Everybody says confidence is an intrinsic trait.
But did you know it’s true that you can “fake it til you make it”?
This is because like any other skill, confidence can be honed with practice. So if you believe you weren’t born with the confident gene, all hope is not lost.
In fact, you don’t actually have to be confident to appear confident—in essence, faking it ‘til you make it! Through the power of body language, you too can instantly appear more confident.
Want to learn more? Read below to learn about the 9 body language hacks to instantly seem more confident!
1) Keep your head up
One of the most important things you need to learn in order to appear confident is to always keep your head up.
Whether you’re in conversation or simply walking down the street, never ever look down, because this signifies insecurity.
Try to picture a string holding up the crown of your head. This doesn’t only keep you from looking down, it improves your posture as well!
As someone who was not born with it, I know very well that it can be hard to do this especially when you’re talking with your superiors.
It’s so easy to feel intimidated and to look down every time you speak with them, but trust me: your superiors will respect you more when you develop the confidence to face them!
Even if it takes a bit of time for you to do this naturally, don’t worry! Every skill takes time and practice to master, and as long as you don’t stop trying, I’m sure it will soon become natural for you, too.
2) Maintain eye contact
When we avoid eye contact with other people, it’s usually because we feel shy, insecure, or intimidated by them. Either that or you might actually be neurodivergent.
For neurotypicals, however, if you want to appear more confident, try to practice maintaining eye contact when interacting with other people.
Eye contact is important because it establishes a connection between the two people interacting, which is why it feels so intense when we make eye contact with someone we’re attracted to!
This study actually shows that people who maintain eye contact in conversations are more likely to be perceived as honest and capable.
And when you avoid contact with other people, it’s impossible for them to connect with you, which, in turn, makes it impossible for you to appear confident.
Moreover, maintaining eye contact also signifies that you’re interested in what the other person is saying.
3) Pay attention
Cockiness and confidence are two very distinct traits. The former only demonstrates interest in yourself, while the latter shows interest in other people.
Simply put, if you want to appear more confident, pay attention to the people around you.
Additionally, knowing which questions to ask and how to behave around certain people doesn’t only make you seem confident—it also makes you look charming.
So when you interact with other people, try to observe their actions, their behavior and mannerisms, even their likes and dislikes.
This helps you ask the right questions, which lets the other person know that you’re interested in listening to whatever they have to say, and maybe even to who they are as people.
Another benefit to paying attention is it helps you mirror the other person.
4) Mirror others
When we make friends with other people, bonding with them automatically makes us mirror their behavior.
But did you know that doing this deliberately in certain situations can also help you appear more confident?
This is because when you mirror others, you’re able to touch on your similarities and show your appreciation for them.
For instance, when you use a certain word they’ve mentioned previously in the conversation, it will make them feel validated and certain that you are listening.
A more scientific explanation for this is that as a species, we’ve learned to mirror others in order to survive and evolve by adapting what has been deemed as socially acceptable behaviors.
You can do this by adapting the words they use as previously mentioned, their tone and volume, and even their attitude and mood when talking about different topics.
5) Stand and sit up straight
Bad posture has never been an attractive trait.
However, as humans who are often facing computers or looking down on our phones, most of us have a bad posture, so don’t beat yourself up if you have one.
I am actually ashamed to admit that I’m slouched in front of my computer as I’m writing this part of the article. Yikes!
It goes without saying, however, that if we want to appear more confident, we should try to avoid slouching—roll your shoulders back, for God’s sake! (That’s also a personal call out).
So tuck your stomach in and push your chest out—it will do wonders for your confidence. It will make you feel bigger and more authoritative, as it projects confidence and poise.
Remember that good posture is a habit, so try practicing this at home, even when you’re just sitting by your desk or eating dinner.
6) Be careful with your facial expressions
Facial expressions reflect how we feel and what we’re thinking.
If you’ve been told you have a resting B face, woof. That would be difficult to work with, but no worries! It’s not impossible.
We naturally find ourselves scoffing involuntarily when someone makes an off-handed remark, or getting glassy-eyed when we find the conversation boring. It’s natural to feel these emotions—some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
Likewise, when you feel insecure, it can manifest in your facial expressions when you frown and furrow your brows worriedly—add on top of that a tendency to bite your fingernails when you’re anxious, and it paints a perfect picture of an insecure person.
However, you don’t have to smile often in order to appear more confident.
Often, a poker face is better than a worried face. Just make sure you’re reacting appropriately in any given situation, such as applauding a colleague who won an award or laughing at people’s jokes in parties.
Being able to express positive emotions can make you look more confident and even radiant, and this positive energy will certainly draw people towards you.
7) Don’t fiddle
When we’re nervous, we often find ourselves unknowingly fiddling with our hands, whether it’s by playing with our rings and necklaces or by tapping our fingers rapidly on our desk.
If you find yourself doing this, stop: breathe in, breathe out, and let your anxiety flow out of your body. It’s easier to be confident when you’re calm.
However, I understand that it can often be difficult to calm down when we’re facing someone who makes us nervous, whether it’s a crush, a boss, or someone we look up to.
In that case, try to humanize them. Know that they’re only up on a pedestal in your head, but in real life, they’re just people. They poop and fart. They make mistakes, just like you do!
With all that said, when you’re calm enough to stop fiddling, either rest your hands to your side or use them to gesticulate when you’re speaking.
Remember that the way our body appears—even the way we stand—greatly affects how we’re perceived, so take note of that if you want to appear more confident.
8) Adapt the Superman stance
The Superman stance doesn’t mean having one fist in the air and one hand on your waist.
Simply put, it means standing with your feet slightly apart. It’s called the “Superman stance” because it makes you look powerful and authoritative!
To try this, try standing with your feet together in the mirror. Then, stand with your feet slightly apart, or with one foot forward.
See the difference?
Practicing the Superman stance can instantly make you look poised and confident. This authoritative, self-assured stance will make people—including your superiors—notice and respect you more.
9) Be articulate
Being articulate is a key trait of a confident person, but, of course, becoming one doesn’t happen overnight.
People usually tell me I’m articulate, but it actually took a lot of time for me to develop my communication skills. When I was younger, I actually had so much trouble speaking my mind, and frequently stuttered when I had to explain myself.
It wasn’t only through practice that I learned to become a better speaker, but also by finding people I’m comfortable with—those who made me feel safe in spite of my insecurities.
Through the simple act of telling them about my day, the latest shows I’ve been obsessing over, or that one video essay that I found really interesting that really helped me develop my speaking skills. It was also helpful that we shared the same interests.
So if you want to develop your speaking skills, know that you don’t need a professional speaking coach or even speaking classes—you just need the right circle of friends!