I've had poor body language my whole life, as far as being perceived as a man is concerned.
Even after I got involved in the PUA community, for some reason I never took the recommendations of "Don't smile so much and don't talk so much" seriously. Friends growing up would tell me about my tendency to do this, seduction books would tell me about how it destroys sexual tension, and lately I've been seeing this same advice come up on TRP with increasing frequency. Only recently have I finally accepted I've been wrong about this all along.
Isn't it crazy that even with years of exposure to these communities, only now am I understanding the importance of masculine body language? I think I know why...
If you're anything like me, as you grew up you in fact took great pride in your excessive smiling and talking. If you've been sufficiently shamed by your parents, religion, culture, and feminism about sex and seduction, you come to think that any sign of sexual interest is worthy of guilt. So as a little boy, you kill that spark of masculinity inside you and become The World's Friendliest Dude and distance yourself from being a sexual threat as much as you can.
Want to know what's the most poisonous part of this? People love you for it! Which only conditions you to keep doing it.
Female 'friends' bring you deeper into their lives, as orbiters only of course, knowing you won't have the balls to make a move. They get all the benefits of having you around (validation, favors, emotional outlet) without ever having to experience the awkwardness of rejecting you! And you're so happy to be basking in her feminine farts that you don't care that she'll never give you so much as a glimpse of that pussy.
The rest of society will also 'reward' you for claiming your role as a lesser man through your body language. Tell me if any of these 'compliments' sound familiar to you: "It's really cool how you're always smiling!", or "Your sense of humor is amazing you're so funny to be around!". I would get these kind of comments all the time, and would take immense pride in them, which would only reinforce my need to be seen in that way. I would make a conscious effort to be the giggliest, most talkative little bitch in the room, unwittingly cockblocking myself in the process.
Most importantly, I would leave social interactions feeling exhausted and not like myself.
I never knew why social interactions felt like such a burden. But now I know that having to put on a show for so long (talking and smiling just for the sake of doing so, because I couldn't handle the social and sexual tension created by being a man) is quite an elaborate effort.
None of the people close to me had the awareness (or if they did, then the honesty) to tell me how unattractively I was coming across. One or two times when people did tell me, I was sufficiently brainwashed by then that I argued with them about how they are wrong and how If a girl is worthy of my interest then she should be willing to let me talk 50% of the time. Cringe.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't talk or smile. I'm saying that you shouldn't do it with the wrong motive.
As recently as yesterday I caught myself smiling and talking my ass off as a way to diffuse tension. If someone is telling you a story, you are not obligated to smile as you listen. But I do feel obligated, and that sense of obligation is what I need to get rid of before my masculine presence will ever improve.
So how can we fix lifelong habits of poor body language?
I find myself thinking the following things as I consciously try and practice smiling less and letting other people do more of the talking. Some of these objections may just be self-sabotage but others may be legitimate concerns.
- "You'll appear depressed, unhappy, and unfriendly. People will think you're boring"
- "Those who know you will wonder why you're acting differently, whether you're trying to prove a point. It's try-hard"
- "This feels really strange and not natural at all"
It's not just smiling and talking, it's also supplicative feedback while someone else is talking. I can't seem to let others person speak more than a sentence or two at a time without interjecting with a "Cool", "Oh yeah", "Totally", "I see", "Interesting", or some other useless filler. And I'm constantly nodding to show them I'm listening. And my voice for some reason gets higher-pitched and approval-seeking.
I feel like such a little bitch after these interactions. I want to just man up and not feel the need to act like that anymore. But it's quite difficult to fix, even though I'm aware of what I need to do. How have you dealt with this?
- Have you successfully killed your beta smiling and talking behavior and replaced it with with strong body language? Is it even possible?
- How did you do it?
- Does it feel natural now?
- How did you get over the initial awkward phase of getting comfortable in your new skin?
- Apart from smiling and talking too much, what are some other body language things we might be doing wrong that we may not even realize?
A lifetime of rehearsing poor body language isn't going to be fixed overnight, but fixing it is a worthwhile cause.