Recently, I read a letter we received from a couple who was matched on eHarmony in Australia. The woman had written that after a little bit of communication, she decided to meet her match in person for a first date. When she met the guy though, she was disappointed with the way he was dressed, in cargo shorts and sandals. In spite of the shock of the first appearance, their date went great, and they are now engaged to be married.
This story made me think about how important first impressions can be, and what kinds of things can be telling so much about you without even knowing it. Some recent research was interested in how limited non-interaction indicators, namely shoes, can reveal certain characteristics about people. They found that observers, who were just shown pictures of people’s shoes, were able to accurately guess the person’s age, gender, and income, just based on a picture of their favorite kicks! What was even more interesting, these observers were also able to accurately estimate the person’s level of attachment anxiety.
A person who has a high level of attachment anxiety needs to be noticed and be the center of attention constantly. They need a strong level of reinforcement and are fearful of being abandoned. The researchers suggest that people with high levels of attachment anxiety will wear shoes that are eye-catching and expressive of their own personalities, which will make them stand out more to others and they will receive the attention that they crave. But most importantly, others can see through that! Observers knew those who wore flashy, expressive shoes were more anxious in their attachments.
So before putting on your favorite shoes while getting ready for a date, you might want to keep in mind what kinds of things your shoes might be saying about you.
What are your favorite shoes to wear on a date? What do you think they say about you?