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How to Smile to Be More Attractive

How to Smile to Be More Attractive

Usually, smiling indicates a positive, approachable and likeable person. It can send your attraction levels soaring from the perspective of another and create an emotional, often subconscious, reaction within them.

But do all smiles have this effect? Is a simple smile really going to instantly up your attractiveness? Well, it depends. The type of smile you give and the situation you give it in, can make a difference to how it’s interpreted.

A smile can also make you less reliable

Yes, research has found that people who smile more are considered more attractive and likeable. While those who give the impression of looking sad tend to be seen as less approachable. It could be a case of face shape and the mouth naturally sitting in a down-mouth expression. When we’re not consciously thinking about smiling or actually feeling inner sadness, our faces can send out the signal of keep away.

But the opposite can also be a problem. If you smile too much, say in a formal situation such as a business meeting, you can actually come across as being less reliable.

So how can we smile in the right way and at the right time to give the best impression?

Human brains can’t really differentiate if a smile is fake or real most of the time

When it comes to social situations, you can never really smile too much. This is because your aim is to exude your confidence and positivity towards others. It’s a type of human bonding in order to carry on interactions and become part of the pack.

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If you’re a person who often gets comments about always looking angry, sad or standoffish, it can be frustrating especially when you’re not particularly feeling those emotions as you go through your day.

The key is to practice fake smiling. It may sound ridiculous but most people can’t actually differentiate fake smiles from real ones in an ongoing interaction.

It’s been found [1] that the act of smiling – even if fake – tricks the part of your brain associated with happiness and releasing endorphins. The brain can’t differentiate between the physical act of fake smiling or real smiling – to your brain, it’s the same. So when you practice fake smiling the brain thinks you’re happy, and if done enough times will eventually create a genuine, happy smile.

Men perceive women’s smile as “humor”

As a woman, your smile and laugh are extremely powerful in the attraction process. Of course this applies to both sexes, but a man, in particular, responds in a certain way to the positive nature of a smile and a laugh.

In a man’s mind, humor is essential in attracting a woman. If he can make her laugh, he feels he’s succeeding. If you like a guy, use this to your advantage. Smile and laugh that little bit more at his jokes if you want to increase his attraction for you.

What also happens when you smile and laugh more in a guy’s presence, is that he actually interprets your laughter as you being humorous. In other words, in his eyes you don’t have to crack hilarious jokes to be funny but actually just think his jokes are hilarious.

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Different types of smile and their effects

We all want to be liked in different situations, and our smile is the one simple weapon we have to achieve this. So what are the different ways we can use our smile to get optimal results?

The ‘Sideways Look Up’ Smile: Both men and women will love you

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    This type of smile is considered the most attractive to both men and women. For men, it evokes masculine feelings of protection while women will naturally feel warmth towards you.

    Why? Because the smiler instantly comes across as child-like, playful and secretive. For men, this creates parental male feelings, making them want to care for you and this can be the basis of attraction between potential couples. It’s coy and a people-pleaser which is why Princess Diana, who naturally used this type of smile, was able to captivate the hearts of the people.

    Want to Appear Open? Avoid The ‘Tight-Lipped’ Smile

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      Think back to situations when someone’s smile has evoked a feeling of uneasiness. Most times their smile has been tight-lipped – concealed teeth and lips stretched tight across the face.

      Depending on whether you’re a man or a woman, you may interpret this differently. Women tend to use this much more and are usually a sign they are trying not to reveal their true, often negative, feelings. Other women tend to interpret this as a sign of rejection or a withheld opinion causing them to become cautious. Men, on the other hand, can be more oblivious to its meaning.

      If your intention is to remain mysterious and promote a sense of curiosity in another person, then this type of smile may work but use it with caution. Most people react better to how open you appear which will mean smiling more with your teeth showing.

      Get Playful With the ‘Drop Jaw’ Smile

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        This kind of smile isn’t necessarily natural but if done in the right way will allow you to appear like you’re laughing and more playful.

        When you smile, simply drop your jaw down by opening the mouth up more. You may have seen this technique in clowns usually using face paint to exaggerate the open smile.

        There are certain situations where using this type of smile can be to your benefit. If you want to come across as more friendly – say, as a boss wanting to be more open and friendly to your staff – this is the perfect technique. However, be aware that using the drop-jaw smile in a more authoritative setting is best to be avoided as it gives off the wrong impression and could make people believe you’re not to be taken too seriously.

        So try to be more aware of your smiling. Ask yourself do you smile enough? If not practice fake smiling. Think about the situations and how your smile is being interpreted. Being aware of using the right smile at the right time can significantly increase your social, romantic and career goals.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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        Last Updated on October 30, 2019

        How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

        How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

        Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

        In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

        Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

        You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

        What is the Stages of Change Model?

        Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

        Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

        Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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          The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

          The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

          The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

          The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

          1. Precontemplation
          2. Contemplation
          3. Determination
          4. Action
          5. Maintenance
          6. Termination

          How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

          To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

            Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

            Stage 1: Precontemplation

            At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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            For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

            Stage 2: Contemplation

            At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

            You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

            The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

            Stage 3: Preparation

            At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

            Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

            Stage 4: Action

            When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

            Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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            Stage 5: Maintenance

            After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

            Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

            Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

            Stage 6: Termination

            Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

            However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

            How long does each stage take?

            You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

            So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

            The limitations of this model

            The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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            Require the ability to set a realistic goal

            For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

            If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

            Difficult to judge your progress

            The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

            Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

            Conclusion

            The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

            While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

            Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
            [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
            [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
            [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
            [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
            [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
            [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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