I’ve been throwing my weight around.

Yes, I can see you’re envious, you green-eyed monster.

But it’s not what you think.

I need to throw my weight around and I can’t help it. Those around me have no choice but to resign to fate and accept my wanton impudicity.

That’s right. Being pregnant at 38 weeks and having gained a whopping, extra 10kg baby belly, I make no qualms about minding my body language. Whatever keeps me comfortable – fits. At work, I will sit bowl-legged and on my sides or indulgently perch myself in the front seat of my colleague’s car (and leave the rest of beefcakes to cosy up with one another behind) whenever we head out for lunch - and nary feel apologetic about it. Additionally, I can – supposedly be entitled to – throw a hissy fit and get away with it or be all-acceptingly excused for submitting half-baked work. All I need to do is put the blame on those out-of-whack hormones.

There’s no need to be jealous. Let me share with you some even better ways of getting around things and yet be seen as getting them done proficiently at the same time. Now don’t you stay on the ivory tower and cry foul over my unorthodox offerings. Just thank me for awakening your inner demon and helping to speak on behalf of your wimpy self.

Here’s a guide on how to appear smart and thereby gain opportunities to throw your weight around! The best part is - you don’t even need to have a bun in the oven to do so.

  • Don’t talk incessantly to get a point across. Instead, learn to cut in concisely and at the right time to make a value proposition.
  • Ask intelligent questions to spark off further discussions or deflect a query you can’t address. Raise a contrary view with a well reasoned position to show that you are capable of independent thought – but don’t do this for the sake of simply wanting to appear disagreeable and different.
  • When in doubt, first assess the situation to gather enough info and then be the last to speak when you’re ready to give a thoughtful opinion at the end. You could also take the chance to succinctly summarise all the good points made by everyone else (while remembering to give due credit to the source). People are more likely to recall them better than the raw ideas that were initially brought up.
  • Where applicable, quote relevant examples and sound sources to appear learned and updated. (It gives you a way out if they turn out to be erroneous, too!) You could also hold or place credible reading materials such as Wall Street Journal or Financial Times in your hand or on your desk to boost your image and others’ impression of you. But please exercise this stint with common sense: at least take the effort to browse some of the headlines and articles so that you won’t be stumped or caught red-handed for being a poseur when others start asking you about them!
  • Speak clearly, calmly and unhurriedly – while emphasising key words and with appropriate pauses - to exude an aura of sustained gravitas and confidence. Peppering your sentences with "like" and “it depends” or “yes and no” is lame – so avoid doing that.
  • Emulate how smart people or those you look up to deliver their lines and craft their stance; you might just be able to use a couple of their anecdotes or draw inspiration from the way they handle certain matters on a separate, fitting occasion.
  • Sometimes, diverse cultural experiences and displays of global outlooks can be mistaken for intelligence. But it seems to work, so you might as well use it to your advantage.

With these tips, you’d no sooner be seen as worth your weight in gold. And when you finally also gain a whopping, extra 10kg – after many years of inactivity behind your desk and growing a beer belly from all that social drinking with the bosses, you’d find that you can start throwing your weight around, too. Just “weight” and see!