Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 21, 2017

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

    Image credit

    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

    Advertising

      Image credit

      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

        Image credit

        Advertising

        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

        Communication Expert

        271 Best Answers on Quora You Might Have Missed Last Year 53 Relationship Questions That Will Change Your Love Life Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 25 Inspirational Movie Quotes That Will Teach You The Most Valuable Life Lessons

        Trending in Psychology

        1Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts 2Being in Narcissism Relationships Is Like Playing With Fire. It Is Risky. 313 Crippling Social Anxiety Symptoms Explained & How to Deal with Them 48 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 5Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Published on July 13, 2018

        Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

        Striving Towards Secure Attachment: How to Restructure Your Thoughts

        What if you could discover some tools and methods that could improve your relationships? What if by gaining a little knowledge you could understand your relationship dynamics better and give them a boost up?

        By learning what secure attachment is and how to restructure your thoughts, you can become more self-aware of your relationship dynamics. After becoming more aware, you can then take a few steps to make them better than ever. That’s something that many of us could benefit from.

        When we hear the term secure attachment, our mind typically goes to a relationship. And that’s exactly what it’s about.

        In this article I’ll discuss the concept of secure attachments in more detail and how restructuring your thoughts can help you strive towards achieving better relationships.

        Relationships are a hugely important part of our lives and whatever we can do to improve them is a good thing for everyone involved.

        What is attachment theory?

        Let’s do a quick overview of what attachment theory is. This will provide a good foundation for the rest of this article.

        The esteemed psychologist John Bowlby first coined the term attachment theory in the late 60’s. Bowlby studied early childhood conditioning extensively and what he found was very interesting.

        His research showed that when a very young child has a strong attachment to a caregiver, it provides the child with a sense of security and foundation. On the other hand when there isn’t a secure attachment, the child will expend a lot more developmental energy looking for security and stability.

        The child without the secure attachment tends to become more fearful, timid and slow to explore new situations or their environment.

        Advertising

        When a strong attachment is developed in a child, he or she will be inclined to be more adventurous and seek out new experiences because they feel more secure. They know that whoever is watching out for them will be there if needed.

        Bowlby’s colleague, Mary Ainsworth, took the theory further. She did extensive studies around infant-parent separations and provided a more formal framework for the differing attachment styles.

        How attachment develops

        Simply put, attachment is an emotional bond with another person. Attachment doesn’t have to go both ways, it can be one person feeling attached to another without it being reciprocated. Most of the time, it works between two people to one degree or another.

        Attachment begins at a very young age. Over the history of time, when children were able to maintain a closer proximity to a caregiver that provided for them, a strong attachment was formed.

        The initial thought was that the ability to provide food or nourishment to a child was the primary driver of a strong attachment.

        It was then discovered that the primary drivers of attachment proved to be the parent/caregivers responsiveness to the child as well as the ability to nurture that child in a variety of ways. Things such as support, care, sustenance, and protection are all components of nurturing a child.

        In essence a child forms a strong attachment when they feel that their caregiver is accessible and attentive and there if they need them; that the parent/caregiver will be there for them. If the child does not feel that the caregiver is there to help them when needed, they experience anxiety.

        Different types of attachments

        In children, 4 types of attachment styles have been identified. They are as follows:

        • Secure attachment – This is primarily marked by discomfort or distress when separated from caregivers and joy and security when the caregiver is back around the child. Even though the child initially feels agitated when the caregiver is no longer around, they feel confident they will return. The return of the parent or caregiver is met with positive emotions, the child prefers parents to strangers.
        • Ambivalent attachment – These children become very distressed when the parent or caregiver leaves. They feel they can’t rely on their caregiver for support when the need arises. Even though a child with ambivalent attachment may be agitated or confused when reunited with a parent or caregiver, they will cling to them.
        • Avoidant attachment – These kids typically avoid parents or caregivers. When they have a choice of being with the parent or not, they don’t seem to care one way or the other. Research has shown that this may be the result of neglectful caregivers.
        • Disorganized attachment – These children display a mix of disoriented behavior towards their caregiver. They may want them sometimes and other times they don’t. This is sometimes thought to be linked to inconsistent behavior from the parent or caregiver.

        What attachments mean to adults

        So the big question is how does this affect us in adulthood? Intuitively it makes sense that as a child, if we have someone who will be there when we need them, we feel secure. And on the other end of the spectrum, if we aren’t sure someone’s going to provide what we need when we need it, we may become more anxious and fearful.

