The Reason Why It Doesn’t Matter What You Look Like


You totally know the kind of guy I’m talking about.

Girls do this too, but my most recent experience of being on the receiving end of it was with a dude.

 guitar silhouette

My Irish friend Jonathan is a singer. Tall, with masses of brown hair and a deep voice, he’s effortlessly charming and impossibly handsome.

His non-Irish bassist, Adam, is… less so.

Whilst he is lovely in his own way, you wouldn’t call him a classic hottie. 

He’s short, hairy, stocky and looks a little bit like an owl. 

I would like to re-iterate that ALL of these are appealing qualities to some (I have a weakness for short and fuzzy; I’ve got many friends who love the stock).

Owl I just mention it because of the surprise that, out of the two men, it’s Adam who is the lothario.

When they tour together, he leaves a trail of broken hearts and longing ladies.


I felt the brunt of it

They came to stay with me a couple of years ago whilst on tour. When I found out about Adam’s reputation, I was confused.

Yes, he’s a nice dude.

But surely, stood next to Jonathan – lead singer, knee-weakening voice, movie-star looks, between-song banter that makes you want to propose on the spot – any powers Adam might have would be diminished?

Then one evening, just after we had dinner, he turned it on me.

And by ‘it’, I mean that 1000 watt, lighthouse beacon-level charm that anyone – ANYONE – would be incapable of resisting.

You know the type I mean. It’s not even that the person is being particularly flirty or suggestive.

But when they look at you and smile, right into your eyes… hits you, like getting off the plane in a hot country.

It only lasted a minute or two, but I finally understood what all those other girls had before me.


Conjugating it


Jonathan and I now refer to this phenomenon as “Adaming”  


“The server in that coffee shop totally Adamed me” 

“She seems quite bookish, but she’s an expert Adamer”

“I know he’s a ridiculous person to have gone out with, but I was quite insecure at the time and he just kept Adaming me”


Last week, I found myself Adaming.

WAIT! It’s not what you think!


My own beacon style

I was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, interviewing comedians for a book I have coming out on Bloomsbury Publishing next year, called Off The Mic (find out more here).

When I interview, I have a handheld recorder, and headphones.
The headphones help me keep track of the levels on the microphone, but they serve another purpose:
The interviewee’s voice is louder in my ears that normal speech would be.

Because of this, it’s almost impossible for me not to be TOTALLY focused on that person.

Because we’re talking about something they’re passionate about, we’re both smiling.

I realised, that this is why my interviewees tend to respond so well:

I’m looking right into their eyes, listening intently to everything they say and smiling.

I’m totally Adaming them.


Why I’m telling you 

This is a very easy way to be charming and to make an impression on people, without doing very much.

Today, we live in a world where we’re constantly distracted by everything – ads on the walls, the thought of an email that’s coming in soon, people walking past, that old fashioned ringtone that we all have.

It’s very rare that a new person you meet gives you their full attention.

And when they do, it’s intoxicating.

You can Adam people when you’re networking.

What Adaming involves

As you’ve seen, there’s no actual flirty words involved. You just have to

This makes people feel great, and like they’re the centre of the universe.

Their human response is to reciprocate – to feel great about you, too.


starrey catNB the eye thing is a big part.

Staring into someone’s eyes releases the hormone called phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural endorphine that makes people feel happy and drawn to you.

(Tweet that here!)


It’s your turn!

Next time you meet someone new, try it out.

Look right into their eyes, listen intently to them and smile.

See what effect it has on them.

DON’T think of it as fakery – rather, it’s altruism.
You’re making them feel lovely, which is a lovely thing for you to do.

Over To You

Have you ever been Adamed by someone?
Have you ever tried Adaming someone, intentionally or not?

Let me know in the comments below, or by clicking here!

Thanks for reading,

If you know anyone else who’d be into this (maybe an Adam, or someone who could do with an Adaming lesson) click on one of the round buttons below to share this.

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes Marsha)


PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Photo credits: Dave Wilson Cumbria, nutmeg66, Javier Medina M., tonx, Tomi Tapio, all via Compfight cc


  • Solveig

    Reply Reply August 16, 2013

    brilliant! and so very true….
    I need you to guest post for me I think ;)
    we overlap so much. Are you often in London? We should go for a coffee or a glass of wine.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 17, 2013

      Solveig! I was thinking the same thing about the overlap when I read your latest brilliant blog post!

      Not often in London, but will give you a shout when I next am and can grab a coffee!

