9 body-language tricks to being attractive
By Dustin Goot
1. Appear confident on a date even if you’re nervous inside.
People who project confidence stand erect — shoulders up, chest out. Confident people also walk slightly more quickly than average, taking medium to long strides and swinging their arms slightly like they’re in a march. A subtler thing is not to blink very often. The average blinking rate is 8 to 16 blinks per minute. If you slow yours to four, you give the impression you’re cool and in control.
2. Show someone you’re interested.
With people we like and admire, we mirror their body behavior. If the date goes well, mirroring is something you’ll do naturally, but you can also intentionally mirror the other person’s gestures and posture. It may feel weird, but the other person will just think you’re getting along really well.
Look for preening signals. Preening is what animals do to make themselves more attractive. In humans, some basic examples would be arranging your clothes, touching your hair, or stroking your arm. These signs may seem obvious, but people miss them all the time in a dating situation, especially men.
4. Avoid signals that turn people off.
In studies, if a speaker crosses his or her arms, the audience recalls 40 percent less of what the person says and has a more negative attitude toward the individual speaking. They can’t even say why; they’ll just say they had a bad feeling. Also avoid any scratching or touching of the face. When you hide your face, we feel like we don’t know you, and we don’t think you’re telling the truth.
5. A woman should smile and maintain eye contact to catch a guy’s attention.
It goes back to the preening signals I talked about earlier. She might twirl her hair or touch her thigh. The thing I tell women is that you can’t be too obvious. Subtlety is lost on men. When a woman wants to pick up a guy sitting across the table, often she’ll lift up her eyes and gaze at him, then look away. Women think it’s an obvious sign, but men think she’s not interested because she looks away. On the other hand, if a woman holds a guy’s gaze and gives him a big, perky smile, then he gets it.
6. A confident man will catch a woman’s attention.
When it comes to body signals, men don’t have a great range of options because in traditional courtship, women give the green lights and men make the approach. The best thing a guy can do is dress right, look confident in the ways I’ve mentioned and keep an eye out for a woman’s “green light” gestures.
7. Be careful when initiating casual physical contact; you don’t want to look desperate or clumsy.
Men should brush the point of a woman’s elbow while they’re talking. Just give it a light touch, not a grab or a squeeze. Leave it there for no more than three seconds. She’ll be aware of it and her response will tell you how she feels. If she’s not enjoying the date, it will feel like you’re touching an electric wire. Women, on the other hand, should target a man’s hand and lower arm to capture his attention.
8. Keep your hands busy so you don’t fidget during the date.
The best resting posture is anything with your palms vertical or facing up. Turning your palms down looks pushy or arrogant. Don’t hold hands with yourself or interlock your fingers; that means you’re reassuring yourself because you’re not confident. When you gesture, keep your hands below your chin and keep your fingers together. People who are nervous spread their fingers really wide.
9. Learn to harness some control over your own body language through role play.
We actually recommend that people take home videos and role-play situations with friends. A lot of people don’t even know what they’re doing until I show them on film. Once you see what your habits are, you can make a determined decision to unlearn or improve them.
Dustin Goot is a freelance writer based in New York City. He has also written on dating and relationships for Wired and Time Out New York.