Both men and women alike are expected to adhere to strict social roles in today’s world, but it always seems women bear the larger brunt of that responsibility. Women are conditioned to be soft, kind, put-together, and submissive always. In this day and age, women should be able to choose how they present themselves and shouldn’t feel like they have to bend to the weight of others’ expectations.
Below I’ve elaborated on a few ways I plan on using nonverbal cues to communicate more strength.
Eye contact shows dominance in conversation – so it’s unsurprising that people may feel uncomfortable making eye contact with somebody. Men tend to make eye contact more often, while more women opt to look away more frequently. While I make an effort to make just as much eye contact as the person I’m engaged with I could certainly do better – especially when I start to feel unconfident or uncomfortable.
All too often women feel like they must constrict themselves, or give up their well-deserved spots to accommodate others. We’re taught from a young age to not take up space, to shrink ourselves while boys are not. I’d like to work on being more aggressive about “demanding my seat the table” and not shrinking myself in public spaces. I’ll start in the morning by not shrinking into my seat on the bus when a man sits next to me and opens his legs so they invade my deserved space.
I will only smile if I want to or have a reason to. Contrary to popular belief, a smile will not take me as far as my skills and knowledge. “You should smile more” – if it was such a well-intended remark, why don’t men ask other men to smile more often?
– Kaitlin Franke