Posture in this context is like posture for your health, this is posture for personality. It’s essentially the external result of internal character. When we have bad internal character, we exhibit it externally in our proverbial “posture”. An example is calling someone’s work is “mediocre”. While it may be technically true, but it’s bad posture. And even if you don’t say it in front of them, anyone else who hears this will see your bad posture as well.
This is why we also have the danger of “imposture” where we try and fake posture. It’s usually very easy to see through someone’s facade when they’re trying to be nice etc. This is why it’s crucial to improve our internal character first, and allow our posture to naturally improve so that we’re sincere.
Posture is easily noticeable in other people when they make a cutting remark, or forget the audience when making a comment. But it takes effort and discipline to notice it ourselves and “straighten up” proverbially.
An excellent example of posture was at a conference a number of months ago, where the speaker was being interviewed in a panel. It all happened in a matter of seconds, but it was tremendously enlightening regarding his posture, and insightful into his character. He was there with his wife and in response to a question mentioned lightheartedly that, compared to him, “she’s perfect”. At first glance this might sound humble and kind, but after consideration actually sounds a bit sarcastic (always bad for posture), and makes it awkward for her.
He very quickly corrected himself saying “well, she’s almost perfect”. Sadly this was a step back, now she’s not perfect, and it sounds like he’s focusing on her flaws. Thankfully due to his focus and determination he swiftly caught himself and hit perfect posture by saying somewhat apologetically: “she’s more perfect than I am”.
It’s a brilliant example of delicate posture handling because now the outcome is that he humbly honored his wife as more refined than him, but also wasn’t self deprecating at the same time (also bad for posture). So even though his intent in the first try was good, his posture wasn’t the best, and the course corrections were effective in communicating his character better.
Striving to improve character and therefore your posture, is an excellent way to improve relationships and communication with other people.