Do you have "presence''?

My type of male actor

There are actors I immediately have a crush on - like Mike Vogel in Under the Dome  or Sam Heughan in Outlander - especially if I like the type of guy they play; the smart, sincere kind of man, who doesn’t say much but WHEN he does choose to say something people listen and look up to him and respect him. He is decent, he knows what he wants, doesn’t play around, and has a way to look at his woman that makes other women take their seat ... in defeat ... with a sigh. While my heart cools down for those characters once the movie or the series is over, I have the feeling that my flame for Tom Hardy will continue burning for a while. It’s probably because I loved his acting in the first few movies I saw him in but the parts he played (e.g. the villain Bale from Batman) did not really fulfill my chick-flick image of a man. To me he is one of those unique actors like Gary Oldman, who you see in Hollywood productions but they can still slip into different characters without the audience constantly being reminded of the famous person they are. I have that problem with Julia Roberts. I like HER very much but she is so Julia Roberts in every movie she is in that it’s hard for me to dive into the film and plot. 

An interesting quote

As I was checking out Tom Hardy on Pinterest I came across one of his quotes saying:  

“When someone stares at you and you stare back long enough, something is going to happen. Sometimes you are going to end up in bed. Sometimes in a fight. That’s the lock-in Innit? When you look someone in the eye, you’ve got to know your shit.”

I like this quote a lot. 

And I totally agree with him. 

Making eye-contact 

It reminded me of how much I miss "eye-flirting". Not so much what would/could come afterwards, as in after a long look into each others eyes. Besides the fact that I got my wonderful man, for me it’s not really about the person but the thrill of the bit when eyes meet for the first time; when you are be able to fascinate someone within a few seconds and in some mystic way. When the other person swipes the room with his eyes, swipes over you too but then immediately comes back to you and really looks you in the eyes and feels connected with you. 

I’m such an introvert, I wouldn't know what to do after that. 

I guess "eye-flirting" makes me feel confirmed in my womanhood and in my presence, which is like waking up from the matrix and feeling alive, complete, attractive and confident, all at once. I’m not quite sure why but I don’t "eye-flirt" (that's my new word) much anymore and I believe I’ve lost my touch. Nowadays, when I do make an attempt to eye-flirt, I’m not able to achieve the aspired feeling anymore. Most of the time I look away first because - and that’s where Tom Hardy comes in - I don’t have my "shit together". 

Know your shit 

But what does that mean anyway, 'to know your shit'? 

The longer I thought about it the more I was convinced it had to do with "presence".  That kind of presence, when you know who you are, and what you’re good at. And when you walk into a room you own it and really look and see people and everyone adjust themselves to your pace. 

For the ones, who have been reading my blog on a regular basis you know that I have a difficult relationship with the word "self-confidence". I believe that in the end everything in life comes down to 'confidence' and "self-esteem" because only when you know YOURSELF you can be SELF-confident. Overall though, I think it’s a wide topic and a different story for each individual. The question I asked myself was whether one can have presence without being a very confident person?

I dare say yes.  

Presence, self-confidence 

Maybe the quote resonated with me because I often think to myself that I must be lacking a great portion of presence on a regular basis when I want to say something in a meeting or at a table with friends and then, occasionally, I catch myself not feeling like a real part of the whole conversation. Or when I walk on the street and someone, contrary to me, makes no effort in slightly moving out of each other's way and I get mad thinking “don’t you see me, you blindworm?” For a fraction of a moment it makes me wonder whether I really exist! Whether I’m actually present! And I think that’s it. I’m not … present because I’m in my thoughts. Either I'm thinking about past conversations or situations or I think about things related to the future. 

Breathing 

Those are the moments I try to remind myself to breathe in and out. Not so much in order to calm myself down but because I think I forgot that I’m here and that I need to do what is the base of my existence, essential for any human being, for anything alive, for that matter. Namely to breathe, and therefore to feel yourself, and to find back to yourself. 

Back to my question

Coming back to my question what 'presence' means and whether you can learn it or not; there are so many different approaches concerning this topic. Some articles focus on looks, movements, and behavior and though I agree that these elements can help a lot to make a strong first impression I believe that real presence goes deeper. You can learn certain behavior and let someone feel your power while using a certain amount of warmth but ultimately it’s about being able to make the person feel you are completely there with them, that you are in the moment with the people you are interacting with. Then you are present. Then you have presence. And as all that is a matter of state of mind, by reminding yourself through breathing to pull yourself back in the moment, I’m sure that you can learn having presence.