These 12 little-known body language tricks will instantly make you look more self-assured

by Yen Tran | March 24, 2024, 4:24 pm

We all strive to be our best selves, but sometimes appearing self-assured is more challenging than we’d like to admit.

You might walk into a room full of strangers and struggle to appear poised, or wonder if the impression you’re giving off is as confident as you want it to be.

How do you know if you’re projecting self-assuredness, or just a facade of uneasy bravado?

After extensive research into body language and personal confidence, I’ve put together a list of 12 little-known tricks that could help you instantly appear more self-assured.

If these resonate with you, it might be time to incorporate them into your daily interactions.

1) Master the art of eye contact

Eye contact is one of the most crucial aspects of non-verbal communication.

It can be a clear indicator of your confidence and self-assurance.

Now, I’m not suggesting you get into a staring contest with everyone you meet. That would be awkward, not to mention creepy!

Instead, try to maintain a steady, gentle gaze.

This shows that you’re comfortable in your skin and ready to interact with others on an equal footing. But remember, it should feel natural, not forced.

When someone is speaking, make it a point to hold their gaze around 60-70% of the time.

This shows you’re actively listening and engaged in conversation.

However, when you’re the one talking, it’s okay to look away now and then. This makes the interaction feel more relaxed and conversational.

It might seem like a small thing, but mastering the art of eye contact can totally transform the way people perceive you!

2) Stand tall and own your space

Have you noticed how high-achievers often seem to command the room without uttering a single word? That’s because they understand the power of posture.

When I say “stand tall,” I don’t mean you need to puff out your chest like a superhero.

Rather, it’s about owning your space and carrying yourself with dignity. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and head held high.

Standing tall shows that you’re comfortable in your skin and ready to take on any challenges that come your way.

It’s a clear sign of confidence and self-assuredness that people will pick up on, consciously or not.

So the next time you walk into a room, remember to stand tall and own your space. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make!

3) Embrace open body language

A while back, I attended a workshop on communication skills. As a part of an exercise, the instructor had us pair up and engage in a conversation – one maintaining closed body language and the other, open.

I was the one adopting closed body language. I crossed my arms, leaned back and kept my gaze low. My partner said she felt like I was uninterested and aloof, even though our conversation was about my favorite movie.

When we switched roles, it was my turn to adopt open body language. I uncrossed my arms, leaned in slightly, and maintained eye contact. Her perception of me changed immediately.

She said I seemed more enthusiastic, approachable, even though our topic was as mundane as the weather.

That day was a huge eye-opener for me. It showed me how powerful open body language can be in conveying self-assuredness and making people feel comfortable around you. 

4) Use your hands when you talk

You might be surprised to learn just how much your hands can add to your conversation. Gestures can be a powerful tool in conveying self-assuredness.

When I’m talking, I make a conscious effort to use my hands to emphasize points and express enthusiasm.

It’s not about wild gesticulation, but rather about complementing your words with meaningful movements.

People who use their hands when they talk come across as passionate, engaged, and confident.

It shows you’re comfortable expressing your thoughts and ideas.

Plus, it can help you articulate your thoughts more clearly and keep your audience engaged.

5) Smile genuinely

Smiling – it’s the universal sign of friendliness and warmth. And when it’s genuine, it can also be a powerful indicator of self-assurance.

When I’m interacting with people, I make a conscious effort to smile genuinely.

It’s not about plastering a wide grin on your face at all times. It’s about allowing yourself to express joy and positivity through a natural smile.

A genuine smile can put others at ease, making you seem more approachable and confident. It also helps to build rapport and foster positive connections with those around you.

Remember, people are drawn to positivity and warmth. So let your confidence shine through your smile!

6) Give a firm handshake

The handshake – it’s probably one of the first things you learned about professional etiquette.

But did you know that it can also be a strong indicator of your self-assurance?

When I meet someone for the first time, I make sure to give a firm, confident handshake.

It’s not about trying to crush the other person’s hand, but about conveying strength and assurance through a simple physical interaction.

A firm handshake shows that you’re confident and assertive, qualities that are highly valued in professional and social settings alike.

Next time when you’re introduced to someone, remember to give a firm handshake.

It could be your first step towards making a lasting impression!

7) Show empathy through mirroring

Empathy – it’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. And in the realm of body language, it can be expressed through mirroring.

Mirroring is the subtle mimicking of the other person’s body language. It shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and trying to understand their point of view.

When people feel understood, they tend to feel more comfortable and open. Mirroring their actions subtly communicates that you’re on the same wavelength.

Try subtly mirroring the person you’re talking to – for example, if they lean in slightly while talking, do the same.

It’s a gentle way of showing empathy and understanding, which can bolster your image as a confident, caring individual.

8) Control your nervous ticks

Let’s face it, we all have those little habits or ticks we resort to when we’re nervous. Maybe it’s tapping your foot, fiddling with your jewelry, or biting your lip.

The truth is, these nervous ticks can give away our inner insecurity. And while it’s completely human to have them, it’s also important to be aware of them and try to keep them in check.

When I catch myself resorting to my nervous habits, I take a deep breath and remind myself to relax.

It’s about regaining control and not letting my nerves dictate my body language.

Remember, everyone gets nervous. But controlling those little ticks can help maintain an image of self-assuredness, even when you’re feeling a bit unsure on the inside.

9) Keep your movements smooth and deliberate

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to move with a certain grace and ease? That’s because they understand the power of smooth, deliberate movements.

Rushed or jerky movements can signal nervousness and lack of control.

On the other hand, moving deliberately suggests that you’re calm, in control, and confident in your actions.

Whether you’re walking into a room or just reaching for your coffee cup, try to keep your movements smooth and measured.

It’s a subtle way to convey self-assuredness, and it can make a big difference in the way people perceive you.

10) Respect personal space

Recognizing and respecting personal boundaries is a key element of confident body language. It shows that you’re considerate and aware of those around you.

When interacting with others, I make sure to maintain a comfortable distance.

This isn’t about putting up barriers, but about ensuring that no one feels their personal space is being invaded.

Respecting personal space can enhance your image as a confident, respectful individual who values the comfort of others.

11) Learn to pause

Silence can be powerful. It gives you time to gather your thoughts, adds weight to your words and shows that you’re comfortable with not always filling the air with chatter.

When I’m speaking, I make sure to pause periodically. This not only allows me to organize my thoughts but also gives the listener time to absorb what I’ve said.

Learning to pause can significantly boost your image as a confident, thoughtful communicator.

12) Practice good listening skills

Listening is a skill often overlooked in our quest for self-assuredness.

You might think that appearing confident is all about speaking up, making your voice heard, and asserting your opinions. But, the real power lies in quiet attentiveness.

Why is this so important?

Because active listening shows respect, understanding, and thoughtfulness. It tells others that you value their words and are confident enough to let them have the spotlight.

It’s not about you all the time; it’s about making meaningful connections.

The next time you find yourself dominating the conversation, take a step back. Make an effort to truly listen and respond thoughtfully. You might discover that this quiet confidence speaks louder than words.

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