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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