The world looks from different three inches up. And it looks back at you differently, too. On top of a pair of high heels my appetite is elevated, and the world’s appetite for me, too, is raised.
I found Amy Cuddy on my TED app and her talk was thrilling.
“We’re fascinated with body language,” she says.
When we scrutinize ourselves, we think about how other people are judging us. We’re not wrong to do so. “We make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language, ” and those judgments can predict enormously important life outcomes.
But, says Cuddy, there is another half that we ignore, another audience. Ourselves. Does our own body language affect how we think of ourselves?
She studies power and dominance and starts by showing us a picture of primates. They expand, they take up space and occupy the space of other animals to show dominance.
Cuddy ran an experiment in which people were directed to pose in high-power and low-power poses, assigned randomly, for two minutes.
People in high status are found to be more risk-tolerant (and less responsive to stress). There were also physiological changes — participants also had about an 8% increase in testosterone. There was a similar, but reversed, pattern for cortisol. That’s significant because testosterone is associated with risk tolerance, and cortisol with stress response.
She ends her talk with an extraordinary request: Once you know this information about how easy it is to feel powerful — share it. Because it’s the people without power who aren’t in a position to learn these techniques. And empowering someone who truly needs that power could change a life.
Smelling the pig tail with mostarda. I thought there was quince in my bowl but the waiter said no, only stone fruits. I was sitting and sniffing while he was standing. Does that make him right?
I like a big, absorbent napkin. The better to wipe your mouth with, my dear.
I had read it was a “best of” and it was. It was in front of me, it was sensational and I could not have asked for anything better. What a grinder. Meat was to cheese was to greens was to bread in a balance of powers that pulled and pushed and achieved absolute equilibrium.
Go on, put on those high heels, stretch out, feel yourself in space, relax, go for some pig tail, and please don’t crowd me.