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Like most people, I have good days and bad days when it comes to my overall confidence levels, so I was really excited when I received an invitation to the ‘Get Comfortable’ Suite at Townhall Hotel in East London from the team at The Apartment.
Inspired by Canesten‘s Get Comfortable campaign, which aims to help women feel comfortable in their own skin, the beautiful De Montfort suite at Townhall Hotel was transformed into a girly haven of comfort and wellness, with delicious canapés, a candle making table, a corner dedicated to back rubs and a photographer, Kris Atomic, on hand to capture everything (all photos in this post are courtesy of Kris).
Also on hand was Judi James, leading expert in body language, social behaviour, image, workplace culture and communication skills. Judi offered practical advice on how to feel more comfortable in your own skin. She talked about embarrassment, explaining how it’s a uniquely human emotion as animals don’t get embarrassed. Beyond emotions, embarrassment is a human type of fear and humans mask it by undergoing a form of body language, which is essentially a form of lying.
Judi explained that some people react to embarrassment by over-compensating and going further than relaxing. Men are often guilty of this and will spread out when they are feeling anxious and embarrassed, making themselves look bigger. Judi reminded us that when animals feel fear, they diminish and make themselves appear smaller, which is how many women react to fear and embarrassment. Women tend to do this in four ways:
1) Self-diminishment: Moving into a self-defence pose – elbows go in, touching nose, twiddling hair, playing with jewellery, etc – these poses often relate to how our parents used to help us get to sleep as babies, and so are comforting.
2) Giggling: Often referred to as nervous laughter.
3) Pseudo-infantile: Behaving like a small child, including adopting the posture and speaking like a child. The results are cute and loveable body language.
4) Attacking: Appearing angry to mask embarrassment.
Judi’s top tip on how to deal with situations where your confidence is knocked, or where there are feelings of fear or embarrassment, is to change your state – adopt the body language of the confidence you’d like to feel. She also suggested adopting a power pose, with the feet a little apart, shoulders back and down, and head up.
I left the apartment at the end of the day with a gorgeous new handmade candle that I scented with rose and vanilla, my back feeling relaxed after a soothing back rub, feeling beautiful after my photoshoot with Kris, a goody bag full of treats and most importantly feeling confident after an inspiring talk with Judi.