Did you ever notice a stranger from across the room at a party or at a meeting at work who was drop-dead gorgeous, but who, once you got to know him or her better, suddenly wasn't as attractive anymore? It could have been an off-color comment or something about their personality that instantly changed your opinion about their looks.
What about the opposite? Did you ever meet someone who you thought was average-looking, but once you got to know that person, your opinion about his or her physical characteristics changed for the better? That person just got better-looking in your eyes because he or she was nice or charming.
The quirks or qualities of someone's personality can enhance or detract from their physical beauty. I have blogged here recently about the perception of beauty, and how that perception is different from individual to individual. I believe that each of us perceives each person they meet as beautiful or not because of a combination of physical and mental factors. It is my contention that certain negative characteristics of one's personality can actually make that person less attractive and less physically appealing. It is not as though they grow warts or actually change their physical characteristics, but their appearance is diminished by their bad behavior, and their beauty decreases in your mind.
Here is a simple concept to increase your level of beauty: make yourself less ugly! Our brains are hard-wired to like nice people and dislike nasty people, and subsequently that's what changes their degree of beauty.
Listed below are five flawed personality traits that I believe can seriously affect the physical beauty of individuals. I have also included the opposite, positive traits that can enhance one's beauty. Let's see if you agree with my choices, and I certainly welcome any additional recommendations.
1) Conceitedness vs. Confidence
Conceited individuals are annoying because they have an excessively high opinion of their abilities, appearance and material things. These people like to show off and brag about their possessions and skills. They tend to be very rude, self-centered, arrogant and extremely insecure.
Confident people are aware of their attributes and do not have the need or desire to tell the world about them. They are comfortable in their own skin and never feel threatened by other individuals' talents or accomplishments. Traits commonly found in confident people include eye contact during conversation; clear, audible speech patterns, without yelling; firm handshake; and tall, straight posture.
2) Grimness vs. Humorousness
I call this characteristic the "party-pooper trait," as grim people seem to be unhappy or angry about everything. They complain and find fault in every person, place or thing and are just no fun to be around. These people are usually gloomy because they have not mastered the ability to be happy with themselves. They are not clinically depressed, just miserable.
Humorous, witty people are entertaining and fun. Often, their humor is self-effacing and good-natured when joking with others. They don't try to be hurtful with their jokes. Humor can be used to defuse angry situations and is always helpful when making a first impression.
3) Selfishness vs. Honest Interest In Others
Selfishness denotes an excessive or exclusive concern with oneself and goes beyond normal self-interest or self-concern. These people demonstrate a disregard for others and openly express their need to devote all their energy to their own agenda. Selfish people have a great, inherent desire to control situations and people and are unwilling to reach compromises with others.
Individuals with honest interest in others are extremely likable. The interest must be genuine; otherwise the charade is obvious and offensive. They have the ability to coax people to talk about themselves or share interesting experiences. They are curious, ask questions and listen intently to the answers. They have the amazing ability to allow people around them to the feel important, a powerful attribute!
4) Cynicism vs. Optimism
These curmudgeons have a dim worldview. Their pessimistic nature often is linked to a failure to achieve personal goals. They are tiring because their cynical views can be depressing.
Optimists look at a difficult situation and realize that things can be much worse. Numerous studies have suggested that optimism is an effective tool in overcoming trauma, illness and depression. It is simply more desirable to spend time with positive individuals.
5) Narcissism vs. Healthy Vanity
Narcissists are like conceited individuals on steroids. They have an inflated sense of their own self-importance and the deep need for admiration. They monopolize conversations and have controlling personalities.
"Healthy vanity" is a positive trait in which a person has a realistically high self-esteem and is modestly confident. People with healthy vanity have a level-headed view of themselves, good and bad.
Each of these personality flaws can be changed or altered in a positive fashion. Doing so will make you a happier, more beautiful person... or should I say "less ugly"?
To learn more about my concepts regarding beauty, please go to the book's website, www.TheBeautyQuotient.com, or friend me on Facebook.
Follow Robert Tornambe, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertMTornambe