In the world of body language gestures there exists a hierarchy of power. Those on the lower end of this scale are pariahs to be avoided when trying to show the world your most confident self. However, much like some powerful people, sometimes power gestures can be over bearing or show arrogance. It is important to be aware of this non-verbal power spectrum and use it to your advantage!
Weak Power Gestures (can make us appear insecure):
1. Self Touch – When people are nervous, insecure, anxious, experience negative or painful emotions they often engage in what is called soothing self touch. This is when a person will touch or rub their arm, leg, face, or neck in effort to calm themselves down. Its almost like the adult version of the self-soothing thumb-sucking behavior we see in young children. Avoid this behavior as much as possible.
2. Fidgeting – Crossing and uncrossing one’s legs, tugging at one’s clothing, adjusting our position or posture or other movements made in a restless or repetitious manner tend to send the message that we are nervous or feeling insecure about our surroundings.
3. Hands in Pockets – Even though it may be your natural inclination to put your hands in your pockets while you speak to someone, you can accidentally send them a mixed signal of nervousness or a lack of confidence. Try clasping your hands behind your back in the attention stance instead of digging into those pants or jacket pockets. If you must put your hands in your pockets, try hooking your thumbs on the outside like seemingly confident Daniel Craig, does below.
4. Shoulder Shrug – Showing this gesture while talking to another person could send the signal that you lack confidence in what your speaking about or you are uncertain of the truth or validity of your statement. It is the universal “I don’t know” signal. It is most common to see a slight shoulder shrug where just one side of your shoulder rises up. Try to keep your shoulders level and down, it is a more relaxed look.
|Slight, but enough to send a message.|
STAY TUNED FOR PART 4: STRONG GESTURES