What are the body language gestures that may strengthen your self-confidence?
Take a look at this picture!
Judging only by their posture, can you pick which man has won the race and which has lost?
If you have chosen the man on the left as the winner, you have guessed it right. It seems quite clear that the person’s body language with the arms held up – even without words – indicates that he has won. His whole posture suggests happiness, satisfaction and confidence. And he certainly feels that way!
Even if you don’t participate on competitions every day, the question may still arise: how can you convey confidence and how do you strengthen your self esteem using your body language. Not only that matters what others see about you, but it is also very important how you feel yourself.
Why does self-confidence matter? How can you strengthen this with your body language?
People tend to trust each other when they see that the other person has healthy self-confidence and behaves accordingly. If your self-esteem is in order, you will be more confident and people will likely follow you.
As we have suggested it in this article, you don’t necessarily need to have self-confidence to behave this way. If, on the other hand, you still manage to show this trait, your self-image will automatically improve, so people will start to see you differently. If they see you differently, they change their mind about you, they relate to you in an other way, which may provide you self-esteem again, and so on. This circular process goes on and on, and the moment will arrive when you no longer feel like you are just imitating confident behavior. You finally will become naturally confident.
As you can see in the picture above, no one is surprised neither by the winner’s hands raised up, nor by his so-called victorious posture. The man having the 2nd place suggests such a different image of himself that there is no doubt who won this race. The picture does not require any sound or motion, the result can be found out from the pose itself.
In many areas of life you might need self-confidence and the ability to convey determination throughout your body language, posture, and gestures. This can be the case if you attend a job interview, deliver a presentation, need to sell something, or lead a team.
So the question is, how can you radiate determination with your body language and how can you increase your own self-confidence?
Your face: The very first impression
You know for sure that people form an opinion about another individual within seconds. Your face plays a key role in this. We are all immediately affected by the visual stimuli perceived during communication: the other’s facial movements, the pupils, the eyes, the teeth, and the smile. For example, if the other person’s teeth are bright, we identify them with health and beauty. If the person’s smile is appealing, he or she at once becomes more sympathetic, therefore we already like them. You describe them confident and determined.
Watch your posture!
Can you recall a photo taken at a social event where an emperor or prime minister of a country stands hunched over and gazes at the ground? This is very much unlikely.
You need to pay attention not only to individual parts of your body, but to your entire body as well, in order to show confidence and for feeling that way. This includes controlling your hands and feet, your head, and your individual motions. Because the whole body is actively involved in the communication, you may have a harder time in an online discussion. When being present solely online, there is only a small icon of us displayed. In such cases, you can’t get closer to the others (which may sometimes be a good tactic in a face-to-face meeting). Also note, that it is not worth keeping your elbows close to your body, but you better leave a small distance from your body and keeping your arms loose.
Lean forward slightly!
Leaning slightly towards the partner during a conversation allows you to express your interest. Also, by this you can show the fact that you are determined enough. The emphasis here is on the word ’slightly’: leaning forward is certainly not the same as moving quite close to the other person!
Don’t look at the ground and don’t fidget!
According to Lillian Glass (author of ’The Body Language Advantage’), it’s worth holding our posture as if we were keeping a crown on our head. Fidgeting with small objects is not a good idea indeed, since it suggests nervousness. This will reduce the chances of others paying attention to us.
Do not keep your legs tight!
In body language, closed legs are similar to arms folded, meaning, they convey uncertainty and mistrust. Positive impression is transferred by keeping your two feet at approximately shoulder width apart. Because balance can be easily maintained in such a pose, it can also be a self-confidence booster.
Watch out for a memorable handshake!
Handshake is especially important in business. You wouldn’t even believe how impressive this introductory move is as a body gesture. If your handshake is like a “dead fish” (meaning weak and soft), people will obtain an unpleasant impression of you. For a confident handshake that shows positive signals you are supposed to pay attention to the following:
- Shake hands with your entire palm, not only with your fingertips!
- When shaking hands, do not place your other hand on top of the two clasping hands!
- Slightly step forward in the direction of other person, keep the eye contact to indicate that you are about to shake hands.
- Make sure to stand up when in a sitting position if someone enters and seemingly is up to shake hands.
- Don’t push your hand forward towards the other person’s belly!
- And of course, don’t squeeze your partner’s hand too hard – the medium squeeze will be just right!
No hands in your pockets!
Hands kept in the trousers’ pocket may look cool in a professional photo, but is not always a nice pose in a social situation. Remember: using hands and palms suggest confidence and good image, so try to avoid communicating with your hands in your pockets constantly. This gesture shows insecurity and does not help you keeping your self-confidence on a right level. Take your hand out of your pocket!
You can also improve the overall picture by not moving fast, but rather in a deliberate, slightly more moderate speed. Fast, disordered, hurried motions are mostly indicative of nervousness or anxiety. If your movements are more coordinated, you will become more confident, too!
Speak more slowly and moderately!
You will seem more reliable and confident if you follow this advice. Another benefit is that others will hear you better and will be able to follow you more easily. Your message will be more authentic and honest. This method is again a good tool to increase your own self esteem.
Replay the recording and watch yourself in video!
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from watching yourself in video. Recordings are often made at business meetings, lectures, or during family gatherings. What may not show up in a live communication situation can immediately catch the eye when you look it back. As a result, you can change your style easier. A quick, easy and simple method not to be missed!
Finally, let’s talk briefly about the situation in which it is not advisable to show too much self-confidence.
An example for this is when the other person finds him/herself in a crisis situation and asks you for advice. In such cases, the goal is not to strengthen your self-confidence, but rather to show maximum empathy. This is the only way you can understand your partner’s problem and help him or her the best.
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