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Posture and Personality

Updated on June 12, 2007

Researchers into the connections between mind and body have identified further, less obvious, ways in which our bodies seem to shape themselves in response to our mental and emotional personality type. Dr. Ken Dychtwald, a professor of psychology working in the fields of human response and the body-mind awareness, has identified five basic ‘body splits' which give definite clues to character. However, these physical definitions must be viewed in context - your genetic inheritance plays a large part in deciding what shape you will be. If you are predominantly left-handed the left side of your body will be slightly more developed than the right. And your occupation, hobbies, or illness or injury can change both the shape and posture - all professional tennis players tend to overdevelop their racquet arm for example.

Right/left split

Nobody has yet discovered why between 80-90 percent of the population is right handed, yet this statistic is found throughout the world and consequently left-handed people are looked upon as strange and different. However, studies show that we are more ambidextrous than we think - even if we favor one hand for writing, we may clap, scratch, point and wave with the other hand. And in activities such as playing the piano, or typing, we have to use both hands equally. By trying a number of everyday actions, such as folding your arms, winking, or beckoning, you should be able to see which side of your body is dominant in which area, irrespective of the hand to use to hold a pen. And next time you are applauding, note which hand is uppermost as you clap - you may be surprised.

Left-handed children who were forced to write with their right hands at school often experienced learning difficulties, as they battled to overcome their natural preference. This practice has now ceased in most schools, for enlightened teachers have realized the needless problems it can cause

The Powerhouse

The characteristics of each hemisphere of the brain are illustrated by the following table:

Left Brain

  • Verbal - the power of speech to describe things specifically
  • Anatycal - a one-step-at-a-time way of thinking, one plus one equal two
  • Symbolic - signs to represent things, such as male and female stop or go
  • Rational, Logical, Liear - making decisions based on facts which are available; reasoned arguments; logical progression of ideas.
  • Digital - using numbers, as in arithmetic

Right Brain

  • Nonverbal - body language; an awareness of things which cannot necessarily be articulated.
  • Synthetic - collecting ideas, feelings and facts together to form a whole.
  • Intuitive - sudden, inexplicable insights not necessarily resulting from any particular train of thought but springing fully-formed into consciousness; the ‘hunch' of the outstanding detective; the problem solving dream.
  • Nontemporal - no sense off time in terms of hours,minutes,days; often observed in situations where one is so involved in something that ‘time flies'
  • Nonrational - the ability to suspend belief; children display this facility when becoming totally immersed in imaginative games; and adults who respond wholeheartedly to films, music and poetry have also entered the nonrational world of fantasy
  • Spatial - orientation in space; understanding how parts of a thing fit together to form a whole.


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  • profile image

    Akinwale Lateefat Asake 5 years ago

    i have learnt so many things while reading and have discovered that u wil be good at what u do. some people uses both hand perfectly due to their usual usage of it. so, naturally you may be a lefty but if you want to be using right, you can do it perfectly.

  • profile image

    April 5 years ago

    interesting is reading the comment of those that are making judgement on people they do not know based only on socially enforced expectations. Maybe do some introspection on what the reason is you make the observations, and more interesting, conclusions you do. Especially when the "conclusion" or "observation" is actually a judgement that make you feel better about who you are, such as one based on someones weight. Just an observation for thought from a Social Worker. Only you can figure out what you are getting out of the "observation" and make conclusions about yourself. Try observing your own body language why you are judging others.

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    amat 6 years ago

    for a right brainer i sure did pick up a lot of misspellings.

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    joy 6 years ago

    My boyfriend is left handed and truely said he is faithful to I his family.He is independent and makes a good leader in the home.He has extra ordinary strength and knows how to treat a woman right

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    Joan 8 years ago

    My husband and my sister are both left handed. I myself believe that many left handed persons were very faithful to their loved ones. They are also firm in what they do best and like best....

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    Pauline 8 years ago

    'm left handed and ambidextrous. Once I took a surgical nurse class, and when it came time to pass the instruments I didn't know which hand to use. So I seemed really dumb.

