If you could read people's minds, would you...

...use your superpower to find out which people:

- like or dislike you (among those you know, obviously)
- find you physically attractive (among those you know as well as people you've never met before

I think the first of the two is easier to infer without possessing said superpower. So I want to focus on the second exercise in this post.

Imagine how many people you've seen in your life whom you've found physically attractive, but just never worked up the nerve to say anything -- and vice-versa.

If men could see into women's minds and know which ones find them good looking, you can rest assured that many more people in the world would be getting dates -- and getting lucky, for that matter.

Attraction is largely a guessing game. While some people are fairly proficient at picking up signals, others are flat-out clueless. Men are usually notoriously bad at gauging women's interest in them. Many assume that if a woman makes even brief eye contact, she must be interested. In other words, they either fail to pick up on clues that convey genuine interest or misread certain gestures and behaviors altogether to mean more than they are.

Surely, the ability to read minds would get to the root of the problem. A guy can finally determine whether the hot blonde he has been dying to ask out in biology class feels the same way about him. It would take the guesswork out of that complex phenomenon we call attraction.

But would most people really agree to do this? Some men and women actually enjoy the chase and would probably opt out of this on grounds that it might make dating more boring and predictable. Others might contend that they wouldn't feel comfortable probing into the minds of unsuspecting people.

What's more, just because someone finds you cute doesn't mean they want to date or jump into bed with you. Attraction alone doesn't ensure that two people are right for one another. If their personalities aren't sufficiently in sync, it's unlikely to work out -- plain and simple.

If you had the ability to read minds, would you use it to probe which people find you attractive?

No comments: