Remember when your mother told you to sit up straight? She knew what she was talking about. Research has validated her good advice.
Adoree Durayappah’s article in Psychology Today points out that when a person adopts the upright posture Mom always encouraged, they act in ways that represent power. And interestingly, as the article points out, “the sense of power produced by posture expansiveness is not contingent on one’s actual position of power, such as rank or title.”
Poor posture – rounded shoulders and back, head forward, chest collapsed onto the upper rib cage – tends to generate the feeling, and impression, of a lack of personal power and self-assurance. Upright posture – chest open, shoulders back, down and relaxed, head centered over the body – results in the outward appearance and internal feeling of confidence and strength. Experiment and feel the difference.
According to the article, “The role of power, as well as posture, both—independently—affect a person’s sense of power, but posture is more important in activating the power-related behaviors. This means that a high-power role can make you feel powerful, but doesn’t mean you will act in charge. In order to act in charge, you need a high-power posture.”
The next time you need to be especially powerful and influential, remember what your mother said, “Stand up straight, sit up straight.” Feel the instant sense of power and self-assurance a straight spine stimulates.