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Earn a Second Look

Men’s Health, June 2004

Be irresistible. If you want to make a good first impression on that woman over there, you’re too late. It’s done. “As soon as she lays eyes on someone, she has a first impression,” says Frank Bernieri, Ph.D., a social psychologist at Oregon State University. It’s what happens next that counts.

Be ready to fetch. An animated person is like a tail-wagging dog. And she’d rather play with an eager pup than with a sleeping hound. “People who are expressive as opposed to poker-faced, are considered attractive ,” says Bernieri. “They might gesture or posture, or have faces that are easy to read, which makes her more secure in their presence. We know where we stand.” Think Will Ferrell, not Colin Farrell.

Ask her about herself. “We’re our own favorite subject,” says HurryDate.com CEO Ken Deckinger, “so if we spend the whole time talking about ourselves, we’ll remember it as a great experience.” Make her feel good and steer the conversation toward her interests—that’s what he advises the men who sign up for his speed-dating service. The longer she talks, the more she likes you. Bonus points for remembering what she said.

Get physical. Make eye contact and lean forward. You’re interested in what she’s saying. Women find an attentive man attractive, Deckinger reports. Getting her attention is as simple as giving her yours—and your body language does that.

Yeah, yeah, you’re really smart. Now shut up. “Men tend to hold forth on topics they know a lot about,” says Ann Demarais, Ph.D., coauthor of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know about How Others See You. Women call this male-pattern lecturing, and it bores the hell out of them. Resist the urge. Instead, intrigue her with a line like, “Next time I’ll have to show you pictures from my trip to Peru.”

Play the name game. We respond to our name more than to any other word. Hearing her name stimulates the right side of her brain, which means she’s paying attention to you. Drop her name into the conversation a couple of times. (“Cindy, tell me more about your gymnastics class.”) Use it too much and you’ll sound like a used-car salesman. Do it just right and she’ll find you irresistibly charming—and you’ll be able to sell her on anything.


 

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