I am a people watcher from way back. At the airport I am fascinated by people’s body language, what they wear and how the wear it. How they become so self-absorbed in their computers, or ipads, mostly playing games. So oblivious of what is going on around them. Some look very sad, hunched shoulders, head to the ground. Business men with a crooked tie and top button undone, ruffled hair, looking like they have had a stressful day at the office and can’t wait to get on that plane and have a relaxing whisky. Mother finding her children a pain in the neck because they won’t sit still or making demands that she is not in the mood to tolerate.
The ones I enjoy watching are the one’s that portray confidence. The executive that is neatly dressed, poised and have the look of calm, very aware of his surroundings and always polite, the look of ‘I had a great day’. That woman who is beautifully dressed, taken the time to make herself feel special, displays an air of total confidence and always specific about her needs. She looks to be in a good mood, happy, which may give her a type of beauty that maybe a scowl would not.
This air of confidence does not come naturally to everyone. Like many things in our lives we need to practice to make perfect. We need to train ourselves to put a smile on our face when at times we don’t feel like it.
This is an article that came out this morning on fox which stirred my interest to write this article. 10 Ways to show confidence with body language
These are the suggestions they make to give you the ‘Air of Confidence’
1. Keep you hands out of your pockets - I believe this is good advice, especially when you are doing business face to face. You need your hands out in the open to help express yourself. As a sign of lack of confidence? I am not sure on this one. When I see someone with their hands in their pockets I see them in my mind as being relaxed and casual. This article suggests that hands on hips would be better. Well not in my opinion, I feel hands on hips is like a stand-over attitude.
2. Don’t fidget - ‘Fidgeting is a clear sign of nervousness. A man who can’t keep still, is a man who is worried, tense and certainly not confident. Your hands can be your worst enemies — fight to keep them still and steady’.
This I totally agree with. Fidgeting is definitely a sign of no confidence and can be easily recognized by the observant, especially if you are being interviewed for a job. Don’t jiggle that leg under the table.
3. Keep your eyes forward - ‘Keeping your eyes level might be one of the trickiest ways to show confidence in body language’. When you are having a conversation with someone always look at them, don’t look to the side. It gives the appearance that you are having a conversation with someone behind them or more to the point not concentrating on what they have to say. When you are walking always keep your chin up, don’t look at the ground. When you are looking at the ground you are sending a message that you do not want to communicate. Once again you become oblivious of what is going on around you.
4. Stand up straight with your shoulders back . Wow this reminds me of my Grandfathers words. “Always keep you back straight and you will always be healthy and look good”. My ex-husband was a sloucher, brilliant man but never had that show of confidence because of his hunched shoulders. Stress and personal problems often are the cause of a bad posture.
Look confident, stand straight, pull your shoulders back and an added thing, that they taught me at my gym, squeeze your bum cheeks together (they used to say, pretend you are holding a $100 bill in the crack of your bum). Funny but it works on your posture as well as strengthens your stomach.
5.Take wide steps -‘A confident man will never be described as “scurrying,” “creeping” or “sneaking,” so pay attention to the way you walk. If you want to show confidence with body language you want to take large steps. Wide steps make you seem purposeful and suggest a personal tranquility, which denotes confidence in a man.’
Now this suggestion I had not considered but they are right. If you watch someone who takes short fast steps they are usually looking at the ground and look rather stressful. If you are shuffling then that is not a good look either. So yes I agree with this one, head up and a full stride of confidence.
6. Firm handshakes - Yes, yes, yes, I so agree. There is nothing more off-putting than someone with a jelly handshake. It makes me straight away step back from this person.
This is a good suggestion. If you are a jelly handshaker change it NOW.
‘There are few things worse than reaching out your hand during an introduction and getting a palm full of dead fish. Don’t be that guy. Instead, grip the other person’s hand firmly and confidently. If shaking hands with someone you’ve already met, you might even consider the two-hand grab: placing your free hand on the other person’s elbow adds warmth and enthusiasm to the handshake. Just don’t get carried away. A handshake is not a contest. Don’t try to crush the other person’s hand and don’t hold on too long.’
7.Proper grooming - That first image of you is a lasting one. What I like most is a great smell. Have you not passed a guy and its like ‘wow’ what was that and of course you take that second look. Often I have been cheeky enough to comment on how nice they smell. Women the same, find that right perfume that just suits you.
They way you present yourself is so important.
8. Smile - I love this one. How often on days when you are feeling fabulous and just don’t even realize it is showing on your face and people who you pass smile at you. A natural smile has an effect like no other.
If you are not a smiler then you had better start. Your life will change.
9.Don’t cross your arms when socializing – This in body language is a sign not to come too close or you are putting up a barrier.
Crossing your arms in front of you is a ‘No No’
10. Use contact to show appreciation - Always show appreciation. Always complement on the success of a person or just a pat on the shoulder to say job well done or you tried. The show of confidence to another persons achievement will always be appreciated especially if it is genuine and could make that difference in a working or personal relationship