How to Use Relaxed and Ready Body Language in Your Writing

Have you ever watched a movie and noticed one character is relaxed while another is ready to jump into action? How do you show the differences in their body language without telling your readers what is happening?

In this sixth installment of the body language series, we will explore relaxed and ready body language.

Relaxed body language happens when a character has no worries or lacks tension in their body. It is similar to open body language.

What are the Signs of Relaxed Body Language?

A character showing relaxed body language will often breathe slower than normal. Their entire body will be loose without tense muscle tone. They hold their hands, feet, arms, and legs still, not fidgety or twitchy.

Other signs include:
– sitting back
– slight smile or relaxed mouth
– a steady voice with no exaggerated high or low tone fluctuations
– eyes that mimic the mouth
– no tension in the eyebrows
– breathing deeply and slowly
– smiling with their eyes

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

An Example of Relaxed Body Language?

Think about a group of friends sitting around a campfire singing songs or telling stories. That is relaxed body language. Or, think about someone getting a massage. Their body sprawled on a table lifelessly while the masseuse does their job. That is relaxed body language.

What is Ready Body Language?

Ready body language is just what it reads; the character is ready for anything that may come their way. Ready body language presents when a character’s body is poised for action. They will turn their body towards the direction of where the action is taking place or where the perceived action will come from.

What are the Signs of Ready Body Language?

A character showing ready body language will have their eyes directed towards the action. Sometimes a character’s body will tense up and be ready for action. They may fidget with their hands or twist on a piece of clothing or another object while waiting for the action in high anticipation.

Other signs include:
– leaning forward rather than sitting back
– high-pitched voice
– tension in their face
– darting eyes
– clutching furniture
– rapid breathing

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay.

An Example of Ready Body Language?

Think of a baseball player in the outfield, ready for whatever ball may come their way. Think of their stance, that is ready body language. Or a teenager staring at their cell phone ready to pounce on it when it rings because they are waiting for a call is ready body language.

Last Words on Relaxed and Ready Body Language

In this sixth installment of the body language series, we discussed using relaxed and ready body language. How do you use body language in your writing? Let me know in the comments. Be sure to come back in the next few weeks for more body language tips for your novel.

Take Care



Feature photo by 5688709 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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