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This post is also available in: German

When you’re walking or standing in a large space with a group of men, say friends or work colleagues, and you’re talking to one or more of them, look straight ahead instead of at the person(s) you’re addressing. (If you feel it necessary, you may quickly eyeball your intended audience to lock their attention, then look away while talking.) To outside observers — and some of these outside observers will be pretty women subconsciously evaluating your mate quality —  the “look straight ahead while walking and talking” pose appears more alpha. This is especially true if the person you are talking to is looking at you with rapt attention while walking or standing at your side. This social construction pings the leader-follower dynamic.

The worst pose is to be seen walking and looking at the person you are addressing, while that person is looking straight ahead. It doesn’t matter if he’s studiously listening to you, or if he thinks you’re The Man. You will appear like Igor obsequiously yapping at the side of his mad scientist boss.

The actual hierarchy of your group is irrelevant; a woman unfamiliar with you and your acquaintances will perceive your alphaness or lack thereof based on subtle body language and social interaction cues. So if you want to widen the pool of female mating prospects, it’s in your interest to get in the habit of projecting alphaness as often as you can, and there’s no excuse not to when the cost for doing so is low.

A kind of prisoner’s dilemma does arise in these situations. You have to bank on the expectation that your addressee will continue looking at you while you talk. If he turns away as well, some of the alphaglow that would accrue to you will be dimmed. If you look back at him to recapture his attention, he may look away, and you are left appearing beta Igor-ish. Nevertheless, as a general principle, the “look straight ahead while walking and talking” affectation will in most scenarios and most times redound to your benefit.

The one caveat is when you are sitting with your group, or standing in a small space (indoors, instead of outdoors). There it will strike those around you as strange and awkward if you can’t look people in the eye when talking to them.

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