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November 20, 2016

Confident Body Language

Confidence or more particularly the Self-Confidence is one of the core requisites of the social and professional lives. It’s not at all secret that exactly how crucially the exhibition, expression and display of self-confidence matters in our lives. How much confidence you have in yourself is how much others can have it in you. Correct?

Right from very normal and casual social interaction to extreme conflict; confident body language can make an enormous and a long lasting difference. Confident exudes and speaks loudly and clearly through body position, orientation, posture, voice and facial expressions.

After all, why showing, displaying, expressing or exhibiting Confidence is so much critical while interacting? Many people might give up responding to an under-confident, timid and uncertain person because it feeds to awkwardness. Nervousness is nothing but an inability to deal with and face people courageously. Also, low-confidence simply means increased level of vulnerability.

People might try to avoid a person because they can’t predict that how an under-confident or fearful person would react. Worst part of being under-confident is that few people with anti-social and evil mentality would try to dominate, overpower, take control of or even harm such person.

Nervous, Afraid, Cold?
If state of under-confidence or cowardliness is really harmful then most probably you might be thinking that being always aggressive and showing off aggression is a very good alternative. Not at all!

We cannot remain aggressive on constant basis. Unwarranted or unnecessary aggression leads to terror, aggression, hostility, withdrawal and retaliation in others.

If it’s really necessary to do so then friendly and co-operative people would tolerate or go along with an under-confident person but not certainly i. e. an aggressive one. So very important questions we’ve here are - How to be or look like a Confident person? How to display Confident body language?

To understand same, we need to study our basic physiology very closely. Our core defensive mechanism works more precisely and stealthy in relation with and through different body parts and sections. Until we don’t learn it thoroughly, we may not understand crucial importance of confidence in body language. Despite of having a very powerful brain, wisdom and aptitude; we cannot stay unharmed or safe all the time. We all are vulnerable and our body is not much stronger. We have to admit that human body is weak and it needs to be protected.

Grizzly bear standing on legs
Even if it's best in the entire animal world, bipedal anatomy (i. e. ability to walk on two limbs/feet) makes body more vulnerable. Why exactly? Walking on two legs exposes torso and abdominal area.

Thus these two major sections of body can easily be targeted by others. Most internal organs are covered by bones and muscles but there are some parts which are covered by only a thin layer of skin.

Front side of neck and sections of torso (upper body) which are not protected by rib cage i. e. stomach, abdomen and venereal (genital) area the most vulnerable. Any serious impact any injuries to these sections can lead to impairment, paralysis and in worst case - death too.

So aren’t other organs or body parts important all all? If you lose your eyes, hands or legs during attack or fight; you may still remain alive but you may not be lucky after being attacked on most vulnerable areas. Let it be historical and modern era, level of confidence in soldiers boosts when armors and helmets are allowed to put on.

So if you keenly observe any person under threat, you would find that it unconsciously tries to cover some of or all mentioned vulnerable sections. Also, the person tries to take cover of something to protect them. Then How exactly a confident person looks, appears and acts? Definitely, it’s entirely opposite to the ways a person remains defensive and withdrawn.

In terms of social interaction, appearing confident or bold is neither being vulnerable nor aggressive. i. e. attaining golden mean of both unaccepted extremes by co-operative, peace-loving and friendly society. Being confident is to face different people, entities, situations, setups and challenges without lack of self-control, fear and uncertainty.

Mostly importantly, it’s about facing the situation and people with enough courage, calm, comfort and easiness. Although many people mistake confidence with aggressiveness, confident body language speaks loudly and clearly to eyes of observers.

Open torso and abdominal region
Being confident and exhibiting the same in presence of people simply means letting the most vulnerable sections of our body keep undefended or exposed even if they’re covered by the cloths of any kind.

Confidence exhibited by a person passes a message to others that the person is fearless, friendly and in-control and thus expecting no injuries to its physically vulnerable hot-spots.

