Comedian Chris Rock once said, “Only dumb people try to impress smart people. Smart people just do what they do.” The thing is, he’s apparently never had a crush of the magnitude that you have on the brainy boy in the office down the hall. There’s an element of truth in Rock’s statement, however, as being anyone other than yourself is sure to backfire. You can enhance how you present yourself, though, and that may make all the difference.
Be Amazing at What You Do
While you may not be able to match a brilliant guy’s knowledge in the field of theoretical physics, you can wow him with your ability to set up a seamless website or write moving prose. Whatever it is that you do, be amazing at it and you’ll pique a smart boy’s interest in no time as he wonders how on earth you managed to prepare the best crème brûlée he’s ever enjoyed. When he thinks of you, the impression that will come to mind is that of excellence.
If you’re completely unable to match wits with a man who is well-versed in contrastive linguistics in Asian languages, you can nevertheless contribute a great deal to the conversation by listening and asking questions. Active listening builds “rapport, understanding and trust,” says psychologist John Grohol in an article on PsychCentral.com. Instead of allowing your eyes to glaze over, ask questions about what you don’t understand or ask him to clarify something. Not only will you learn something new, but the intelligent guy you’re looking to impress will likely be delighted to have found someone who will lend an ear to his theory about the expansion of the universe.
Make Eye Contact
Don’t allow your insecurity about your own intellectual abilities cause you to stare at your feet instead of his gorgeous baby blues. If you want to impress him, look him in the eye, advises senior Huffington Post editor Shelley Emling in her article “Seven Ways to Impress People in 60 Seconds or Less.” You’ll come across as much more assured, and confidence is always attractive, no matter the IQ of your crush. Eyes are the window to the soul, and you'll want to let him see the quality of yours.
Get in the Know
You don’t have to know everything that the smarty you have your eye on knows, but if you develop a general understanding of how the world works, you’ll be more impressive, says Emling. There’s no need to spend hours each day reading “The Economist” or perusing the latest developments in foreign policy, but spending a few minutes each morning reading the headlines or watching a bit of news will keep you a step ahead of the people who are content to satisfy themselves with the latest antics of the Kardashians.
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Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.