What Makes a Person Attractive?

If you ask a man what makes a person attractive, you will get different answers than if you ask a woman.

Men, as I understand, usually focus on physical attributes: the legs, the breasts, etc.

Women tend to focus on the brain and on a man’s ability to support and defend, etc.

I have another idea, which I hope both sexes can agree to. (And if you predict that it has something to do with integration, you’re right.)

When a person has it “all together”––i.e., is integrated––none of their energy is wasted. This person exudes energy, while a person who is “falling apart” takes energy from the people around him or her.

Who is attractive? Those that give you, not take from you, energy.

People who “have it together” are attractive. Those that are “falling apart “ are not.

Years ago, I hired as my assistant a young woman I felt was rather plain and unattractive. On purpose. I assumed that attractive women would distract me from work.

We started working together, and over time I found her to be smart, intelligent, easily receiving and granting respect and trust. I frequently sought her opinion, and respected it: I found her opinions very valuable. I learned a lot. And I trusted her word. If she said something would be done, it was done.

Over time, I stopped noticing her crooked nose or protruding chin. I now thought she was beautiful, and I was hopelessly attracted to her. Unfortunately for me, she was in a committed relationship.

On the other hand, I remember dating a woman who was knockout gorgeous. She had a perfect figure, a face that was hypnotically lovely. She was also well educated and came from a respected family. But I lost interest in her within weeks. My endless enthusiasm ended up in endless disappointment.

What happened?

She had no self-trust or self-respect. She sure was not “together”. And because of that, I believe, she had no trust and respect for others––in this case, for me.

She could not make a decision on her own, and acted totally dependent on me. But when I did make a decision, she did not trust that decision. We had endless debates about what to do and who was right.

This kind of person, often called a “high maintenance person,” has no self-respect and no self-trust. She is not “together,” not integrated. As a result, a lot of her energy is wasted between her ears. She usually looks tired––emotionally tired, not necessarily physically tired. She will tell you in a debate: “Never mind,” or “Fine”––but I came to learn that this only meant the debate was being postponed, not actually resolved.

Although such people can be physically stunning, they often become unattractive to the people they are with––despite being intelligent, highly educated, powerful, and successful.

Being attractive depends on the flow of personal energy, which is a function of physical, emotional, and spiritual integration––in other words, being healthy in body, mind, and spirit.

Now, a personal hypothesis:

It appears that humor needs energy; to be funny requires creativity that consumes energy.  Thus, it appears to me that people with a healthy sense of humor are more attractive than those who have none.

My experience is that if you can make a woman genuinely laugh, she will find you attractive. The same goes for men.

What do you think?


Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes


  1. Ravi Muddha
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir,
    I have gone through the article and respect your perception and personal experiences. Yes, I agree with you that integrity plays a major role in not only building relationships but also maintaining and continuing them for a longer time.

    But finally one has look into oneself and integrate with his/her True nature where in we don’t find any differences with the outward world because we become so Self-sufficient and really love ourselves more than any other in this world. Once we can truly love ourselves then we can love anything and anyone in this external world.


  2. Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Very interesting blog/insight. But I was at a loss to understand how to be more and more integrated as you suggest to be.

  3. Posted June 11, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    you have to read the book: men are from mar women are from venus. :)

  4. Posted June 11, 2011 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    it’s not about integration, it’s about same values. You and your first assistant had the same values, that’s why she trusted you. you say that everyone who is integrated trust’s you? and you like everyone who is confident? :)

  5. Posted June 11, 2011 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I read your blog every week and sometimes find it refreshing and educative – like your analysis of ‘a problem’ last week. Thank you. I also agree with your final proposition this time: if you can make the other party laugh – usually and attraction is formed — also (mostly?) because you (the generator) recieve the reaction you seek. Nevertheless,you assume that people crave ‘healthy’ energy. I also would like to assume that, however this is a generalization, both in social and work related relashionship.I have been an organization consultant for 40 years. Mostly in Israel, in all kinds of organizations and communities. I frequently come asross managers that are attracted to ‘yes men’ so that they can feel more powerful, make all the decisions, solve every problem. Unfortunately, the same goes for marital relations as well .
    I do not wish to be rude, just honest. If you could add a comment about you basic assumption…

  6. Sebastian M
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    On target!

  7. Vlad Burda
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Ichak, it’s very interesting article. And I really like the way, how you changed your style: From being absolutely sure what you said to in search of truth mode. The last one invite us to discuss! I am also in search and have my own thoughts about the subject.
    1.Humour. Women love it. But you must be very careful, not to cross the border to disrespect mode. When you laughing on something including yourself you make the image of yourself bigger then the object of your laugh. You need to keep balance between humour and humility. You do it good in your articles :)
    2.What men focuse on in women? “the legs, the breasts, etc.”- good, but just if you want receive less then 10% what prepared woman could deliver to you. And if you wrote, that the most important for attractiveness what you could receive from partner not give to him (her) we are approaching to the issue, what you really need from opposite sex in relationships.
    I surprised that you nothing said about eyes. The eyes are reflect the deepness of woman and her current state.
    What about warmness and charming?
    3.The secretary. My experience – male is the best. If she is taking care good about you will be attracted anyway. Doesn’t matter how she looks like. Because care – this is the most important part what we looking for in love relationships. It’s in a certain way substitution of parents care from childhood in a mature mode.

