Pixels of life The 2 Ways to Become the Cool Person You Always Wanted to Be Inspiration Motivation Success Psychology

The 2 Ways to Become the Cool Person You Always Wanted to Be

Being regarded as cool is something that you might desire, but is this a quality you really have control over? New research suggests that there is a strong personality component to being, as well as being considered, cool. University of Sydney (Australia) psychologists Ilan Dar-Nimrod and colleagues (2018) put the coolness criteria to the test in their study of the traits that contribute to this seemingly desirable quality.

Before we get any further, however, you might want to reflect on what you think contributes to the quality of being cool. Who are the really cool people in your own life? Is it the friend who just always seems to have control over her emotions, regardless of how dire a situation may be? Is it the coworker who collects an avid crowd of listeners in the coffee break room? Perhaps it’s an in-law whose every post on social media is commented on by tens, if not hundreds, of followers. It might even be a celebrity whose claim to fame is a distinctive and enviable quirkiness. As much as you’d like to be like them, you fear that it’s just not within you to be that admirable individual with all that apparent popularity and perhaps even a smug sense of self-satisfaction. However, coolness isn’t an absolute quality. As Dar-Nimrod et al. note, what’s cool now may not have been cool even a few years ago. For example, it’s cool to stand out on social media, but it’s also cool to be a member of nerd culture. This further complicates the situation because you can’t put a definite finger on the coolness quotient as it applies to those near and far from your social circles.

Being regarded as cool is something that you might desire, but is this a quality you really have control over? New research suggests that there is a strong personality component to being, as well as being considered, cool. University of Sydney (Australia) psychologists Ilan Dar-Nimrod and colleagues (2018) put the coolness criteria to the test in their study of the traits that contribute to this seemingly desirable quality.

Before we get any further, however, you might want to reflect on what you think contributes to the quality of being cool. Who are the really cool people in your own life? Is it the friend who just always seems to have control over her emotions, regardless of how dire a situation may be? Is it the coworker who collects an avid crowd of listeners in the coffee break room? Perhaps it’s an in-law whose every post on social media is commented on by tens, if not hundreds, of followers. It might even be a celebrity whose claim to fame is a distinctive and enviable quirkiness. As much as you’d like to be like them, you fear that it’s just not within you to be that admirable individual with all that apparent popularity and perhaps even a smug sense of self-satisfaction. However, coolness isn’t an absolute quality. As Dar-Nimrod et al. note, what’s cool now may not have been cool even a few years ago. For example, it’s cool to stand out on social media, but it’s also cool to be a member of nerd culture. This further complicates the situation because you can’t put a definite finger on the coolness quotient as it applies to those near and far from your social circles.

The Australian authors distinguish the two empirical approaches to coolness as focusing either on the evaluative qualities that lead people to be perceived as cool by others or the qualities on the inside you project to cause others to see you as cool. The evaluative qualities, the ones seen by others as cool, can be divided into originality, attractiveness, and the appeal a person has to a certain subculture. The personality traits that you possess which correspond to being perceived in this manner are divided into two categories. The first is “cachet coolness,” or the socially desirable traits of being friendly, agreeable, and competent. Directly opposed to these traits are those that fit into the category of “contrarian coolness,” or the tendency to be detached, rebellious, and a bit rough around the edges. Dar-Nimrod and his fellow researchers focused their work on these two personality trait dimensions via a questionnaire study based on the Five Factor Model.

Click here to read more…