Recklessness and body language: a question of the right posture

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Text comes from: Schlagfertigkeit (2015) from Dr. Matthias Nöllke, published by Haufe Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Accomplishment begins with the body language. We show you how to consciously use your posture and visual contact, and to use your gestures, facial expressions and voice optimally. Recklessness and Body Language: A Mistake of the Right Attitude Mistake

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Dr. Matthias Nöllke Matthias NöllkeDr. Matthias Nöllke is SPIEGEL-Bestselling author and works for Bayrischer Rundfunk.


All a question of attitude


How we arrive at the others is already decided by our posture. Anyone who sits in front of his audience with his arms crossed and asks them for a "lively discussion" should not be surprised if they fail. Because the crossed arms signal: I block.

On the other hand, someone who invites us with open arms (as the show masters do on TV) seems inviting. But what is most amazing is that the attitude we take influences not only the way people perceive us, but above all, we also influence ourselves, how we feel, how we experience the situation and what thoughts to go through our heads.

How external and inner attitude influence each other


What feelings we have, we express through our body language. But it is also the other way round: our attitude has an effect on our inner experience. You may know this from stress situations:

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You are insecure, Your body is tightening, Your breath gets flattened, Your mouth becomes dry, You feel miserable, You say something, Just bring something out, Your voice is brittle, That scares you even more and strengthens your stress. They just can not get out of this spiral of misery.

On the other hand, there is also a spiral of success. You're fine, you step self-confidently through the door, the others give you to understand: Yes, we consider it self-confident. That makes you safer. They speak in a firm voice, expressing with the utmost naturalness things that you would never have imagined before. They think they are convincing and you are too. And because you are, you find yourself even more persuasive and express that again. This results in an upward movement: from well-being to harmonious posture sovereignty to a firm voice and confident appearance to inner persuasiveness to new ideas and winning arguments.

External and internal signals reinforce each other and can cause us to outgrow ourselves.

The power of positive expression


The connection between expression and feeling has been described many times and is even used therapeutically. If we smile and do it right, so not putting on our courtesy smile, this smile not only indicates that we are in a good mood, but it also triggers positive feelings. The blood vessels dilate, which provide the brain with oxygen, the forehead relaxes, we are freer in our thinking, our spiritual horizon widens.

In fact, there is a "conscious smile therapy" that naturally helps to overcome stress. Anyone who feels anxious, nervous or blocked should deliberately smile and regularly pull up the corners of their mouths. Scientists suspect that there is a connection between certain muscle activities and corresponding brain centers. In other words, if you are in a bad mood, you can improve your mood simply by changing your outward attitude, your expression. Provided you want that at all.

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The effect has far-reaching consequences for our topic. Before you read on, you should try it out for yourself. With the exercise "Facebuilding", a term that goes back to the humorist René Schweizer.

Exercise: "Facebuilding"


Pull your mouth apart, both wide up. Quite as if you were exaggerated smiling or wide grin. Her lips will open. Stay a few seconds like this.

Meanwhile, the vein, which runs between the zygomatic bone and the forehead, is filled with blood. You can feel that with your finger. The blood is held back briefly in the brain and produces a wave of pleasant feelings. If you have done everything right, it should be so. Is that so? Congratulations!

Now, pull your face together, lower your mouth slightly, narrow your eyes and raise the inner parts of the eyebrows slightly so that the brows are strained and a wrinkle is formed on the nasal root. Hold this expression for a moment. How are you now?

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