Body language can communicate information that is beyond what is being said (semantics, the meaning of words) and heard (auditory input), information such as context. According to this discussion’s background video, Your Body May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy (2012), she suggests that even if you don’t feel confident, practicing confident body language can increase your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. Some of the good body languages you can practice to make yourself more confident are (Cunic, 2018):
- Eye contact- having direct eye with another contact denotes interest and can be a sign of truthfulness.
- Leaning forward– when someone leans forward, it may indicate attention and interest, try this when you are listening to someone.
- Standing or sitting straight– this occupies more space than slouching and taking up more space is a sign of power. You can practice this while waiting in line or while sitting down doing homework.
- Chin up– walking and talking with your chin up is a sign of confidence as your face is more exposed. One can easily practice this by avoiding looking at the ground.
Another good way to practice confident body language is to be aware of body language that may convey uncertainty. These are some of the body languages you should be aware of and avoid:
- Fidgeting- this is a sign of nervousness and lack of power (Cain, 2018).
- Defensive possess- such as crossing your arms, hiding your hands, or holding objects too close to the body convey uncertainty, and mistrust (Cass, 2017).
- Forgetting to smile– one way to demonstrate confidence, openness, warmth, and energy is to smile, forgetting to do so demonstrates the exact opposite (Cain, 2018).
Body language adds another dimension to communication as it informs listeners underlying messages that may not be communicated from the words spoken and heard. By practicing confident body language you can prime yourself to be confident or be perceived as confident. You should also be aware and avoid the body language that conveys uncertainty, hostility, or untrustworthiness. By practicing good body language and avoiding the bad ones, you’ve made a conscious decision to be confident.
Cain, A. (2018, April 04). 11 horrible body language mistakes that are hard to quit but you’ll be glad you did. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-body-language-habits-2017-12 (Links to an external site.)
Cass, W. (2017). Influence: How to raise your profile, manage your reputation, and get noticed. West Sussex, United Kingdom. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Cuddy, A. (2012, June). Your body language may shape who you are. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
Cunic, A. (2018, January 08). 10 ways to have more confident body language: How to improve your self-esteem Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-ways-to-have-more-confident-body-language-3024855 (Links to an external site.)