LIFE

What Your Walking Style Says About Your Personality

by Elyse Wanshel
Elyse is a Senior Writer at LittleThings.com. She enjoys tacos, kickboxing, and naming animals. In fact, she named two of her mother’s six cockatiels Mr. and Mrs. Featherbottom.

Lots of little things say a lot about who we are.

It’s actually pretty crazy, and some of these things we think we have no control over.

They’re just a part of who we are or how we were born, like the position we sleep in, eye color, or the shape of our nails. These things seem so arbitrary but they actually unveil some pretty intimate things about who we truly are — it’s like an au natural personality quiz.

Cultural experts and social scientists have conducted research that reveals that our walking styles, including our walking speed and stride, have a huge impact on our personalities.

According to Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions there are a few broad categories of strolling styles that people fall into.

“Most people are some combination of two of these categories,” she explained to Men’s Health. “Although one in particular usually dominates.” Wood breaks down the four major walking styles, what each says about your personality, and how to walk if you want people to get a different impression. We’ve also added a few more common walking habits or quirks and the secrets they unveil as well…

The Driver

The Driver
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If your weight is usually forward and your stride is quick, like you’re charging ahead, you are a “Driver.” Bonus points if you multitask while you walk, like using your phone, thinking of a solution for a problem, or making some kind of list in your head. “If there’s an obstacle in [your] way, [you] are going to take the most direct path through or around it,” Wood said. If that means occasionally bumping into someone, a Driver probably won’t care too much, she adds.

If this sounds like you, you have some very positive personality traits. You know how to get things done, are extremely productive, very logical, and most likely very intelligent. People admire you, but they may find you a little cold. You tend to be a competitive and your fiery personality can get the better of you.

Wood suggests that you slow down and smell the roses every now and again, make eye contact, and make an effort to say “hello” to someone you know and like. You don’t have to do this all the time, but if you do this occasionally, people will know you are also friendly and have lots of positive personality traits as well.

The Influencer

The Influencer
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If you walk with your chest forward, shoulders back, and your head held high, there’s a good chance you’re an “Influencer.” Another key factor is that, like the Driver, you walk quickly, but you have a springy pep in your step. Influencers are also engaged with most of the people they pass and tend to smile, wave, make eye contact, or shout out a friendly “hello!”

According to Wood, a lot of politicians and celebrities have an Influencer gait.

If you are in Influencer you are fun, charismatic, socially adept, but some people may think you’re a little much. Your over-the-top personality tends to hog the spotlight, and sometimes you rob it from others when they have a right to it. Wood suggests reeling in your enthusiasm and thinking before you act.

“Consider your situation,” Wood suggests. “Is it a good time to make your presence known, or is this an opportunity to hold back and defer to others?”

The Supporter

The Supporter
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If your weight is over your legs, not forward or back, you may be a “Supporter.”  Your speed is medium-paced and your movements are anything but choppy — you’ve got one smooth swagger. Much like an Influencer, you tend to gesture and engage with people while walking, though you tend to make eye contact rather than wave or shout.

If you’re a supporter, you tend to be more interested in people than tasks, and prefer enjoying your personal life rather than focusing on career. You feel a great satisfaction being part of a group, and may thrive in your family life or being part of a team sport. You also like to be acknowledged but are too humble to admit it, and something like a random phone call or card from one you love can go a long way. Yet, you do tend to get distracted sometimes.

You have a lot of admirable qualities, but Drivers and Influencers may perceive you as weak and try to take advantage of you. Try to stay focused when you’re around someone you are trying to impress and it will go a long way.

The Corrector

The Corrector
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If you’re light on your toes when you walk and your eyes are glued to the floor, you may be a “Corrector.” Your pace is slow and cautious, like you’re afraid to make a wrong step. Your arms are held close to his sides as well, as to no intrude in others’ personal space. You do not use a phone while you walk, nor do you engage with friends as you walk with them — unless you have to.

You’re most likely introverted, but polite. You like to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Yet, due to your introverted nature, you don’t verbally communicate what you want or need. You just expect people to know. This may lead to annoyance towards others and those others being confused by your irritable nature.

Try your best to verbally communicate, even if what you say isn’t polite. Try to find the nicest way to express yourself while being honest and you’ll be surprised by how much smoother your life suddenly becomes.

The following are not part of the four main walking personalities, but are quirks and habits that can relay really important information about you. Let’s start with "The Short Strider"…

The following are not part of the four main walking personalities, but are quirks and habits that can relay really important information about you. Let’s start with "The Short Strider"…
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

If you’re a woman with a short stride, and are having aches in your calves and hamstrings, it may be time to hang up your high heels, says walking expert Cheyne Voss, head of physio-therapy at TenPhysio in London, England. Short strides can be an indicator of a looming hip problem.

Need more reason to hang up those heels? A study in The Journal Of Sexual Medicine, found that women with longer strides were more likely to be satisfied in the bedroom.

The Arm Crosser

The Arm Crosser
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Do you tend to cross your arms while walking? This could indicate you feel vulnerable Eliot Hoppe, communication trainer and author told the Huffington Post. This is a habit you may consider changing, especially if you’re a woman.

Females tend to cross their arms when walking alone at night or through a rough neighborhood they are unfamiliar with. Attackers tend to prey on those who look weak, so try uncrossing your arms and walking upright at a quick pace, he advises.

The Arm Swinger

The Arm Swinger
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Our arms are attached to our lower backs by a muscle called the “latissimus dorsi” and because of this we swing the arm on the opposite side of the leg that is striding to support our lower backs when we walk. So the bigger the arm swing, the better lower back health you have, according to Voss.

But be forewarned: If one of your shoulders rolls freely and the other is more awkward or stuck, this can indicate a back or neck problem, which can happen if you have an inactive lifestyle.

The Foot Shuffler

The Foot Shuffler
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

According to Caring.com, a site that specializes in providing information to those caring for seniors, “a shuffle may be caused by a fear of falling due to changes in depth perception or orientation; the person takes more tentative steps.”

A foot shuffle can also lead to more serious medical issues down the road as well, so it’s important that if you catch yourself shuffling to mention it to a doctor during your next checkup.

The Stomper

The Stomper
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

When our feet hit the ground, they send signals to our brains about the position of the limb.

“Impaired proprioception can occur due to loss of sensation,” consultant podiatrist Haydn Kelly of the London Medical Centre told the Daily Mail.

If you’re stomping your feet, it means you have lost sensation in this limb and may have a B12 vitamin deficiency, which can lead to tiredness, sore tongue, and bleeding gums, according to WebMD.

So, if you find yourself stomping about, try eating more dairy, eggs, or attempt to drink less alcohol. If you are a vegetarian, ask your doctor for supplements.

The Multitasker

The Multitasker
LittleThings / Maya Borenstein

Believe it or not, if you walk and talk and chew gum — or do other things — all at once, it can create positive energy, according to Wood.

For instance, if you walk around your house on your phone and cook, do a craft, or organize it can actually give you a boost of creativity. So, if you do this often, most likely you’re very imaginative.

Wood also points out that when you see someone walking and talking on the phone and they suddenly stop, it means that the conversation just got serious. People will stop walking, pause, and sit if the conversation gets personal.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Please SHARE if you thought this was accurate!