Beverly B. Media and Communications

The Confidence Game: How to Bring Out Your Inner Hotshot


Illustration: Marcos Chin

Illustration: Marcos Chin

By Siri Carpenter

Powerful people use furniture wrong—to great effect,” she announces. “They  sit sideways on chairs, drape their arms over the back, or use two chairs by  placing an arm across the back of an adjacent chair. They put their feet on the  desk. They sit on the desk. They turn the chair around backward and straddle  it.”
These relaxed postures, Gruenfeld says, all involve claiming space. But they do  something more: Recent research suggests that a powerful posture—from the tilt  of your head to the turn of your toes—sparks a biochemical reaction in the body  that actually makes you more powerful.

In other words, Gruenfeld  says, it’s possible to fake it till you make it.

“Many of us, especially  women, resign ourselves to the idea that if we don’t feel powerful, we  can’t act that way,” she explains. “But these new findings imply that you  can reverse the equation: By changing how you use your body, you can change your  psychology, and ultimately, the circumstances of your life.”

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