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Science Says It’s More Than How You Look that Makes You Attractive

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.

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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.

Multiple scientific studies for example indicate that people are more attracted to those who can make them laugh.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 unhappy on trees background, vintage style via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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