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:

34 thoughts on “How To Optimize Social Interactions: A Lesson On Presence From Amy Cuddy

  1. there are people who can be present all the time, its called enlightenment.
    This chick doesnt know what she is talking about

  2. how do I know and express “my story” if I’ve experienced ego death and feel
    that all things of this universe are interconnected? I understand the
    importance of presence, but one can be present without the need for an ego
    or an ideology or belief system, if anything every situation should be
    approached as openly as possible to objectively see every perspective
    rather than a personal subjective one.

  3. amazing video!!! Just one question, what your suggestion about when you are
    feeling the emotions and feeling in your body in stressful sitatuion how to
    deal with them the best in the presence moment? thanks a lot again.

  4. She has great points but she doesn’t mention humor which I think is a key
    part of being fully aware and present. That’s a positive way to assess your
    experience and be able to represent it to yourself and others. It’s a
    starting point we can bear to see, evaluate and when occasion permits,
    share. Humor is a useful lens. Outside of truly tragic situations, it can
    lead to a lighter and often more accurate awareness of self and
    surroundings.

  5. YOU may not be able to achieve a monk like complete presence but that
    doesnt mean others can’t. And planning for the future doesnt count

  6. The point in the ending about the incapability of being present all the
    time, was very wise in my opinion, and important to include.

  7. Bizzt! Wrong, Amy. The threat is REAL. Were it not, people would, for
    example, be more honest and prolific on Facebook. Or at work. Or when with
    friends, family, or total strangers. But they aren’t. They self-censor.
    They self-censor because the consequences for being one’s self are real and
    material, ESPECIALLY in this day and age, in which social liberals and 3rd
    wave feminists have people FIRED and socially marginalized for expressing
    ideas in public that conflict with the social liberal agenda. People lose
    jobs, are denied economic and social opportunities (they’re
    disenfranchised, in other words). They’re socially ostracized, being denied
    friendship and companionship. This is ALL true. I know from personal
    experience, but am by no means the only one. It’s happening to increasing
    numbers of people with the courage to exercise their moral, legal, and
    God-give right to be heard…

  8. take her tips about lie detection and watch the tom brady deflate-gate
    press interrogation footage, talking about how he likes his balls – nigga
    was lying as hell lol he looked so guilty and remorseful.

  9. The number of people who have commented on her appearance (and positively)
    is much larger than I expected

  10. I would add that a big part of the problem is not having the space to feel.
    If you don’t know what you’re feeling, you can’t identify what’s bothering
    you. So you’ll tend to lash out at the first irritant. That’s anyone who
    hasn’t carved out the space in their psyches, in their homes, to learn that
    they can survive feelings that they dare not feel. Emotions are dangerous
    in this society. Just look at all the murders, murder suicides, millions
    and millions of people living in blind terror of their feelings, burying
    them deep, only to be buried by them in the end. If I put this in “brain
    talk” it’s learning how to get the part of the brain that deals in
    language, to accept, tolerate, and understand the part of the brain that
    communicates in imagery and abstract symbolism as well as the limbic part
    of the brain that deals with emotions and even the brain stem/hypothalmus
    that deals in anger and fear – the fight/flight response. But one of the
    “f”‘s is conveniently missing from this equation, even though I wonder if
    it might have a place in it.

  11. darling,.. i aint likable in many ways.
    .. diva, arrogance, attitude… sure..
    insecurities show honestly there… or murder 😉 😛 .
    . trust! its been an issue… like… like since since THE UNFAIR
    INJUSTICE!! .
    . WelL it dont matter the or no honesty as much as the getting what
    conditioned by. thats the next to that desency met encounter relativity in
    existence. … they say as do i, adhd difference in cognition. not a
    disorder. but to that belitteling grown man… n thats why maybe point ing
    that out… they dont sjstter or schitzo when gotta stop the abuse n
    responsably to own feelings n not have any to colLect from idealism, school
    of tjought or philosophy mediating lingo settings as lsst fix cogn bias ref
    to authority.

  12. According to Cuddy we should act like what we want to become. We should
    fake it till we become it. But she has also said that you should be
    yourself even if it’s strange and awkward because that’s better than being
    something you’re not. Aren’t these two concepts a little contradicting?

  13. Of course she is correct, it requires some deep thought and honesty with
    yourself. You need to be self aware! Just notice what is happening with
    yourself over a couple of hours.

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