A Word on First Impressions—and Walking the Walk
Okay, so we know it’ s good to approach women from the front and men from the side, and it’s good to smile, and it’s good to use your facial expressions strategically during the “approach” part of the flirting process.
However, there’s a factor you might not have considered when it comes to approaching a new person for the first time: the way you walk.
Fascinating research is continually uncovering all the tiny bits of data people perceive (even unconsciously) and analyze in a split second to make a judgment about the people in front of them.
If you’ve ever secretly wondered whether pickup lines make absolutely no difference, well, you may be right.
Some studies have found that even before you approach someone, they are able to generate lasting first impressions about the kind of person you are — and people may make snap decisions long before you even open your mouth.
These automatic assessments are made on such tiny amounts of data that even a single photograph has most people making personality judgments.
Yes, our facial expression, accent, voice, and the words we’ re saying are all important, but the way we carry our bodies in space is in many ways the most easily observable trait — especially from a distance.
If you’ve ever seen someone in a bar make an approach to someone and be instantly shut down even before they say a word, you can be sure it had something to do with the literal walk on the way over.ere’s no arguing with it! A:
A 2019 study by Fink et. al. in Biology Letters explains how women are able to accurately assess a man’s physical strength by watching his gait, with strong walkers assessed as more attractive —however, this is not universal and varies depending on culture.
Another study by Nicolas Guéguen in the journal Gait and Posture explored how women who are ovulating (and therefore more fertile) may unconsciously walk more slowly and in a way that observers rate as sexier.
First impressions about who you are can greatly impact how attractive you seem to others —so it would be wise to make sure you’ re making the best first impression possible! How do you do that? First of all, it’s important to remember that many of these judgments have evolved over millions of years and are for the most part unconscious, intuitive and automatic.
We’ re talking about snap decisions about another person’s sexual fitness based on very primal perceptions, here.
In other words, you can’t really fake it.
Have you ever heard people say something like, “I get that he/she is good looking, but they do absolutely nothing for me”? That’s because when people assess you on a biological level, any rational or cultural assessments don’ t really matter—either the chemistry is there or it isn’t.
If you want to improve how you come across to the opposite sex, focus on how your entire body is presented.
An upright posture usually signals to people that you are confident and self-assured, because people who are comfortable in themselves hold themselves (literally) in high regard.
But if you adopt an upright posture, you can convince others and yourself that you are more confident than you perhaps feel.
Standing up straight will help, but at the same time consider all the ways you can boost your confidence so that you are naturally standing taller—doing so will mean you are not acting like someone who is attractive, you are someone who is attractive.
Similarly, be mindful of how you walk and hold yourself in space.
Don’t rush or fidget, and be aware of tensions in your muscles.
Before you socialize or have a conversation, take a moment to consciously relax and release your breath, drop your shoulders, lift your chin, and relax your jaw.
People who are calm and sure of themselves are automatically more attractive.
Finally, be more aware of not just your posture, but how you move in space.
The best way to have more physical presence? Exercise.
Being strong, healthy, and fit from within will broadcast to others (even if only on an unconscious level) that you are capable, disciplined, healthy, and vibrant.
If you are comfortable in your skin, it shows.
If you have difficulty with being awkward or clumsy, you may find that practicing any dance form or even a martial art will help you strengthen your mind-body connection, and the small changes this makes to your physiology will be noticeable to others.
Try yoga, calisthenics, sports, or anything that gets your body feeling strong and healthy.
Then, you ’ll find yourself naturally more “embodied,” more confident and more at ease in yourself.
Even if you never say a word, you can communicate to others that you may be disconnected from your body, uncomfortable with yourself, or unhealthy in some way.
Relationships and dating come down to sex and sexual attractiveness, and that comes down to what bodies think of other bodies.
The best way to make a first impression is to think carefully—what message might your body be sending long before you open your mouth to speak?