By Chelsea Peng
Half the battle is showing up. The other half is learning how to project authority and confidence when you haven't necessarily been socialized to do that in an obvious, manspread-y way. Cough.
Here, we present 3 low-key power moves to whip out when you need an ego boost or want to command respect (always). Special thanks to Dona Sarkar, principal product manager at Microsoft and one of the most badass women I have ever met, for these—she makes holograms and manages, like, 203,945 engineers, so I *think* she knows what she's talking about.
Don't duck—Karlie Kloss.
Scenario: You're walking down the hallway when you hit a tangle of people having Very Important Conversations in the most inconvenient place possible. Is your first instinct to go around the side so you don't interrupt? To lower your head so they can literally talk over you? Pffft. WRONG. Aim straight down the middle, chin up, head high, and watch as your colleagues disperse like so many billiard balls. Serves them right for blocking your way. (Internal monologue: "MIRANDA PRIESTLY IS ME!!!")
Be an elevator asshole.
TBH, it kind of sucks that we have to do these consciously, but at the same time, 1) it'll become part of you as you practice, and 2) what would be the fun in 100 percent of the population jostling one another? This is why you should at least attempt this, no matter how jerky it makes you feel.
The next time you take an elevator, stand in the center...and stay there, even as it fills up. Let your fellow passengers move around you—you're used to not sharing. Again, feels bad when you think about it, feels FREAKING AWESOME in the moment. Trust.
Lean *out,* not in.
Look around, and you'll observe that typical "girl posture" is arms tight to sides, hunched over, legs crossed—basically, making yourself as small as possible. What you need is something like the Wonder Woman pose but more natural—more you. Whenever you catch yourself origami-ing inward, just open up. Draw your shoulders back, thrust your elbows out like you chill in conference rooms all the time. Fling your arms around with abandon/complete disregard for people's noses when you talk. It's not enough to own your space anymore—you have to take it.
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