After writing about “smoothness” and the “Opening Gambit” recently, there’s another phenomenon you should know before we move on from this topic.

It’s called the “Pratfall Effect”.

It goes like this – you’re well liked, you’re smart, you’re seen as someone who is very competent.

 But that’s the problem.

You’re seen as less relatable.

That’s where the pratfall effect comes in.

It states that people who are considered highly competent are found to be more likeable when they perform an everyday blunder than those who don’t. 

This theory was tested in the 60’s by Elliott Aronson.

He had subjects rate potential candidates on their attractiveness during screenings for a made-up game show.  He thought the subjects would choose the one who was interesting, accomplished and answered the most questions correctly.

But he was wrong.

It was the contestant with the same attributes who also spilled a drink.

Am I saying we all should spill coffee on ourselves on a date?

No.

But if you’re a guy who is highly competent and in control all the time, it wouldn’t hurt to show another side.

Show your dorky side.

Tell an embarrassing story about yourself.

Heck, mess up your hair once in a while.

You don’t have to slip on a banana peel to capitalize on the pratfall effect.

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