As the person isn’t intended to attack others, they would also remain friendly and harmless towards same. In other words - If you don’t carry a sword in hand; you don’t need to wear an armor.

In the normal conditions, people would to like defend, punish or retaliate only hostile and aggressive person. Any non-hostile and non-aggressive person would definitely be spared. Isn’t it correct?

Avoiding to go unnecessarily aggressive and defensive/submissive is the real key to let people perceive you more positively and if not - harmless and thus as a social person. Most important element of confidence display is to remain composed and comfortable with yourself. Before showing off that how much confident you are, you should feel same inside yourself in the first place. So how exactly confidence is or should be displayed through body language in public? How we can exhibit same following good manners? What things we can avoid as best?

First of all, avoid adapting postures which don't let you feel comfortable while walking, seating and standing. Don’t hunch in your back, don’t slump at neck, don’t cross your arms on chest or pocket your both palms of both hand at once. Avoid shifting posture and making hand gestures erratically and frequently.

Do maintain proper and sufficient eye contact while interacting with others. Especially during verbal interactions, it’s really good to maintain direct eye contact with people almost 75 to 80% of the entire time span. However, culture and society-wise eye contact norms should be followed for better results.

Do you really want to remain in-control of yourself along with appearing equally impressive? Please do remember few basic things that I’ve mentioned over here. Very first personal advice from me is to never cross your arms over your chest if it’s not required. Crossing arm over chest is a defensive or self-doubting stance.

It might be your signature pose (“I, me and myself!”) for photographs but your crossing arms over your chest in public should be avoided especially till the moment you don’t find very need to defend or protect or defend yourself. Avoid clenching fists, gesturing arrogantly and pointing by fingers toward others. Also, don't intrude in private space of others.

Arms crossed over chest
Keep your both arms straight, away and parallel to your torso. Don’t pocket both of your arms at once. Also, don’t pocket the arm alongside of which most important person stands, walks or seats alongside of you.

If it’s possible and easy for you then keep both palms facing towards your body while standing and walking. If you’re seating in a chair having armrests then put both of your arms on them.

Never hold end of the armrests tightly but let your open palms rest on them comfortably. While sitting in a chair, expose your upper body to others and avoid creating any physical barrier between your torso and others. Keep your shoulders wide but don’t let chest puff profoundly.

If you’re sitting in a chair without armrests then you can rest your forearms on your thighs or entwine fingers of both palms near abdomen. Women may not be able seat with squared shoulder and fully exposed torso like men but they definitely can show confident stance along by following local standards and norms.

Best posture to be adapted by women is an upright torso, one leg put on another and palms either put on thighs or fingers of both palms entwine near abdomen. For both both men and women, placing or keeping both legs parallel to each other on ground is good.

Change starts from within
What if you assume yourself as an under-confident person and thus missing-out interesting and meaningful interactions? Well! It’s time to take yourself more easily and positively. Until you’re not comfortable with yourself then it’s nothing but a compromise. In result, you may not be able to express yourself in a healthier manner.

It’s also worthy to remember that you can change yourself and ultimately the way people look at you. Unlike makeup we put on put on our faces, shift in nature cannot happen instantaneously but gradually and partly. After all, we’re not robots to change overnight in appearance, configuration and functioning.

It you want to make a great improvement in your self-confidence; routine exercise and fitness training is a very good option. It not only assures health or immunity but also gives you better sense of self-control. If you’re really afraid of other people due to any physical and psychological weakness, do join self-defense or martial art classes.

Confidence builds bridges and not walls among individuals.

Techniques you learn there would definitely increase level of confidence and also decrease vulnerability. Still, you need to learn to control your defensive impulse while reading emotions on faces and bodies of people, as accurately and quickly as possible.

Related Articles:
1) Good posture is Healthy 2) Positive Body Language 3) Face to Face 4) First Impression and Body Language 5) Power Postures 6) Body Language of Extreme Psychopath

1 comment:

  1. Superb article. Amazing thoughts and study. Its really useful for everyone.

    Amit L


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