        Advertising

        As an adult, we tend to wind up in one of three primary attachment types based on our childhood experiences. These are secure, avoidant, and anxious. Technically, there is a fourth one, anxious-avoidant, but it is quite a bit less common. They are described as follows:

        • Secure – When you have a secure attachment, you are comfortable displaying interest and affection towards another person but you’re also fine being alone and independent. Secure types are less apt to obsess over a relationship gone sour and handle being rejected easier. Secure types also tend to be better than other types with not starting relationships with people that might not be the best partners. They cut off the relationship quicker when they see things in a potential partner they don’t like. Secure attachment people make up the majority of the attachment types.
        • Anxious – Folks who have an anxious attachment style typically need a lot of reassurance from their partners. They have a much harder time being on their own and single than the other styles and fall into bad relationships more often. The anxious style represent about 20% of the population. It’s been shown that if anxious attachment styles learn how to communicate their needs better and learn to date secure partners, they can move towards the secure attachment style.
        • Avoidant – Avoidant attachment style represents approximately 25% of the population as adults. Avoidants many times have the hardest time in a relationship because they have a difficult time finding satisfaction. In general, they are uncomfortable with close relationships and intimacy and are quite independent. They are the lone wolf type person.
        • Anxious-avoidant – The anxious-avoidant style is relatively rare. It is composed of conflicting styles – they want to be close but at the same time push people away. They do things that push the people they are closest to away. Many times there can be a higher risk of depression or other mental health issues.

        Here’s where it gets really interesting:

        Move towards secure attachment

        The good news is that it is possible to move from one style to another. Specifically, it is possible to move towards a more secure attachment style.

        Now as you might imagine, this is not an easy or a quick process. Like any type of big change where you are attempting to alter such a deeply ingrained mindset, it takes a strong will to accomplish.

        The first step is developing an awareness of your attachment style. The next step is to have the desire and drive to move your attachment style towards the more secure style.

        If someone with an anxious or avoidant style has a long term relationship with a secure type, the anxious or avoidant person can slowly get brought up more towards a secure style.

        The opposite is also true, they could bring the secure person more towards their attachment style. Therefore, you have to be conscious of your type and if you want to move more towards secure, it takes persistence.

        Therapy is an option as well. Anxious types many times need to work on their self-esteem, avoidants on their connection specifically and compassion.

        How to restructure your thoughts

        Ready for the way to do it? Here we go:

        Advertising

        For the Avoidant Style

        As with any type of change on such a deep level, the first step is awareness. Realize you have an avoidant style and be aware of it as you have interactions with your partner(s).

        Try to work towards a place of mutual support and giving/taking. Try to lessen your need for complete self-reliance. Allow your partner to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable that you would normally do yourself.

        Don’t always focus on the imperfections of your partner. We all have them, remind yourself of that.

        Make yourself a list of the qualities that your partner has that you are thankful for.

        Look for a secure style partner if at all possible, they would be good for you to be with.

        If you have a tendency to end relationships before they go too far, be aware of that and let it develop further.

        Get into the habit of accepting and even instigating physical touch. Tell yourself that it’s good for you to have some intimacy. Intimacy can help you feel safe and secure.

        And over time you can realize that it’s okay to rely on other people.

        For the Anxious Style

        For the anxious style, the #1 thing to work on is learning to communicate needs better. This is a huge issue for the anxious style.

        Advertising

        First and foremost if you communicate your needs more clearly, you will have less anxiety, that’s already a big win. This will also allow you to better assess if a potential partner is good for you.

        Try to bring your feelings more to the surface and most importantly, share them with your partner. Remember that secure attachments typically communicate pretty well, this is what you are working towards.

        For the Anxious-Avoidant Style

        The anxious-avoidant is a very small percentage of the attachment styles. Since this type tends to be anxious in the relationship AND more or less a loner, the key here is working hard to be very self-aware of your actions.

        Use the parts of striving towards secure attachment from the anxious tips and the avoidant restructuring of your thoughts to consciously work towards being more secure.

        When you find yourself pushing someone away, ask why. If you feel worried that your partner is going to leave you, again, ask yourself where this is coming from. Have they shown you any reason to believe this? Many times there is no real evidence. In that case, allow yourself to calm down and try not to obsess over it.

        For the Secure Style

        Since the goal is to move towards a more secure attachment style, there isn’t much needed here as you might imagine.

        Something to be aware of is being in a relationship just because it’s “okay”. Don’t stay if it’s not a good place for you and your partner. If your partner is of an anxious or avoidant attachment style, stay mindful to not start developing characteristics of those styles.

        Strive towards Secure Attachment

        As we wrap things up, you’ve probably developed a good idea of the benefits of secure attachment. If you don’t currently have a secure attachment style, here are some benefits of restructuring your thoughts more towards this style:

        • Positive self esteem and self image
        • Close and well adjusted relationships
        • Sense of security in self and the world
        • Ability to be independent as well as in relationships
        • Optimistic outlook on life and yourself
        • Strong coping skills and strategies for relationships and life
        • Trust in self and others
        • Close, intimate relationships
        • Strong determination and problem solving skills

        If you are an anxious or avoidant style or the combination of anxious-avoidant, it is possible to move towards a secure attachment style.

        It takes self-awareness, patience and a strong desire to get close to being secure but it can be done. You will find that putting the effort into it will provide you with more open, honest and satisfying relationships.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Read Next