Is it wrong to change yourself to be more attractive to others? If the goal is to become more attractive so that people who are good matches for you will be more likely to interact with you, than no!
There is nothing wrong with making an effort to be attractive to others. Sometimes that is called the art of seduction. For some, it seems quite the honorable pursuit to help one’s self become a more attractive, socially engaging person, especially when focused on their own value. This means focusing on yourself, who you are, what you like and growing your edges into a confident human being. Nothing is more attractive than confidence! What is unattractive: Expecting people to be attracted to you, and then acting indignant when it doesn’t happen.
Often times the desire to change comes from the drive to improve, to be a better person, to make connections with other humans. We are social creatures. Most of us prefer to be around attractive people. Being attractive, isn’t just a physical thing. You don’t have to have the perfect legs or face. Personality, good hygiene and grooming habits can go a long way. People are also attracted to each other for who they are and how they treat themselves and others.
What most people find concerning about people who are trying to be more attractive is: what is done with the attraction. Is it used to introduce us to a person and lead us in exploration of a match? Or is the attraction used to lie and manipulate us into things that if we were more honest with each other (and ourselves) might not happen? The history of the word seduction implies the latter, however contemporary usage implies the former– reality is much more of a continuum.
Some examples of seduction techniques: movie trailers, advertisements, retail window arrangements, and free samples. All of those are seduction attempts– to increase the likelihood that needs get met, sometimes in a supply/demand way, sometimes in a more persuasive manner. It seems ideal when the seducer and the enticed get both of their needs met– a simple example would be the movies.
The Movies! “The Movie” refers to all the people behind the movie and is personified. In this case, The Movie is the seducer. The Movie creates a preview or trailer to attract an audience. The Audience is the enticed. This example is somewhat one-sided, and not entirely reflective of real life. If an honest attempt at getting movie goers to come see the movie is made by the seducer, the enticed spends their money and their time on the movie. More often than not, both parties come away happy. The seducer gets their needs met (a return on their investment of time and money in the form of money and fame) as do the enticed in the form of entertainment. If the seducer isn’t able to successfully advertise– they may not get their needs met– if the enticed is not sufficiently enticed, they probably won’t bother investing their time and money. Essentially, when a movie is honestly represented in trailers, it attracts the kind of movie goers who like what it has to offer into going and seeing that movie! The movie goer is subsequently entertained.
This seems like a win-win situation.
The dynamics between men and women are similar, only men and women are concurrently the seducers and the enticed. There is a constant on-going negotiation between the people for getting their needs and wants met, which can be the same as The Movie and The Audience. The negotiation between people is complex and sophisticated with varying degrees of consciousness on either side.
There is the risk that there is not a sufficient match. Not necessarily because anyone is bad or deceitful, although that is certainly a consideration. Sometimes it is the simply the case that two people are not a good match for each other. Often one figures this out before the other. Hopefully it is conveyed with kindness and received the same way. These interactions seem like a symphony that some people know how to play, while others are attempting to deconstruct the orchestra and song components in order to learn how to play or compose better.
This deconstruction provides a tool kit. The tools in and of themselves are not good or bad (they are either effective or ineffective) it is what the intentions the user has that determines whether the tools are being used to harm people and relationships or help connect people and build relationships.
(A False Choice )
For example things that are commonly complained about are: men who use women for sex or beauty and women who use men for money or breeding. This seems like a predator/prey situation, which in the short run is win-lose, and in the long run is lose-lose, where behaviors are designed to mislead, control others, or pull strings. A person that needs to do that kind of thing doesn’t believe they can connect with people without coercing them. Unfortunately psychological coercion is a lot harder to prove than a gun to one’s head. Do you want to be liked for you, or for your deceptions?
Not everyone is looking for a win-win situation, what this means for anyone, is we have to be really clear and honest with ourselves about what we want, what we are willing to tolerate, and what will make us walk away. If we don’t know what we want and who we are, we may get caught up in the moment of a good time. While there is nothing wrong with that, don’t mistake it for anything else.
Most intentions are clear and from a place of integrity, including a desire to find a mutually good match or to establish a connection. No matter the outcome, if the intentions are good it is win-win. “No matter the outcome” is important because sometimes rejection is a good thing. Turning someone down can be an act of kindness. It is not an act of kindness to tolerate someone- you are depriving them and yourself of an authentic connection in an intimate and loving relationship. No one wins when you just “tolerate” someone.
If you are the one turning someone down, chances are you can tell that for whatever reason, you’re not a good match. If you are the person being turned down, it may not feel good. However don’t beat yourself up over it either. You are now free to find someone who will appreciate all that you are– because you will be great for the right person, you just have to leave your house to find them.
Dating, putting your best foot forward, being honest in your seducer/enticer role is about meeting people so that you can get to know whether or not you are a match. Don’t lie about who you are, what you are interested in. When you seek a match with integrity, it doesn’t matter if not every person is your match. In fact I can guarantee that not everyone will be a match. What matters, is you find a good mutual match. That is what makes it win-win for everyone.