9 Things That Can Make You Less Attractive, According To Science

Stand-offish isn't sexy. Denise Curran/Flickr

In 2015, Business Insider published a list of ways to make yourself more attractive.

We learned that walking a dog and playing good music are easy ways to give yourself a boost.

But lately we've been wondering: Aren't there things we're all guilty of doing that can decrease our attractiveness?

The answer is almost definitely yes. What follows is a list of common traits and behaviors that can make it harder to impress the object of your affection.

Read on and find out how you might be sabotaging your own sex appeal.

1. Sleep Deprivation

We generally look a lot less attractive after skimping on sleep.

In 2010, researchers took photos of people who'd slept for at least eight hours the night before and people who hadn't slept in 31 hours. Other participants rated the people in the photos on different criteria.

Not only were the sleep-deprived people perceived as more tired (obviously), but they were also perceived as less attractive, less healthy, and sadder.

Facial expressions are key. Wikimedia Commons

2. Being Mean

Do nice guys really finish last?

For a 2014 Chinese study, researchers had men and women look at photos of other people, all displaying neutral expressions.

Some of those photos were accompanied by the Chinese words for "decent" and honest"; the others were accompanied by the Chinese words for "evil" and "mean"; still others weren't accompanied by any information.

Participants ended up rating people least attractive when they were described as evil and mean.

3. Contractive Body Language

If you've heard about the "power pose," you know that expanding your body can make you feel more powerful and confident, while curling inward can make you feel less so.

According to 2016 research, that contractive body language can also make you seem less attractive. In one study, researchers created profiles for men and women on a GPS-based dating app. In one set of profiles, the men and women were pictured in contractive positions — for example, by crossing their arms or hunching their shoulders.

In the other set of profiles, the same men and women were pictured in expansive positions, like holding their arms upward in a "V" or reaching out to grab something.

Results showed that people in expansive postures were selected more often than those in contractive postures. And men pictured in contractive postures seemed to be at a special disadvantage.

4. Stress

Chill out — you might look hotter.

A 2013 study found that women with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol were perceived by heterosexual men as less attractive.

The researchers say that's possibly because high cortisol (and lower stress) levels indicate health and fertility.

5. Looking Too Happy Or Too Proud

While happiness is generally attractive on women, girls don't like guys who are too smiley.

By contrast, while pride is typically attractive on men, guys don't like girls who look too proud.

In 2011, researchers conducted experiments on more than 1,000 people, showing them photographs of members of the opposite sex and asking them how attractive the people in the photos were.

Results showed that men rated women most attractive when they looked happy and least attractive when they displayed pride. Women, on the other hand, rated men most attractive when they displayed pride and least attractive when they looked happy.

.jpgCarrie Davenport/Getty

6. Not Having A Sense Of Humor

A guy walks into a bar … fumbles a joke and leaves alone.

A 2009 study found that not being funny at all — and even having an average sense of humor — is less attractive than having a great sense of humor.

The study also found that gender didn't play a role — a poor sense of humor was equally unattractive in men and women.

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