How We Present Ourselves May Say More Than We Think

I can remember as a little girl my mom picking out such pretty clothes and always adorning my hair with ribbons and bows.  She would always tell me that I was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and found joy in watching me grow.  Only until I became a mother myself, did I truly understand her words.  For when I look at my children, they ARE the most beautiful things I have ever laid eyes on!  

It brings me such joy to spend quality time with each of my children as I help dress them and comb their hair in preparation for the day.  I intentionally take time in their presentation, not for outside approval, but for them and Eric and myself.  They are only under my care for so long and there is so much to instill into them, that this one simple act plays a large part in communicating, connecting, and building self confidence.  

While my early initial motives for presenting my children well were for my pleasure, I soon realized the other benefits to this form of communication.  I am equipping them with a skill of being confident in themselves that will carry them in all aspects of their life.  As simple as it sounds, it is a part of laying a healthy foundation for creating, keeping, and engaging in strong healthy relationships.  

I am not talking about being materialistic, staying on top of the latest fashion trends, or how true beauty is found on the inside.  I am talking about how the manner in which we present ourselves to the world, nonverbally communicates how we perceive ourselves.

This quote from becomegorgeous.com says it perfectly!

“It’s totally true that the clothes we wear represent the perfect reflection of who we really are. Besides all the instruments we have in order to communicate, our clothes represent probably the most important one. They show our personality, the way we see ourselves and the social group in which we want to be included. Before any verbal contact, a special communication takes place, which is made through the clothes we wear. These will say a lot about you, about your lifestyle and personality.”

It is this that I want to instill into my children.  To help guide them in understanding who they are and how they present themselves will be that reflection.  Because I have placed this as a value, I myself had to do some research, digging, and learning about how I present myself!  

If you struggle (as I have and still do at times) in this area here are some ways to get started on learning about this specific form of nonverbal communication and the impact it has.

  1. Take Time to Reflect.  Take some time to process how you learned to dress/present yourself.  Taking time to reflect on your own shaping, formed perceptions, and education on what you were taught about how one communicates through wardrobe will help make a breakthrough to change.  
  2. Observe Others. Take notice to how others are presenting themselves.  Learn from them.  What are they communicating?  How are their children presenting themselves?
  3. Gather Resources. Educate yourself!  Friends, family, even coaches can help!  The internet is full of resources on educating oneself on how to feel confident and good in your clothes.  Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch instructional videos.  Some resources to get you started are Dressing Your Truth, Real Men Real Style, and Capsule Wardrobe.
  4. Clean Out the Closet. Get rid of clothes you don’t like, don’t fit, or never wear.  Start filling your/children’s wardrobe with clothes that fulfill the purpose of what you are wanting to communicate.
  5. Plan. As with any new thing we learn, it takes effort, time, and planning.  Take baby steps, make SMART goals, identify obstacles, and celebrate the victories!  

I am still growing in this area, yet I have purpose in my decisions on how I present myself and children.  I am reading Carol Tuttle’s book The Child Whisperer and it has been so fun to recognize the differences in our family, and I am learning how to celebrate them and bring out the best through encouragement and even wardrobe.  

Clothing.  Such a simple thing, yet has the power to communicate who we are.  

One Response to “Nonverbal Communication”

  1. Claire E Hatton
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    First impressions are sometimes the most lasting and that can either be good or bad. Right? Dressing for the purpose w God in mind is the key to bringing Him glory.

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