So this was first and foremost to be an article about the workplace…..but what then does the psychology of attraction have to do with anything?

Well, maybe a little…maybe A LOT!

There are countless articles on the characteristics of great leadership, personal branding and powerful networking.  But, let’s take it a little deeper than that.  What are those things that makes us attractive to others?

I recently read several articles about this and found the results pretty interesting and I thought I’d share them.   I found myself wondering if the results could be used in any way to strengthen our networking skills or to make ourselves a bit more charismatic or charming.

Attraction is, of course, one of the basics of finding a romantic partner, but we are also attracted to working with certain people, or attracted to certain friendships. If you want to make people notice you, or you want to be more “attractive” to people, there are a few things that can help.

Six Things People Find to Be Attractive in Others

1. A Sense of Humor



People like to laugh. Both men and women seem to prefer someone with a good sense of humor but recent studies  have shown that men are not quite as attracted to funny women. The studies suggest that the phrase “good sense of humor” is used differently between the sexes.

Men highlighted the importance of their partners’ receptivity to their own humor, whereas women valued humor production and receptivity equally.

In another study, French researcher Nicolas Guéguen instructed male participants in a bar to either tell or not tell a funny joke to their friends as a woman sat at a nearby table. The men who told jokes were three times more likely to get that woman’s number than those who did not.

Dr. Gil Greengross, in an article on Psychology Today, explained this by the fact that funny people are considered to be more social and more intelligent.

2. People Hanging Out in a Group


A 2014 study from the University of California at San Diego found that people looked better when they were in a group. It’s called the Cheerleader Effect. Our brains take in the faces of a collective group of people resulting in each face looking more average or more attractive as a result. What happens is that the individual faces will seem more attractive when presented in a group because they will appear more similar to the average group face, which is more attractive than group members’ individual faces.

3. Meaningful Conversations

In a 1997 study, State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron separated two groups of people and paired them off, giving each duo 45 minutes to answer a set of questions. One question set was small talk, and the other was increasingly probing.  The people who asked deeper questions felt more connected than those in the other group.

4. Power


People are attracted to power. Physical attractiveness is most commonly presumed to be something that influences people’s feelings, perceptions, and behaviors.  A 2014 study showed that subordinates rated their leaders as significantly more physically attractive than comparably familiar people outside the company. Therefore, a company’s CEO will seem more attractive to employees than to people outside the company, presumably because of the power effect.

5. People Who Smile



Researchers in Switzerland examined the relationship between attractiveness and smiling. They found that the stronger the smile, the more attractive a face looked.  They found that a happy facial expression compensated for unattractiveness.

Faces play an important role in human social interactions. From a face we can also judge what mood a person is in. Such first impressions facilitate the flow of communication and co-operation.  The more you talk, the more you get to know a person and you may end up liking them even more.

6. The Right Body Language


You can also use body language to increase your attractiveness in social setting. For example:

Open Torso:  Research has shown that keeping your torso, chest and abdomen open to the world is best way to show availability. Crossed arms, clutching a wine glass in front of your stomach, checking a phone in front of your chest or hugging a purse to your center are all ways we close our body language and seem unapproachable. Studies have shown that we actually close our body language when we are feeling mentally closed off.

Hands: Studies have found that when we can’t see people’s hands we have trouble trusting them. When you put your hands in your pockets, tuck them under the table or hide them behind a coat, you’re attractiveness decreases because people can’t open up to you.



All because I’m a pet lover — In a University of Michigan experiment, women read vignettes about men. Whenever the story featured a person who owned a dog, women rated that person as a more suitable partner in the long-term. The researchers concluded that owning a pet indicated that you’re nurturing and capable of making long-term commitments.

What do you think?  Agree or Disagree?

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