This article is based on the studies collected on Eric Barker’s blog, Barking Up The Wrong Tree. Join Eric Barker’s 45K+ readers and get a free weekly update via email here.
It takes 13 milliseconds to determine if you find someone attractive, which really works both to your advantage and disadvantage. Of course it’s easier when you’re at a party or bar to determine the girl you want to spend your time chatting up. But it also means women are judging you in less than 1 split second. So what can you do to make sure you’re looking good during that critical first impression?
9. Smile Slower
As a general rule, smiling makes you more attractive when you’re looking directly at someone, according to this article from Psychological Science. So when you’re facing someone, smile. That said, ladies? Smile away. But guys… well, think twice.
While happiness is one of the most attractive female emotional expressions, it’s one of the least attractive in males; In contrast, pride is shown to be the most attractive male expression, and one of the least attractive in women, according to this paper.
Want to improve your smile? Smile slower. It’s proven to be perceived as more authentic.
8. Act Confident
Guys, you need to keep cool (women find low-stress men much more attractive since it signifies the ability to be calm in times of crisis, says this study) and be confident (contrary to what you may think, being humble actually makes you seem less confident and more weak according to the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity). Or stop procrastinating and just go buy a puppy — you’ll be three times more likely to get a woman’s phone number when accompanied by a dog.
And you know those obnoxious jerks who constantly lift weights, show off their fancy cars and throw lots of money around? Well, this study says that stuff works. But just for one night stands.
7. Emphasise Your Height
Sorry to break it to you, mate, but if you’re shorter than average you’ll have to earn $200,000 a year more than your six-foot-tall competition in order to have the same cache with women, according to The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks. The upside? You’ don’t have much to worry about if you’re tall. And there’s always invisible heels.
6. Keep Your Voice Deep
Guys: keep your voice deep and dominant. Not only is it more attractive to women, but it’s also a strong predictor of the number of sexual partners you’ve had says this paper (which, let’s be honest, women pay close attention to as an indicator of your abilities). Also of note, men are subconsciously more attracted to women with more feminine voices (perceived as more flirtatious). Don’t let that sweet voice get your brain all mixed up now…
5. Keep Your Chin Up
Yes, both in the sense of encouragement (we’ve already seen that women like happy, non-stressed men) as well as in the purely physical act of literally looking upwards. But could it really be this simple? This study shows that male faces tilted up were judged to be more masculine, and tilted down judged to be less masculine. So it can’t hurt, right?
4. Grow Stubble
Guys with stubble seem smarter and more sociable, found judg.me, after thousands of photos were uploaded and judged by users — and since sociability is related to confidence and women like confident men, it also means you’ll be perceived as more attractive to women. If you don’t believe us, a study published in Evolution and Human Behavior found that women prefer men with beards — specifically 10-day-old beards. And if you’re trying to nail down “the one”, men with full-beards were perceived as better and more protective fathers. Lastly, women actually rated smooth faces as the least attractive.
3. Wear Red
Different colour clothing says different things about you; studies show red seems to mean sex. It makes men more attractive to women. It makes women more attractive to men. It even helps hitch-hikers get picked up. According to this paper, wearing red also makes women perceive men as higher status than they may actually be, which is in turn attractive; however, the influence of red appears to be specific to women’s romantic attraction to men — the colour doesn’t influence men’s perceptions of other men. So, unfortunately, you won’t get any closer to that promotion by wearing that red sweater you’ve got in the bottom of your closet
2. Get Your Sleep
Beauty sleep? Yeah, it’s real. Get some. Seep deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive and more tired compared with when they are well rested, according to this study. So if you’re wondering why you’re not meeting anyone this weekend, it’s probably because you’re better off going home, sleeping it off, and trying again the next night. The girls you’re going for are more sensitive than you think to your sleep-related facial cues, my friend.
1. Bring A Less Attractive Friend
Is none of this helping? Here’s a trick that doesn’t ask you to change anything about yourself: bring along a friend who has your basic physical characteristics (similar colouring, body type, facial features), but is slightly less attractive than you. It works. Just, maybe, don’t tell him why you’re bringing him along…