February 20, 2014 § Leave a comment
The amount of people in the past few weeks who have asked me to turn what I’ve learned in my current Sex, Relationships and Communication class with Daniel Degooyer into something they can study is amazing. Why is it we’re so fascinated with how relationships work? How to effectively flirt and draw in those around you? What truly makes someone attractive?
I think a lot of this, like everything in life, stems from our desire for power. If we can understand how these things work, we’ll be able to more effectively control the people around us, as well as the outcomes of our own social interactions. I get it. I also believe that the more effective communicators we are, the better the world will be as a whole, so I’ve decided to help you out. Full disclaimer though, I’m no expert, and all I am going off are these basic principles we’ve been reading about and discussing the past few weeks, a couple documentaries and my own life experiences. But hey, here goes nothing.
Q: What makes someone attractive?
A: There are many, many things that can contribute to the fact you find someone attractive. Obviously the most dominant factor is someone’s appearance, but personality and proximity also play a bigger role than you may think.
Physical Symmetry: Ever heard of the Golden Ratio? Believe it or not, someone’s physical attractiveness can be boiled down down to mathematics. Obviously this isn’t the only factor, but it’s the one of the most basic which influences how traditionally attractive we find someone to be. It’s also proven that we tend to like people with similar face shapes as our own.
Personality: If someone is warm, generally positive and shows concern for others, we find them more attractive. If someone is social and able to communicate easily among a group of people, we find them more attractive. And if someone is clearly competent, composed, smart and self-confident, we’ll find them more attractive too.
Proximity: How closely available someone is to you can sometimes outweigh similarity as a basis for attraction, which might explain why so many people find relationships in the workplace and other close-quarters experiences.
Biology: On a certain level, it all comes down to genetics. How attractive someone smells to you might seem trivial but it actually is your body telling you taht your gene pools are different enough you could have healthy children. And ladies, we really do look subtly more attractive the closer to ovulation we are.
Physical Environment: The physical environment you interact with someone in can actually affect how attractive you find them. For example, think of the difference between meeting someone at a warmly-lit bar versus next to a dumpster. Even if subconsciously, it impacts how you perceive them and the experience as a whole.
Social Environment: Approval from family and friends definitely promotes attraction, but of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Ever heard of Romeo and Juliet?
Social Media: Who cares what my Facebook says about me, right? Wrong. Science has proven again and again that people with more engaging social media pages, with great pictures and more positive interaction from friends on them are seen as more attractive.
Culturally-Specific Values: Depending on the culture and environment you grow up in, you may find certain traits more attractive than others in an other. Some cultures value rounder women, pale skin, whereas others emphasize thinness and perfect tans, and depending on the one you grew up in you’re probably going to find those traits more attractive.
Personal Reward Perception: If we believe that someone will offer us more rewards than costs, we will be more attracted to them. Plain and simple, if you think your life would benefit by having them in it, you’re going to want to get them in it.
Personal Expectations: Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecies? If you go into something expecting people to be a certain way, those are the things you’re going to notice first. In fact, most of the time the way we treat those around us in makes them more likely to confirm our expectations. Think the good looking guy has to be a jerk? Chances are, if he makes one slightly rude comment your expectation will be fulfilled and your mind made up. On the other hand, if they defy all your expectations, you may be so drawn to them it won’t matter how physically perfect they are. Personal expectations can work both ways as far as attraction goes.
- Similarity (to a certain degree): Similar communication styles? Check. Identical food tastes? Maybe not. Things like similar music, tv and movie interests can make someone seem more attractive, but at the same time, for some it is actually more difficult to stay interested someone exactly like them. Variety is the spice of life, and typically makes for more interesting conversations.
Q: Are all feelings of attraction the same?
A: No. In fact, there are four distinct types of attraction, and while you may feel all of them for a person it’s also very possible to just experience one or two. There is power in being able to distinguish them for yourself.
- Physical Attraction: Being attracted to a person in the sense that you find their physical presence pleasing.
- Social Attraction: Being attracted to a person in regards to how they may fit in with your social group or you would benefit from theirs.
- Task Attraction: Attraction as a desire to work with them, to utilize and benefit from their skill set.
- Sexual Attraction: The most commonly thought of as ‘attraction’–a physical desire to be intimate with them.
Q: So Hannah, tell me how to flirt better.
A: Of course, reader. Surprisingly few people actually understand the basic principles behind how people flirt, so I’ve listed some of the most effective ways people show their interest for one another below. Study up, test them out, and let me know how it goes!
Say hello! You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t first introduce yourself. Be friendly, make an impression. Whenever you see them, make sure you show them you genuinely care about them. And if you’re really interested, put yourself out there and make the effort to see them again. Nothing great’s ever achieved without a little risk.
