Wiki Body Lowering and Status: Non-Verbal aspects of the situation in which you have been speeding in your car and are stopped by the police.

Lowering the height of one’s body in front of another person has been used as a means of proving superior/subordinate relationships.

We refer to a member of Royalty as ‘Your Highness’, whereas individuals who commit unsavory acts are called ‘low’.

Despite what numerous people would like to believe, tall people command more authority than short people, but height can also be detrimental to some aspects of one-to-one communication where you need to ‘talk on the same level’ or have an ‘eye-to-eye’ discussion with another person.

Most women curtsey when they meet Royalty and men incline their heads or eliminate their hats, making themselves appear smaller than the Royal person.
Wiki Body Lowering and Status Non-Verbal aspects

The modern salute is a relic of the act of body lowering. The more humble or subordinate an
individual feels towards another, the lower he incline his body.

In business, the people who continually ‘bow’ to the management are labeled with such derogatory name tags as ‘bootlickers’ or ‘crawlers’

It is possible to bypass intimidating others by consciously making yourself appear smaller in relation to them, so let us examine the non-verbal aspects of the situation in which you have been speeding in your car and are stopped by the police.

In these circumstances, the officer may regard you as an adversary as he approaches your vehicle, and a driver’s usual reaction is to remain in the car, wind the window down and make excuses for having exceeded the speed limit.

The nonverbal negatives of this behavior are:
  • The officer is oblige to leave his territory (the patrol car) and come across to your territory (your car)
  • Assuming that you have in fact broken the speed limit, your excuses may represent an attack to the officer. 
  • By remaining in your car, you create a barrier between yourself and the policeman.
Admit that under these circumstances the police officer is obviously in a superior position to you, this type of behavior only serves to make things go from bad to worse and your chances of being booked are increased. 

Instead, try this if you are flagged down: 
  • Get immediately out of your car (your territory) and go over to the police officer’s car (his territory). In this way he is not inconvenienced by having to abandon his territory. 
  • Stoop your body over so that you are smaller than he is. 
  • Lower your own status by telling the officer how foolish and irresponsible you are and raise his status by thanking him for pointing out the your ways and telling him that you realize how difficult his job must be with fools like you around. 
  • With your palms out, in a trembling voice, ask him not to give you a ticket. 
This type of behavior shows the police officer that you are not a threat to him and often causes him to take the role of an angry parent, in which case he gives you a stern warning and tells you to be on your way - without a speeding ticket! 

When this technique is used as directed, it can save you from being booked more than 50 per cent of the time.