Your body language may shape who you are | Amy Cuddy - Deepstash
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The effects of our body language

When we feel powerful, we make ourselves big; we stretch out; we take up space. We're basically opening up. However, if we feel insecure, we make themselves smaller. Maybe we're hunching, crossing our legs, wrapping our ankles or holding onto our arms.

Non-verbal language governs how other people think and feel about us. We make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language. Those judgments can predict meaningful life outcomes, such as who we hire or promote or who we ask out on a date.


2.59K reads

Natural body language

Natural body language

When people win a physical competition, they naturally put their arms up in the V and their chin slightly lifted. They will do it even if they've never witnessed someone doing it. However, when they feel powerless, they do the opposite. They close up and make themselves small. 

When we come in contact with other people, we complement the other's nonverbals. For example, if someone is powerful with us, we tend to make ourselves smaller. 


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We are influenced by our own nonverbals

We know that nonverbals govern how we think and feel about others. But body language also governs how we feel about ourselves.

For example, we smile when we feel happy. Conversely,  when we're forced to smile, it makes us feel happy. When it comes to power, it also goes both ways. When you feel powerful, you're more likely to open up, but when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to feel powerful. 


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The two-minute power pose

The two-minute power pose

Powerful people tend to be more assertive and confident, more optimistic. They take more risks. 

Studies showed that a two-minute power pose leads to hormonal changes that configure your brain to be either assertive, confident and comfortable, or stress-reactive.

  • People with a high-power pose experienced a 20-percent increase in testosterone and a 25 percent decrease in cortisol, meaning they feel more assertive and less anxious.
  • Those who adopted a two-minute low-power pose had a 10-percent decrease in testosterone and a 15-percent increase in cortisol.


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Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes

Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes

Before you enter the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try a Power Pose. Configure your brain to cope the best in that situation. Get your testosterone up and your cortisol down. 

Leave the situation feeling like you really got to say and show who you are. 


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