Listen to them. Like really listen. Don’t just hear the words they’re saying–take into account what they’re also not saying, what their body’s saying for them. Do their eyes light up when they talk about something? Are they more reserved in certain settings, or just slower to open up to people? How closely are they positioning themselves to you? How much eye contact are they making? There’s a lot more going in every social interaction we have than most people realize.
Make eye contact. If you refuse to make consistent eye contact with someone, they’re not going to trust you, let alone think you’re interested in them. Plus, the majority of our communication with one another is non verbal, so use those eyes. They’ll say more for you than your words ever will.
Use people’s names. Whether they realize it or not, everyone loves it when you do. It not only shows you specifically care about them but it immediately makes you feel a little closer with them. Don’t use it to the point of being obnoxious, but definitely throw it in there every now and then if you want to show you like them.
Get physically close. If you brush their arm, hug them, even just stand closer to them than you normally would it shows attraction and interest. Generally speaking, if your feet are pointing towards each other, you’re interested.
Be genuinely interested in them. The best way to keep people interested is to by being genuinely interested in them and what they have to say. Not only be a good listener but ask them questions, be engaged and in turn they’ll find you engaging. People love talking about themselves.
Smile! Again, things like warmth, joy and confidence are very attractive so don’t be afraid to use them to your advantage! Relax, be yourself, have a little fun and make the most of every situation and you’ll be a pro in no time.
December 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
Today’s my 20th birthday and I don’t even know how that happened. It’s as though I blinked in August and now everyone and everything seems to believe it’s December and I’m just in shock. Not unhappy or in denial, just generally stunned. Does time pass faster as you get older, or just busier?
Either way, I got the idea from this Thought Catalog post to do a 20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years post, so here goes nothing.
Things really do work out the way they’re meant to. The people you meet, the college you go to, the inevitable misadventures and strands of moments that have made you who you are today… all of it. So don’t waste your time worrying. If it’s meant to happen and you’re out there always doing your best, it will.
Change is inevitable. As hard as it is sometimes, we need to embrace the fact that nothing is ever exactly the same as it was one second ago. It will always happen, even if so slightly that one day you end up staring, fascinated at yourself in the mirror, trying to decide if you like this person better than the old one. Enjoy it.
We all make our fair share of mistakes. Own up to them, learn from them, right any wrongs, and move on. You’ll be a better person for it.
You’re going to accomplish some pretty amazing things. Work hard regardless and be thankful when it happens.
Do more of what you love and what makes you happy and you’ll never be sorry. You don’t have to have it all figured out. As long as you’re spending your time on the things that matter to you the rest has a way of sorting itself out.
Finding and keeping great friends is crucial. It may not always be easy, but people need other people like plants need the sun. So hang out with them whenever you can, keep in touch, and don’t be afraid to tell them you love them because
It’s always worth the extra effort to show someone they’re loved. Take it from movies like Love, Actually. Even if it doesn’t seem to help on the surface, it always does.
Know your priorities.
Ditch the electronic devices whenever possible. Give people your undivided attention when you sit down to talk with them. It makes all the difference in the world. Facebook can wait. The person in front of you shouldn’t have to.
Taking care of yourself is not an option. Your body is your greatest tool. Act accordingly.
Learn from everything.
Experience the world as much as you can. Go on a road trip. Fly to another country for the weekend. Even if it’s just experiencing part of someone else’s world for a little while, just make the effort to go beyond your comfort zone. You’ll always come out a better, more empathetic person for it.
You can’t trust everyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Some people are going to hurt you whether they intend to or not. Chalk it up to human imperfection, let it go, and be open to finding someone more deserving.
Vulnerability is power. Being open and genuine for some reason is practically revolutionary today, and therefore has an incredible effect. Do it more often and you’ll see what I mean.
Honesty is sexy.
Never lose your childlike sense of play. Build a fort in your living room. Turn walking upstairs into a mini-race, paint things with your fingers, play hide-and-go-seek and see how happy it makes you to act like a kid again.
Life is too short to waste time on things that don’t make you happy.
Kindness will never go out of style. Even if you don’t have a reason to, just being considerate and understanding to those around you is as classy as it gets.
Just have fun. Wherever you are right now, just get out there and make the most of it. Other people don’t control you or your happiness. You do.
November 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
In honor of today, I’m answering my least favorite question I get when I tell people I’m vegan:
“So, what do you eat?”
Sorry to disappoint you, but meat, cheese, milk and eggs are not actually main food groups. There are literally hundreds of kinds of fruits and vegetables and grains out there to choose from that are better for both your body and the environment. So my answer to them? Everything else. If my lazy vegan butt can do it, yours sure can too.
Here’s just a list of a few of my favorites so you can get an idea.
- An apple and a KIND bar
- Vegan cereal with almond milk
- Oatmeal and berries
- Fruit salad
- Tofu scramble (Boston, Trident makes a mean one!)
