Wednesday, July 05, 2017

How to make yourself charming

I liked her instantly.
Research shows that people we meet make judgments about us based on the way we look. Alexander Todorov, a professor of psychology at Princeton, has shown that people can make judgements about someone’s likability, trustworthiness and competence after seeing their face for less than a tenth of a second.

Perhaps in that first tenth of a second you should just look the other way.


1. Smile. “People will perceive a smiling face as more trustworthy, warmer and sociable,” Todorov says.

2. Do the eyebrow thing. “Our brains are always surveying the environment for friend or foe signals,” says Jack Schafer, a psychologist and retired FBI special agent who is a likeability coach. “The three major things we do when we approach somebody that signal we are not a threat are: an eyebrow flash -- a quick up and down movement of the eyebrow that lasts about a sixth of a second -- a slight head tilt, and a smile.”

[Editor's Note: If you need a likability coach, eyebrows won't get you very far. Also, this guy could very well arrest you.]

Let's do the math: You have a tenth of a second to accomplish something that takes a sixth of a second. Nobody said this was easy.

3. It's not about you. Make your interaction about the other person. That means not talking about yourself. However, most people you meet are about as interesting as a pine cone.

Mirroring: good rapport.
4. The eyes have it. “Focus on the different colors in their irises,” says executive coach Olivia Fox Cobane. “By maintaining that level of eye contact, it will give the impression of interest.”

It may also make them think you're a psycho. 

5. Mirror the other person's body language. You signal to them that you have good rapport. It is also a good way to test how the conversation is going. If you change your own position and the other person copies you, it is probably going well.

Not if you suddenly shift position and the other person runs screaming out of the room.

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