Subconscious Things You Do That Reveal a Lot About Your Personality

Subconscious Things You Do That Reveal a Lot About Your Personality

Ever wonder what your body language and unconscious quirks say about you? Spoiler – more than you’d think! If you’re on a self-improvement kick, or even just want to project a stronger image, check this out. These everyday habits are holding you back.

1. Your phone posture


Constantly hunched over your phone with chin tucked down and shoulders slumped forward screams, “Leave me alone.” It radiates insecurity and a desire to disappear. Hold your phone at eye level, chest open, and shoulders back. Project that “I’m ready to take on the world” vibe instead.

2. How you eat

Do you slowly savor each bite, present with the experience of your food? That shows intentionality and mindfulness. Or are you inhaling whatever’s in front of you like it’s your last meal? This telegraphs anxiety, feeling constantly rushed, or trying to numb with food rather than deal with whatever’s bothering you.

3. How messy/organized you are


If your car looks like a bomb went off and your desk is an archeological dig, your mind probably feels just as chaotic. Tidy spaces aren’t just about appearances – they foster clarity and reduce mental overwhelm. Start small: tackle one drawer, tidy your desk – that tiny victory can pave the way for bigger decluttering efforts.

4. Leg twitching or fidgeting

smiling woman with arms crossed on rooftop

Your leg bounces like it’s got a mind of its own, fingers constantly in motion – are you nervous, impatient, or struggling to sit still? This nonstop movement hints at underlying anxieties or an overactive mind. Get out that excess energy: go for a walk, break a sweat. Then, practice intentional stillness – it’s not just about the body, it’s mind training.

5. Avoiding eye contact

Look, not everyone’s an extrovert, but constant eye aversion during conversations screams that something’s off. Do you lack confidence, or is there a hint of dishonesty that makes you afraid to meet someone’s gaze? Even 5 seconds of maintained eye contact builds trust and rapport – you can fake it till you make it.

6. Biting your nails or lip picking


Everyone gets a little anxious sometimes, but if you’re nibbling yourself bloody, there’s deeper tension you need to address. These habits are physical symptoms of emotional struggles. Sure, willfully not doing them helps, but that won’t fix the root cause. Journal, take action on what stresses you, or even see a therapist – get to the heart of the problem.

7. Foot tapping


Sometimes we tap our feet to a beat or when feeling impatient. But are you the chronic tapper, foot going even when nothing else about you seems impatient? It makes you seem easily distracted, or like you’d much rather be anywhere else. Awareness is the first step, then consciously catch yourself and try to still your body.

8. Where you stand in groups


Always find yourself edging toward the back, hiding behind others, or taking up minimal space? This shows low self-worth, desiring to disappear rather than take your place. Challenge yourself to position yourself slightly more forward in group gatherings – it conveys a subtle yet noticeable shift in confidence.

9. Your handshake


Beautiful mixed race creative business woman shaking hands with a female colleague. Two young female african american designers making a deal. A handshake to congratulate a coworker on their promotion

If you offer a floppy, lifeless handshake, you appear disengaged and uninvested. On the other extreme, a bone-crushing grip is off-putting too. Aim for firm but not squeezing, with full hand connection. It’s like saying, “I’m present and prepared to interact,” without any caveman posturing.

10. Your resting face


If your default expression looks grumpy, judgmental, or even downright intimidating, you’re repelling people before they even know you. Practice in the mirror: relax your brows, soften your jaw, find a subtle smile. You’ll look far more welcoming and open, inviting positive interactions.

11. Constant apologizing


It’s good to own your mistakes, but a barrage of “sorry” for every little thing weakens your impact and conveys an overly self-critical mindset. Be aware of it. Reserve those apologies for situations where they’re actually needed – your genuine remorse will carry more weight.

12. Hair twirling or touching


A little hair flip now and then can be playful or flirty. But nervous hair-twirling or constantly touching your face or neck makes you appear insecure and unsure of yourself. It distracts both you and those around you. When you become mindful of those tics, it’s easier to replace them with more grounded gestures.

13. Your walking speed


Do you stride purposefully, head held high, with a pace that says you’ve got somewhere to be? That radiates confidence and determination. A sluggish, meandering walk suggests a lack of focus or drive. Even if you don’t feel particularly driven, walk with the energy you hope to embody – sometimes faking it leads to actually becoming it.

14. Nodding all the time

couple chatting cafe

Good listeners nod as a sign of engagement. But are you the overly agreeable head-bobber, offering constant affirmation even when you don’t quite mean it? It makes you seem like a pushover or just going through the motions. Save your nods for moments of genuine agreement – they’ll carry more sincerity.

15. Whether you show up early or late

Chronic lateness is just plain disrespect for other people’s time. It tells them you think yours is more valuable. On the other hand, coming early shows you’re prepared, considerate, and eager to engage. Aiming for on-time is the bare minimum – shoot for arriving just a few minutes early to create a positive impact.

16. How you take criticism


If your immediate reaction is defensive, you rob yourself of valuable feedback and the opportunity to improve. On the flip side, do you completely shut down after criticism, as though unable to grow or learn? The sweet spot is between these extremes. Keep an open mind, process the feedback, and focus on actionable solutions – that’s the mark of a resilient and adaptable person.

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Phoebe Mertens is a writer, speaker, and strategist who has helped dozens of female-founded and led companies reach success in areas such a finance, tech, science, and fashion. Her keen eye for detail and her innovative approach to modern womanhood makes her one of the most sought-out in her industry, and there's nothing she loves more than to see these companies shine.

With an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and features in Forbes and Fast Company she Phoebe has proven she knows her stuff. While she doesn't use social media, she does have a private Instagram just to look at pictures of cats.