Science Says It's More Than How You Look that Makes You Attractive
Attractiveness is more than just physical beauty. It is a magnetic force that pulls people together, connecting people of different sizes and shapes. Since attractiveness contributes to such spontaneous encounters, if you are looking for a golden rule, you would be disappointed.
Yet in fact, it is good that you would be disappointed. As the American best-selling self-help author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer argues, “The law of attraction is this: You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.” Birds of a feather flock together. So the good news is, we do not need to change ourselves to fit a social ideal in order to be more attractive. Instead, Science says, what is most important is to develop our own personality and have the desire to engage in deep relationships with other people.
1. Music Cultivates Individuality
In a 2014 study, researchers asked about 1,500 individuals (whose average age was 28) to rate the attractiveness of different composers according to the music they make. The results showed that people preferred music that is more complicated in style and structure. They also say that they would more likely develop long term relationships with those who compose more complex music.
Music is a tool for expression. Our personality and tastes develop as we explore different kinds of music. So it might be a good idea for you to start varying your choice of music and even learn new musical instruments!
2. Extreme Sports Strengthen Mind and Body
Extreme sports can train both our bodies and minds to make us stronger persons, thus making us more attractive. According to a 2014 study led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage for example, it is discovered that those who take “hunter-gatherer risks” are generally considered to be more attractive.
Hunter-gatherer risks are similar to the risks faced by ancestral humans. They include mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading.
3. Confidence Gives Us Good Sense of Humour
Our fear of not fitting in makes us boring. Hence, the key to be attractive and have a good sense of humour is to accept ourselves as who we are.
In one small study, a psychologist asked three men to tell a joke to their friends while a woman sat at a nearby table. They were then instructed to approach the woman and ask for her number. Results showed that the guys who joked were three times as likely to get the woman’s number. They were also rated more attractive and intelligent by the woman.
“The effect of a great sense of humor on women’s attractions might be partially explained by the fact that funny people are considered to be more social and more intelligent, things that women seek in a mate,” anthropologist Gil Greengross writes.
4. Having Good Friends Makes Us Attractive
It is not enough just to develop our individuality. In order to be more attractive, we should surround ourselves with friends. This is not only because our friends can have positive influence on us and make our personalities more attractive, a 2014 study from the University of California at San Diego found that people look better in a group.
In one experiment, people were assigned to look at the faces of men and women, once in a group photo and once in an isolated portrait. Results showed that participants rated both men and women significantly more attractive when they were pictured in a group.
One possibility is: our brains take the faces of a group in aggregate, hence making each face more “average”– and therefore attractive.
“Having a few wingmen or wingwomen may indeed be a good dating strategy, particularly if their facial features complement and average out one’s unattractive idiosyncrasies,” study authors Drew Walker and Edward Vul write.
5. A Person’s Most Attractive Trait is Their Availability
When talking about attractiveness, we usually think about appearance and personalities. However, research shows that a person’s most attractive trait is their availability. The more readily available we are for deep relationships, the more attractive we are.
In dating, it is more about physical availability. But this is not enough. Long-term romantic partners is about emotional availability: “Will this person open up to me?” Openness to engage in deeper relationships is also important in friendship.
In business it is about economic and intellectual availability. “Will this person work with me?”
This is because everyone, including the people we appeal to, desire connection and intimate relationships. Everyone has the mutual fear of being rejected. Availability can therefore open up our doors to other people and render us more attractive.
6. Open Up Yourself for Deeper Conversations
In a 1997 study, State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron and colleagues designed two sets of questions for two groups of undergrads to guide their conversations. One question set was small talk, and the other included deeper questions. The people who asked deeper questions felt more connected. One couple even fell in love.
Deeper conversations allow us to develop our personalities and better understand ourselves and each other. Hence, the more we desire to open up for deeper conversations, the more attractive we become.
7. A Simple Smile Makes One More Beautiful
Ultimately, beauty comes from our heart. Two experiments in Switzerland found that the stronger a person smile, the more attractive his/ her face looked. A happy facial expression can even compensate for relative unattractiveness.
Another study called “Happy Guys Finish Last: The Impact of Emotion Expressions on Sexual Attraction” that was published in Emotion also discover that happiness is the most attractive emotion in females.
Hence, a simple smile can make one more beautiful and attractive.
Featured photo credit: Portrait of a young beautiful asian woman unhap...via shutterstock.com
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