Comportment is communication

What you wear, the mannerisms you employ, the way you hold yourself—these are a form of expression. What does your bearing say about you?

We live in a culture—indeed, we have created it—where two truths are universally acknowledged:

  1. 90% of interpersonal communication is non-verbal.
  2. It is horrible and wrong to assume anything about someone based on how they present themselves.

Only one of these is actually true, for obvious reasons. God made the physical world to image the spiritual, so truth #1 is fact, while truth #2 is rebellion against fact.

How you present yourself—your dress, your mannerisms, your speech—all communicate something about you.

For instance, wearing flip-flops, or not wearing a belt, or otherwise dressing like a woman or a child, communicates that you are soft and weak: that you treat life like a safe space, and expect someone else to look after you rather than being prepared to take command in a crisis.

Dressing like a hipster communicates that you’re compliant and fragile; that you’re needy about what others think of you, and that you lack real strength of conviction, being more concerned about affectation than reality.

Dressing with luxuriously-styled hair or overly-tight clothes communicates that you’re prideful and vain; that you spend more time focused on yourself than others, and that you’re more consumed with what women think of you than men.

Leaning into your woman when you stand together communicates that you lack authority and power; that in your relationship, she is the center of gravity rather than you.

Speaking with an affected tone or holding yourself in a tentative way communicates that you are afraid of your natural masculinity; that you are not grounded, that you lack confidence in yourself, and want to moderate your delivery to conform to feminine ideals.

The linguistics of this kind of communication is not precise. Indeed, we have almost lost the concept of a social grammar for sexual expression entirely. So everything we’ve said here is a generalization. Moreover, communication and reality don’t always match up. Nonetheless, developing an awareness of what you’re probably communicating is the only way to ensure you get better at it.

Are you communicating that you’re serious about exercising dominion over your life? That you are able to subdue your world? Or is it the other thing?