Rewriting the attraction game
Image: Alina Danker  |  UnsplashIt’s a rookie relationship mistake trying to please others, and yet so many of us have fallen into that trap! We are taught to conform, even though it no longer serves us the way it used to. Here are some ways to reframe our attraction patterning.
by Guy Thornycroft
Don’t chaseThe most attractive people are those with great self-confidence and self-belief. Others will take you as you take yourself – so learning to live life for you is the most powerful way to attract others. It’s a rookie relationship mistake trying to please others. You may have already found that out! Now it is time to change it.

For millennia it has been a survival trait to conform. Scientists call it Conforming Tendency, and we all have it. Conformity involves changing our behaviours to ‘fit in’ or ‘go along’ with the people around us. In some cases, this social influence might involve agreeing with or acting like most people in a specific group. Or it might involve behaving in a particular way to be perceived as ‘normal’ by the group.

We do this on at least three levels:
1. Physically
2. Voice tone
3. Energetically

Physically we mirror others with facial expressions, hand movements, and body positioning, to match the person or group we want acceptance from. These visual cues can be helpful to us when looked for in others.

Listen to how you talk to different social groups, and you will quickly see how you adapt to the phrases and language of the group you are with. Perhaps you swear around one group, and are far more sanctimonious around another group or family? My wife knows who I am on the phone with by the accent I use with different family members around the world!

As technology evolves, we are starting to measure the impact that our energy has on the people around us. For centuries people have worked with energy in healing and self-control (think reiki and tantric practices). Regardless of our beliefs, we are conditioned to adapting the energetic signature of the people around us as part of our conforming tendency.

Moths are attracted to lightAll of these strategies are designed to help us belong to the group. In the past it helped us survive, when being excluded from your ‘herd’ was dangerous. So what has this got to do with relationships?

Well, conforming to the group may bring you some small degree of acceptance, but the point I made to start with is still true. Others will take you as you take yourself. So learning to live life for you is the most powerful way to attract others. Let’s look more closely at how this works.

We are most energetic and happiest when we are engaged in activities that we love. In a society hungry for experience – make me happy, entertain me, fill this feeling of emptiness please – people are geared more than ever before to be attracted to the laughter in the room or the people they see has having a good time or being self-content. This is the key.

Let’s go back to the three types of signals we give out and imagine that rather than trying to match ours to others we stop trying to. How do others take that?
Image: Alina Daniker | UnsplashCase 1: The dramaSomeone comes rushing in shouting and waving wildly. There is a drama playing out, perhaps an accident outside that they have witnessed.

Our conforming tendency will try to tip us right into that drama. You will also wave our arms and lift your voice, and add wonderfully to the chaos. So, replay that in your mind and imagine that you do the opposite. Hold your body in a relaxed open position, lower your voice to a calm and quiet reassurance, and extend your energy in a safe, powerful, and protective embrace. It takes 3-4 seconds before the other person pulls themselves up short in amazement and calms right down. Why? Because they have conformed to your signals. Now you can calmly deal with the accident.
Case 2: No one wants to playIt's a beautiful spring day but no one in your social group has any motivation to suggest something to do. They all have some lame excuses to do things around the house or garden. Normal behaviour is to feel flat too. To resign yourself to following suit and take the opportunity to get around to the boring tasks you’ve been putting off.

Now imagine freeing yourself of having to follow their moods or cycles and tune into what YOU would love to do. The beach? A bush walk? A picnic with a sketch pad? Find a waterfall?

Announce your vision with the air of “I don’t care what you are doing; I’m off on an adventure”, and 9/10 times you end up with a string of messages, “can I come too?”

In other words, you become the centre of social gravity.
"You smile at your colleague and hold that energy for four seconds. Magic happens, and they start playing a new game of conciliation, moderation, and even retraction of their accusation."Case 3: The business meetingYou are in a business meeting, and someone decides to lay the blame for a hiccup in a project on you. Typically, you feel flustered and blindsided. You don’t have an explanation or response, and you are wrapped up in the energy of the blame game, feeling unfairly attacked. Your conforming response is to take on the role given to us of scapegoat, and apologise and justify and try to recover your dignity. Your body language is generally: head down, hand wringing, and high winey voice. You dig a deeper and deeper hole for yourself.

Now imagine changing the expected path. Take a deep breath, imagine yourself on a beach on holiday, in awe of the beauty around you, with all the time in the world. You smile at your colleague and hold that energy for four seconds. Magic happens, and they start playing a new game of conciliation, moderation, and even retraction of their accusation. When you do speak it is calm and reasonable, even if you say you don’t agree or don’t know the answer right now. Others will want to support you.
"Freeing yourself from needing to be liked turns the table on your relationships, and makes you the desirable one."Learn to love yourself firstThe bottom line is that the relationships we form are far more dependent on the relationship we have with ourselves than how well we fit in. The key to great relationships is knowing what we want and following our own hearts. By doing this we essentially give others permission to be themselves too. When we follow our own hearts, we have far more passion and energy to give, and thus our relationships blossom.

Are you a leach in your social networks, looking for others to entertain you, or are you a dynamo of energy and love?

A final illustration of this concept is remembering someone who was desperate to be liked by you. Recall the repulsion of a needy and embarrassingly ‘I’ll do anything for you’ friend. Now think of a crush you’ve had. Chances are that person was independent, and you felt they’d hardly be likely to even notice you. Freeing yourself from needing to be liked turns the table on your relationships, and makes you the desirable one.

The skill of holding space, free of needing to be liked or accepted, is one that can be learned, and is well worth cultivating in yourself.
About the author:
Intuitive Business & Life Coach, Director of The Guy to Know Pty Ltd. Raised in Zimbabwe, University in South Africa, financial planning in Scotland, Guy now lives in Australia with his wife and four children. He plays the oboe and highland bagpipes and loves spearfishing.
Professionally, Guy presents at conferences, runs his own company, has worked on numerous committees and directed others.
His consistent theme is finding ways for clients to better get what they want from life.

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