How To Optimize Social Interactions: A Lesson On Presence From Amy Cuddy

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How To Optimize Social Interactions: A Lesson On Presence From Amy Cuddy


Being your true self means being present under trying circumstances, but that takes practices and a certain amount of self-knowledge. Here’s what you need to know to get started. Cuddy’s latest book is ”
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” (

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Transcript – Presence is the state of being attuned to, and able to comfortably express, your true self — so your best qualities, your core values, your personality — and really to do so under stressful circumstances. Because when you can do that, you’re then able to kind of let your guard down and hear what’s actually happening in the situation rather than what you fear might be happening. Presence comes from knowing your story, you know, really knowing who you are — so knowing what your core values are, what makes you you. What’s one of the things about you that can’t be changed, no matter how you perform in this negotiation or on this math test?

So it comes from knowing who you are, accepting who you are, believing your story and then being able to access those things. And sometimes people have all of that but they can’t access it. So when they get into that stressful situation they go into fight-or-flight mode, and they basically shut down, and a wall comes up, and now they can’t access the very tools that they actually possess to do well in that situations. So they can’t be present. It’s just not possible.

Everyone has these biggest challenges and they are situations that we approach with a sense of dread that we execute with anxiety and distraction. We’re thinking about what they might be thinking of us, what we should have said two minutes ago, what’s going to happen in the future. And then we leave them with a sense of regret, feel that we weren’t seen. Now these big challenges vary dramatically across people. So for some people it might be a job interview. For a lot of people it’s a job interview. For some people it might be relationship conflict at home. For other people it might be going to see the doctor and, you know, making sure that you’re getting all the information you need. So it varies dramatically but I think there are sort of two key elements. Read Full Transcript Here: