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5 Misconceptions About What Is Attractive To Women

5 Misconceptions About What Is Attractive To Women

So you’re trying to become more attractive to women, but there’s bad advice everywhere. What should you believe? Is it true that bad boys get all the women or should you be the nice guy that women say they want?

Trying to understand a woman can be more confusing than rocket science and I’m sure many women don’t even understand each other. Here are the most common misconceptions men have about women:

1. Women Want a Super Masculine Man

Whilst this may be true for some women, most men overestimate how masculine they have to be in order to be attractive. Don’t believe me? Just compare a men’s magazine to a women’s magazine.

You’ll notice a huge difference in the pictures of men portrayed: the ones in the men’s magazines tend to have an edgier look, be more muscular, have more body and facial hair, and are usually in more masculine poses. This illustrates exactly the distinction between what men want to become and what women are looking for.

So overall, what women are really looking for is a true gentleman. They want someone who is caring and well groomed, but at the same time, strong enough to be stoic in situations where they are challenged/made fun of.

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2. Women Want You to Micro-manage Your Look

No, you don’t need to sit straight and puff your chest out all day to look attractive. And hell no to taking up more space just to appear more confident or ‘masculine’.

I’ve talked to a few women and they do notice these things. They’ll tell me how obvious it is when a guy is trying to impress them by trying to take up more space. A confident man is never self-conscious of these things. They take up as much (or as little) space as they need without thinking about it.

This goes for body language too. You shouldn’t have to worry about micromanaging every body part. In fact, trying to force certain body language will feel very awkward, and it is difficult to maintain. If you want good posture, just go to the gym and start eating healthier.

3. Women Want Good Looks Above All

You might hear the phrase ‘looks don’t matter’ get tossed around by people, especially from the ‘pickup artist’ community. Don’t believe a single word of it. Looks are probably the most important aspect of attraction. If there is no physical attraction from the outset, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be a good match.

Whilst there is no doubt that good looks are an essential part of initial attraction. A lot of long-term relationships are often founded on more than good looks alone.

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If you are a bit conscious of not looking attractive enough for your lady, there are ways you can go about improving this too. Hit the gym if you don’t already. Even if you don’t have Brad Pitt’s face, women are often attracted to a man with a good body.

Dressing well is also something that a lot of women will take notice of. Not only can dressing well make you appear more attractive, but once you meet a woman you like, she will usually let you know how she likes you to look. You can use these little hints as a guide on how to look even better. Let’s be honest, women usually do have much better taste than men! At the outset just try to start by paying attention to the colour combinations of your clothes. Next, familiarise yourself with the different types of jeans so that you buy a pair that are actually flattering.

There is no getting away from the fact that a pleasant appearance in all of its many forms is attractive to the opposite sex, but if you think you’re the bees knees and try to rely on this alone, you’re probably going to spend a lot of your life as a singleton. Work at your looks as much as you naturally can, but also remember that working on who you are as a person will probably be something that will take you the furthest in the long run.

4. Women Want You to Be Somebody Else

You might hear this advice coming from your close friends when you tell them you’re you’re about to go on a first date and you’re very nervous. “Just be yourself, man.”

In your friend’s mind, they’re probably thinking, “just act how you normally act around us,” but when push comes to shove, it’s impossible to act that way when you’re feeling nervous. Your mind’s just too busy thinking something along the lines of “she’s so hot, how do I impress her” to come up with the things that you usually do.

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What should you do instead? First of all, ask yourself the question: if you were a chick, would you go out with someone like yourself? If the answer is no, then you have some improving to do. That’s the harsh reality of it. You can’t just be yourself if you’re not datable. Find out the reasons why you won’t go out with yourself and fix them.

If you answered yes, then you’ll automatically have a reason to appear more confident during a date. Of course, there will still be some things you’re insecure about, everyone has those. It’s best to just accept and forget those and if she brings it up, just be upfront about it.

5. Women Just Want a Guy Who Can Make Them Laugh

Whilst it’s a no brainer that women love a guy who can make them laugh, the misconception here is that most men think they need to be always making her laugh in order for her to like him. Luckily it’s much easier than you might think.

The key to conversation is to:

  • Know how to enjoy your own company
  • Know how to hold meaningful conversations

The first part just comes down to knowing how to amuse yourself if no-one is around. This doesn’t mean you have to be sitting at home telling yourself jokes, but it should mean that you have an active “interior” life. This could manifest itself in things such as hobbies, like reading, writing, or watching films. What I’m essentially trying to say is that you shouldn’t fear being alone. Needy is not a good look, and that is how you will most likely come across if you’re not happy and comfortable in your own skin.

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Knowing how to hold meaningful conversations comes down to two things: listening to what they’re saying and being genuinely curious and interested in what the other person is saying, even if you aren’t interested in the topic itself. The listening part is quite simple and I’m sure most of you can do that. The second part is not as easy, but it’s not difficult either. Let’s take an example:

You might not be particularly interested in fashion, but if she is, then very likely the topic will come up often. She’ll probably bring up a cool fact you didn’t know, or tell you some funny story. This is your chance to be interested and ask lots of questions. If you’re really intrigued, a few of your questions will lead to awesome conversations. The great thing with this tip is you’ll be able to hold the conversation for ages.

So next time, when she brings up something interesting, don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Become curious, get your brain working and turn it into a long, meaningful conversation.

Featured photo credit: Teens by a Fountain by Garry Knight via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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