5 body language mistakes that make you look like a pushover

Les miserables jean valjean look downUniversal PicturesDon’t bow your head.

No one ever wants to come across as weak — especially in a professional setting.

However, some of us just can’t help it. That’s because your body language might be giving off subtle signs that warp how others view you.

Business Insider spoke with Dr. Lillian Glass, a communications and body language expert and author of “Toxic People,” to get her ideas on which body language mistakes make you look like a pushover.

Here are her top five picks:

1. Hunched shoulders

Your parents were right to constantly nag you to sit up straight. Not only will a slumped posture cause others to view you as weak, it could harm your own self-perception. This 2015 study published in Health Psychology found that a perpetual slouch can increase negative moods and lower self-esteem.

2. Bowing your head

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you’re constantly looking down like Jean Valjean at the beginning of “Les Misérables,” you probably look a bit beaten down.

3. Speaking in a soft, timid voice

No one will view you as a strong leader if they can’t hear you. If you’re a naturally quiet person, make an effort to speak up in order to gain more respect in the office. In an article for the Telegraph, psychologist Rob Yeung gives tips on how to speak loudly and clearly.

4. A frightened expression

Some people just have “resting scared face.” However, you don’t want to appear anxious or worried in the workplace, especially when you’re communicating with others.

5. A shifty gaze

This one’s also the worst body language mistake you can make in general, according to Glass. Don’t avert your eyes when people are speaking to you, unless you want to look nervous — or worse, dishonest.

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