“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I hate getting bad news, don’t you? You work so hard day in day out and some jerk comes along and ruins your day with a blast of his inconsiderate tongue. Maybe you’ve been demoted or worse you got your marching orders from a job that you love.
That’s rough for sure. But what’s important here is how you handle this let down. Are you confident enough to handle yourself with grace and come out on top?
Confident people deal with bad news in a very constructive way. Lets take a look at what you can do to confidently handle this sort of bad news.
1. Stand Up For Yourself
Don’t let anyone accuse you of something you didn’t do. Voice your opinion and do it with certainty.
Confident people aren’t afraid to defend themselves if they are accused in the wrong. They will find a way to address each situation in a a diplomatic way ensuring all parties involved are clear about their point of view.Advertising
Confident people never hide away in a corner and let a situation spiral out of their control. That said people who are confident are not afraid to be wrong and don’t mind admitting as much if this is the case.
2. Embrace Every Opportunity
Look for the opportunity, the diamond in the rough. It’s there if you look. If you’ve lost your job, maybe this is an opportunity to set up your own business.
Those who are sure of themselves will see opportunities arise from bad situations. They don’t let these opportunities pass them by. Instead they find small accomplishments within this opportunity and their confidence grows with each small step.
Never deterred, the confident person grabs onto life in a very powerful and impressive way and never looks back.
3. Take Action
Make that call, get researching those agencies. Buy a new diary and start making to-do lists. You are the creator of your own destiny now.
Have you every seen someone struggle to take action? They procrastinate and avoid. They hesitate and fumble. Anything to avoid taking action. This is down to a lack of confidence. The opposite is true of the confident person. They will embrace every opportunity with great gusto. They take control, research, plan, organize and take action.Advertising
They don’t fear the consequence of their actions as they are confident in their ability to do well. More importantly they’re confident in their ability to pick up the pieces should they not do well.
4. Remain Optimistic
Make a list of all the positives that have come out of this situation and write down how grateful you are for them. Do this every day.
In the face of bad news many people go through a period of self-pity. Unlike the average Joe, Mr.Confident will always feel positive about his situation no matter how terrible it may seem to others.
These kind of people will always see the silver lining and the glass will always be half full.
5. Stay Calm and Composed
Make some time for yourself when you can meditate, walk in nature or listen to inspiring music. This is a time for gentle reflection.
The confident person is not only very relaxed about their present problem whatever that may be, but they are also unmoved by the the outcome.Advertising
Under those conditions they are able to remain calm and composed – not worrying about the present or the future. In fact they don’t bother with worrying at all.
6. Treat Feedback Objectively
Thank all the people who have been supportive to you in this difficult time and simply ignore the rest.
The person who is sure of themselves doesn’t get all in a tizzy over someone else’s negative appraisal of them. If someone is justified in making those comments the confident person will admit the error of their ways – apologize even. But they will not entertain unwarranted accusations or comments.
For the confident person, happiness comes from themselves. They don’t need the approval of others to be content and productive. Instead they function just fine by reassuring themselves.
7. Remain Focused on What’s Important
Set one medium term goal and a few short term goals. Tick each one off as you achieve them – your confidence will grow each time.
Confident people have a clear vision of what’s possible and they know that this is within their reach. They don’t allow the opinions of others to taint their progress as they work towards their goal.Advertising
As a rule they keep their eye on each small victory they achieve, celebrating as they go. Each step is a step closer to their goal.
8. Let Go of Bad Feelings
Sit quietly for a few minutes and think of those who have wronged you. Make a resolution to forgive them and then focus on all of the good things that have come out of their actions.
The truly confident know that the only way that they can move forward productively is to let go of all ill feelings towards those who may have wronged them.
This takes strength of character and a willingness to forgive. This is also the healthiest way to handle receiving bad news of any kind. Let it go, so that you can grow.
Developing confidence is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but confidence is definitely not something that is set in stone.
Our life experiences since childhood and beyond shape and mould our levels of confidence to what they are today.
Volunteering for new experiences will help our confidence to grow no matter what age we are. The more exposure we get the more confident we will become.
Believe in yourself that you can do this and you’ll get off to a flying start.
Last Updated on January 15, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension. 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.
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? 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.
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.
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:
“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.
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.
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
- Increasing Confidence with Body Language
- 8 Fatal Body Language Mistakes To Avoid During Presentations
- Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips
Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com
|||^||Berkeley News: The 16 facial expressions most common to emotional situations worldwide|
|||^||Science Daily: Teeth grinding and facial pain increase due to coronavirus stress and anxiety|
|||^||National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint & Muscle Disorders|
|||^||Michigan Medicine: Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation|
|||^||Spectra Magazine: Oculesics: Science Speaks Where Words Do Not|
|||^||NCBI: Attention to Eye Contact in the West and East: Autonomic Responses and Evaluative Ratings|
|||^||ResearchGate: An Anthropology of the Handshake|
|||^||Sage Journals: Mapping the Range of Information Contained in the Iconic Hand Gestures that Accompany Spontaneous Speech|
|||^||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Hand Matters: Left-Hand Gestures Enhance Metaphor Explanation|