How do you react when you are outside of your comfort zone? Are you a natural at mingling and an ace at taking the stage? Or do you cringe just thinking about the prospect?
Whether you’re a social butterfly or have a proclivity toward being shy, social psychologist Amy Cuddy claims you can influence how people perceive you—confidence levels, leadership skills, friendliness, and competence based solely on your body language.
Here, a few interesting takeaways from Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk:
1. Others judge us based on our body language. Closed and withdrawn positions are often associated with inferiority or passivity, while triumphant, confident poses are linked with power.
2. How we see ourselves can be influenced by our own body language.
3. Pretending to feel certain emotions by posturing (forcing a smile or placing hands confidently on the hips) can lead us to actually feel said emotions.
4. Adopting powerful body language can change us on a physiological level (triggering testosterone and cortisol levels).
5. Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. Cuddy suggests holding a strong, dominant posture for two minutes before heading into a potentially stressful situation, like a job interview.
To view Cuddy’s presentation in full, click here.