Because of how we have evolved as human beings, most of us have learned to form a fairly correct first-impression about somebody based on just a few bodily clues, such as posture, facial expressions or even smell. This impression might be a little biased at times, but it usually turns out to be quite correct.
In a recent study, scientists have discovered a link between a person’s walking style and their personality traits.
Fast walker? Slow walker?
We tend to associate fast walkers with a go-getter attitude. Also, city dwellers tend to walk faster than others, probably because of their more hectic lifestyle. Usually, extroverts tend to walk faster than introverts, and an uptight style of walking tends to point to an uptight person.
An older study found that a higher level of neuroticism combined with a lower level of conscientiousness tends to lead to a more sedentary behavior, hence less physical activity. That, in turn, leads to a slower walk.
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Is your walking speed decreasing with age?
You can’t stop age from affecting the way you walk, but you might find that some people are more affected by aging than others. For instance, if you are an extrovert, it is likely that your walking speed will decrease at a slower rate with age than that of a more neurotic and reserved person.
We’re not sure what effects the conclusions of the study are going to have on our perceptions of those around us, but one thing remains certain: even if you can’t change your personality traits by changing how you walk, you can change other people’s perception of you.
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For example, if you want to be perceived as bold and fearless, use power walking to your advantage, and charge into a meeting or a gathering. If, instead, you want to give the impression of someone thoughtful, take your time walking in. Whatever persona you wish to embody, remember to keep true to yourself and to always watch where you’re going.
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