Scott Adams had an interesting piece a while back in which he argued that curiosity is a good indicator of attraction. For instance:
[I]f you ever wondered if someone is attracted to you, the answer lies in curiosity. If someone asks personal questions about your past, your plans, your likes and dislikes, that is an unambiguous sign of attraction. If someone tries to steer you into the bedroom without some conspicuous data gathering, that is a sign of simple horniness.
When someone you are not attracted to talks a lot about his or her own life, you get bored to death. When someone you are attracted to talks a lot, you might find that person to be full of life, and fascinating. Attraction and curiosity are inseparable.
Let’s say you’re interviewing for a job. You wonder if the interviewer is attracted to you as a potential employee or just going through the motions. Look for the curiosity trail. If his questions are all of the typical variety, he’s probably just moving through the steps. If you sense some questions that veer off the normal path, such as asking where you like to golf, you almost certainly have something more.
Adams concludes with this:
Curiosity is rarely faked simply because people aren’t generally aware that it is such a reliable indicator of attraction. Once you learn to recognize the connection between attraction and curiosity, it’s like having a mild form of ESP.
At the risk of getting my membership card pulled by the Dale Carnegie Club for rampant insincerity, let me suggest that curiosity isn’t that hard to fake, and an easy way to make people (subconsciously) think that you like them; this will make them feel appreciated, put them at ease, etc.
This idea is closely related to several of DC’s techniques (if you ignore the genuine/sincere qualifiers):
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
- Let the other man do a great deal of the talking.