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Bold And Bossy? 5 Reasons Why I’m Not An Apologetic Woman

Bold And Bossy? 5 Reasons Why I’m Not An Apologetic Woman

I grow weary of being told how a lady should conduct herself. When I should speak, how I should dress, what is usually reserved for men, and why it’s not okay to be bold. I like to speak my mind and not be penalized for having an original thought. I like to engage in verbal debates without fear of repelling a potential suitor by my candor. I believe I shouldn’t be made to feel my fierce boldness is anything less than quick-witted.

Sorry, not sorry.

1. I Go After What I Want

Too often, women who go after what they want are classified as being overly ambitious or too aggressive. Commonly accepted qualities usually associated with men.For a woman to be a go-getter is suggesting, she cares only about her acquired success while having little to no concern for others. Women are supposed to be nurturers and caregivers, not hungry for fulfillment. Right!? This couldn’t be further from the truth.

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I go after what I want because I know what I deserve, I expect more out of myself, and I acquire more to have more to give.

2. I Get Stuff Done

I’m not the girl who waits to be invited to the table. While you’re wondering if you should politely ask for the opportunity, I’ve already seated myself and fixed myself a plate. I enjoy checking things off my list and seeing the fruits of my labor. I also believe I can be an example for young girls to step up to the plate.

Not because of being a girl and having to prove your worth, but because you know you can get the job done better than anyone else.

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3. I Set Standards

I never understood why a decisive woman was always considered a difficult woman. If I know being cooped up in a car for more than 8hrs. to travel anywhere, will cause me to be irritable. Why would I agree to your road trip? I’ll fly. If I were invited to a BBQ that doesn’t fit my dietary lifestyle, why would I not pack my own food in my purse? (Yes, I’m that girl.) If talking only to men who match the same drive as mine, makes me picky, I will wear that badge with honor.

I work hard to enjoy my way of life and I have grown to learn about my likes & dislikes. To bend at the will of anything thrown my way and pressured to happily accept, negates all the effort and energy spent cultivating a woman who respects herself and her time.

4. I Have My Own Thoughts

I will not agree to the common consensus because everyone thinks it sounds logical. I want to explore all angles, come to a sound reasoning based off critical thought and discussion. Sometimes this means I will not agree with the most popular opinion and it definitely means I won’t win every battle.

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What I do know is open dialogue gives a voice to the often unheard, creates a space for enlightened conversations, and helps everyone in the room grow.

5. I Have Attitude

If I’m talking about something really important, there is usually passion in my delivery. This is often confused with, an attitude. I believe firmly in my statements, thoughts and opinions.This is what sets me apart. It represents what I’ve gone through, and made it out alive. It reveals the fight and emotion in me. It shows I stand for something and I hold firm to my truth.

It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the fire burning bright in me.

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I speak my mind every chance I get because I once, allowed myself to be a doormat. Because I didn’t like how that felt. Because I promised myself I would never feel that way again. Because I keep my promises…and you will always know my true thoughts on a subject.

Because this allows you to learn more beautiful parts of me, and gives me the room to be bolder.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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