How to Use Power Body Language in Your Writing

Whit and Black Queen on chessboard

Have you ever seen a character using power body language? Those are the characters that draw everyone’s gaze when they enter a room. Sometimes they even silence the room.

In this eleventh installment of the body language series, we will explore power body language.

Power body language derives from dominant body language. People who use power body language regularly are those who are in a position of authority or like to act as if they are.

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Examples of Power Body Language

There are many other types of power body language that people use, that your characters can use.

Power Handshakes

Power handshakes are one way a person will show their power over another. Upon greeting someone they feel is of lesser status than they are, the power player will give a firm handshake, draw the person in physically, grip the elbow of the arm they are shaking with the opposite hand and hold the shake longer than normal. 

Long Gazes

Another way of making the receiver feel uneasy happens when power players hold a gaze longer than normal. Although the gaze is not threatening, it is just enough to make the receiver squirm a bit.

Hand Signals

Power players will also dictate where another will sit, either by pulling out a chair for you with a gesture to sit, or gesturing with their hand towards a seat when offering you a chair.

Making People Wait

Power players are skilled at making another wait on them. If there is a planned meeting, you can bet the power player will make everyone wait on them. An example could be when a character has a meeting with another at a certain time and has to wait past the scheduled appointment.

What are the Signs of Power Body Language?

Other common traits of power body language include:

  • invasion of personal space by standing close to another
  • touching while speaking, such as putting a hand on another’s shoulder
  • an aggressive walk
  • leaning back with hands behind the head
  • feet up on a desk
  • standing with legs and arms stretched wide open

Last Words on Power Body Language

In this installment of the body language series, we discussed using power body language. How do you use body language in your writing? Let me know in the comments.

Take Care


Feature photo by Arek Socha from Pixabay.


Body Language Series

Missed any segments in the body language series? You can catch up here:

Body Language

Open and Closed

Aggressive and Defensive


Dominant and Submissive

Relaxed and Ready


Attentive and Evaluative





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