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Should You "Power Pose" To Get A Date?

By: Patti Wood MA, CSP

New research on power poses in photos for dating sites says power poses in your online dating photo can make you attractive.  Here is the link to the article.

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/is-manspreading-sexy/475728/

I have been doing back to back media interviews on power poses and dating. Below are my body language insights.

There are "poses" that make you powerful and "poses" that make you look attractive to the opposite sex. In general, the "POWER" poses that Amy Cuddy talks about are actually male power poses that make men feel larger and more powerful, full of testosterone and looking like the ideal Alpha mate to with the genetic make up to make great babies.

Generally, men who take up more space, in such poses as hands on hips and chest puffed out looked powerful, but that may work for them in the attraction and flirting phase of courtship. It may however be over the top cocky for a man to go full on power posing with standing or sitting with his legs spread far out and his elbows out and hands on his hips on a first date!

Women, of course, want to be powerful, but women who take on power poses and take up more space in the flirting stage are harder for an everyday guy to approach. 

What does work for men and women is to have upper body OPEN WINDOW body language. You keep your WINDOWS by opening and or showing your eyes, neck, heart, and palms of the hands, toes. What also works for posing is what I call ‘up’ body language.  It’s beautifully symbolic – you go up when you’re feeling up. Your gestures move up, your head comes up, your shoulders come up and back, your step is upwards. Your body language goes downward when you’re sad, depressed or lack confidence so when you are flirting and dating focus on bringing your body language up.

Here are a few more tips on approachable signals for women who wish to lure a man:  

Don't take up too much space - Taking up a lot of space communicates that you are powerful and superior. Okay, we want to show that we are strong women, but remember we are trying to get a man to come over and talk to us. You have to show you have room for someone else in your life.

Stand slightly pigeon-toed - Men usually stand with the toes 6 to 10 inches apart. Toes pointed inward or outward actually show your status in the hierarchy.  Toes outward say "I'm mighty."  Toes pointed inward say "I'm approachable." Standing with your feet far apart with the toes out makes you look strong and actually signals that you could attack. Obviously, you don’t want to look like you’re about to attack. Women usually stand with their feet 4 to 6 inches apart. To be very approachable stand with your feet no further apart than six inches and point your toes slightly inward. But don’t put them in so far that you look like a dork.

Shrug - When turtles sense danger, they tuck their heads all the way in to retreat. We pull our shoulders up towards our ears to protect our heads when we are startled. We shrug to show, "Hey it’s not my fault," to say, "I don't know," or to say, "Whatever you want." The shrug tells others that you are submissive. I have seen some women who are masters of the shoulder shrug. They make it look like a sensual feline move. Right now slowly roll your shoulders up and throw in a subtle head toss. 

Head tilt - The head tilt is not a uniquely feminine move, but it’s certainly done more by women perhaps because it is a signal that the head tilter is listening intently. A head tilt symbolically shows the baring of the neck to a superior. It mimics a head movement done by wolves to the leader of the pack that says "I’m exposing my most vulnerable spot to you to show you I know you can rip me to pieces. So let’s not fight about it." Men tend to talk in what is called "boasting" fashion in the gender difference research when they are flirting. They will talk a lot about what they have done and what they can do. In those initial conversations (or monologues) tilt your head to show you are listening. And by the way, boasting behavior is not an indication of whether a man will listen to you.  So don’t think, hey, if he doesn't listen now, forget about him. If he’s not listening now, it’s only an indication that he wants your approval. 

Unfold your arms - This opens up your body windows.  When I am introduced as an expert on body language, people almost always respond by folding their arms in front of their bodies. Body language is symbolic. It often physically represents what we are feeling internally, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to read. Although there are over 60 different interpretations of arm crossing, arms usually form a protective wall around us. It’s pretty obvious that to get a man to approach you, you have to let down the wall. You don't have to stand with your arms stiffly at your sides the minute you walk into a party. Some people feel more comfortable with a relaxed arm cross when they first get in any group setting. Even if you do keep your arms crossed at first, eventually you need to open up. You can have a beverage in your hand, and holding it will give you some security if you need that to uncross or if you’re sitting at a coffeehouse, you can put your hands out in front of you on the table as you read a paper.