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How to convey confidence with your eyebrows

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Japanese Hero fighting Fierce Warrior



Back in the days when my diplomat father was posted in Kabul, the long winter season meant staying at home and reading books because it was too cold to go out and play. It was around this time that I was presented with a book full of folklore from all over the world and I read a story about how an underdog Japanese Hero fought the Fiercest Warrior in the Kingdom to transform from underdog to Top Dog and win the hand of the princess in marriage which was the main prize.

I must have been 10 years old at the time and have long forgotten the name of the story but the eyebrow part remains evergreen in my memory.

Apparently, the Ladies of the Court had, according to the fashion and standards of beauty of that time, shaved and painted high eyebrows which went up in amazement and at one point in the story, disappeared into their hairline when the underdog Hero was making mash of the Fiercest Warrior in the Kingdom. When I look back, I suspect that was the beginning of my fascination with facial expressions in general but certainly eyebrows!

Since children are normally treated as flies on the wall, it was easy to observe the adults, whether they were my parents, teachers (the school principal was a good object of study because his mustache moved too along with his eyebrows), the house help, the parents of my friends and just about anybody who qualified as ancient from a 10 year old child’s perspective. I even recruited my younger sister and friends and we had fun.

What was meant to be a fun game ended up teaching me quite a bit about the role of eyebrows as expressions of confidence and assertive body language.


Indicating assertiveness with your eyebrows


There's more to your eyebrows than meets the eye


Step 3 in my book Self Confidence in 8 Steps, shares 2 self-coaching exercises to implement confident attitudes. In this post, we’ll look at a few ways to exhibit confidence and assertiveness to support the inner work that is required for change with our eyebrows.

Believe it or not but eyebrow control is absolutely crucial during the early days of imbibing self confidence and an assertive stance. If the eyes are the mirror of the Soul, then the eyebrows can help you wing it until you get the hang of being assertive.

An assertive person’s eyebrows are relaxed and will match the tone of voice. A person who is passive would raise their eyebrows indicating lack of assurance and a desire to please while eyebrows that are pulled downwards indicates aggression or lack of clarity.

Give it a try – go to the mirror and try out expressions based on your inner feelings and see what happens with your eyebrows. Better yet, observe others. You’ll get the drift.

To make your assertive and confident stance even more effective, maintain good eye contact with the person that you are talking to. Take it a step further by standing tall in a relaxed manner.

In my post Executive Presence & Professional Brand needs a Strong Vocabulary I mentioned that body language comprises 55% of effective communications. Practicing eyebrow control is winning more than half the battle right there.


Look into the eyes to indicate confidence


Supplement your body language with a steady, firm, medium pitched tone of voice with a stress on your key words delivered in a warm, clear and sincere manner and you can exude self confidence and assertiveness even on a day when you are far from feeling it.

How do you cover up your moments of passive behavior?


Additional Assertiveness Resources

There are lots of posts to help you with your assertive behavior at my blog. Here is a small selection including my book Self Confidence in 8 Steps.



 You can also visit Amazon India


Executive Presence & Professional Brand needs a Strong Vocabulary


Stun Gun the Meanie


When your time management is not enough


Japanese Warrior Picture Credit: Pixabay


Disclosure: If you purchase a product through a link on my site, there’s a good chance I’ll receive some kind of “thank you money” from the company or person I referred you to. For more details, check out my full disclosure policy (link is also available at the bottom of every page).

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26 Responses to “How to convey confidence with your eyebrows”

  1. Norma Doiron says:

    What an interesting subject Vatsala! Who knew all this was going on behind those eyebrows… tee-hee… I’ll be watching them closely from now on! 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Norma. It is fun and more importantly, will help you understand the passive language of others as well as correct your own to convey the ‘right’ message. 🙂

  2. Ian Campbell says:

    Great story Vatsala and I was not aware that eyebrows played such a big part in body language. Spent a while today watching others as they went about their business and saw exactly what you mean. Now that I have this power, I suspect I will be using it quite often to gauge the people around me. 🙂

  3. The first thing that came to mind for me was my mother warning me not to pluck my eyebrows when I was young, as they would not grow back, Vatsala. I have to say, she was right, as I do not have very pronounced eyebrows now and generally pencil them in. The interesting part of this, is to look at the different shapes and intensities of people’s eyebrows, as often very thick eyebrows are the first thing that greet you on a person’s face, regardless of their expression. I know that smiling also affects the eyebrows and softens the overall look. Some people I imagine also have great facility in how they control their eyebrows, with one going up (as in a scolding parent), while the other stays fixed. I really enjoyed the story behind this post and love how you’ve included this into your book on helping others to put their best foot…and eyebrow…forward to others.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      As kids, my sister and I did get up to lots of interesting activities which we laugh at now. 🙂

      Your Mom is right, Beverley. I personally have never been a slave to fashion when it came to my eyebrows – even in the Brooke Shields era when my friends were tweezing their eyebrows to make them straight lines. Perhaps it was my love for Mughal and Ancient Indian paintings where the eyebrows had perfect arches that made me want mine to be naturally expressive and communicative.

  4. Love the story! My son uses his eyebrows in the most creative ways to express emotion. He doesn’t even have to say a word. I’ve tried, other than the frown and curiousity, I’ll have to stand in front of the mirror and try other emotions.

  5. Tamuria says:

    What an interesting story Vatsala. I knew the eyes were the window to the soul but had no idea the eyebrows gave so much away about how we feel. I’m going to practice today. 🙂

  6. Joe Butka says:

    Interesting information I have never really thought much about the eyebrows as a way of conveying confidence. Usually I have look at it as a sign of surprise or quander. Thanks for sharing, something new to think about.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Glad to provide some food for thought, Joe. Our eyes and our eyebrows give away a lot of information to others without our realizing it.

  7. Oh how fun! I would have thought to look at the eyes or facial expressions, but not the eyebrows. Unless someone is mad, then I’d notice the change in the eyebrows shape for sure!

    What a cool idea for me to play with from now on, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I can assure you Delia, you will enjoy yourself observing others. The best part is that you will also know how to display your own confidence when interacting with clients and others. 😉

  8. This is really interesting and good to know Vatsala! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Coach Natalie Palombi says:

    Definitely useful, I’ve never thought of the eyebrows much, moreso always focused on entire facial expressions – but these are good points and I’ll be payments more specific attention now 😉

  10. Tamara MacDuff says:

    This is very useful – I never gave it much thought. It is the little things that make the biggest impression. I have known that more is often said non-verbally than verbally. People judge you based on how you dress, how your makeup is done (or not done) and knowing that no matter what I’m wearing I can fix it with my eyebrows. Definitely one for the confidence toolbox I have. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Francisca says:

    Amazing, Vatsala….

  12. This is fascinating, Vatsala! Body language is truly a give away, as are expressions. But I’d never thought of eyebrows! Now I’ll be watching everybody’s. Lol.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I do it all the time, Susan, especially when I have to deal with people for work to gauge whether we are on the same page or not. Mind you, I also make sure my eyebrows don’t send out the wrong message. 😉

  13. Reba Linker says:

    What a fun post. I’m going to let my eyebrows do the talking!

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