Laura writes from the Pacific Northwest where she enjoys reading, researching and writing on relationships, social issues, and psychology.
Emotional Attractiveness Is More Important Than Physical Attractiveness
Being emotionally sexy is more important than Kim Kardashian's pouty lips or Ryan Gosling's smoldering eyes. Emotional attractiveness is what lies beneath all that visual appeal. In Hollywood, physical features may get you the part, but in life, you could end up lonely, bored, or unfulfilled.
People who rely on physical attractiveness have never been the happiest people I know. Ironically, they get upset when people view them as sex objects, basing their judgments off looks alone or how shallow their relationships are. The truth is, the ultra-attractive people aren't typically emotionally sexy. Bitter? Yes. Restless? Yes. Entitled? Yes. Superficial? Yes. A hot mess? Sometimes.
Looks Alone Won't Bring Happiness or Success
When looks alone play the center role, other aspects get ignored. Say you're preparing to attend a big party—any kind of party you would enjoy. What is the first thing you consider? Is it "What am I going to wear?" That's often the first thing to pop into your head, but it's not the most important.
Truly, what will you get from that special evening is more important. You can wear the nicest dress or be clean-cut and clean-shaven, but if you don't possess at least a few emotionally attractive qualities, you won't mingle much. You won't connect much. Your ideal party won't be fulfilling. Life is like this, too!
"Most of the time, success in life is based on something we have far more control over: our emotional attractiveness."
— Seth Godin
Being the Center of Attention as an Emotionally Sexy Person
I've never been the most attractive person in the crowd, or the club, or college, or anywhere life landed me, but I have always (true, and not just for exaggeration purposes) been the center of attention or the life of the party. I draw in a crowd. When you think of someone with charisma, this is someone who is emotionally attractive.
In a culture that consistently gives attention to appealing sex objects, there's something to be said about cultivating and capturing attention in others ways that go beyond appearance.
You Draw Attention by Not Needing Attention
Here's the trick to attract attention without cleavage, too much make-up, or a chiseled jaw: You don't need attention!
Outwardly attractive people need look-at-me attention. Every gorgeous specimen can look average, but these are the one type of people that will not go out in public without make-up, a fashionable outfit, their beauty treatments, etc. They are accustomed to garnering attention in this manner. They need it.
How to Be Attractive on the Inside
Attractiveness on the inside requires you to have a combination of some emotionally desirable traits:
- Confidence (physically attractive people are not usually the most confident)
- Ability to laugh at yourself
- Ability to be interesting as well as interested in others
- Assertiveness (but not brashness or rudeness)
Work on These Positive Traits
Suppose you are an attractive testament to what God can create, but life has left you empty-handed in some aspect. How do you create more fulfilling experiences Choose a trait from the list above.
Since everyone and their guru grandmothers have written a self-help/personal development book or article, read up on that trait. Look for areas in your life where you can improve upon by utilizing that trait.
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Skip a trip to the mall, spa, or salon, and find other activities each week enables that allow you to insert features of this particular trait. If you lack confidence, we know that's beyond skin-deep; go out in public without a ton of make-up on and strike up small talk with someone. If this terrifies you, then you're onto something.
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."
Share and Connect With Other People
Emotionally attractive people do not mind sharing themselves, but most importantly, with people they want to. Talking about shared interests, responding to others (rather than expecting others to respond to you), sharing thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is what connects people.
Begin to view your encounters with people as investments in your personality, cultivating self-growth. Are you a fish? I hope not, so why expect people to sit around and gawk at you all day. Pretty boring, swimming around in a tank all day on display.
By sharing yourself, you begin to learn who are comfortable around and who you are not.
Work on the Inside First
You're not exactly what everyone might consider Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, and in this case being emotionally attractive can make a bigger splash in your life.
Here's another dose of irony...and reality: You could still be self-centered and be the physically ugliest person in the room. Less than attractive people can be found garnering attention for their unfair lives, stories of rejection, and how the world looks at them or perceives their flaws.
Just as a gorgeously gifted individual expects people to focus on their appearance, the less-than-gorgeous expect people to see their flaws first.
The focus on outward appearance is just as important to these two groups of people. First and foremost, work on the inside, and how you relate to others. If you are focused on how they perceive you, then you are not focusing on what you have to offer others. You are focusing on what others give to you...and that typically boils down to approval.
We're All More Than Meets the Eye
Instead of wondering what the entire room is thinking of you, whether or not their eyes are on you, focus on the person in front of you. That's it! If you're on a date, focus on who is in front of you. Even if it's the waiter, focus on your exchange with him- not worrying about what your date is thinking. Your attention is on whoever you are making eye contact with, and that should be the person directly in front of you.
If you walk into a coffee shop, people may look, but you need only look at the barista taking your order. Once you gain confidence in your inward presence, you can offer a smile to folks around you.
People will view your engagement with others. If they like what they see then they will make their way over to you- you are now approachable whether you are physically attractive or not.