Compliments of the Library of Congress via Flickr

We typically think of curb appeal and home appearance – it’s the first impression received from seeing a house. Seldom do we consider that our physical appearance transmits information on a continual basis – before we ever open our mouths.

The improvement du jour appears to be plastic surgery, but I would argue that much simpler techniques yield superior results. The most expensive or onerous procedure may even backfire – as in surgery gone bad, operations replicated too often, or a miscalculation of when something is needed. To improve your personal appearance (without a lot of commotion) try the following:

  • Smile. Not only does it take fewer muscles to smile than to frown, but it brightens your face in a way that no cosmeceutical can do. A smile is a universal gesture that connotes friendship, acceptance, warmth, and welcome. It will make you appear years younger and radiant at the same time. By law of attraction, you also may end up with like-minded souls.
  • Inquire about others’ well-being. I’ve read that we should be the first to offer a greeting. We’re so wrapped up in our life situation that we freely discuss ourselves, while ignoring the needs of those around us. Consider that your friends are hurting too (though they may not show it), and offer them consolation. Moreover, focusing on the problems of someone else takes your mind off your own.
  • Dress as if someone might see you. How often have we left the house with an unkempt appearance, only to see our neighbor/coworker/manager at our destination? A few minutes in front of the mirror (and in the closet) may alleviate any potential embarrassment, and will make you feel better in the process. Dressing above your station may even cause you to rise to the occasion.
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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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