The importance of body language has not been discovered till the twentieth century. As soon as its importance has been noticed, people started to realize that non-verbal behavior was as significant as a verbal one. It can tell what a certain person feels in a particular situation, how he or she reacts to the behavior or words of others, and what one may expect from him or her.
According to Amy Cuddy, body language can affect people’s judgments of others as well as themselves. She explains is that people believe that the mind influences the body, but the body can have a strong impact on the mind as well. Both animals and human beings express certain signs and take certain poses that demonstrate power or weakness. When animals or humans feel confident and powerful, they stretch and become big and wide. When they feel weak and unconfident, they make themselves small, trying to hide from the external world.
Basing on these statements, one may observe people and understand how they feel and whether they consider themselves dominant. The radical offer Amy Cuddy makes is that people should try to fake their body pose to make themselves and others think that they are actually confident, brave, and optimistic. By faking the pose, they translate the message of power and confidence to their mind. Therefore, if someone wants to change his or her life in a meaningful way, he or she should start changing personal body language, which will, as a result, influence their self-esteem.
I think that Amy Cuddy’s ideas are worth testing because body and mind are closely connected. I do not believe in those theories that claim that the body is better than the mind or that the mind is more useful than the body. These two elements are inalienable parts of each human being. If the mind can influence and control the body, then I am sure that the body can define and change the mind’s thoughts.
Amy Cuddy gives an example of a person who does not really feel any reason to smile but tries to smile anyway. According to Cuddy, if an individual puts lips into a smile, there is always some part of a real sincere smile in it. First, the mind gets confused because it does not understand why the body does something without its consent. However, if a person keeps performing certain physical actions, the mind gets used to them. That is why in order to feel confident or happy, we need to “fake it till we make it” or rather “fake it till we become it” (Cuddy).
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For example, I am often scared of public speeches. Even if I am well prepared, I might still forget all I know just because a large number of people is going to stare at me and follow each word of mine. I think I mostly look quite weird and shy when I stand in front of the audience. That is why it makes sense to fake a confident body pose during my public speeches. I have already tried to do it among friends, and I can prove that I really felt more positive about myself. I also observed different singers and showmen during their performances and noticed that they mostly look free and open to others. I do not think that all of them were born that brave, but they created high self-esteem for themselves owing to “body fakes”. To make other people believe that we are powerful, talented, and open for new experiences and communication, we need to believe in ourselves first. Therefore, I agree with Amy Cuddy that body language can be turned in the direction of mind to change our life and self-esteem.
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