Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and attractiveness takes many forms. Some people like fair hair, others prefer brown. Although you may favor a well-defined body, your best friend may fancy one that’s soft and cuddly. Whatever your preference, the truth is that you don’t have to be a dashing movie star or a rock star to be attractive. What most people find appealing is openness and someone who takes an interest in them.
‘But why should I bother?’ you may ask yourself. Because people who are perceived as attractive are also considered to have other positive attributes. Numerous studies show that people think of attractive individuals as likely to be talented, warm and responsive, kind, sensitive, interesting, poised, sociable, and outgoing. And if that’s not enough reason, attractive people are also perceived as more intelligent and happier. Whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. If that’s how you’re perceived, why would you want to argue the point?
Although physique and appearance are contributing factors in determining your attractiveness, a person overlooks a less-than-perfect face or physique if the body language is appealing.
Showing Liveliness in Your Face
Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone. A natural, genuine smile, where both the eyes and the mouth are engaged, is appealing. People want to be with someone who makes them feel good. Frowning, pouting, and a generally miserable face are definite turn-offs.
A face that shows liveliness, interest, and enjoyment is like a magnet. It draws people to you and makes them want to be in your company. By smiling you can directly influence how other people feel about you. You can control their reaction to you by the look on your face. By making judicious use of your facial expressions you can guide people into responding positively to you and to perceiving you as an attractive person. This is not to say that you should walk around with an artificial grin plastered to your face; that’s a definite turn off.
By nodding, tilting, and cocking your head in another person’s direction you show that you’re listening and are interested in what he’s/she’s saying. And anyone who shows interest is consistently perceived as attractive.
Nodding encourages the person to continue speaking and shows that you care. Tilting your head to one side also shows that you’re involved and paying attention. Appealing minor head gestures, showing concern, fascination, or involvement in someone’s story, make you seem connected and empathetic. And who doesn’t find those characteristics attractive and appealing?
Using Open Gestures
Open gestures welcome people and invite them to come into your territory. By showing that you are attentive, comfortable, and at ease with people you make yourself appear warm and approachable. And warm and approachable equals attractive.
If your tendency is to cross your arms over your chest or to shove your hands into your pockets, resist the temptation and open your arms, showing the palms of your hands instead. Barrier signals keep people away and make you look cold, distant, and uninviting.Open gestures encourage others to enter your environment and demonstrate that you accept and appreciate who they are.
Showing Interest Through Your Posture
Upright, erect posture is infinitely more appealing than a slumped, unresponsive physique. That’s not to say that you have to be rigid and stiff. On the contrary, you want your body to be flexible and alert to draw people to you and make them comfortable in your presence.
When you’re seated in an informal situation lean backwards and adopt an asymmetrical position. Have a go at resting one arm over the back of the chair. Try other positions. Open, relaxed postures are more inviting and attractive than having both arms squeezed tightly by your sides. They take less effort, too.
If you want to show interest, lean slightly forward using a symmetrical posture. This balanced position shows that you’re focused on the other person and paying attention to him. If you act as if you’re curious about that person and care about him/her, he’s/she’s automatically going to be drawn to you.
Attractive people respect others. They take into account another person’s point of view and show consideration for the other person’s feelings. They seem to have an innate understanding of what makes someone feel good and what causes offense. They know when to be close and personal, and when to back off.
Respecting someone’s personal space is an attractive quality. In a work or social context, when you choose to position yourself next to another person you’re telling him/her that you value him/her and are interested in what he/she has to say. Attractive people don’t purposely embarrass someone else and never intentionally invade someone’s territory. They position themselves close enough without being so close as to cause embarrassment.
If you want to reveal your attractiveness, respect the other person’s space. If you sit or stand near the person you’re engaging with and look at him/her directly, he/she feels confident and comfortable in your company.
Touching to Connect
Attractive people aren’t afraid to make physical contact. They know the powerful effect an appropriate touch can have. Touching can be used to encourage, to express affection or compassion, and to show support.
An attractive person demonstrates respect when touching someone else. Your attractiveness quota rises if you intentionally touch another person in these situations:
>When you’re listening to someone’s problems or concerns, touching the other person indicates that you care and are offering support.
>When you’re persuading someone to your point of view, your touch serves as a bridge connecting the other person to your position.
>When you’re giving information or advice, your touch conveys encouragement and cooperation.
Only touch another person if you have a relationship that permits deliberate physical contact. Touching implies that a bond exists between the people involved. Observe the kind of contact people feel comfortable with before initiating contact. If in doubt about how your touch is going to be received, best not to do it.
Attractive people take pride in their appearance. They know what clothes look good on them and which ones they should give away. You don’t have to spend copious amounts of money to make yourself attractive. Start by being clean and well-groomed. See that your hair is washed and styled to suit you. Are your fingernails clean and trimmed? Do you visit the dentist regularly? Are your clothes and shoes in good repair? How you present yourself reflects how you feel about yourself. If you don’t take the time and effort to present yourself at your best, don’t expect to be seen as an attractive individual.
If in doubt about what colors and shapes suit you best, treat yourself to a session with a personal stylist who can guide you when your friends, family, and your own personal taste take you down the wrong path.
If you’re physically out of shape, do something about it now. Life’s short. Not only are you going to look better, you’re going to feel better as well. You don’t have to join an expensive gym or health club, although if that works for you, do it. You don’t have to invest in lots of fancy kit to do stomach crunches, though a good pair of running shoes is vital if you’re heading off for a jog. What you do need to do is find what works for you, commit to a plan, and stick with it. Fat and flabby isn’t healthy or attractive.