Are you guilty of showing your nervous energy during an audition, speech, or meeting?
When we’re stressed, unsure of ourselves, uncomfortable or feeling vulnerable we unconsciously look for ways to feel better. Touch is very reassuring. If there’s no one there to reach out and literally touch us, we do it ourselves. Just like a baby sucking it’s thumb it’s a natural reaction, an instant fix to feel good, to pacify oneself. So you might be thinking if it makes me feel better isn’t that ok? It all depends on the situation. If it’s a job interview or a professional setting where people are looking to rely on someone who they can trust to get the job done, you wouldn’t want to be sending messages that tell the world you’re needing some reassurance or pacifying.
If you’re dealing with any kind of stressful situation and you don’t want your anxiety to show, keep an eye out for these self-touch, self-soothing giveaways:
- Rubbing hands together
- Twisting ring on finger
- Grabbing wrist, fore arm or shoulder
- Grabbing throat area
- Rubbing back of neck
- Scratching head
- Rubbing hands on knees or thighs
- Bouncing legs or feet
- Spinning in chair
- Picking at fingernails or cuticles
- Shoving hands in pockets
- Biting inside of mouth or lips
- Playing with jewelry
- Playing with/fixing hair
- Rubbing ear lobes
- Covering mouth with hand or fingers
- Biting nails
- Biting pen or pencil
- Biting eye glasses
- Adjusting clothing
So, what can we do about this?
If you have nervous energy, anxiety, or any other emotion that you don’t want visibility leaking through in your body language one simple thing you can do that no one will see: squeeze your toes! This is a great stealth move because you can squeeze, wiggle, or stretch those toes till the cows come home and no one will know what you are up to. Not only does this feel good, it’s a great distraction to take your mind off any other physical feelings you might be experiencing like a pounding heart. This can secretly replace other more obvious self-soothing moves or pacifying self-touch gestures you may have been using.
Next time you feel that nervous energy creeping up…stand your ground, wiggle those toes, and feel that sense of Calmfidence® you need to get through whatever it may be!
About The Author
Patricia Stark works on both sides of the camera & stage as a Media Trainer, Public Speaking Trainer, and Certified Body Language Specialist. She appears regularly as a Guest TV Communication Expert & Lifestyle Expert and sought after keynote speaker. To book an engagement with Patricia contact us here.