Who Hasn’t Wanted To Be Cool?
We’ve all wanted to be cool. But research shows that it’s not merely a shallow desire. Cool makes a difference in life.
For instance, charismatic leaders bring out people’s best.
But can we become more cool if we try?
Yes. Fake it until you make it works.
So what is cool and how can we embody it?
If I had to sum up cool in a word it would be: less.
Cool doesn’t try too hard. Thing is, trying is very effective in life and especially in relationships. So what gives?
By not trying, cool people signal, “I’m so smooth, I don’t have to try to get what I want.”
As Olivia Fox-Cabane points out: James Bond doesn’t plead, smile or fidget. He speaks slowly and calmly.
(More on the science behind why James Bond is so sexy here.)
Want to know a quick trick for getting people to like you? Assume they already do.
Yes, we all love confidence. Combine doing less with supreme confidence and you have the essence of cool.
Researchers gave people a course in charisma and one of the factors that produced results was acting confident.
(More on how to increase confidence here.)
3) Know The Rules — And Break Them
People who are cool aren’t oblivious to proper behavior, in fact, they’re socially savvy.
But they deliberately break the rules when it benefits them.
In the paper “Coolness: An Empirical Investigation” rebelliousness was found to be a key component of cool:
Why is rule breaking cool? Breaking the rules makes you appear powerful.
(More on how to appear powerful here.)
4) Focus On Attitude And Body Language Will Follow
Are my hands fidgeting? Am I biting my lip? Am I nodding too much? Is my speech slow enough? …That’s enough to drive you insane.
As Fox-Cabane explains, there’s no way to monitor and optimize what every part of your body is doing. It’s just too much:
So how do we make our body language more cool? By feeling cool on the inside, our body language will reflect that:
(More on how to read people’s body language here.)
5) Cool Isn’t Always The Coolest
Being cool may be a positive but don’t assume it’s the best attitude for all situations. There is no single perfect way to be.
While seeming detached and calm has its benefits, so does being very enthusiastic.
(More on when nice guys finish first — or last — here.)
Let’s round it all up:
- Be Confident
- Know The Rules And Break Them
- Focus On Attitude And Body Language Will Follow
- Cool Isn’t Always The Coolest.
Now get out there and be cool… but don’t try too hard.
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This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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