The difference between the top and the bottom photos–what do they tell you? The one on top is someone who is possibly intimidated or afraid, maybe a little unsure, and thus, withdrawing or protecting herself. Meanwhile, the bottom photo is someone who is more confident and assertive, with no uncertainty or hesitance.
I found myself mulling over these differences at work yesterday. Even in the midst of an ethical dilemma that I was on the right side of, I behaved more like the top photo when speaking to each of my managers. I kept checking my body language and posture, trying to assert myself more, make better eye contact, hold myself like someone who knew how to handle the situation and her feelings. Instead, I kept withdrawing, I kept feeling unsure, I kept nodding in agreement, and I felt small and a little scared.
Why? It was inexplicable. Not only was I not getting in trouble, I was being commended, on two separate occasions, for doing the right thing and for being an outstanding employee who could do “whatever I wanted” within the company. That is definitely a time to assert yourself in your body language and act like you belong there.
My only theory is that the protective attitude and complimentary language of both my managers caused me to feel child-like, but not because I felt condescended, but because I felt a type of concern and care that I didn’t always (or often) get as a child.
It’s an interesting topic, one that gripped me all day yesterday. I think body language, posture, mannerisms, and other non-verbal cues, like tone of voice, are incredibly important in our interactions. I’m constantly assessing what type of message I’m giving off, and adjust accordingly, even if I don’t feel like it