12 Ways To Increase Confidence Through Body Language
The act of showing your best body language can help you feel better about yourself and create better relationships
If you wonder if you reflect more confident body language, stop reading for a moment.
Notice how you are sitting or standing. Where are your arms? What are your facial expressions? If someone were to walk in the room right now, what preconceptions might they make about you simply based on your body language?
If you don’t think your body has a language of its own, think again. A large percentage of communication and how people perceive you comes from body language. Our expressions and gestures are key when it comes to our interactions, and developing positive body language skills can help us become better communicators.
A head tilt, subtle eye roll, or a warm smile can help us understand how someone is feeling about us. It can also help our relationships blossom by reassuring the other person that we’re listening intently when we show positive body language ourselves.
Positive body language can be defined as nonverbal communication that conveys enthusiasm, warmth, and interest. Understanding this nonverbal communication can be particularly useful in scenarios where we’re invested in the outcome of the situation, such as a job interview or an important business meeting.
Using it effectively can also help to create a good first impression on dates, whether you’re dipping a toe into the world of dating apps for over 50s, or having some fun with sex apps. You can boost your confidence by making sure that your body language conveys a positive message about yourself.
Why is positive body language important?
When communicating, we often depend on body language cues to gauge how others are reacting to what we’re saying. A lot of research has shown that we make judgments about people based on their nonverbal communication more so than what they’re saying.
We tend to believe the more subtle cues and behaviours rather than what is communicated through language. For example, if you’re looking away when speaking to someone, that can send a strong message, irrespective of what you’re saying. Therefore, portraying more confidence through the use of positive body language can have a very significant effect.
To raise your self-esteem, make your body language count
Even if you don’t feel confident, practising confident body language can increase your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. Below are twelve tips to increase your confidence through body language.
1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
If you’re going to be confident, then you have to stand tall. This means that your body should be perpendicular to the ground, with your shoulders back and chest out. Stand up straight with your head held high. Keep your head up and don’t look down.
This may feel awkward at first, but it will help you appear taller and more confident. You can also practice power poses by sitting up straight in your chair when you’re at work or in class (or sitting on the couch at home).
2. Smile more often
A genuine smile can make you feel happy, confident, and more attractive to others.
Smiling will make it easier to maintain eye contact with the other person and will make them feel more comfortable in your presence. You can also smile at yourself in a mirror before going into a conversation.
3. Make eye contact when you talk to people
Eye contact shows that you are engaged with the other person, which makes you feel more confident about yourself. It also helps you connect with the other person on a deeper level and creates a bond between the two of you.
By maintaining eye contact throughout your conversation, it shows the other person that what they are saying is important to you and/or interesting enough for you to want look directly at them while they are speaking. If your eyes are looking elsewhere while they are talking, this is a clear sign that you are not as interested in what they have to say as you could be.
4. Use open gestures
Open gestures are ones that are larger and more visible (e.g., using big arm movements when a person speaks).
Open hand gestures convey confidence and openness by showing that there is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Exaggerate the size of these gestures and make them as wide as possible; this will help increase their effectiveness.
For example, if you want to say something important in a meeting, don’t keep your arms crossed while doing so; instead, use wide arm movements to emphasize what you are saying and show that you mean business!
5. Use an assertive handshake
When people shake hands with others they send all kinds of signals about themselves – some conscious and some unconscious – such as being friendly, warm, confident, aggressive, etc. The way you shake hands can also be a great ice-breaker and help start a conversation.
An assertive handshake is one that is neither too firm nor too limp, with your palm facing upward. It’s best to use the standard grip (i.e., the one that you learned in elementary school) rather than a half or full-hand shake.
6. Don’t cross your arms
Crossing your arms sends a negative message about you to others; it makes you seem closed off and cold.
Studies have shown that people who cross their arms are perceived as less trustworthy and more hostile by others. This doesn’t mean that you should never cross your arms when standing or sitting; it just means that if you do so, make sure to uncross them quickly so as not to appear closed off for too long of a period of time!
7. Avoid fidgeting
Fidgeting sends signals of nervousness and low self-confidence – which is why it’s not surprising that most people fidget when they are anxious or uncomfortable in social situations.
Fidgeting disrupts the flow of the conversation and makes you look like you have something to hide. If you feel the urge to fidget, try doing so with your hands while keeping your feet still – or vice versa.
8. Take up as much space as possible
Confident people take up a lot of space, they appear powerful and sure of themselves. This is because they are not afraid of taking up social space (i.e., they are comfortable with themselves and their surroundings).
When you take up more space, it also makes others feel more comfortable around you (because it’s easier for them to see that you have nothing to hide). Make sure that your posture is open when doing this so that people can see that there is nothing to be afraid of or ashamed about.
For example, when sitting in a chair, make sure that you sit with your legs apart; when standing, make sure that your arms are out and away from your body; when walking around, make sure that you walk with purpose in a good posture.
9. Use an assertive tone of voice
Your tone of voice can reveal how confident or nervous/anxious you are about what it is that you’re saying — which is why it’s important to use an assertive tone whenever possible.
To do this, speak in a deep voice that is loud enough to be heard by others, but not so loud as to be distracting or abrasive. Also, try not to raise your voice at the end of your sentences when you speak; instead, maintain a more even volume so that you don’t sound like you are asking questions.
10. Ask open-ended questions
When you ask someone a question, make sure that it is open-ended rather than closed-ended.
For example, instead of asking someone “what was your favorite part of the movie?” (which is a closed-ended question), ask them “what was the most memorable part of the movie?” (which is an open-ended question).
The reason why open-ended questions are so effective at making you appear confident and powerful is that they require more thought on behalf of the person who receives them; as such, they make that person feel like they have value and importance (because otherwise, why would someone ask them such a thoughtful question?).
11. Ask people questions about themselves
The reason why asking someone questions about themselves is so powerful is because it makes them feel as though they are the centre of attention (which is a very confident-making feeling).
For example, when you’re talking to someone and they ask you what you do for work, instead of saying “I’m an accountant” or “I’m a writer,” ask them what they do for work. This will make them feel as though you care about their lives and/or careers rather than just your own, which will make them see that you are a confident and interesting person who is worth getting to know better.
12. Be yourself
The most important thing that you can do to appear a confident person and powerful in social situations is to simply be yourself.
When you act like someone else when trying to appear confident, it makes people see that you are putting on an act — which makes them see that there must be something wrong with who you really are (because otherwise, why would someone try so hard to be someone else?).
Instead of pretending to be someone else or doing something differently than normal in an effort to seem confident around others, just be yourself. If you are confident in who you are, then there should be nothing to worry about when it comes to interacting with others.