- Fashion and Beauty
How to Show Confidence With Your Body Language
What is Confidence?
Confidence is a positive character strait projected externally that you are proud of who you are internally. Confident persons are sure of themselves as well as their talents and abilities. That being said, confidence can mean different things to different people. For example, some may equate confidence to someone's engaging personality while others may view someone who is knowledgeable and articulate as being confident. Some may determine that others are confident simply by how they walk -- tall with their heads held high.
People show their confidence in various ways including how they use their body language. Body language is the image you portray to people based on how you carry yourself or how you position parts of your body, such as your hands, head, arms, etc. For example, if you are with a group of people and you fold your arms tightly in front of you, some may think your folded arms indicate that you are closed off and are not open to conversation. On the other hand, if you are with a group of people and you have your arms outstretched as you interact with them, one may think that you are friendly, mainly by noticing that your arms are outstretched.
Confidence and Body Language
Let's take a look at the picture below of Larry King's dinner guests to find out more about confidence and body language.
Which gender looks the most confident from this picture?
Who looks the Most Confident?
From looking at the picture above, which guests are the most confident, or look to be the most confident? The odds are high that you will probably choose the men who have their arms and even their elbows on the table. None of the women would be viewed as confident, mainly because they do not take control of their space with their hands and arms. Instead their hands are probably placed demurely in their laps. They also seem to be apologizing for the space they are taking up by their "closed-in" postures.
The rules of etiquette advocate that when you eat at the dinner table, you should not have your elbows on the table; however, there is nothing wrong with placing your hands on the table instead. For example, in the picture above, imagine Tyra Banks with her hands on the table in front of her. Just that simple gesture, and letting her hands stay on the table for awhile, would cause her to be perceived as one of the most confident guests at the table. And remember -- perception is reality.
Let's take a look at the picture above of the group standing. Interesting enough, there is no change with the perception of which group looks to be more confident. One woman is pushed to the background, while the men are all standing tall in front of the camera. Shaquille O'Neal is standing in the back due to his height, otherwise, I'm sure he would have been up front also.
You may notice that Tyra Banks is edging her way to the front, but she has merely a side pose. I do applaud her for not standing in the back like the other female, even though she is being hugged by Quincy Jones, which may be why she is out front. As a disclaimer, these pictures are only snapshots in time. Other pictures may show these women in a different light. The point of the pictures is to illustrate how confidence can be shown just by observing someone's body language.
Show Your Confidence
Confidence can be displayed in both your professional and personal life. You can show your confidence whether you speak up at meetings at work, while at a dinner or other gathering outside of work. The goal is to show your confidence wherever you are.
Regardless of your personality type, whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or prefer to be in the background, etc. -- You should not hide your confidence. By the same token, do not go overboard in showing your confidence because you could be mistakenly labeled as being arrogant, or a show-off.
Here are just a few of the many specific actions you can take to boost your confidence:
- Own your space at the table -- Put your hands on the table and lean forward. Enjoy the space that is yours with your complete body.
- Stand tall -- front and center. Do not relegate yourself to be on the outside looking in. See yourself as an integral part of the group and remember -- You are just as important as the others.
- Keep your held held high -- You do not look confident if you walk with your head down. Instead you look like you are defeated and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
- Maintain good posture when you are sitting or standing, being sure to keep your back and shoulders straight. In other words, do not slouch.
Be Natural with Your Body Language
If you work too hard to show confidence, you will be looked upon as being fake. There is the adage, to "fake it till you make it," which is all well and good -- just be sure not to go to the extreme to the point you are no longer being yourself. Additionally, when you overly feign confidence, it becomes more of a chore than a natural ability. Practice mannerisms that show you are confident until they appear natural. For example, if you are in the habit of walking around with your head down, you can occasionally look down when you are getting in the habit of walking tall with your head held high. Remember, you are not a robot, programmed to act a certain way to show confidence.
Fake it till you make it.— Robert K. Murton
When at a dinner table with other people, don't arbitrarily place your hands on the table and think that this gesture will make you look more confident. Instead, have a reason to have your hands on the table, such as holding your napkin or even adjusting your plate around slightly. The point here is to be natural when showing confidence by your body language without exaggeration.