  • Nat

    Reply Reply August 16, 2013

    “But when they look at you and smile, right into your eyes… hits you, like getting off the plane in a hot country.”

    Bam! Perfect simile :)

    Loved this post :) How interesting about the phenylethylamine!


    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 17, 2013

      Thanks, Nat!
      It is interesting, isn’t it? It also releases dopamine, more feel-good stuff..

  • Rachel

    Reply Reply August 16, 2013

    Haha I unintentionally do something like this with my mum’s friends on the phone, when they call for her and she’s not in and we end up spending an hour chatting about international relations or British history or the space program or something. It also happens in person too. My mum gets reports from them saying “Oh Rachel is so lovely to talk to” and I feel kind of bad because the reason I’m discussing with them all about the English Civil War and the effect that has had on religion in the UK is because I can’t remember anything about their lives and I’m not really that interested in remembering, but I don’t want to be rude and just say “she’s not here” and hang up right away.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 17, 2013

      Don’t feel bad – I’d MUCH rather someone got me talking about something interesting, than having to have the SAME conversations about my life than I do with anyone else!

  • Rachel

    Reply Reply August 16, 2013

    Don’t ask me how I make any of those topics so interesting though. I really have no idea.

  • Desiree E.

    Reply Reply August 19, 2013

    Oh man, I'm totally going to start Adaming people, now! LOL. What a great story…and interesting science behind it, too! I've learned that when you look people in the eyes, it builds trust, but I had no idea about the endorphins. Makes total sense!!

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)


      Reply Reply August 20, 2013

      Glad you liked the science. Good luck with the Adaming, feel free to report back how it went :)

  • adkjerseygirl

    Reply Reply August 20, 2013

    Great stuff! It really is all about the human connection. There's something deliriously intoxicating about looking into another's eyes <3

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)


      Reply Reply August 20, 2013

      It is lovely, isn’t it?

  • Leah

    Reply Reply August 20, 2013

    Love this! It’s so true. Listening is such an important part of connection and as you said, these days most people forget to do it. Now whenever I’m doing this I’m going to think of Adam and laugh :) Thanks for the great post!

  • Lorna

    Reply Reply August 20, 2013

    Hey Marsha. I love the way you present this. It is so true. I have so been Adamed before–it is always the people who are completely immersed in what you are saying that you feel the most connected to. And when I do it for others, it is magic. It is so easy to get distracted, but when I choose to be mindful and decide that I am going to listen instead of speak, it makes for the most wonderful connections. We should always remember this.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 25, 2013

      Yes, it is lovely when you have it done to you, isn’t it?

      Thanks, Lorna!

  • Aimelie Ronquillo

    Reply Reply August 23, 2013

    Great post. You know I just realized I do this all the time, and didn’t even realize it. For me it’s more of a respect thing and treat people the way I want to be treated. Reading your post made me realize why a lot of guys I talk to, mistaken our basic conversations as being something more than it actually is. Thanks for the eye opener!! :-)

  • Julie Marah

    Reply Reply August 24, 2013

    Great article Marsha. It reminds me of why life coaching training was so captivating – we all felt seen and heard at such a deep level, it was very liberating. We learned how to listen deeply to our classmates and focus intently on what they were saying, not just with their words but their whole being. It is a skill that everybody can learn and benefit from – and one that’s definitely great to use at networking events! Thanks for posting.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Thanks Julie – and yes, I hadn’t thought of it before, but I felt the same during my training! Proper deep listening is DEEPLY intoxicating, isn’t it?

  • Lacy

    Reply Reply August 25, 2013

    This is so true! When I was in college, I took a course called “Acting for Directors” (I was a film major of all things!) and we did an exercise where we had to sit and stare into another person’s eyes for 15 minutes straight! I was paired with a guy I only knew from class. Then we went to opposite sides of the room while the instructor had us imagine the person was going away, that we would never see them again, etc. When it was over, we RAN across the room to hug each other. It was intense! (I was also convinced I was in love with him for the next couple of weeks!) Haha!

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Oh my goodness, that sounds AMAZING!!! I love that story, thanks Lacy!

  • Melissa Burkheimer

    Reply Reply August 25, 2013

    Marsha I love how you gave this a name. :) After reading this, I’m even more sure that in the morning I’ll be Adaming my kids before school starts. I made a rule, no computer or smart phone until they are out the door!

