A good number of women who are attacked are chosen because of the way they presented themselves. Something about their posture told the assailant, “here is a weak woman, I can take her”. If you are scared out of your gourd, it will show.
Low self esteem or fearfulness looks like slouched shoulders; head down, arms folded in front or in pockets. Confidence looks like walking tall, shoulders back, head up, eye to eye contact, arms at the side. One statistic revealed that those trained in martial arts are less likely to ever be attacked because of the way they carry themselves. They’ve been trained to defend themselves and to not take a weak position. They have confidence.
Try this experiment. The next time you’re in a public place, mall, grocery store, the beach, no matter, walk past all the people and look them directly in the eye. You might want to smile a little or offer a “how ya doin’?” so they don’t think you’re stalking them. You’ll be amazed at the number of people who will not look at you. They’ll look down or away but not at you. Of course, in some cultures it’s not proper to look people in the eye. Be sensitive to that. But in many circles you will find it hard to find 10 people who will look at you.
By you looking at them, in some subconscious way you’re communicating that you are not afraid. You’re not sending nonverbal clues that you lack confidence. To get into the practice of always looking people in the eye, take it one step further and see what color eyes they have. It only takes a quick glance, you’re not starring down people but if you make an effort to determine eye color, you can be confident that you’re properly looking people head on in the eyes.
Get your hands out of your pockets when you walk. Uncross those arms that are locked across your chest. Not only does it look stronger and friendlier to have open arms, it’s safer. Should the need arise that you need to thwart off a would-be attacker; you’re going to need your arms to free yourself. How easy it is for one to come up from behind you and grab you if your arms are tucked neatly away? You’re just making it easy. How can you poke out eyeballs, or jab Adam’s apples or throw an elbow to the ribs if your arms are hugging yourself.
“But I AM scared,” you confess. There are two things you can do about that. One is take some self defense classes and learn how to not be afraid. The other and immediate method to change how you project yourself is to fake it until you make it. You may be scared out of your wits, but if you get the self talk going, “I am NOT afraid” and get the body language to follow it, head up, shoulders back, arms open, then you’re at least giving the allusion that you are not a weak prey.
Half of your battle is in the mind. Do something about it.
(Note: This article is the opinion of the author and may or may not be substantiated by scientific fact.)
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