How to Walk with Attitude
Did you know how you stand, walk and hold yourself can have a bearing on whether you are chosen as a victim or not?
In 1984 two researchers, Grayson & Stein conducted a study to determine the selection criteria applied by predators when determining their victims. Video footage of random pedestrians in New York City was shown to violent criminals in a jail. The criminals were asked which pedestrians they would target as a victim. The fascinating thing was the criminals chose the same people as victims, using roughly the same criteria. Bullies, abusers and thugs generally target the weak, not the strong. They are not looking for a fair fight – in fact, they are not looking for a fight at all. They just want a victim they can conquer easily. So don’t be a victim! Lift your body language, and you will appear less of a target. This can also help lift your confidence and moods.
So what can we learn from the Grayson Stein study?
While the results are more complex than this – here is a quick practical summary you can apply right now. An easy way to remember them is the 3 P’s:
Slumping and poor posture are signs of submissiveness and weakness. A downwards gaze indicates being unaware of one’s surroundings. The study showed this poor body language can increase your chances of being targeted. So remember to stand taller – chin up, eyes up, strong stomach, shoulders back and relaxed.
Walking with a sense of direction and purpose indicates you know where you are going and have confidence and certainty. Some momentary eye contact can also indicate confidence. A sense of purpose makes you less of a target.
Simply walk a little faster. In nature documentaries, it’s the meandering gazelle at the back of the pack that’s more likely to be targeted by the leopard. Walking too fast or running can indicate nervousness (of course there are exceptions). In general keep a steady, confident fluid pace.