Throw Your Shoulders Back

As you probably gathered from the last entry, I’m a huge fan of superheroes. DC, Marvel, indie shit like Invincible, it doesn’t matter, I love it all. I’m also a massive fan of Star Wars and its affiliations – the stories of the extended adventures of Han and Chewie also gets my goose cookin’. Throw in a healthy mix of Greek and Norse mythology/history and hoo boy, you’ve got me against the ropes in terms of interest. I’m powerless against all of it.

By all accounts though, none of the aforementioned subjects are historically known as objects or subjects of complete sex appeal. Most women aren’t going to drool as you talk about that one time that Captain America was worthy enough to pick up Mjolnir. Or when Odysseus fired an arrow through axe heads to win his wife, kid, and throne back (trust me, I’ve tried, and have watched as the life left the poor girl’s eyes. Sometimes I dream that it was a violation of the 8th Amendment to put her through that verbal onslaught). I talked briefly about the danger of idolizing badasses in the last entry, and how it can negatively impact your opportunities for fruitful encounters in the dating game. Especially if it doesn’t mesh well with your personality.

However, this is one of those cases where idolizing a strong figure will always come in handy. Commonly taught (but rarely heeded), is the simple advice of straightening your back. No one has ever looked at a man or woman with shitty posture and said, “ooo stay that way, you’re looking hot!” Most of our favorite people, especially those we admire greatly, will either consciously or unconsciously hold themselves in “power poses.” Superman holds his shoulders back, and we all love standing like him. Clark Kent doesn’t hold his shoulders back, puts some glasses on, messes with his hair, and it’s considered a secret identity because no one would believe that Superman would have a rounded spine.

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Thanks for the demonstration, Chris!

Besides the medical reasons, aka not being a slave to a shitty back for the rest of your life, there’s a surprising amount of research that correlates posture to increases of attractiveness. And I’m not talking about peacocking – strutting your stuff like a walking romantic comedy jock asshole stereotype (here’s to you Kenny, ya dick). I’m talking about simply taking a moment, and being consciously aware of where your shoulders are.

The power of posture

Posture and being acutely aware of how it’s being held, is crucial to success in the social game. Not even necessarily for you becoming more attractive – which you will be, but more so because of how you and your brain behaves toward yourself when you stand straight.

There have been dozens of studies conducted over several decades that have confirmed the direct correlation between posture and confidence. These studies have also gone as far as showing that posture has a direct effect on mood. That a person who holds themselves upright will generally let negative comments slide off more easily, and let internal/external positive reinforcement manifest within themselves. People who slouch, biologically put themselves into a more “fetal position.” This is where they feel the most vulnerable, or can even feel worthless in extreme contexts.

So it’s no coincidence that standing straight like the Man of Steel will seriously improve your chances of finding – or even better – attracting your Lois Lane.

The gist is this: human beings have always had a complex associating power with height. The larger the stature, the more intimidating or powerful a person or a thing seems. Mammoths were scary because they were so large compared to our paleolithic brethren. Mice, not so much, considering we can boot one a solid 100 yards with a decent kick (don’t try this at home, kids). It’s evolutionary to believe the taller of the species is the one in charge, or the one that deserves to be. Standing with your shoulders back and spine straight will make you seem taller, and ergo, feeling stronger about yourself. It’s as simple as that.

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It’s why these are a thing.

Much like smiling, good posture is an instantaneous and barring a medical condition, an easy ass fix. It’s a constant work in progress, to be sure, but remind yourself of the importance of a straight back with even phone notifications, a post it note, or a tattoo on your forehead. Remember that positive posture begets positive emotions, which is a crucial component to social success.

You have a lot to offer, but you’re holding yourself back by believing that your negative aspects are the dominant ones. Start yourself on the right foot, stand up straight, and watch the confidence flow.

Making a person feeling good about you starts with you treating your own person as best you can. All the rest follows easily. So throw your shoulders back, stand straight, and own whatever room you walk into.

 

References:

Brinol, Pablo, et al. “Body Posture Effects on Self-Evaluation: A Self-Validation Approach.” European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 39, 25 Feb. 2009, pp. 1053–1064., doi:10.1002/ejsp.607.

Elsesser, Kim. “Power Posing Is Back: Amy Cuddy Successfully Refutes Criticism.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 4 Apr. 2018, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kimelsesser/2018/04/03/power-posing-is-back-amy-cuddy-successfully-refutes-criticism/#7aa82aab3b8e.

An Introduction

To start this whole thing, I can’t stop mulling over the concept of just doing anything. And doing it for the sake of it. And enjoying the doing. What I’m discovering as I word vomit all over this laptop, is that I kind of enjoy this shit.

I’ve never been a writer by any means. I think the closest I ever got was actually being a history teacher for a few short years before getting bored and moving on to the next thing. I loved the content creation, and I loved the simple act of answering questions with an open ear or two. But the classroom felt confining at times, and didn’t allow for as much expression as me or my students would’ve enjoyed.

I used to consider myself more of a creative person, however, when I was a teenager – I would often explore and romp through my town and the surrounding wilderness with a video camera and a few friends to film homemade action movies and other stupid shit. Beyond that, when I was a kid I would read comics, draw heroes, and glue myself in front of every movie or nerdy TV show that I could get my hands on. To be totally frank though, that hasn’t really stopped – my college notebooks are filled with more drawings of a perched Dark Knight than notes.

I’ve read and reread Greek and Norse mythology, I’ve torn through pages about witches, wizards, knights, gods, and goddesses every chance I got, and even tried my hand at my own story or two that that has included elements of all of these.

Spoiler alert: my dad found one and I was so embarrassed that he read it that I deleted the whole thing and nearly burned the family computer. Probably was the first time I almost considered vaulting off a cliff.  

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My main man. Jason Momoa (Poseidon).

I lovingly embraced the blossoming geeky culture, and showed it off whenever I could. But as far as writing goes, after the horrific incident of being discovered to be a J.R.R. Tolkein wannabe, I abandoned it all. It wasn’t until recently that I looked at this laptop, a blank page, and said “fuck it.”

So here I am, just doing. Giving this a shot, unapologetically thinking out loud and not really caring what other people think about it. If you like it, wonderful, glad we can share some views together. If you don’t, even better, I’m happy to try and make the writing better so no one’s eyes are bleeding.

But my thoughts are my own, my opinions the same. And while I am happy to share them, I’m hoping some of my past fuck-ups and little victories have actually lead to tangible, actionable steps that can help someone else avoid those same mistakes or experience those same tiny victories. Or that some of my thoughts actually make one guy or gal in the back nod once or twice.

Take all this with a grain of salt of course. I like to pretend I’m Thor every now and again (everyday), but as I’ve disappointedly found out, I’m pretty human. Which means I can be an idiot. Feel free to let me know whenever that happens.

Either way, I’ll just be here, just trucking along, and doing one new thing at a time.