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How to Turn People On


Let’s talk about what turns people on. Now get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about what turns people on emotionally—let’s leave the physical side for another email. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

How to Turn People On

If you want to be memorable, you have to know how to turn people on.

We scoured the scientific findings and researched influential thinkers on the subject and have built 4 fundamental rules on how to be the most memorable person in the room. Here is the first (and my personal favorite) rule:

If you want the rest subscribe to our free email tips–yes, of course, it’s FREE:





How to Turn People On

We are attracted to people who turn us on. I don’t just mean physically, I mean emotionally turn us on. Leading psychologist John Dewey discovered one of the most fundamental aspects of people. He found that there is one thing that every person on this earth wants:

To feel important.

Deep down, everyone on this earth just wants to feel appreciated. click to tweet 

Once someone has the basics of food and shelter all they want is to feel cherished, valued and worthy. And this helps us know what people find attractive. We turn people on when we fulfill their desire to be important.

Here’s the psychology behind it: If you can make someone feel important by valuing their opinions, time or feelings, YOU will be attractive to them.

I challenge you to try something. Next time you are at an event or out with a friend approach all conversations with one goal: Make whoever you are speaking with feel valued. Try this…

How to be attractive verbally:

  • Ask questions about what they find important
  • Push their ideas a step further. Ask why and how more than what and when.
  • Commit to total engagement. I’m totally calling you out on your fake trip to the bathroom, pretending to check your very important email or looking over their head as you talk to them to see who might be more interesting. Stop it! I promise, engaging will make you both interested and interesting (See more of my promises below).

You can also be attractive nonverbally. You know how much we love our body language research. And studies show that the majority of our communication is actually nonverbal. On the conservative side, studies have found a minimum of 60% (which is still A LOT!) and that goes up to 93%.

Here is how to be attractive nonverbally:

  • Keep your toes pointed towards the person speaking. I know this seems silly but our brains pick up on people’s foot direction and use it to gauge interest. As you are listening to someone, you can make them feel valued by keeping your toes and torso pointed at them as they speak. It’s kind of like nonverbally telling them, “I’m with you! I hear you! Keep going!” And that is the best compliment you can give someone.
  • Use a triple nod. Studies have shown (See our list of citations) that people will speak 3 to 4 times longer if you do three slow nods in a row when they have finished speaking. It’s like a nonverbal … So, when someone finishes their statement, look them in the eye and nod three times as if to say, “keep going.” They often will continue and you end up having a much deeper conversation. (And if they don’t it’s no big deal, just take a sip of your drink and ask your next question).

If you try even one of these techniques, all with the goal of making others feel important, here’s what I can promise:

1) You will be amazed at how much more interesting your conversations will be.

2) Even though this approach is all about valuing others, the awesome side effect is that people will remember YOU.

3) People will surprise you. When we really care and ask the right questions, it is crazy what people will tell you.

The best part is, this is the LEAST gimmicky way to interact. Instead of one liners or memorized conversation starters, this approach is about integrity. What better way to be attractive?

If you feel comfortable, share your experience trying this below. I want to hear your story.

Sneak peek…Sign-up below to get our other rules! 

#2: Be Emotionally Horny

#3: Go Naked

#4: Let’s Get Physical

Want to dig a little deeper into the science of succeeding with people? Check out our book Captivate!

Ever wonder what makes people tick? captivate, captivate book, vanessa van edwardsWant to know the hidden forces that drive our behavior? In Vanessa Van Edwards new book Captivate, she explains a simple blueprint for hacking human behavior. In this science packed, anti-boring guide you will learn:

  • The formula for fascinating conversation
  • How to walk into a room full of strangers and make a killer first impression
  • What to do to increase your impact and income using people skills
  • Our strategy for hacking the people code–we call it the matrix (Keanu Reeves not included with each book sale)
  • The art and science of understanding people

Learn the new–science based way for winning friends and influencing people.

buy captivate on amazon

All Rights Reserved + COPYRIGHT 2013 Science of People, LLC

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is a published author and behavioral investigator. She is a Huffington Post columnist and her courses and research has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. As a published Penguin author, Vanessa regularly speaks and appears in the media to talk about her research. She is a sought after consultant and speaker.


