1. Make a great first impression.
Despite ongoing protests that first impressions shouldn’t matter, there is little doubt that they do. In fact, research consistently shows that people tend to make snap judgments of someone else’s physical attractiveness within a single second! In non-romantic settings, such as school or work, you might have a whopping 2-30 seconds to make your impression. Make the most of this time by always presenting your best self. People are attracted to genuineness, so never pretend to be someone you’re not, but always carry yourself with confidence and show off the best you that you can be. After all, you never know when or where you might meet your true love.
2. Be interesting.
Humans tend to like to get lost in the crowd, especially when they are feeling shy or nervous. Yet the best way to instantly boost your attractiveness is to be interesting! The human brain thrives on novelty. It gets bored quickly, and is always looking for new stimuli. Wear a favorite, unusual piece of clothing or jewelry.
You can try the novelty approach for yourself. The next time you are at a party or a boring networking event, keep an ear open. Try to count how many variations you hear of the same script: Nice to meet you. Where are you from? Do you have kids? How quickly do those people fade into the background, becoming just another part of the scenery? Listen to the people who are attracting others, too. What are they talking about? Be ready to tell a story about yourself, or an event of the day, or things that you find interesting — do you like to cook? Hike? Read novels or autobiographies?
Rather than indulging in the easy script, think of something to say that is quirky, fun, or even off-the-wall. Breaking through the dullness will spark people’s imaginations, and you may suddenly be the most popular person in the room.
3. Be available.
Many people are afraid of coming across as desperate or needy, so they compensate by being aloof. Others think that their mere presence at a party or event conveys their desire to meet new people. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, because you can’t! Unfortunately, people do not know your intentions unless you express them.
Rather than standing alone in the corner, approach someone who looks interesting (see #2 above). Comment on how glad you are to be there, and how much fun you are having meeting new people. While it won’t work on everyone, communicating your availability dramatically increases your perceived attractiveness.
Watch your body language as well. Clutching your cell phone or purse to your chest, crossing your arms, or tightly gripping a wine glass in front of your stomach signal that you are closed to making new connections. Stuffing your hands in your pockets or hiding them under your coat makes it difficult for other people to open up to you. Both of these moves decrease your attractiveness.
To communicate availability, keep your torso open and your hands in sight. Throw your purse over your shoulder, put away your cell phone, and gesture as you talk. These signals show that you are available and interested in a connection, thereby increasing your attractiveness.
4. Be interested.
People’s favorite topic is generally themselves, so a good listener always increases his or her own attractiveness. Practice active listening skills by repeating back what you understand the person to have said and asking for clarification or further details.
5. Be memorable.
There is an old theater adage: “Always leave them wanting more.” Rather than wearing out your welcome and trailing off into idle, boring dialogue, make your exit while you are still being wildly interesting (#2 above). Your conversation partner will be eager to see you again, in order to hear more of what you have to say. Sticking in someone’s mind automatically boosts your attractiveness in that person’s eyes