Believe it or not, professional first-daters can feel nervous on a first date. Even if you think you've got the thing wired, all it takes is one off-key element for your game to be thrown out of whack:
Perhaps the person who looked only reasonably attractive in the pictures turns out to be a stunner. Or you're having a bad-hair day, which blows your confidence.
Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, of TedTalk fame, tells us that expansive poses signal confidence. The root of expansive is expand, meaning that your appendages are more outward rather than inward. Examples include:
- Arms akimbo.
- Arms stretched outward.
- Legs widely planted.
- Hands laced behind head.
But wait! There's more! Cuddy goes on to say that confident body language makes you confident. No, it's not the old fake-it-till-you-make-it syndrome. Cuddy exhorts us to fake it until you become it.
Her research shows that when subjects demonstrate dominant, power poses, their testosterone increases and their cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol helps regulate stress; lower levels are better at helping us manage stress.
Ironically, in the TED talk linked here, Cuddy is so nervous, twitchy, and fast-talking that it's painful to watch. But it's worth getting past that for her message.