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Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

Are You A Control Freak? Use It To Your Advantage

There are many people who are considered as the controlling type. Everybody has met someone like this at some point in their life – Type A, OCD people or control freaks. On the other hand, there is a completely opposite group of people who just couldn’t care less about things. These labels usually have a negative connotation, as nobody likes being controlled or manipulated by someone else. However, being a control freak doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a bad person.

Think about it, there are many pleasant people out there, but does that make them good by default? Maybe, and maybe not… it depends. Every kind of personality has good and bad sides. It is important to know yourself and work on your bad sides, or to try and use the things which are “negative” to your advantage. Being controlling is undesirable in certain situations, but there are times when it may be mandatory. If you are a control freak, then you’ve come to the right place because today, we will talk about how you can use your personality to your advantage, both personally and professionally.

Use your readiness and creativity

Most control freaks think about everything. We are not just controlling about other people, but about ourselves as well. This is why we are always ready for the things that await us; prepared for all obstacles. Not only that we think about things that await us, but we take even further steps.

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Things like designing situations that might develop, thinking about them, planning your moves and taking all the necessary things in account are not uncommon to people who want to be in control. This quality of yours can give you a key advantage in your career, enabling you to prepare well for job interviews, give creative suggestions at work and never disappoint your boss by breaking deadlines.

Take control of your environment

You don’t enjoy messiness! Period. This is a valuable trait you should definitively look to nourish even further. Nobody loves messy people. Its OK while you are teenager, but as you get older, people will think you are an immature kid. When I was in my early 20s, I used to boss people around, telling them how they are messy and stuff, but on the other hand, I didn’t take care of my own living environment.

Not because I was too lazy to do it, but just because I liked to spend most of my time controlling everyone else, rather than myself. That’s why people despised me. Take that inner voice that demands perfection and use it on yourself to make your living or working space sparkle. However, you need to make sure that you are being smart and efficient about organizing your environment, so that you don’t spend a lot of time on making your office just right, instead of actually doing your job.

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Get the job done

As a control freak you don’t shy away from working hard. This is something you should look to take advantage of, as people are getting lazier and lazier. I personally used this excessive energy to progress in my career and work hard towards brand new promotions and better job positions. Employers love hard workers, and my devotion gave me a key advantage in the workplace, as most of my employers respected me for my hard work; and they rewarded me as well.

Let your tidiness and punctuality shine

Nobody schedules time better than control freaks, and nobody has a tidier office and home. Punctuality and tidiness will earn you quite a few bonus points with your employers and business associates, so feel free to let your controlling inner self shine. The compulsion to have everything just perfect will allow you to spend some time on tidying up, e.g. performing regular rug cleaning and maintenance and ironing your clothes every morning, and ensure that both you and your immediate surroundings look presentable.

Also, very few people are going to be at their desk exactly on time every single day, turning in projects ahead of schedule or paying incredible attention to detail, and this gives you an edge over the people you are competing against in the business world.

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Use your toughness to get what you want

I am a tough person by nature, and people know this. Why? Simply because I don’t let anything slide, I like to cover every case scenario and consider all possible roads ahead. This is something that can be annoying to others, since many people don’t think that much when arguing with someone, or they are influenced by emotion. Being assertive and confident can do you lot of good, both in your career and personal life, as you will be able to negotiate what you want and prove your dominance to others. It may sound harsh, but this is how life works. It’s every man for himself.

Make decisions that nobody else will

Focus and decisiveness is something all of “us” have and this helps us get to the bottom line of every issue. This is something that presents a problem to other people and that’s why they can’t make hard decisions that concern their life or career. Constantly staying in your comfort zone and not having the courage to do what has to be done never got anybody anywhere. Luckily, you have the potential to overcome these issues easily.

Your desire for leadership will give you progress

Why do people call us control freaks? Simply because we want to tell everybody what to do. Luckily, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as there is a constant need for quality leaders. For example, if you are planning on starting a business of your own, your desire to organize things the way you see them can be very useful. A business owner needs to be a leader who can quickly organize people and tell them what their next steps are. Furthermore, employees usually have greater respect if their superior is a confident business leader.

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These are the things you should look to use to your advantage, but be careful how you use them. There is a right place and a right time for each of them, and you should learn what they are in order to use them positively.

Featured photo credit: ARTZ5143 SCM HANDS MASTER/Juan Carlos Pachón via flickr.com

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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