    And of course the general thought about being integrated as a whole to be more attractive – is absolutely true!
    Whole person has less internal marketing. He (she) has enough, what he(she) needs and ready to give outside.
    If you have less internal marketing you could give more to outside client. And our love partner – is the main client in life.

  8. guruprasad
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink


    you are absolutely right.You relised it.

    Now I la understand wwehy laila and majnu were in deep love. Legend has it that laila was a ugly girl!
    I mean physical.It is the energy flow from a person which jells with other which matters that physical beuty attributes.This can be conceptualised !

  9. Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    good point eva. i missed to say attractive physically, sexually.

  10. Dion Friedland
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Ichak, I heard a lecture once from a highly regarded psychologist where he said a sense of humor and the ability to repond with quick responses that made people laugh was a sign of intelligence. Over the years I have found this to be absolutely correct. One of the things that makes people attractive to both sexes is having a sense of humor. It would seem therefore that people are attracted to intelligent people who display their intelligence through humor as opposed to being a “know it all”.

  11. Tom
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I have observed a different phenomenon. When looking at the concept of attractiveness across history and across different cultures we find different descriptions of beauty. For example mona lisa would be considered “fat” today. Many societies consider tanned skin ugly and fair skin beautiful, while in the west we have the opposite perception. Thus I postulate that beauty is more in the eye of the “publisher” than it is in the eye of the beholder. The publishers are the opinion leaders, those that set the standard for beauty in what they place in the public eye. As we are all conformist by nature we conform to this perception of beauty, which is really just fashion. So if “beauty” is as subjective as fashion what then is at the core of attractiveness. If you analyze the different perceptions of beauty across cultures and time you will find 2 common denominators. Wealth and health. (included in health is symmetry) In our culture dark skin means you have time to lay by the pool (wealth). In other cultures light skin means you do not need to work in the fields (wealth)….

  12. Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your ideas and insights.

  13. Dion Friedland
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Ichak, I would like to add that it goes without saying that people who have a positive outlook and are enthusiastic are more attractive to others than those who exude negative energy. People with positive attitudes are generally also higher achievers. This too makes them attractive to others. Having grandchildren, I realize one of the essential things to impress on school leavers is the importance of being positive and enthusiastic about whatever they do and to ensure this positive attitude comes out in the way they speak and smile.

  14. Joe White
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps, then, Love is for giving. We must first fall in love with ourselves then give that love to others……..if not we will be just taking love energy from others.

  15. Citizen John
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes. I feel you are correct Dr. Adizes. I go with everything you said except one thing. I think it would take more than weeks to lose interest in the physically attractive but negative-energy woman, under most circumstances. It would surely happen though. Yes, I agree with you.

  16. Posted June 12, 2011 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Number of comments shows how atractive topic this is. Everibody are curious in learning how to be of find atracted/ion.

    I would add: there has to be right setup before. If U would not need new secretary… etc etc. Or. how come that you get atracted with person totaly “non-integrated” and it takes few days/week/more to found it out.


  17. Marko Kiauta
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Integration means, that “input” was absorbed in what was already there – inside. There is time needed to integrate. If we deal with changes, if we are open for new, it is normaly, that the level of our integration wary. When we go out of box, we at first by definition could not be totaly integrated. But if, we take time to arrange “new”, we will be integrated again.
    I believe, that this oscillation is present in every person folowing changes and on the way of growth.

    The absence of desintegration can be also a sign of absence of digestion. Everything gous in and out. There is no problem of integration. Person lives on surface!

    Thank you Ichak, and all the best to you and all readers

  18. Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Dr. Adizes, I agree that integrity makes people attractive, because they are whole, balanced and full of positive energy. Such people Give others all they want without any tention and expectation to receive something back.

    On the other hand, disintegrated people need a positive energy from others and use any manipulation to get it. Like a black whole in galaxy. I guess disintegrated people wear a mask and lie. Even themselves. It takes a lot of energy. It based on dismatched values they are declared and real ones. But! They can be attractive as well. Actually, for a very short time. And other people are empty and even seek after communication with them.

