"Fake it until you become it." Dealing with and overcoming social anxiety, through body la


"So social scientists have spent a lot of time looking at the effects of our body language, or other people's body language, on judgments.And we make sweeping judgments and inferences from body language. And those judgments can predict really meaningful life outcomes like who we hire or promote, who we ask out on a date. For example, Nalini Ambady, a researcher at Tufts University, shows that when people watch 30-second soundless clips of real physician-patient interactions, their judgments of the physician's niceness predict whether or not that physician will be sued. So it doesn't have to do so much with whether or not that physician was incompetent, but do we like that person and how they interacted?"

I remember watching this, I remember studying it in fact for presentation at a lecture, I remember the point in it when the speaker falters, sharing with the viewer her true vulnerability, and remembering the own difficulty of her own experience. I have gone on to share this with clients, preparing for interviews after periods unable to work because of personal issues, or suffering profoundly with their anxiety of presenting at work. Similarly there is the difficulty in just being in a work space, that's new to you, where you feel out of your depth. Told with humour and humility and for the cynics, there is science too. We love science, it creates trust. Neuroscience proves we can evolve, approach things differently, that we aren't fixed, and that is a key focus of the therapeutic relationship.

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