Taking a stand against bullies is all about the way you stand.

A good, powerful posture doesn’t just change the way you’re perceived – it makes you feel more powerful inside.

These tips, drawn from hypnotherapy, NLP and martial arts will help you handle your fear when facing up to tough situations or difficult people.

They’re great for managing conflict – but they’ll also work in interviews and public speaking, too.

  1. Stand with your feel slightly apart, with your toes pointing directly towards the person you’re dealing with.
  2. Never turn sideways towards someone who’s attacking you. Even if your altercation is only verbal, showing the side of your shoulder is a defensive gesture that will make you appear and feel more vulnerable. If you’re addressing several people, turn your head.
  3. Try to avoid lowering your head. If you’re referring to notes, the temptation once you’ve looked down is to keep your head down, because you’ll feel more comfortable there. You need to get out of that comfort zone; lift your head back up again and make eye contact.
  4. Find your centre and breathe deeply from it. This is the place above your naval that really feels like it’s the centre of your body, and your centre of gravity. When you’re holding your awareness there, you’re very difficult to knock down, literally or emotionally.
  5. Once you’ve found your centre, speak from it too. Your speech will be much more clear, powerful and effective when you’re working from that deep part of you.
  6. If you start to feel sick, panicky or tearful, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and listen to the sound of your breath for a few moments.
  7. I have heard many people suggest imagining your interviewers, audience or assailants naked helps you feel more powerful. Personally, I prefer to imagine them as your friends. That way, you’re more inclined to find the common ground or reach out and help them – which pacifies conflict and nerves.

If these tips help, or you have any of your own to add, I’d love to hear about them – leave a comment below or drop me a line on Twitter @SueOddyHypnosis