The body language of confidence

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Reading body language: in state of confidence

The state of confidence is one of the easiest states to recognize in body language. The following body language gestures shows that the person feels self confident:

  • Hands behind the back: When you see someone standing with his hands behind his back, as shown in the picture below, then know that he is probably feeling confident. He may be feeling confident because he is a confident person or because he believes he’s on top of matters in a current situation. Maybe the people he’s talking with are talking about a topic he’s well-familiar with. For example if people started talking about unemployment then someone took that body language gesture then make sure that he has a good job
  • Hands in front of stomach: There is another gesture that you can use to identity a confident person which is clasping the hands in front of the stomach (not shown in pictures). This one is more popular and is usually seen on television when a president,a minister or a government official is standing. (You will rarely see a president or a minister crossing his arms on television).
  • Finger tips touching : A third gesture that shows confidence is when finger tips touch each other (see the picture below). A person will make this gesture when he feels confident about the topic he is talking about or when he believes he knows much about the topic he is listening to
  • Superiority position: The third picture shows the superiority position; the person takes this posture when he feels superior or overconfident. In the superiority position the person places his hands behind his head while putting one leg above the other. That's why its called the state of over confidence or superiority. For example, when someone finishes a hard task or completes an exam quickly you may find him taking the superiority posture..
  • The half-superiority position: In some cases where a person feels confident but not extremely superior he might only do half of the superiority position. In such a case the person will place one leg over the other in such a case that the higher leg will be parallel to the floor. Note that this gesture can be replaced by putting one leg over the other normally without making one leg horizontal due to cultural issues. A woman for example might take the later position instead of the first because it might be inappropriate for her to sit like that in some places.

More body language confidence gestures

  • Upright posture: A confident person stands upright
  • Both legs on the floor: He stands with both his legs firmly planted on the ground and rarely crosses them.
  • Walking with wide steps: He walks with wide steps because he is not afraid to encounter new situations. This may sound far from logic but its how the subconscious mind thinks.
  • Doesn't panic: He doesn't panic when he makes mistakes because he knows that making mistakes is a normal part of the human nature
  • No fidgeting: A confident person will hardly fidget or make clumsy moves. When i talked about the body language of anxiety i said that a person who feels anxious or unsure will usually fidget, look around a lot and move more often. A confident person is usually relaxed and not inhibited and as a result he is usually calmer than the average person
  • Fewer speech mistakes: The spoken words are considered a part of body language. When a person feels anxious or afraid a part of his brain's resources will be busy thinking about those emotions and so he won't have a 100% clear mind that allows him to construct language properly. This is why speech mistakes might show that a person lacks confidence.
  • Proper eye contact: When i talked about eye contact in body language i said that a person should maintain eye contact most of the time in order to be considered confident. People who don't feel that confident might fail to maintain proper eye contact
  • No closed gestures: A confident person will generally have open gestures. Folding the arms and crossing the legs are considered closed gestures. And while a person can fold his arms when he feels offended still in many cases folding the arms can be a sign of discomfort. See Folding the arms in body language
  • Not looking at others before actions: When a person lacks confidence he will usually look towards others before taking actions. It's as if this person is trying to take a silent permission from others to do whatever he wants to do. This becomes very evident in public places where a person knows no one around him. A confident person on the other hand does what he wants without waiting for any kind of approval

Body language of Confidence and attractiveness

Your confident body language postures can make you appear more attractive. Almost 93% of the impression people form of you is based on your body language. If you managed to use proper body language then you will alter the impression people form of you to a great extent.

In my book, How to make someone fall in love with you I explained how slight changes, such as keeping a straight back, can make you more attractive and so increase the chance of making people fall in love with you.

2knowmyself is, without doubt, the only complete guide to body language information on the entire internet. If you dare challenge this statement, then check the 2knowmyself’s body language section and you will know what I am talking about.

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