19 Comments


  1. Marnie

    “Be interested to be interesting” is my favorite quote from this article. I have noticed that whenever the other person talks a lot they think I am a great conversationalist. It’s so funny how that happens. But I think it is this principle you are talking about! When people talk and you listen you make great conversation (which is great in itself) but then they ALSO think you are great. Thanks for this post!

    1. vvanedwards

      Thanks Marnie! I think that is a great story–it is true when other people talk a lot they think you are a great talker. We all do it and it is completely an aspect of making people feel important which makes you more attractive.

  2. Sarah

    I didn’t think this would make a difference but I actually tried this last night and it was really interesting. I decided to make it easy and instead of trying to meet everyone in the room (like usual) I decided I wanted to try to meet just one person but really meet them. Sure enough right after I got my drink a woman said hello and we started chatting. I didn’t go into my typical answers of what I do and my typical questions of where are you from blah blah and when I did the triple nod she did actually keep going (i didnt think that one would work.) After about a 15 minute conversation we traded cards and I think that we will actually reach out instead of just burying each other’s cards in our desks. More importantly I had a way better time with this approach than my usual. Very very interesting stuff. Cant wait for more.

    1. vvanedwards

      Thank you for sharing this and more importantly thank you for actually going out and trying it! I bet you that you will carry on with that woman and she will remember you and that event for a long time. Thats the way to be memorable. Cheers!

  3. Polly

    It is awesome to engage people but I have an eighty year old neighbor that talks and talks endlessly. So one day I needed to get a lot done I played music to discourage him from talking, bothering me. No go, he would walk over and catch my attention visually and go at it again. How can I disengage him, without being rude? He does have the reputation in town of being the town know it all. Thanks.

    1. Xpektro GzN

      Hi there, i finished reading your post and I found it interesting, but at the same time is somehow typical. Usually older folks go on and on about their stories, and what not… is normal, some do it because they have nobody else to talk, others as they grow old can perceive themselves as a burden with the NEED to be of useful, therefore they will try to get attention “subconsciously”.- or at least that’s how i see it

      But to share my opinion in how do disengage him, without being rude. Be politely disagreeable 🙂

  4. Danielle McRae

    This is such a refreshing topic- while everyone else is concerned with being physically attractive, I’ll be using these tips to become more emotionally attractive! I am definitely guilty of “fake listening” on occasion. I’ll check my phone or nod more than I should or get distracted by other people in the room. I’m going to make more of an effort to make my conversations and the person/people I’m speaking with feel important.

  5. Ray

    I took my clothes today after reading this email, at office, my conclusion was, prison in reality is not that bad, and the food is pretty good, after the cops are done with the jokes. =D

  6. Ty Smith

    This article has solidified all the changes that i have been making in my day-to-day interactions with females as well as males! I just wish that I didn’t spend years trying to figure all this out on my own lol! But I can say that I went from loner to lover because I started offering my true self; and the relationships that I am building are ones built on strong foundations and will last for a lifetime.

  7. Robby Smith

    These are all very good tips!! It’s so easy for us guys to get physically turned on, and forget about the emotional side of connecting. I love the triple nod while giving a social gaze, it works like magic every time. But, I do need to work on the verbal communication and ask more why & how questions 🙂

  8. Bella Perennis

    Asking why and how is really important. It’s amazing what people told me when I shifted from the pure story to the reasons behind it.

  9. Liam Hayes

    Great stuff! This is one rule that I have forgotten to follow in conversations. I’m going to try to remember it and see what happens when I use it.

  10. Lauren Freeman

    People love talking about themselves, I know I feel very important when people really want to know ME/my plans/etc. I really like listening to people but I found I wasn’t asking the right questions to get the deep answers I was looking for, but this really helps me delve deeper into conversatons and be more emotionally attractive! Very interested in this course 🙂

  11. Dan

    It’s amazing how people will often continue to talk when you use this communication tehcniques. 🙂 But I believe that the most important thing is to be authentic and be really interested in others, otherwise one may come across as sleezy or manipulative.

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