    Love how clever you are. :)


    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Melissa! I love that rule, and love that you’re giving that awesome focussed attention to your kids!
      You know, I had a couple of tough times with my stepson over the last couple of days, and it’s just now from reading your post that I can see it’s because I wasn’t giving him enough focus, and he totally noticed. Will change that! Thanks!

  • Elyse Sparkes

    Reply Reply August 26, 2013

    Ooh great post! I have totally been Adam-ed before! It EXTREMELY powerful. I’m trying to get better at it myself also. I know that when I’m “thinking” I tend to look up, but I’d really like to practice maintaining eye contact because I love it when people converse with me like that.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Oh yes Elyse, I do the same thing! I think what I’ve got better at, is thinking aside still, but just making it for a shorter time period. I think, if you can do that, it can make the Adaming EVEN more powerful!

  • Natasha

    Reply Reply August 31, 2013

    I’ve just had a 2-hour plane journey where I was TOALLY Adamed by the (absolutely charming…. Really! Ha-ha) lady sitting next to me….. She looked deep into my eyes with her beautiful grey ones for an hour and a half, asked me all about myself, found everything I said fascinating….. And I kept thinking “This is what Marsha’s teaching us to do! Can this Nina have been reading Yes Yes Marsha? We’re in the middle of AFRICA for goodness’ sake!”
    …..and was completely captivated by her. Gosh it works.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Ha ha, AMAZING! Thanks so much for telling us the story.
      Really glad there are other platonic Adams out there in the world!

  • Jamie

    Reply Reply August 31, 2013

    ahahahha <3 <3 <3 this. I just started interviewing people for my website, and have found the same wonderful energy! thank you for explaining what is creating it….

    i'm gonna take this to the streets… maybe find mr. right lol

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 31, 2013

      Brilliant Jamie, so glad to help you name it! And, yep, it works in all kinds of ways!

  • Catriona

    Reply Reply September 16, 2013

    Thank you so much for posting this – I had my first ever job interview the other day, and this blog gave me such a confidence boost – I Adamed my way through it and it felt really good. A year ago I would never have been able to hold up a conversation with a stranger in a formal situation. I’ve found that eye contact is so important when holding a conversation – not just to make them feel “happy and drawn to you”, but it also instils confidence in me which makes potentially awkward conversations a LOT less frightening, and dare I say it?, enjoyable! Thanks! =)

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply September 16, 2013


      I’m SO HAPPY to hear about this, and how Adaming helped you out in your interview!!

      Who’d have thought that one musicians roving eye skills could benefit us in such surprising ways..

      Thanks so much for letting me know!

  • Lainie

    Reply Reply June 20, 2014

    Marsh, you Adamed me the first time I met you at Glastonbury!! Loving the site :) xxxx

  • Elizabeth Wharton

    Reply Reply September 12, 2014

    This is brilliant! I am a frequent adamer by nature, but will be able to be more intentional about it now. The other day I was Adamed and I immediately thought of that conversation as I read. It had a huge impact on me!

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply September 15, 2014

      Aw, thanks so much for letting me know, Elizabeth!
      That’s awesome that you’re a frequent Adamer, I’m glad you now know it’s wonderful effect!

  • Rochelle Torke

    Reply Reply January 14, 2015

    Marsha, I love your insights and fantastic storytelling. So glad I stumbled upon you. The snake account was brilliant. (I tried to post over there but something was haywire with the comment field btw). Thanks for the laughs.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply January 14, 2015

      Thanks so much, Rochelle! (And thanks for letting me know about the comment eek – have tech team Yes Yes on that RIGHT NOW!)

  • Thomas

    Reply Reply March 16, 2017


    I try this and still get nothing from ppl. Not dismissing what you are saying but this does not always work.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Hey Thomas!

      I think it’s the kind of thing that has so many elements. If it doesn’t work, I wouldn’t assume it’s because focusing on people doesn’t make them feel good – have a look at what else is going on. Are you asking questions and showing genuine interest? Are you making the conversation about them, but also contributing with your thoughts (just not mostly your thoughts!)?

      Lots of different things to test!

  • Jools

    Reply Reply February 11, 2020

    How have I not seen this post of yours before?!

    I’ve been on the receiving end of this. Very unnerving when someone you’ve known for ages suddenly, accidentally turns on the weapons-grade charisma!

    Weirdly though, I’m not very neurotypical and don’t usually do much eye contact. Next time it happens I’ll have to watch out for what exact behaviours they’re using and whether I’ve been lured into eye contact without realising!

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