as a desperate sign to fit and please everybody. The secret in this is balance, a few nods are enough to tell the person you're talking to that you are listening. Try to also combine it with the right facial expressions and a few affirming words.

Uncertain Steps

Sometimes you can tell how confident a person is just by how they walk into the room. People can have different ways of walking when they are in a normal situation and when they're walking into the room to do a big meeting, presentation or interview.

Try to observe your walking, maybe you walk normal and striding with purpose when it's a regular day, but you will shuffle along and take little hesitant steps when you're about to walk into a nervous or uncomfortable situation. Your unusual walking will give away that you are trying to hide the fact that you are nervous. Try to be aware of your steps and take purposeful steps.

Crossing your Legs

Another way your legs could give away your lack of confidence is by the way you sit in certain uncomfortable situations. When you're nervous, you are hiding something, and your body language will show that in a defensive way. We already talked about the crossed arms, the crossed legs while you are sitting down is also a sign of lack of confidence.

If you have this body language and do it regularly every time you are nervous or uncomfortable, you need to work to fix it. You don't want to do a big job interview and tell your future employer that you are an insecure person by crossing your legs while talking to them.

Sitting with your legs crossed is a body language that will show your lack of confidence. The best way to position your legs while sitting is setting them apart and placing them firmly on the ground. By doing this, you will be able to show that you are confident with yourself and your abilities.

Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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