Social scientists have studied our non-verbal body language and how it communicates our interactions between us. What does our body language say to others?
When we think of our non-verbals, we think about how we judge others and how they judge us. We influence others as well as influencing ourselves through our thoughts, feelings, and physiology, our non-verbal communication.
What non-verbals are we referring to?
Non-verbal expressions of power and of dominance. What really are these types of non-verbal power and dominance?
“You expand yourself” you make yourself bigger by stretching yourself out to take up more space than you need. You basically open up to your surroundings.
All animals and humans do this.
We express our power if only in the moment:
Or if we have Power chronically. These expressions are a universal sense of pride. When an athlete crosses the finish line, they almost always raise their arms up in a “V” formation with their head tilted back and chin raised skyward. This feeling of power and victory is all demonstrated thought this non-verbal action.
When we feel powerless, we do the exact opposite. We clam up, we hunch our shoulders and shrink up our space. We close up and wrap ourselves up into a much smaller space.
As humans go, we tend to compliment the other person’s power level. If we are with a person that is exuding a high level of power, we automatically become a low level power person.
Let’s take for example students who are the “alpha” types. They come into the classroom and spread themselves out, books and papers all around them. When they are going to answer a question, their hands are straight up, high in the air, waiting to be called on.
The more submissive student will come into the classroom and sit only in the space provided, in their seat, keeping their books and papers contained right in front of them. These students will raise barely raise their hands when answering a question.
Which student do you think exudes that confidence and power from their non-verbal actions?
Furthermore, let’s look at the male/female relationships. There is a direct relationship between men and women and how their non-verbal power dominance is shown. Women tend not to show their power through their posture or presence in a room as much as a man does. A man tends to enter the room, shoulders back, head held high with a power stance. A woman tends to enter the room, scan to see who the power figures are and if she is able to compliment the power in the room or if she will sit back and be a part of the room. Now we all know that these aew sweeping generalities. This can flip flop at any moment in time. How often do you see a man eek into a room and sit in the corner hoping that no one notices or in the hopes that no one will bother him? We have also often seen a woman walk in a room and from the moment she enters, takes command of the environment with her stature, demeanor and dress. A woman in a nice dress and heels holds that posture and power confidence that turns heads.
Could one of you fake the power dominance until you make it? Have you ever heard the phrase “Fake it til you Make it”? YES, of course we can!! You can pretend to feel more powerful, but how?
Your body CAN change your mind. Higher testosterone, which is a dominance hormone will give you that rush that you CAN conquer whatever it is you are setting out to portray. Yous cortisol lowers which is the stress hormone, allowing you to show that level of confidence that gives you the Power Dominance presence.
Let’s evaluate these…..if you stand with your hand on your hips for 2 minutes a day looking at yourself in the mirror you will see your posture and confidence changing. You will see yourselves much more powerful….as powerful as Wonder Woman and Superman. The answer YES!
Another example is by sitting in a chair with your hands behind your head and your feet up on the desk. Here you are showing a cool confidence. Often you see a high powered exec assuming this position, they are confident yet relaxed. Even the President of the United States takes on this persona:
We also see in this picture and other depiction of confidence. When you are talking to someone sitting behind the desk and you lean forward with your hands on the desk you are showing that you are confident in yourself and are going to take on whatever challenge the person behind the desk is ready to throw your way. Yes Mr. President, I am challenging you on your policy and this is why!
How powerful do you feel????? Take this challenge for one week, 2 minutes everyday, stand in front of a mirror with your hands on your hips. Notice how your mood and posture changes. Minor adjustments like this changes your hormone levels as discussed and in turn your retraining your brain to either be Assertive, Confident and Comfortable -OR- to be Stressed, Diminished or Powerless.
You choose…..what is your body language or non-verbal cues going to tell everyone about you today? I know that I am going to stand a little taller, smile a little more and let everyone know that “I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle”!
As always…..SHINE ON!!
DTM & JTW