What has been a reliable predictor of presidential victories since 1980? The candidate who blinked the least during the general election presidential debates, has won in November. The only exception has been George W. Bush, who won in 2000. But, we must remember that he actually won the popular vote.
While the exact correlation between victory and blinking can be debated, I believe the connection exists because the candidates who blink less are more relaxed and cool. And, being calm in the face of pressure is a highly valued leadership trait, especially in men. Most Americans, whether they admit it consciously or not, want, at the subconscious level, a President who can have a level head to deal with the huge problems he will face.
For a man wanting to be successful, this study has profound implications. It means that you’ll have to be cool, calm, and relaxed to get others to like you and follow you. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re passive. It means that in the face of stress, you:
- Don’t overreact
- Don’t lose control
- Remain calm
- Find solutions
- Act decisively
It’s always helpful to be aware of your emotions when you’re nervous or stressed, so you don’t show others that you are rattled. Although generally subconscious, blinking is one aspect of your body language you can control. If you’re interviewing, presenting at work, out in the clubs, or doing anything important, you may want to be aware of your blinking and slow it down.
However, rather than managing your blinks and other cues, the best advice is simply to be to learn to relax before you enter stressful situations and to remain calm within them. Remember, slowing your breathing is a quick and easy way to slow everything about your body, including your blinking and other stress indicators. So, a few deep breaths will probably go a long way in relaxing you.
While you may not be vying for the hardest job in the world (the President of the United States), don’t let your blinking stop you from achieving your popularity and success goals.