Goals of Living
3 minutes read
The phrase “Fake it till you make it” and its meaning and behavior has been around for as old as time. The reason for this is that people can’t change their behavior by doing what they’re already doing, so they imitate a person or a persona that they believe has made it in their opinion.
It’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it may have severe consequences if you do it wrong. The key is to focus on character and confidence, and less on skills and competencies. You can fake confidence, but you can’t fake the skills you have without eventually being called out for it.
That being said, I’m not talking about faking your personality – what makes you the person you are. I’m talking about changing your behavior so your mind adapts to the changes. There are several ways of doing this, and you’d be surprised to know that people in media do it all the time. So how can you do this?
How you walk, how you carry yourself, how you rest your shoulders, where you look with your eyes, head posture, walking with a straight back. Body language is a whole science, and it’s no surprise that people analyze body language as a profession. Body language is even present in the animal kingdom, such as with dogs. If a dog could give the impression that he’s confident, why couldn’t you?
Start with walking with a straight back and loosen your shoulders. Now keep your head straight, such as if you’re looking at something far away. Slow down your walking, you’re in control of your own time. If you got social anxiety your eyes might get more tensed and your pulse can go up. If this happens then focus on your breathing by taking slow and deep breaths and try to relax your eyes, look at what’s ahead of you.
Now when we know how to get started with body language, we should try to limit our defensive body language. Having both defensive and dominant body language could make it seem like you have in-congruent behavior. So what body language makes you look defensive?
Remember when I talked about slowing down the pace? Keeping a fast pace will make you look like you’re not in control because you’re afraid of the consequences from people above you. Looking down at the floor will make people think you’re not approachable. Not facing the person with their feet can make it look like you’re trying to get away. Hiding your hands or having your arms crossed is another way of showing that you’re vulnerable. Try to mitigate these signals as much as possible.
When I was a teenager I didn’t focus much on what I said or how I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t rude but I could make some self-deprecating jokes or jokes about misinterpretations about something being said. This was sometimes funny, but it cost me a lot of respect from others because it didn’t look like I respected myself, so why should they?
Another piece of advice is to guard yourself against personal attacks. There are multiple ways of handling this, self-deprecating humor is a great way of de-escalating the situation but if you do it too much you’re going to compromise the respect people have for you. The best way, in my opinion, is to stand up and ask stern and respectful what the person meant by that.
If you’re talking fast or slow will effect how you’re perceived, think about what speech is more appropriate for the person you are and how you want to be perceived.