by Simon Taylor
I don’t think it will surprise you too much to state that a gentleman should be erect in public (yes, have a giggle and let’s move on). Yet a straight back, pushed out chest and set-back shoulders do more good than you may know. Forget your slouchy James Dean look because unless you want to be an erratic artist, tall and proud is the way to walk.
Let’s get the common knowledge out of the way. Confident people tend to have greater influence on others and a stronger presence in social settings. They are listened-to and agreed-with more than individuals with low self esteem. One of the key indicators of confidence is how one holds their body. Posture is your first impression and shapes how people perceive what you wear, what you say and what you do. Sure, you could be sporting a sleek Armani jacket, but if you slouch like a high-school punk while wearing it you make it much harder to impress.
The above shouldn’t be particularly enlightening to you, I hope, but here’s the cool bit: not only does posture affect how you are perceived by others but also how you perceive yourself. Psychological studies have shown that when adopting a more confident posture people tend to be more secure and committed in their own decisions. There is a feedback going on between your body and mind that allows you to enhance your self-esteem purely by generating good posture.
Consider the implications. You can get that edgier haircut or wear a slightly more flamboyant shirt as long as you feel comfortable doing so. Actively practicing better posture will increase you capacity to be confident in however you present yourself. Your decisions will become more resolute.
Take a politician’s speech for instance. Many are trained to use their body language to convey authority and conviction while speaking. In the process of doing so, they are actually perpetuating their personal conviction in what they say. This builds their confidence in subsequent actions related to that speech and allows them to feel more secure in their beliefs.
Applying this in your own way can enhance even the little moments in your social interactions. By always standing when saying ‘pleased to meet you’ or ‘it was nice spending time with you’, you convey a greater sense of being genuine. In addition your posture will modulate how sure you feel about your statements. It gives you a stronger grasp on your attitudes and opinions, allowing you to be more decisive in future behaviour.
It may take some time to get into good postural habits. To begin with you are likely to be a bit over conscious about it. Yet, erect stature will eventually become the most comfortable, and by far the most beneficial, in being a self-perpetuating confident man.