You may think that you need to show visible and noticeable emotions to persuade, but it’s not always necessary.

An example is when Humphrey Bogart took his stylist (and, um, lover!) Verita Thompson to dinner.

Verita was a Mexican who made it to Hollywood as a stylist. She had an affair with Bogart while they were both married.

The first time he took her to Romanoff’s restaurant, he introduced her as “Petée González, Mexican actress”.

Verita was WTF, but went along with the joke.

To continue the ruse, Verita spoke only Spanish with Bogart, and Sofia-Vergara-grade English with everyone else.

When they left the restaurant, they burst out laughing. But Verita reproached him:

– Now, every time we come here, I’m going to have to play the same role!

Being the Casablanca star quite a scoundrel, he knew it wouldn’t be the last time they would go there.

He thought for a moment, and replied:

– Don’t worry. I’ll fix it the next time we come.

The following week, they returned to the restaurant. Mike, the owner, greeted them.

– Good evening, Miss Gonzalez! How have you been?

Verita was about to answer when Bogart interrupted, looking dismayed:

– But, Mike! What’s the matter with you, can’t you see it’s Verita Thompson, my personal assistant?

The other was perplexed, stammering an apology.

Maybe Romanoff shrugged it off because, after all, “The client is always right”.

(And even more so if the client is an A-lister!).

But in most cases, speaking calmly and firmly will open many doors… and it might even get you out of trouble.

Speaking of movies, I remember a scene of Liam Neeson’s “Taken” where he pretends to be someone else deep inside a nest of criminals.

It’s the perfect example of speaking calmly and firmly to convince… even while lying.

(Spoiler-free, the scene starts at 57:45).

I understand that nerves can be a serious issue.

We’re humans, after all. It’s normal to feel stress and some anxiety in certain situations.

My tip for today: visualizing how you imagine the ideal outcome helps you psychologically prepare for any scenario.

But what about bodily reactions that can be difficult to control?

Gesturing a lot, raising your voice, shaky legs… even your hands becoming sweaty and your throat dry.

Not to mention if you don’t have time to prepare beforehand. What can you do in those cases?

These reactions come from unexpected situations and possible bad outcomes.

My tip: get used to focus on your breathing for three minutes, a couple times a day. That’s it.

That helps you train your mind and body into remaining calm in case something comes up.

In short: If you want to remain calm even in extreme situations…

– Rehearse the possible events inside your mind, ‘practicing’ your ideal behavior, and

– Learn to focus on your breathing a couple times, every day.

Much Love and Bliss,

Jesús Enrique Rosas

The Body Language Guy