Maybe you're worried about seeming like a show-off, or maybe you're never sure why people react poorly to your straightforward statements. Either way, you might have a problem with communicating confidence, especially in a work setting. It's always a bit of a tightrope walk, but new research has some pointers for anyone who wants to put their best foot forward.
Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame are about to release a study on accountability loopholes — basically, how you can gain the benefits of talking yourself up without the social consequences of seeming like you're bragging. They found that it actually has little to do with the contents of what you're saying, to a point. Study participants rated people with confident body language as more compelling and reliable than those without. That means "making eye contact, gesturing, adopting an expansive posture, or speaking in a strong voice," according to a press release.
This can also be a way to game systems of trust. The researchers also looked at plausible deniability: when someone makes a grand claim that can't or can't yet be backed by firm evidence. This is common among politicians, who might claim that they alone can fix a systemic problem or that launching a particular military operation can only go a certain way.
No matter what, faking it until you make it can actually get you pretty far, so long as you keep your confidence nonverbal. Check in with yourself and observe your posture or how quickly or quietly you're speaking. These might be great shortcuts to helping you help yourself.