  19. Branimir Voh
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Different people are attracted by different things. Why?

    Psychology would explain that we are attracted by things which we do not have ourselves.
    Philosophy would say that attraction is in the eyes of the seer and not in the object itself.
    Both means that we are those who give value that something (or somebody) is attractive or unattractive.

    I prefer naturalness instead of attractiveness. Natural attractiveness would be the best.

    Attraction is not bad if we are attracted by the right things.

    How to avoid unwanted attractions is a relative question.
    Actually, do we really want to get rid of them and take the responsibility for ourselves? Or do we prefer to blame the source outside us? It is not easy to stop eating the cake.


  20. Sergii Bystrin
    Posted June 13, 2011 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Ironically, the more integrated and whole the person become the less he or she will care about outer attractiveness. Energy flow – yes, not sure about personal.

  21. Tom Delmonte
    Posted June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Very intiguing and I think one that is germane to a significant number of human activities.
    I agree the humor plays a significant part in what makes someone attractive because it requires a very good understanding and ease within the context in which a person lives in.
    By context I mean understanding the culture, people involved and ease with the subject at hand; In order to make a comment that adds value (smart, clean humor is of value) and at the same time addresses the issue at hand, requires a dexterity of thought that demonstrates a significant amount of skill, and being skilled is something that we all aspire to.

    Thanks for the insight.

  22. Igor Mironyuk
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    This is absolutely true. Especially i like – when you make somebody sincerely laugh, this person finds you attractive. To me (i am a man) – women’s sincere laugh and smile is the most erotic thing ever.

  23. Reuben Ashton
    Posted June 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Interesting… and again Adizes is wrong, maybe because he thinks American. Americans see women as body parts summing up a body; no wonder silicon dominates the American female body: big tits and the like.
    Adizes is missing the whole point of sensuality, that certainly has to do with the female & male bodies, but not as parts and not in that togetherness that is proposed. Sexual attraction is something more sophisticated than the simplistic approach that is being proposed.

  24. George Hathaway
    Posted June 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Your reductionist approach did get a solution, but there is no assurance it is creative or optimal, nor that it has an effective implementation plan. You, of all people, ought to learn about Smart Questions by Nadler and Chandon (Jossey-Bass, 2004). It is the latest iteration of the Breakthrough Thinking methods made popular in the 1990s with the best selling Breakthrough Thinking (Prima Publishing, 1994) and with Creative Solution Finding (Prima Publishing, 1998), both by Nadler and Hibino. All the books contain supporting information about the research that shows the most creative and effective planners, designers, continuous changers, and problem solvers use a different approach than your reductionism.

  25. Posted June 24, 2011 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    To make this topic more general, I would put it thus.

    Why do we find that we are able to get along with them well i.e, we find them attractive; and with some we, for no apparent reason, feel a kind of mild or strong repulsion; and for some people neither attraction/nor repulsion?

    Such experiences are easily and properly explained by ‘Karma Theory’ of Hindus. In short, it says that soul is eternal and takes various life forms to undergo effects of its ‘Karma’ (bonds). These bonds are created due to thoughts/deeds/actions when a soul is in a human form.

    In any life form, coming together of two or more souls together is never an accident. They come together to undergo effects of bonds. If one has got some good bonds left to be undergone with the other soul then they feel attracted. If they have some bad bonds to be finished (left to be undergone) then they feel repulsion. (Note: This paragraph covers explanation on topic started by Dr Adizes. I would stop here, as this theory requires one more paragraph to explain how to solve life’s problem once and for all.)

  26. Posted July 21, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Absolutely true statements. Nowadays I am trying to do research on self-awareness, mindfulness and actually integrated self… not many articles about integration in the literature. Thank you for this, I am inspired…

  27. eventhorizone
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    you are so close.Not long ago i came up with similar conclusions.I had a couple of friends that would pose the question, just in random conversation on if i thought they were attractive( both males and females, i am a male) i had to give it some real thought because i wanted to answer it as truthfully as possible but at the same time it would really be hard not to mix it up with what i personally found attractive, but hey they asked. My first thought was well she has great legs or he has nice arms, but i knew this answer would not be enough.It was alot harder then i thought. What makes this person or that attractive is it based on what we think as physical beauty alone and the answer is a resounding no , does it help for sure. We can be and are alot of times shallow.Now here it is or at least what i came up with. If you have great packaging you are attractive, by that yes i mean mind, spirit, and body and yes in that order. If we continue this conversation in my next post i will break each one down. thanks everyone for a great post.

  28. Posted December 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    The older I get the more I understand this point … When I was younger I was very intrigued with physical beauty and the quality of the person did not matter so much to me. I was after the eye candy. But now, I realize that the spiritual strength and other attributes of a person’s personality is what really counts.

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