This article is part of our cues guide. Click here for more.
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Justin Bieber is a super talented singer and currently one of the top paid performers in the industry. Yet, despite all this massive success, he struggles with anxiety.
Justin uses specific nonverbal cues to manage anxiety and stay calm, cool, and collected in high-pressure situations.
In this article, you’re going to learn the cues that Justin uses to remain calm and cool.
Cue #1: Havening
When Justin feels stressed, he uses a technique called havening.
Havening is a self-soothing cue. When you self-soothe, 2 types of chemicals are released: oxytocin and serotonin. These chemicals are known for aiding in controlling stress and anxiety.
As a baby, you might have sucked your thumb to self-soothe during times of stress. When you were a kid, your mother might have rubbed your back to help you get to sleep, and you might have thought it’s the best feeling in the world. Adults have developed their own unique forms of havening:
- rubbing the arm
- touching the back of the neck
- massaging the fingers together
- rubbing fingers through hair
- a self-hug
Pro Tip: Avoid publicly self-touching if you want to appear calm and cool, like when you’re with a VIP or during a negotiation. Instead, try rubbing your hands together. This is super useful because you can even do it under a desk! You can also try running your hands down your leg without anyone knowing. Save havening as a backup plan to relieve stress.
Cue #2: Block it Out
Justin Bieber also blocks out his eyes when he’s overwhelmed by a situation. Take a look at what he does in this clip:
Justin “blocks out” his environment by covering his eyes. But blocking it out also has an interesting chemical effect: some research has shown that when we touch our eyelids, we also calm down our vagus nerve.
Cue #3: Change Positions
You’ll also notice in the video that Justin lies down and physically changes position. He goes from seated in a chair to sitting on the floor to lying down.
Now, we can’t all lie down in the middle of a party or a pitch or negotiation. But it isn’t a bad thing if you need to take a break from a high-pressure situation to go to the bathroom, lean against the wall, lean over on the counter, or take a seat.
And if you want more cues like this, I analyze all of them in my book, Cues: Master the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication.
Cue #4: Coordinate Your Cues
We are constantly sending cues to one another—thousands every day!
One of the secret ways that we can get more control of our anxiety is to take control of our cues.
In fact, the more we take control of our cues, the more we take control of our life. Bieber and his team have done this; let’s watch and see how they do it:
Justin sets up signals with his partner, his coach, and his team.
The most successful people know that they are constantly sending cues to each other. And they coordinate these cues with their environment and the people around them.
Pro Tip: Talk to your friends, your wingman, your pitching partners, your partner, or your boss and plan your cue. When you’re in a high-pressure situation, instead of displaying anxious body language, have a coordinated cue for them to take over the conversation.
If you want to be more advanced, you can set up a cue to signal you want something. For example, you can give a wide-eyed eyebrow raise that signals it’s time to go home and turn on Netflix!
Remember, the more cues you set out, the more in control you are.
Cue #5: Empowering Touch
If you watch Justin Bieber in action, you will notice that he uses an empowering, comforting touch with others all the time. Take a look at just how much he engages in touch:
Touch is critical because it creates oxytocin. The moment we physically touch other people, we get a burst of oxytocin. So by constantly reaching out for touch, high fives, hugs, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and handshakes, you can continually release oxytocin and calm your nerves. For more awesome body language cues, head on over to our article: Body Language Examples and Their Meanings