- Tempeh bacon
- Home fries
- Lentil soup
- Baby kale salad with avocado, sprouts and siracha
- Burrito with black beans, lettuce, chipotle lime tofu, guacamole, parsley and pico de gallo
- Seitanthony’s Feast, Sweet Potato and Buffalo Tempeh tacos via The Taco Party
- Pad Thai with Vegetables and Tofu (no egg)
- Vietnamese Tofu Summer Rolls
- Avocado maki and miso soup
- Vegetable stir-fry and quinoa
And for those of you who are looking to eat cleaner but don’t know where to begin, here’s my go-to grocery list!
A Basic Week’s Grocery list:
- 4-5 Organic red apples
- 3-4 Avocadoes
- 1-2 boxes of kale/salad mix
- A pack of berries
- 1 box KIND Bars* (Their Madagascar Vanilla’s pretty amazing)
- 2 365 Organic lentil soups
- 2 Thai sweet potato soups
- 4 boxes of kale chips (I’m obsessed with Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale)
- 2 Bell Peppers
I’ve also been on a bit of a vegan baking kick lately (and by a bit, I mean making at 2-3 of these things every week) so you should definitely give them try! My non-vegan friends literally beg me to keep making them so that must mean they’re good, right?
Favorite Vegan Desserts Recipes:
Hopefully that helps you get a better idea of what eating like a vegan’s like, and maybe intrigued enough to try a recipe or two! Also feel free to check out my Pinterest boards for lots more mouth-watering ways to eat your veggies!
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
As every college student in North America knows too well, Netflix’s growing library of Instant Watches are as wonderful to watch as they are dangerous to your productivity. But if you have a spare couple of hours, there’s no better place to spend it on the internet than this movie-goer’s mecca. Here are a few cinematic triumphs I promise you won’t regret clicking.
1. TiMER – Yes. Yes yes and yes. What if there was a timer that counted down to the moment you met your soul mate? That’s just the reality in this 2009 indie gem, and at times it feels like a less funny, more love-focused version of Bridesmaids. Definitely worth watching though.
2. Sleepless in Seattle – A classic rom-com never hurts. This one features two beautiful cities, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks at his best. Even if you’ve already seen it, it’s worth re-watching when you need to believe in fate and second chances.
3. Safety Not Guaranteed – This movie may have one of my favorite casts, ever. Aubrey Plaza from Parks and Recreation, Jake Johnson from New Girl and Kristen Bell from Veronica Mars all make appearances, and take us on a quirky journey we’ll never forget to discover what’s real.
4. The Go-Getter – Sue me. I’m a sucker for a good indie road trip movie. Featuring a pre-New Girl Zooey Deschanel and the majority of the soundtrack being composed by her old band M. Ward, The Go-Getter is a lesser known Little Miss Sunshine that grows on you.
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop – This one I actually discovered in my Producing for the Entertainment Industry course, but it was so intriguing I can’t help but include it. Made by the notorious artist Banksy, it’s the story of a man with a camera who followed big street artists around the world, and I dare you to try and answer at the end who the joke’s on.
9. Arrested Development – It’s a downright shame there are only 3 seasons out so far. With no finals left I made it through every episode in 2 days, but I’m not sorry. I laughed out loud more in those two days than I had in two weeks! The show is incredibly well written, the cast is phenom, and its simple twists and turns make it irresistibly watchable. Plus it’s also set in Southern California. I pretty much love anything set in in Southern California.
11. Grey’s Anatomy – Grey’s is… perfection. For the modern-day, I-want-to-believe-in-ove-but-life-is-complicated kind of girl, that is. It’s drama and romance and medical/life lessons you won’t get anywhere else like this. Plus the music used is always exactly on key.
12. Revenge – It’s almost too dramatic and suspenseful but it’ll hook you from the start. The first season of this new hit is a must-watch. As the title suggests, it’s about a girl returning to the Hamptons to seek revenge for her father who was framed for a terrorist attack by his next door neighbors.
13. Parks and Recreation – A wonderful little comedy show from Amy P. that’ll make you giggle and wish every government official was like Leslie Knope. With a rock star cast and brilliant writing, you won’t be able to watch just one.
14. Mad Men – It definitely is a certain type of person that appreciates this show, but it has a cult-like following now for a reason. This, my friends, is the business show of the decade. Chronicling the lives of New York advertising men in the 1960s, Mad Men will broaden your creative thinking mind every episode. Don Draper is perhaps the most epic American businessman character on TV, and with a knockout cast list and guest stars, it’s easy to get lost in his world for a few hours. One girl I know even changed her major to be in the business/marketing field after watching she became so enamoured with the concept.
15. Weeds – Not a show for the conservative or faint-hearted. Do not let your children watch it, heck maybe even cover your eyes sometimes when you’re watching it. But do watch it. I always enjoyed the fact it basically takes place 10 minutes from my house in Cali.
So there. That should keep you busy for a while.