  • Madison Parker profile image

    Madison Parker 9 years ago from California

    I'm so glad I found this hub. Posture is so important, not just for the reasons you cited, but also because how you "carry" yourself says so much about how you feel about yourself and is immediately forcasted to others!

    I love your "left-handed" bits; my late, left-handed Mother-in-Law used to tell me that left-handed people were brighter. I miss her; she was one of my favorite people...left-handed people, too.

    Madison Parker

  • Annalene profile image

    Annalene 10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

    No I haven't, but it sounds quite interesting. Do you know more about the subject? Why not start a hub on it, It will make a very interesting read.

  • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

    Stacie Naczelnik 10 years ago from Seattle

    I recently saw an interview who can tell a lot about people's personality by their facial features--have you done any reading/research on that?

  • Annalene profile image

    Annalene 10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

    Very true Jewels, my mother in law is in her eighties and she still walks without any aid, and still with her back straight like a soldier. She has a very positive outlook on life, and it shows even in her senior years.

  • Jewels profile image

    Jewels 10 years ago from Australia

    Truly sad is to watch someone who is in their 'natural' state, nobody watching them. A slumping posture talks heaps about the way a person holds themself, be it consciously or unconsciously. It really shows their state of mind that has made it's way into their whole way of being.

  • Annalene profile image

    Annalene 10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

    Ts, body language truly comes alive when we interact with the opposite sex! watch this space!

    Sindicut, it is a wonderful pastime, no matter where you are. And sometimes darn funny, you mentioned if they don't think someone is watching them, wait till they discover you are looking at them, how they quickly try and correct their posture.

  • Sindicut profile image

    Sindicut 10 years ago

    Its great to sit in the back of a classroom and just watch people and see what they do when they think no one is looking. A persons posture changes horribly when they think no one is paying attention to them.

  • tshirtscene profile image

    tshirtscene 10 years ago

    Interesting indeed. I'm a people watcher as well, I mostly like to see how they interact with others, such as body language and facial expressions, its always interesting to note how a persons whole demenor can change when interacting with the opposite sex, and older or younger people.

  • Annalene profile image

    Annalene 10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

    Many people always say they like to sit and watch people, but 90 percent of them are shallow watchers, they make silly comments about other's dress sense. I'm like you, I find it fascinating to try and read where they really coming from. Just by watching their body language, and be a pavement psychoanalyst. :D

  • Jewels profile image

    Jewels 10 years ago from Australia

    I find personality traits and posture interesting. An entertaining pastime of mine is coffee at a sidewalk cafe, observing people. Rude that may seem to some people, what can be seen in the faces of people enable a form of empathy. Frown lines and wrinkles, all earned in the name of the human experience. Hunched shoulders, protected chests, hands clenched as a matter of habit - or not. The heaviness of years of sadness and lost hope. The rigid walker, stiff, non flowing, direct and unloved in their own mind. The slovenly or obese, making sure their emotional lot is buried beneath bread roles, and therein lies their comfort for another day of living.

    You could say I'm an observer!

  • Annalene profile image

    Annalene 10 years ago from Richards bay South-Africa

    And it is not a user friendly world out there for left-handed people. Everything is designed for right-handed people except for a few enlightened manufactures. I have a very ambidextrous friend. She is right-handed but when it comes to her computer she will use her mouse with the left hand, leaving her free to make notes with the right hand. I have tried to educate my left hand operating my mouse, ah I'm hopeless!

  • bluewings profile image

    bluewings 10 years ago from Milkyway

    Thanks for the insights,Annie! In a left handed person there is right cerebral hemesphere's dominance and vice versa.Unless a person is ambidextrous,making him change his writing hand can cause confusion.The change can impact the analytical,verbal and logical abilities of the southpaws.However,there are people who use right hand for most tasks and left hand when it comes to writing.I guess, most parents are initially tempted to encourage the child to use their right hand irrespective of the natural preference.

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    Janice  10 years ago

    Another good post. I am supposed to 50/50 left/right brain.