According to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink, the human brain will make snap judgements regarding others based solely on their hygiene and physical presentation. We may have 'beaten' evolution via technology, but we still retain base impulses and thought processes related to our innate survival instincts. The same intuition that tells us a steaming cup of coffee is too hot to consume is present when analyzing prospective friends and romantic interests. This may seem 'harsh', but it's simply human nature!
These 2 second snap judgements can make or break interpersonal relationships, as first impressions are integral in establishing a healthy companionship, regardless of whether or not it is romantic in nature. The tips we will cover today may seem to focus only on the dating scene, but they are undoubtedly important to all relationship types.
"Is this person a good fit for me?", "Do they appear fit for mating?", "Do they seem healthy?". Most, if not all, people will say that they do not consider these questions when first meeting a prospective partner; however, these are all questions that your brain will subconsciously answer based on very limited information. We've evolved to have a 'checklist' of favorable traits regarding long term relationships, sex, and procreation. Don't fret if this seems cold and calculating, it's an integral part of our evolutionary biology and is responsible for our species incredible success! We are programmed to see strength and attractiveness as indicative of good, healthy genes.
Naturally beautiful or athletic individuals will have an edge from the start; however, everyone has the ability to improve the factors over which we do have control. The following are simple tips that can make all the difference. Taking charge over these areas will drastically improve your perceived health, attractiveness, and even reflect well on your personality!
1. NEVER have stinky, smelly breath.
Bad Breath can make even the most naturally fit or beautiful person seem unappealing. This is because your brain sees bad breath as a sign of poor personal hygiene and poor overall health. Not to mention the horrible sexual experiences that result from sour, smelly breath. It's estimated that over 25% of the population suffers (often unknowingly) from chronic bad breath, known in extreme cases as Halitosis. It's important to remember that you are not able to smell your own breath, so even if you feel fresh, it's often due to your own senses being dulled to the smell via consistent exposure. Gum and mints are not solutions and may even feed oral bacteria and allow a higher production of sulfur gas, the true cause of bad breath. Seeing someone employ constant gum and mint use subconsciously communicates that there is a chronic issue being dealt with, which obviously reflects poorly on your health and hygiene.
Brush, floss, clean your tongue, and, most importantly, rinse with SmartMouth Activated 24 Hour Oral Rinse. It immediately eliminates even the foulest of bad breath and will prevent it's re-emergence for 12 hours per rinse. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol as it can dry your mouth. Also, many 'natural' solutions have an acidity level that can erode teeth and cause sensitivity with continued use. It's essential to use the best available products to achieve the best result.
2. Take Pride In Your Appearance.
Everyone is different in their specific likes and dislikes, but there are certain factors that remain true for the majority of folks which must be remembered when presenting oneself to the world. For instance, studies have repeatedly shown that women prefer clean shaven men. It demonstrates a high level of personal hygiene as well as health. Remember, these inferences are not consciously considered and the individual may not even realize they have a preference in either direction. The perceived 'dirtiness' of body hair extends to women as well, with most men reporting that they prefer a fashionable, simple hair style and a lack of body hair.
Once again, taking pride in your appearance means using the highest quality products. Super lubricating shave creams, such as Timothy's Shave Cream, will allow for a quick, clean shave without leaving bumps or redness, which again denotes a lack of personal effort. To save money on shaving, try using a razor sharpener like RazorPit. It will allow you to get the most use out of your expensive or budget razors.
3. Fitness and Posture
Excellent posture will immensely impact your perceived professionalism and confidence. Amy Cuddy, in her Ted Talk, stresses that even light fitness can make a world of difference. For men, slimming your gut and toning muscles will make you appear healthier and more disciplined. According to Cuddy, the same can be said for women who make an effort to tone their thighs and slim their ankles. Remember, you don't have to become a marathon runner overnight, just make a long-term effort to exercise 20 minutes per day including some form of core exertion, such as yoga.
Low-Carb diets, including paleo, can be an excellent way to tone your body and lose unwanted fat. However, these high protein high fat eating habits result in terrible, sour breath that can be harder to eliminate than 'natural' morning breath. Once again, Smart Mouth's line of oral rinses will allow you go eat healthy and avoid the gross, stale breath.
4. Dress To Impress
Wearing clothes that are both comfortable and fashionable will demonstrate to your partner or date that you care about your personal appearance, and, by extension, you care enough about them to put forth the effort. Wearing stained or damaged clothing demonstrates apathy, which is not appealing in either men or women. Men, dress in a way that your date will appreciate. Save the graphic tees for your male friends. Similarly, women will benefit from dressing in a way that will be appreciated by your date. Dress to impress the person you are with, it shows respect and consideration for others' preferences.
5. Destroy Body Odor
Smelling even slightly 'off' is a quick indication of poor health or, perhaps even worse, laziness in regard to personal hygiene and a lack of respect for those around you. This is perhaps the easiest of this list to implement since it merely entails daily showering and upkeep. Make a point to use mild scented products since that will be less offensive to your dates senses. Just as bad as body odor is the overwhelming application of cologne or perfume, which will make your date think you are attempting to mask another odor.
6. Hormones and Smell
Men and women are capable of discerning a remarkable amount about prospective partners using only the sense of smell. Women can tell if a man is genetically divergent enough to be a prospective partner, while men can tell if a woman is ovulating from subconscious olfactory cues. However, given the use of contraceptives and various fragrances in conjunction with pheromones, this smell based detective work is not as effective as in years past. Controlling hormones is incredibly complex and should always be done under the supervision and instruction of a medical professional, so for now, just focus on what you can control: Bad breath, physical fitness, hygiene, posture, and wardrobe.