We always hear “Confidence is key!” throughout our lives; during school choir performance, or when we’re about to go up the stage to collect certificates, or now as an adult – a job interview. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this. I’ve always told everyone to try to break out of their comfort zone and reach out to new people. Being the extrovert that I am, walking up to people and striking a conversation sometimes can be a breeze. However, there are times when the conversation doesn’t go as I planned, so I stand there with an awkward smile, hands crossed and wanting to fade into the background. This begs the question, how are we supposed to be (or at least appear to be) confident when we feel so insecure? The answer is body language.
Albert Mehrabian concluded in his research that communication consists of three separate elements; words of what is actually said, tone of voice on how we say the words and lastly body language. Body language accounts for 55% of the overall message, which is the highest among the three stated. Hence, this form of non-verbal communication should often be used and is important for everyone to know. So, here’s your guide to being confident using the right body language.
Strong eye contact is a great indicator of confidence. It may not be easy and comfortable at first, and you may come across as creepy if you do it for too long. The trick is to look at the person’s nose for two seconds, then to their mouth and their whole face as a whole for two seconds. This shows that you’re confident person without going overboard. Try applying eye contact the next time you speak to someone, especially if it’s a cute guy or girl you’re trying to woo. *winks*
2. Keep Your Chin and Head up
Look up! When a person bows their head down often, they come across as sad or shy. When you look at celebrities, you’ll realise they are always looking ahead, their eyes never linger downwards. So keep your chin and head up to be appear more confident and sure of yourself, even when you’re not. Just imagine a string holding the crown of your head up.
3. Sit up Straight
I always find it so hard because I’ve been a sloucher my whole life, but in order to look confident and feel like it too, I have to just get over it. Besides, slouching is never good for your back and shoulders. It will ruin your posture and cause you bone problems after a long while. By sitting up straight, you are projecting confidence and some form of authority, so people around you will feel you’re attentive and easy to talk to. Roll both shoulders back and avoid looking tense by allowing your upper body muscles to relax while maintaining firmness in your core.
4. Firm Handshakes
The way you shake hands tell a lot about your personality. There’s nothing worse than reaching out your hand during an introduction and getting a palm full of dead fish, – a limp hand that doesn’t even pack a pinch – don’t be that guy. Instead, hold eye contact and grip the other person’s hand firmly. Of course, don’t overdo it to the point where you’re squeezing the life out of their hand lah!
5. Hands Out
Always keep your hands where we can see them. No, I’m not a cop trying to arrest you. Sometimes, we shove our hands into our pockets subconsciously. PSychology explains that we tend to hide our hands when we’re nervous, so keeping your hands out in the open indicates confidence and shows that you really have nothing to hide. As an alternative, try putting your hands on your hips for a change.
Learnt the cues yet? It might seem small and insignificant to you, but body language gives out a huge public perception on how you carry yourself. With a little practice, we all can learn to show confidence through body language so that we always appear confident, capable and ready. Who knows, you might be able to land the perfect job or perfect life partner. Think about it!