Why Do Women Cross Their Legs? (9 Reasons Why)

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Most women cross their legs at some point, however, it’s often hard to figure out why. There are a few common reasons why women cross their legs and they can impact others as well. 

The reasons behind this vary widely and it’s different with each lady. So to learn more, keep reading!

Why Do Women Cross Their Legs?

1. Comfort

At this point in culture, many women don’t realize they cross their legs, if they do, because so many people cross their legs out of habit or for comfort when they sit.

Most of the time, a woman crossing her legs is a sign of comfort with who she is around or where she is. 

2. Shifting Weight

When you sit in a chair or on a couch without crossing your legs, after a while your feet or knees may get tired or hurt because of the way weight is distributed.

Oftentimes, women cross their legs to distribute weight differently to help relieve the pressure off one of their legs at a time. 

They may even switch their legs back and forth while they are sitting to help one leg not become too tired from the pressure.

3. To Be Proper

There are a lot of women who believe that crossing your legs is a proper way to sit or a more ladylike way to hold yourself while sitting. 

While this isn’t the main belief among women in today’s culture, enough women believe it that it’s a common reason as to why they choose to cross their legs. 

4. To Avoid Skirt Issues

When wearing a short skirt, shorter than your knees at least, many women end up crossing their legs to help avoid anyone being able to see up their skirt. 

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Due to the way we sit down and how skirts are made, often it can cause an accidental issue with your underwear being seen. 

Crossing your legs at your knees or even your ankles can help avoid these issues and is usually more comfortable while wearing a skirt. 

5. Showing Feelings Of Attraction

Showing Feelings Of Attraction

Some psychologists believe that certain poses or ways you position your body mean different things. They believe that crossing your legs can mean several different things. 

Depending on who you are around or where you are can cause different meanings with crossing your legs. One meaning can be feelings of attraction for someone you are around. 

If you are on a date, or around someone you are attracted to, it’s quite common to cross your legs in such a way that your knees are pointed towards the person of interest. 

While this isn’t 100% accurate, it is usually a legitimate reason for women crossing their legs in quite a few cases. 

6. Feeling Defensive

Now, in other cases, if a woman feels threatened or attacked verbally, the may cross her legs due to her feeling defensive. 

Since crossing your legs can be associated with comfort, it’s often done in an attempt to regulate emotions and feelings around certain situations. 

So, if you feel tense in a situation and the women all have their legs crossed, chances are it’s a tense situation for everyone. 

This is also important to notice if you are a man having a conversation with a woman. If you are making her feel tense maybe it’s time to reevaluate your tone, mood, or aggressiveness. 

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7. To Look Smaller

In some situations, it may serve someone well to make themselves appear or feel smaller. There are many ways that people end up doing this, but females usually cross their legs. 

They may want to attract less attention or reduce the chance of someone noticing them, and by crossing their legs, they make their body appear smaller because they take up less room. 

This usually happens in women who have anxiety issues in social situations. Simple things like crossing their legs can help them feel more in control of the situation, lowering anxiety. 

8. To Feel More Confident

Some women are very aware of the effect that they have on others and use it to their advantage. Sometimes women look so confident and sure of themselves, that it intimidates others. 

Now, this isn’t always how women feel so they do things to help themselves feel more confident and able to deal with the circumstance. 

In some cases, a woman may cross her legs because it boosts her self-confidence and allows her to manage whatever situation is happening, with self-assurance. 

At the same time, this action, or feeling of confidence, can usually be felt by other parties and leaves others feeling less sure of handling the situation. 

No matter which way you look at it, crossing your legs for confidence can work out in almost any situation. 

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9. Etiquette Rules

In many etiquette schools or classes, one of the biggest rules, besides no elbows on the table, is for women to cross their legs. 

There is often a choice between crossing your legs at the knee or crossing them at the ankle, but it is taught that you must cross your legs at almost any moment in time. 

This goes along with the assumption that women must always be seen as proper and ladylike, therefore, your legs must be crossed. 

Your body must not seem too open and inviting toward others to help control their assumptions and ideas about who you are as a person. 

However, this just isn’t accurate in this culture, in most circles at least. In some families or hierarchies, you may still see some portrayal of this, but not in everyday people. 

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why women show cleavage, why women wear revealing clothes, and why women wear anklets.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, women cross their legs for a lot of reasons, some we don’t even know about most likely. No matter the reason, most of the time it’s more for the women and no one else. 

However, if you are speaking to women and she does cross her legs, it’s not a bad idea to check your tone and body language to ensure she doesn’t feel threatened. 


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