When we talk about attractiveness, we think of appearance, which is something we can’t control much. Or we would think of character for a second. But researches have found another hidden factor that is key to determine one’s attractiveness.
In one study1, participants were asked to watch video clips of women who expressed emotions differently. Then they were asked who they found more attractive. It turned out that if they understood the woman’s emotions better, they found them more attractive. Such finding is quite surprising that usually people would consider cool and mysterious people as more attractive. Instead, the more you express your emotions, and the easier your emotions are to be read, the more attractive you become.
This experiment was done by Silke Anders, a professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience at the University of Lübeck in Germany. Apart from asking them who were more attractive, the researchers also measured their brain activity. And there was indeed increased activity in the area of the brain which is responsible for processing how attractive one person is, when they were certain about the emotions of the women.
Another study2 got similar results. This time instead of video clips volunteers were asked to observe photos of six different men and women, who show emotions at different extent. It turned out those who didn’t express much emotions were the least attractive ones.
So…how to be more expressive?
Try to use some common language with the person you’re talking to. For example, if he always uses the word “Oh my…”, try to use it sometimes too (not too often though) to express your surprising feelings. The person would have a stronger understanding of how you feel as you speak a common language.
Whenever you don’t know how to show your expression, just smile. It can show your friendliness and people would know you’re approachable even if you’re not very expressive.
Don’t overlook the power of your hands. Remember when people argue they often do it with their hands? Remember how charismatic leaders persuade with their hands? Your hands tell a lot. Anger, resentment, nervousness, excitement, etc. Always free up your hands and let them dance in the air. People will get what you mean much better.