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To Improve People’s First Impression of You, Work on Your Pose First

To Improve People’s First Impression of You, Work on Your Pose First

Whether we like it or not, first impressions matter. We all make quick assumptions about people from the first few seconds of an interaction –
sometimes without even realising what we’ve judged them on.

Our words are fairly easy to control so that we come across friendly, approachable and relatable. However, our body language can be something we’re very unaware of and often lets us down. It can be so subconscious that even though we feel we’re coming across authentically and enthusiastically, it doesn’t appear so to the person we’re conversing with.

What Do People Subconsciously Look For in an Initial Interaction?

It’s such a natural process that we don’t really think about what we’re looking for in a new acquaintance. But the two main questions that cross our minds are: is this person trustworthy? and can I respect you?

Whether the situation is meeting a new potential friend, getting up on stage and making a speech, or a job interview, as humans, we make an initial judgement of that person based on these two criteria and a lot of it is based on how our body language gives us away.

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How we feel on the inside is portrayed externally and often if we’re nervous, apprehensive or feeling insecure for any reason, we tend to contract or collapse our body. This is picked up on by others as us having a lack of confidence and being less trustworthy.

Power Posing: The Key to Portraying Confidence and Trustworthiness

When we feel powerful we naturally expand our bodies. Think of how your body language is when you win a race – you would most likely throw your hands in the air. Superheroes adopt a ‘power pose’ with hands on their hips and legs apart – the epitome of confidence and power.

Amy Cuddy has looked into a plethora of research [1] into how power posing can increase our confidence in nerve-wracking and stressful situations. She found that the way we use our bodies can have a huge psychological affect on our confidence. By knowing this, we can help train our bodies and minds to help us appear more confident.

Although expanded, open body language is recommended when making a good first impression, this doesn’t mean power posing during an interaction. Instead it’s about spending a few minutes in front of a mirror beforehand practicing your superhero stance and expanding your body. This has proven to increase testosterone and therefore increase the feelings of power and confidence.

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So it’s not about faking it until you make it. By practicing these poses you are psychologically changing your feelings and mindset in order to believe in yourself more.

The Best Power Poses to Embrace for Confidence

So you know you tend to feel nervous when talking to a particular person or you’re about to enter a job interview. What are the best poses to adopt before you enter into the interaction?

The Hands on Hips Pose

    This is one of the best poses you can do to make you feel powerful. Standing with your hands on your hips with your legs apart can instantly make you feel in control. Doing this for a couple of minutes either in front of the mirror or in the bathroom before an interview can help you get into the mindset of confidence and realising your capabilities.

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    The Strong Arms Pose

      This is a pose that psychologically invokes strength and power. If we enter into an interaction feeling strong we can get rid of any insecurities and feelings of powerlessness. It strengthens the belief in ourselves and this will come across to the other person as confidence.

      The Winner Pose

        Feeling like we’re winning is one of the best feelings we can have. Imagine a time when you’ve achieved something big. By adopting this pose, our minds can take us back to these positive emotions. If we feel like we’re winning before we even enter into a conversation with someone, you have already set the tone and often the positive outcome that comes with it.

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        The Legs Up, Arms Open Pose

          This pose may look laid-back and relaxed but don’t underestimate the power in this. It allows the mind to believe ‘you’ve got this’ which is a way of increasing the power and confidence within you. Opening your body language also trains and reminds the body to continue this throughout the interactions you have.

          Most of how we come across to others is down to our mindset and beliefs. The way we pose our bodies can go leaps and bounds towards changing negative beliefs and thoughts about ourselves and raise our confidence and optimism. In turn, the people we interact with will consciously or even subconsciously pick up on this. Give it a go and see for yourself!

          Reference

          More by this author

          Jenny Marchal

          Freelance Writer

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          Last Updated on April 1, 2019

          How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

          How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

          When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

          But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

          It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

          Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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          Video Summary

          Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

          Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

          In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

          No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

          When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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          You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

          Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

          It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

          So what can we do?

          First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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          To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

          It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

          Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

          Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

          What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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          But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

          Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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