When we struggle with dating successfully as adults, oftentimes the problem is is that our self image gets stuck at a much younger age. In my work as a dating coach, I’ve met so many people who still look, feel and behave is if they were still that geeky guy or girl from high school.
They have completely missed out on the fact that they are now really hot, cool and interesting grown ups. Unfortunately it doesn’t really matter if your body has an adult size if you’re moving it as an insecure 14 year old.
Cleaning up your body language is one of the most important, and also most efficient ways to shift how confident, cool and attractive you feel – and look.
There are a few ways that insecure people tend to move their bodies. The body language of insecurity is a very scattered one; there is no sense of peace in the body. This usually includes a number of nervous behaviors that make you appear smaller and younger:
– Problem keeping eye contact and constantly looking around
– Busy hands that are always touching, scratching or fiddling with something
– Nervously drinking from a glass that’s already been emptied
– Constantly shifting they way you sit or stand
– Scratching and/or adjusting hair, clothes, glasses, jewelry etc
– Facial movements or expressions that aren’t really in sync with the situation
If you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself, I’m sure you also know how extremely uncomfortable it can feel to be in a situation where you’re body is doing all of these things. It makes you feel and look nervous, and very self aware, which makes the nervousness increase even more.
However, this is much easier to shift that most people can imagine. To change it you literally have to do nothing. You need to learn how to keep your body still. It might sound easy enough but if fidgeting is your go to coping mechanism when you’re nervous, you probably need to practice it at bit before going on your next date, job interview, bank meeting or other stressful situation.
To help you calm down your body language, here are four specific things (or four flavors of nothing, if you will) to practice in your everyday life to make cool and calm your new normal.
1. Keep your body straight
Nervousness tends to make us want to appear smaller or even invisible and we often do this by collapsing our body parts and literally taking up less space. You fix this by making an effort to create straight lines with your body. Make sure that your knees and feet are pointing straight forward, keep your shoulders back and out to the side and let your arms rest by your sides of your body or in your lap. Keep your head up, look straight ahead and align your face and gaze towards the person you are talking to. If you’re used to making yourself smaller this might feel very uncomfortable at first, but just keep practicing.
2. Relax your muscles
A nervous body is always alert and prepared for danger. But it’s safe for you to relax. Focus on actively releasing tension in the muscles in your arms, legs, buttocks, jaw and even tongue to start a tranquil bio feedback loop to your brain. This will calm down your nerves, thoughts and emotions, and have a spill over effect on the people around you. Meeting a calm you is a much more pleasant (and sexy) experience than a nervous one. Relax your muscles over and over again until your body gets used to it.
3. Breathe slowly
Use your breath to calm down mind and your body language. It’s very hard to have a nervous or stressful body language when you’re breathing pattern is slow. Use this to your advantage but noticing your breathing in everyday situations and adjusting it if necessary. Just by breathing slower and deeper you signal to your body and your brain that everything is ok, which will make you feel and look more cool, calm and confident.
4. Be still
Can you hold a pen without playing with it? Can you drink from a bottle without tinkering with the label on it? Can you sit in a room for ten minutes without looking at your phone? Being in charge of your body, your awareness and your behavior is – and feels – very cool and very sexy. This comes from learning to be still. Basically you want to be inspired by the archetype of a King or Queen (or James Bond and Beyonce if that feels more relatable) and make your body language smooth, calm and deliberate.
A confident person knows where they’re looking, is in control of their movements and takes their time. You can too.By practicing these four very simple and hands on shifts in how you carry yourself, you can regulate how calm, attractive and sensual you feel and how confident and attractive you appear to other people.
To adopt the body language of a really confident, cool and sexy person, all you have to do is less.