What Can Pretty Persuasion Do For Us?
Updated January 02, 2019
Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Persuading someone can be quite difficult. Everyone reacts differently when trying to be convinced, and a master persuader needs to have all the techniques in the book for them to succeed. One way someone can persuade another is by looking good. This is known as pretty persuasion. They say that looks don't matter, but as you'll soon find out, they are quite important. In this post, we will discuss pretty persuasion and how it can help you.
Persuasion And Your Looks
In the ideal world, people wouldn't be convinced by people's looks. Instead, they would be persuaded by what they have to say. Someone who looks scraggly may have a better point than someone who is dressed for the occasion.
However, life isn't like that. Instead, many of us are more likely to talk or listen to someone who looks pretty or attractive. If they have a good outfit or a nice face to go along with it, we are going to listen more.
That isn't to say that there aren't people who care only about the argument. There are. But the vast majority of people can be swayed by someone who looks good. If there is an attractive speaker in the room, and an unattractive speaker, the public may side more with the attractive speaker.
Why is attractiveness so important? There are many reasons for this. One reason is that we like to speak with someone who is good on the eyes. We can look them in their face more, and their aura of confidence comes out on us. There may be a sexual attraction, and when you're sexually attracted to someone, you're easily influenced.
We are also creatures of assumption. We would like to believe that we are more nuanced than thinking that because someone's attractive, they automatically know what they're talking about, but this is not true. We will look at someone and make assumptions about them based on their attractiveness.
If a professor is young, attractive, and sharp-dressed, many brains will assume that they are good at teaching. If a politician is well-dressed, we would like to believe they have a plan for us.
The Halo Effect
The belief that someone is a good person because they are attractive is known as the halo effect, and there is evidence to back up this phenomenon. In 1920, psychologist Edward Thorndike named this concept. It was named after the halo shown in depictions of angels. We assume good things about good-looking people. Sometimes, the best looking people can be deceitful, and the worst looking people can have a heart of gold, but our brains unconsciously assume the opposite.
Thorndike found evidence to support his claim. He talked to commanding officers and asked about their soldiers, and it turned out that the soldiers who were more attractive had more assumptions about intelligence.
The halo effect can affect how people perform in their daily lives. Let's say that someone gets in trouble with the law. If they are more attractive, they are more likely to get a slap on the wrist compared to someone who is not attractive. If an attractive person and an unattractive person have committed the same crime, the unattractive person may get a harsher sentence.
This is an unfair rule in life. We all wish that we could judge someone not by their outside, but what's on the inside. However, it's hard to fight against your unconscious assumptions. In this world, you are going to benefit if you look more attractive, and there's no debating that.
How To Look More Attractive
With all that said, how do you look more attractive? Some people reading may think that they are ugly and cannot improve themselves. They are making the first mistake. One thing that can boost your attractiveness is your confidence.
Confidence is attractive. If you've ever seen someone dating someone out of their league, and they don't have much money, it could be because they're confident in their abilities. Of course, you cannot become confident overnight. It takes a while to feel more confident, and one way you can do so is look the part.
Obviously, one way you can improve your appearance is to get in shape if you haven't done so already. Eat right, exercise, and improve your appearance. If you have done that, another way you can look more attractive is to dress the part.
How you dress can greatly change how people perceive you. If you are a speaker, dressing slovenly isn't going to win you over. You need to dress trim and for the occasion. Make sure your hair is clean and combed. Make sure that your suit is ironed and free of wrinkles. You may think that one imperfection won't have much of an impact, but some are going to notice, even unconsciously, and they will listen to you less. It's sometimes an unconscious decision as well. People may not notice your imperfection on the conscious level, but deep in their brain, they will notice it.
Make sure your clothes fit as well. Having that nice fit is a perfect balance. Too tight, and it may make you look uneven and asymmetrical. Too loose and you'll look baggy, and people will think something is wrong. If you're going to make a career out of persuading people, it may be wise to talk to a professional tailor and make sure the outfit you have is well-fitted. If you grow or shrink in size, it may be worth it to have the tailor adjust to the size.
Also, when it comes to dressing, you need to dress for the occasion. Some may think that if they always dress formal, they will be trusted. However, this all depends on the context. If you're a politician visiting a one-horse town, it may come off as rude if you dress in a suit or tie. Dressing a little more casually may benefit you in that situation. However, you want to dress a little better than most townsfolk to get noticed, but not too much.
It can be a tough balance to make. However, for the most part, you want to dress up. People will associate your nice clothes with that of someone who is influential and has something to say. While some may not trust you because of how you dress, most will flock to you.
Clothes are powerful. We can use them to show off our influence, show that we are one with the people around us, or show that we don't care about our appearance. If you're ever wondering why someone is so choosy about their clothes, this is why. Even if you think that someone's outfit can't influence you, you may be thinking the opposite in your unconscious mind.
As for your facial appearance, it can show a lot about you. Someone who is smiling a lot may be perceived as always happy. Meanwhile, someone who is always frowning may be seen as negative. If you want to be influential, you need to learn to display positivity, even if you don't feel right inside.
If you're a male, keep your facial hair trim, and have a hairstyle that best suits your face. Talk to a hair stylist to figure out which style would work the best for you. If you're a female, a moderate amount of makeup and clean hair works well too.
You don't need to be the best-looking person in the world, but you can be able to make people respect your appearance more by making sure you look clean and presentable. This is what people will look for when they want to find someone to respect and look up to. A face they can trust. This is the power of pretty persuasion.
If you're trying to persuade someone, learning valuable persuasion communication skills is important. You need to use the right words, exude confidence, and appeal to a vast majority of people. With that said, your appearance matters just as much. You can be the best speaker in the world, but some may be put off over how you dress. You don't need to look like a celebrity, but by being mindful of how you dress, you can be able to change people's hearts.
Take a look at your normal wardrobe. How would you improve it? What can you do to make yourself more influential? Is there a style you can develop based on your appearance? A brand? Who are you trying to appeal to?
With so many questions, you may wonder how you can be more influential. One way you can do so is by speaking to a counselor. A counselor is someone who can tell you how you can be more influential. They can identify your best traits and tell you what you can do to influence the most people. Talk to a counselor today and see what they can suggest to you.