I eavesdrop a lot. It’s a bad habit supported by the fact that I’m often traveling and spend a lot of time in the company of other peoples’ conversations. Sitting in the airport the other day I overheard a woman say to her friend, “what I look for most in a man is confidence. Confidence is sexy!”
It’s true. In fact, it’s even more true than she might have realized. Let me explain why.
When we are lacking in confidence our body language becomes defensive. It’s all about protecting ourselves. We might start crossing our arms or orienting our body away from the other person, or we increase the distance between our bodies and theirs. When we are confident we tend to open up our body and orient toward the other person. We also tend to decrease the distance between our bodies.
Put extremely simplistically, our brains use body language to classify the people we meet as either friend or foe. If you were to meet somebody who exhibited defensive body language, you might logically deduce that they are trying to defend themselves from you. Indeed, this is the conclusion that you do make. But you don’t arrive at it through logic. Instead it is a snap decision, an unconscious judgement that your brain makes, and it’s a result of millions of years of evolution. You can’t help yourself. You look at that body language and your brain shouts “Foe!” Even if that person’s defensiveness has nothing to do with you.
On the other hand, when you encounter confident body language, your brain sees that the person is open to you, accepting of you, not in any way threatened by you, and immediately concludes “friend.” The same body language that results from a people being comfortable with themselves signals that they are also comfortable with you.
They like you. More significantly, they accept you. What could be sexier than that?