So you get invited to a party, a social event, a workshop, or some kind of situation where there are a lot of people. Sometimes you may not know anyone or you do but you’re still uncomfortable. I want to teach you how to overcome that fear and walk into the room with an influence like no other. Let’s get started.
THE SCIENCE TO CONFIDENCE:
When we’re uncomfortable we tend to try and soothe ourselves whether we’re aware of it or not. It could be something as small and simple as a self-soothing gesture; such as reaching across your body and rubbing your arm. It could be a closed off distraction such as taking out our phone and looking through notifications, or even crossing our arms. Here’s the thing, if you feel uncomfortable then you look and act uncomfortable. So how do we overcome this? We can’t force ourselves to all of a sudden act comfortable, right? Wrong. There are some steps you can do to force down those nerves.
Before attending a social event, take a few minutes to get yourself pumped up. No, really. There’s a science to it. Go to a private place and stretch your hands high up in the air, and spread your feet wide apart so that your body is almost in the shape of a star. This is called a power pose. A study done by Professor Amy Cudy of Harvard University, found that when we go into a power pose it increases our testosterone (our confident, we can do this hormone) and decreases our cortisol (our stress hormone). Studies show that doing this before going into a situation will cause us to feel more competent and confident.
After taking the time to prepare yourself with a power pose, it’s time to walk into the event. When you walk in and throughout the event, remind yourself not to close up and go into a low power pose. This is when we make ourselves small. When we feel small we look small, you may tend to cross your arms and let your shoulders fall in on themselves. Stay in a confident posture with your feet slightly apart, arms down, standing tall. This is called your launch stance. You already look more approachable just by keeping your arms down than if you cross them. Don’t forget to smile! Our human nature is to mirror the expressions we see, in psychology this is called mirroring. If you are greeted with a smile you are more likely to smile back. This also makes you more approachable and thus all together, this increases your influence. Here are two pictures, the first one shows a low power pose with the arms crossed, shoulders hunched, and no smile. The second shows a confident stance, arms relaxed by the sides, and a smile. Which one looks more inviting, approachable, and competent?
Low power pose
The picture of the launch stance has more influence than the self-soothing gestures of the lower pose.
SUPER TIP: The smaller you make your body look, the less confident you appear.
It will be easier to do this when you pre-power posed because that testosterone is still pumping through you and giving you that boost you need to face any situation; when you feel confident you will look confident. When you approach a group remember to keep that open, confident body language. Lean in when a topic of conversation interests you, and use moderate hand movement to emphasize your points. You will look more engaging and people will tend to be drawn to you more.
Let me know how it goes at your next social interaction! Tweet me @ExpressionsSpk or share your own story on the facebook page: Facebook.com/ExpressionsSpk And comment below!
Body Language Consultant
Are Emotions As Contagious As The Common Cold? [VIDEO]. (2015, January 21). Retrieved December 30, 2015, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/monkey-see-monkey-do-emotions-are-contagious-because-mirror-neurons-brain-318692
Cuddy, A., Wilmuth, C., & Carney, D. (2012, August 31). The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High Stakes Social Evaluation. Retrieved December 30, 2015, from https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/9547823/13-027.pdf?sequence=1