I had a friend in college named Eric. Eric was short and he was well aware that he was short. Too aware. He struggled mightily with dating. He’d ask me for help from time to time. We’d go out to bars and I’d help him try to talk to girls.
We’d find a group to go introduce ourselves to. I’d lead and then try to bring him into the fold.
“This is my buddy, Eric.” The girls would glance in his direction and he wouldn’t meet their eyes. His body language was terrible, slouched, timid, almost like a dog who’d been beaten by his owner. It was that bad.
If he did manage to eke out a few words, they would be really awkward, which made everyone feel awkward, which made him feel even worse, and it would all turn into this death spiral of awkwardness.
He’d always blame it on his height. And I’d always tell him the same thing. “It’s not your height. It’s the way you carry yourself. You’re defeated before you say anything because you automatically assume girls don’t like you.”
I’d always remind him that there’s someone out there who would be a good fit. Eric is about to be a father. He has a beautiful fiance. When I heard the news I wanted to say “I told you so.” But, I just let him be happy.
If you don’t always love what you see when you look in the mirror, realize that you’re more attractive than you think you are. We’ll go over tips to both reveal your underlying attractiveness and help with your self-esteem.
Attractiveness isn’t just about the way you look. The way you carry yourself goes a long way. It tells other people whether or not you like yourself. Well, if you don’t like yourself, why should anyone else?
Even if you don’t believe it, working on your body language can change the way you feel, which can reinforce better body language, which makes you feel better. Try putting on a huge grin. It makes you feel happier. Learning how to smile more in and of itself is huge.
Dressing better helps on two fronts. One, packaging matters. Two, when you dress well you feel more attractive. Try wearing a $5,000 suit or stunning dress and not feeling like a million bucks.
I loved watching the Maury show growing up. My favorite episodes were the ones where they gave people makeovers. When you looked at the before and after pictures, you’d swear you were looking at a different person.
You don’t have to be a fashion expert or break the bank to dress better. It boils down to taking a conscious effort to work on your look. I think this is something men probably need more help with than women, but the advice works the same for everyone.
I’m by no means a fashion expert, but there are some basics you can nail down:
Grooming and hygiene go such a long way. Going back to that Maury example again it was shocking to see how much better the people looked with something as simple as a haircut or new hairdo.
Speaking to the fellas out there. Get your haircut regularly and keep your facial hair on point whether it’s keeping everything properly trimmed or shaving daily. It’s astonishing how much better-taking care of your hair can make you look. If you’re bald, keep it nice and shiny.
This should go without saying, but make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing. Nothing kills attraction like bad breath. And having nice teeth helps with that smiling more thing I talked about earlier.
The way you smell makes a difference, too. I have a go-to set of colognes I like using. And I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy when women who are near me say “Oh my God, you smell so good.”
I can’t speak for all men out there, but a woman’s style, even the way she does her hair, certainly piques my interest. I think they’re a little better at that stuff than us, though, hence the focus on the lads.
Now that we’ve got the superficial out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper and help you change the way you see yourself, which is more important than your looks.
I’m sure other kids made fun of Eric for being short growing up. Hell, people did it in college. He internalized those criticisms and it created this piece of identity that held him back for a long time. He equated being short with being unattractive.
I had another friend growing up who was the same height as Eric. Girls were obsessed with him. Guess he didn’t get the memo that being short means you’re ugly.
Whatever it is you’re carrying with you that makes you feel less attractive than you are, understanding how much of that perception isn’t true. Nobody looks at you and picks you apart the way you pick yourself apart, trust me.
I get it. We’re not all born with the looks of A-list actors and models. We don’t all have washboard abs or perfectly flat stomachs. We all have things we’d love to change about ourselves — things we see as flaws, things people might have made fun of us for, things we think define our attractiveness but don’t.
Looks matter and play a role. Let’s not kid ourselves. But you don’t have to be perfect to be attractive, not even close. And you’d be more attractive if you let go of your need to be perfect. The acceptance of your own perceived flaws is attractive because it shows you’re comfortable in your skin, one of the most attractive qualities you can have.
Sometimes you’re going to be someone’s type and sometimes you’re not. Just the way things go. Yes, there are things you can do to become more attractive in general to more people like getting in better shape, dressing well, and getting your grooming on point.
But, even as you are right now, there are people out there you just do it for. If you want to feel more attractive, I have a mind-blowingly profound piece of advice for you:
Focus on people who, you know, like you.
Too often we chase the validation of those who don’t want us and judge ourselves by those people instead of the ones who are digging us. Let’s say for the sake of argument you know for a fact that you aren’t gorgeous or extremely handsome. That’s fine.
If you focused on the subset of people who are into you, you’d feel better about yourself, which would boost your self-esteem, which can make you more attractive. See how this all works?
Again, let’s be honest, some of us might have a narrower range of people who think we’re their type, but what are you gonna do? Cry about it? Or enjoy your life and let the people who want to be a part of it join?
Physical appearance is one of a very long list of things that make people attractive — a sense of humor, a positive outlook on life, ambition, intelligence, interesting hobbies, a unique story, empathy, trustworthiness, and a bunch of other variables that make up who we are.
You probably short-change yourself when it comes to those other variables that matter. We have the tendency to downplay our own accomplishments and positive qualities and we get it in our heads that others have it so much better.
Here’s an exercise that’ll make you feel more attractive. Write down 20 things you like about yourself — could be referring to your looks or your personality.
Sit there and grit your teeth until you come up with a bunch of things you admire about yourself and remember those things when you’re feeling less attractive than you really are.
How many times have you had a friend who had some amazing quality but didn’t really see it in themselves? Have you ever given someone a compliment that you meant sincerely but they shrugged off? Think about how many times you’ve been that person.
Quit selling yourself short.
Attractiveness is both physical and mental. I’m not going to pretend like the package doesn’t matter because it does. I am pro ‘looks maxing’ — the process of doing everything you can to make yourself as hot as possible, minus plastic surgery. Dress well, groom well, get fit, whatever works.
But there’s no need to beat yourself up for what you lack at the same time. It’s tough. We’re living in a world where we’re getting reduced to our looks more and more. Someone glances at your picture and decides to swipe right or left. We’re throwing filters on our photos, even photo-shopping them.
A lot of people aren’t suffering from a lack of attractiveness. They’re suffering from a lack of confidence. Do what you can inside and out, to make yourself more confident, put yourself out there, and let the chips fall where they may.
Rest assured, there’s someone out there who wants to jump your bones right now.