I type this with fingers that have half-polished, half-unpolished nails, extending from hands that are covered in ink smears. So no, I, for one, am not feeling gorgeous today. We all have days like that, and sometimes our energy is affected as a result. That can be rough in effect because most of us surely want to attract positive people. And that’s exactly where the body language of attraction can help.
The body language of attraction isn’t simply about looking good—it’s about feeling good. It’s about being able to project how absolutely beautiful you are inside and out, even when you’re wearing a $2 accidental crop top you bought on impulse at Forever 21 (never again).
So using the body language of attraction, you’ll be able to essentially fake it till you make it on an off day. And using the following three actionable tips from Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, you indeed will be able to create an instant aura of attraction and feel great as a result.
To use the body language of attraction as a tool for picking yourself up on blah-feeling days, try the following 3 tips.
1. Think UP!
Wood terms “UP” as a way to to describe all upward posture, movements, and facial expressions. Think: head held up, gestures with upward motions, and maybe even getting wild with a smile. The idea is that when we’re happy, our body naturally holds itself up high.
“When you hold or move your body the way you would like to feel, the posture actually sends a message to the brain: ‘Hey I am feeling hot, attractive,’” says Wood.
The UP rule is perfect to implement on days you feel blah and have the abysmal posture to show for it. When you physically raise yourself, you’ll also mentally raise yourself, and people will almost magnetically gravitate toward that. “The combination of your UP posture and movement up is felt by those around you,” says Wood. “They start to give you attentive nonverbal cues and that make you feel more attractive. I call this the ‘fake it till you make it’ technique: You only have to fake it for a fraction of a second before it actually affects how you feel.”
2. Use gestures when speaking
If you’re not already someone who uses their hands while speaking, now is a great time to start. Attraction can be communicated in gestures—the little flourishes we make to reinforce a point.
“Our eyes are designed to go toward movement so our ancestors could find food when they hunted, and prospective romantic partners and others are also drawn toward movement,” says Wood. “Also, research shows that charismatic leaders use gestures…when they talk.”
3. Choose a word that describes how you want to feel
Choose a word that expresses how you would like to feel in the particular situation. The exercise will help you find the proper posture that matches it.
“So if your word is ‘beautiful’ or ‘confident,’ you put your body in an open position, arms away from your body, legs uncrossed, shoulder back, heart forward, extending eye-contact for as long as three seconds, and make your voice go down at the end of sentences,” Wood says.
Recently Wood shared this concept with one of her clients to help him prepare for a job interview. He chose the word “excitement.” When he got to the real interview, “he said that he didn’t feel excited in the moment before he started moving his body,” Wood says. “But then, he said, ‘I brought my shoulders back, and smiled, and put some energy in my voice, and then I really did get excited. I felt like I had just had a big cup of Starbucks.’”