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Bonny Albo

Physical Attraction Makes Us Less Able To Make A Good Impression

By November 13, 2009

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According to the October 2009 edition of Psychology Today (Buy Directicon), when we interact with someone we feel physical attraction to, we lose the capability to perform simple cognitive tasks. Worse still, the stronger the physical attraction, the worse things get.

Researchers at Radboud University in Holland discovered this behavioral hiccup - as many people who have suffered from a dating disaster already know - by asking people to take a basic cognitive test after interacting with another person. The more physical attraction, the worse the men's performances, irregardless if the gent was in a relationship or not. Women also fared negligibly, although not nearly as badly as the men did.

Why the embarrassing behavior? When trying to attract someone, a lot of our focus ends up in trying to make a good impression. This leads to small but sometimes significant flub ups with motor control and how we hold ourselves physically, such as tripping when you see an attractive woman or being tongue tied when you run into a hot guy.

The take away? Don't beat yourself up too much if you are a klutz around someone you like, because it happens to most of us (but more so men than women). And for those attracted to men, if the man suddenly starts acting oddly or becomes more accident prone around you, its a good bet he's interested, suffering from this unfortunate situation, and trying his best to make a great first impression. Take it as a compliment, and try to cut him a bit of slack if you can.

Related: The Law Of Attraction, New Law Of Attraction - Have Them Come To You, How Much Do Looks Matter?

Source: Huston, Matthew. "Tongue Tied." Psychology Today September/October 2009 Vol 42, No 5:17.

November 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm
(1) Jack Strawman says:

I usually make a better impression if I’m not really interested. It is when I’m not interested that I’m totally relaxed, confident and myself. When I’m really into someone, it is then that I get nervous and start saying and doing stupid things.

November 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm
(2) Andrew says:

Gosh, well I hope that gets me better chances. It’d explain why I keep falling over around people.

November 28, 2009 at 9:33 am
(3) Calia Roze says:

That is so funny! But it does explain a lot! I tend to just talk to much about what I’m working on…which I suppose is the social equivalent to falling over a chair…

December 7, 2009 at 8:47 pm
(4) Adam R-Z says:

Like most of dating this proves its all about confidence. If you possess inner-confidence in dealing with the opposite sex, even those you are very attracted to, you’ll be less worried about trying to make a good impression.

Think about it – you worry about making a good impression because you are worried that your “existing self” is not good enough. So you have to think up ways to “improve your game” which makes you nervous and makes you more likely to do something “not you”.

So whats the secret you ask? Simple! Pretend! Use that whole picture them naked thing to get comfortable (on second thought they may not work in this case…)

Seriously though, if you can either act like they are not as attractive as they seem, you’ll be more confident and less likely to make a fool of yourself.

December 20, 2009 at 10:51 pm
(5) Nina says:

Suddenly sweaty palms in a romantic moment.. . I guess if everything is perfect like a business meeting, there’s something actually something missing in the love dept. Perfect flower deliveries, romance pressured dinner-and-a-movie are appreciated but sorta bland if the chemistry ain’t there… From decades of dating, my vote goes to clumsy action speaks volumes!

May 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm
(6) Dexter ray says:

Well, that explains why i cant talk or stand straight around that one girl.

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