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Striking

 

Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Striking

Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also

 

Pattern

The body can be used in various ways to symbolically strike out at others.

  • A small but rapid nod of the head can be a symbolic head-butt.
  • Wagging a finger in admonishment, symbolizing striking them with a club.
  • Shaking an entire arm.
  • Jabbing a finger toward someone, as if prodding them.
  • Striking subtly sideways with an elbow.

Instead of striking toward others, the person may strike something else -- still indicating the desire to strike someone (perhaps who is not present).

  • Poking a finger into an open hand or onto a table.
  • Slapping a fist into an open hand or onto a table (this makes a good noise).
  • Stamping the ground with a foot.

The person may also strike their own body:

  • Slapping the forehead, acknowledging stupidity.  'Gosh, I'm so stupid!'
  • Slapping the bottom or thigh in self-punishment or as a 'gee up' motivation.
  • Clapping hands in glee or appreciation.

Found in

Discussion

Striking (without actually hitting others) is usually an open act of aggression, saying 'I want to hit you!' and can be very intimidating, particularly if the person involved could clearly do damage. It is thus closely associated with anger.

Hitting others is socially undesirable and legally forbidden. To handle anger, we thus displace it into a relatively harmless simulation (although this can still be scary for others).

Striking oneself is often an act of self-deprecating humour. It may also beg forgiveness ('Look - I know you can't hit me, so I hit me for you -- will you forgive me now?'

See also

Enacting, Aggressive body language

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