Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

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Ffourmoi 2005/4/5 18:44
I generally agree with what you're trying to say. That's why I posted this question on the Question Forum and not the Discussion Forum :)
by Uco rate this post as useful

sitting on the floor 2005/4/6 23:47
Hey Nanshi,

Unless you are meditating, you should sit seiza (kneeling) or at least with your legs tucked to one side and your rear end on the floor. It's okay for men to sit cross-legged on the floor, but not women. One day I was at a preschool, and despite knowing that I shouldn't sit cross legged, I did anyway because I thought "this is how all elementary kids sit in the US, so I'll show them how another culture sits." ...hoping to save my legs from the hard wood floor. Despite mentioning that kids in the US sit like that, the children kept pestering me about how I sat, saying things like "are you a boy?" I gave up and sat half seiza (butt on floor, legs to one side) just so that they would pay attention to the lesson more and not how I was sitting.

If I may throw my two cents in about crossing legs (in the US anyway). Even in formal situations such as job interviews, I have had now problem with applicants that cross their legs. This is not even something I think about. In this situation, they are crossing their legs but sitting upright in good posture and look alert and interested.

However, if they cross their legs, lean back and drape their arm over the chair in an overly-relaxed attitude, I consider them to not be serious about the job and too informal, and I'm less likely to give them the job.

Also, having both your arms and legs crossed gives a feeling to others that you are uncomfortable and closing yourself off to others--especially if you are crossing your arms tightly.
by kyarinchan rate this post as useful

maybe not offensive but distracting... 2005/4/7 01:38
Thanks for the input! This will be my first trip to Japan so I appreciate everyone's tips.

I'll be in a medium sized group (teens and adults) so maybe any faux pas won't be too noticeable(?) but I don't wish to deliberately offend or distract.

I'm sure other questions will come up before I leave and I'm glad people on this forum are so knowledgeable and helpful.
by nanshi rate this post as useful

answer from canada 2005/4/23 02:34
well, I think that it's mostly ladies who do it. It's usually for if you are wearing a skirt, to avoid people catching a sneak at your panties. It's a "lady-like" way to sit, my grandmother says. however, I think that there are some people who just find that position comfortable. so, I guess you would say, it's a little casual, but not as much as sitting with your legs spread open. *laughs*.. my mom always says not to do it, because it's bad for your legs, though. sorry, I'm not much help!
by Laura rate this post as useful

Thanks Laura 2005/4/23 10:39
"Bad for your legs" makes sense. I think it's always best for a human to keep your body symmetric, in terms of health.

Btw, about the skirt, some gals cross her legs ending up showing her panties from the outer part of her thigh. Guess it depends on what type of skirt you're wearing :D
by Uco rate this post as useful

Micro-mini skirt - cross-legged 2006/9/20 05:29
I read in a magazine it looks cheap if women wearing micro-minis cross their legs. It shows too much of the thigh from the sides. Also, I think the best way to sit is to cross ankles while the knees are joint and tilt to one side. This is the safest and the most polite way a woman can sit. Sitting cross-legged looks sexy and can be done if a woman wants to portray herself in that way.
by LJ rate this post as useful

Bad for you 2006/9/20 06:00
I was told it is bad for your legs to sit for a long time with your legs crossed because it can put pressure on the blood vessels, restricting the supply to the lower leg.

In some countries it is ill mannered to point your foot at or show the underside of your foot to someone else. It is something you can easily do by accident when sitting with crossed legs.

It is interesting to watch a group of people sitting with crossed legs. Often they all have the same one on top, and if one person changes legs, all or most of the group will follow.

On the tube in London you would annoy others by crossing your legs, because of the sticking out foot in the way.
by Apples rate this post as useful

crossing legs 2006/9/20 11:40
In my country (New Zealand) it is considered quite effeminate for men to cross their legs with one knee above the other- not sure how this is seen in other countries. So it isn't considered rude, just a little odd for men to sit with their legs crossed like that. Many women do it, and I don't think it's considered rude, but people are more aware these days that it's bad for circulation so are maybe starting to avoid it these days. It's not a good position to sit in when wearing a short skirt- not even necessarily a micromini but anything that comes well above the knee, for the reasons mentioned above.
by Sira rate this post as useful

. 2006/9/20 22:55
After looking at Sira's post, I was a bit shock that some men do cross their legs - I certainly know and have just tested it again that I can't actually cross my legs the same way that women do at all. Its ultra uncomfortable, oh and very squashy... :(

I think most women in Australia cross their legs in most situations. I don't understand how it is actually more comfortable, because it can't be.

People wearing jeans don't really cross their legs when they sit - its only when they were dresses or shorter skirts. If you think about it, the only advantage of having the legs crossed is so that, when you wear a skirt, you're less prone to 'forget' and then relaxed the leg muscles and then the knees fall apart.

Obviously, guys like to put one leg above their other thigh when they cross their legs.
by rouge rate this post as useful

Crossing legs in Eastern Europe 2006/9/20 23:46
Somebody said it's impolite to cross your legs in Eastern Europe. Well, I am from one South-Eastern European country myself and here crossing your legs doesn't have any particular meaning. People do it optionally. It's the same with crossing your arms. I didn't know it actually has a meaning in some (Eeastern) European country, let alone Japan. I find it very surprising.
by European girl rate this post as useful

crossing legs in the usa 2007/3/24 09:03
i'm getting really confused with the people saying crossing your legs in the us is "when you're uncomfortable" i cross my legs all the time .. if i'm wearing a skirt it's at the knees ... i was always taught it's a lady like thing .. esp crossing your ankles and sitting to one side.

my parents and grandparents and teachers would always say that you were being un-lady like if you wern't crossing your legs.
by kate rate this post as useful

sorry .. at the ankles 2007/3/24 09:04
i mean when i am wearing a skirt i cross my ankles.
by kate rate this post as useful

crossing legs in various cultures 2007/5/17 03:32
At a meeting last week I noticed that almost everyone present sat with knees crossed. A few men sat with a very relaxed right angled form, i.e. ankle of one leg on thigh of the other leg.
It made me wonder if only North Americans and Western Europeans sat this way, and also I wonder when did this practice start.
Body language is a fascinating area of study...
Crossed arms tend to mean non-acceptance of the other persons ideas, thus not a very encouraging stance.
Thanks you for a most informative posting.
by Jacqueline rate this post as useful

thanks 2007/5/17 08:22
Thank you all for keeping this thread inspiring. Yesterday I went to see the movie "The Queen" and, as the original poster of this thread, noticed that Elisabeth II played by Helen Mirren deliberatly put one ankle before the other as she sat. I thought it was elegant and universal.
by Uco rate this post as useful

crossing your legs 2008/2/27 00:24
Hi everyone. I've lived in Japan, US, UK, and I would like to provide what I have experienced in these countries.

In England or U.S, when we have dinner in a relatively expensive restaurant, it is NOT considered polite (or proper) to cross your legs and hold your knive and folk. When you sit with your legs crossed, your posture would not be quite straight, and the way you use your knive and folk would look odd. Also, when you cross you legs, it would be difficult to keep your back straight. You would have a "hatch back", which is not considered to be elegant in anyway. In Japan, when you sit on a chair and hold a pair of chop sticks, you would find it very difficult to keep your back straight and have your bowl of rice and a pair of chop sticks. You would look very odd doing that. When you are dining in the U.K, U.S or Japan, is it not considered to be good. You would not be credited for your manners for sure.

Now, lets zoom into the interviews. Lets assume that you are sitting on a chair with a table right in front of you. In the situation like this, you get several options. A) You cross your legs. B) You cross you legs and have your hands on the table C) You do not cross you legs and just sit D) You do not cross you legs and you place your hands on the table. Other things being equal, you are more likely to give a positive impression to the person who is interviewing you if you choose the option D). By opting for D), you would lean your body towards the table, and show you positive (aggressive in a good way) of yourself. This shows that you are keen to get a job, and that you could be seen as a person who is slightly aggressive (this would depend on how you talk, ofcourse). This applies to the interview situations in the U.S, U.K and Japan.

Now, in the interview situation with no table in front, its a totally different ball game. Other things being equal, in the U.S, you would be considered as just a normal candidate. In the U.K, you would be considered as rather rude, and in Japan, you are likely to get no job offers. :)

by Jazzy rate this post as useful

... 2008/2/27 04:16
In Norway for females I don't thinks it's regarded as polite or impolite. If it's a job interview or anything then I'd recommend for females to keep their knees and legs tight together, or cross their ankles and knee tights or else you could simply cross your legs. Even if it's for the King or the Queen. I've seen many celebrities that cross their feet, cause it's seen as classy and polite.

For guys I wouldn't recommend crossing their legs at all, since they usually do it in a more masculine way then females. (Make their knee stick out) Just more or less relax the feet, but not such that they'll open wide for everyone.

Hope this helps...
by Sakanuumia rate this post as useful

in my country... 2008/2/27 10:09
it is considered feminine for men to cross their legs, so they rarely do! :) For women, it doesn't mean anything though.
by Mii rate this post as useful

thanks 2008/2/27 18:36
Thanks guys for reviving this very old thread I started :) Jazzy's comment on "hands" was interesting as well. However, while I'd agree on "hands on table" interviews if it's an interview for the media, I have to say that for job interviews, I've noticed that in the movie "The Devil Wears Prada", the character played by Anne Hathaway looked very nice with her hands down as she responded at a job interview in front of the "devil"'s desk. I guess it depends on the table or situation, especially to whom the table belongs to.
by Uco rate this post as useful

... 2008/3/18 00:21
I'm not absolutely sure, but here (France), it's considerate improper for a woman to cross her legs if she wears a miniskirt (have you seen basic instinct? You wouldn't want the other person to see everything like that ^^') except if she wants to seduce the other person ^^'
For a man it could be seen as a ''feminine'' way to sit, so the majority of guys don't cross their legs while sitting in a chair...

by Loca rate this post as useful

Uncrossing legs? 2008/3/18 18:55
for everyone who has suggested that females cross both legs to the side when sitting on the floor in Japan -- what happens when you get tired and have to switch sides? that seems like a difficult thing to pull of in a well-mannered way! do you just...take the pain and not do it? Also, is this etiquette only for older generation Japanese, or is this still what's proper among 20/30 year olds? i'm 28 and american -- i always sit cross legged in casual situations, both crossed at the knee in a chair, and crossed on the floor meditation style, they are just comfortable for me! in a skirt one needs to be more careful of course, but in jeans among friends, i find that anything goes in the US -- for guys and girls alike. well, i guess open legs for girls is never appropriate, but that's about all!
by anonymouse rate this post as useful

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