5 Captivate Quotes by Vanessa Van Edwards to Inspire You

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Captivate" by Vanessa Van Edwards. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are some of the best Captivate quotes? What captures the essence of the book?

In Captivate, best-selling author Vanessa Van Edwards provides strategies to help you become a social superstar. She argues that, by taking control of social situations and presenting your best self, you can dazzle the people you want to know and forge meaningful relationships.

Continue reading for some hand-picked quotes from Captivate to help you get the gist of the book.

Captivate Quotes

Get inspired by these five Captivate quotes, along with context and explanation.

Being a highlighter is about constantly searching for the good in people. When you tell people they are good, they become better. When you search for what’s good, you feel great.

Van Edwards states that engaging people in conversation, encouraging them to talk about themselves, and elevating them by boosting their strong points makes them feel good. She recommends pointing out people’s positive qualities, showing enthusiasm when they’re excited, and bragging about them when you introduce them to others.

Vulnerability is sexy—it shows we are relatable, honest, and real. That is attractive. And the science proves it: “A blunder tends to humanize him and, consequently, increases his attractiveness.”

Van Edwards asserts that, when you show your true self by being vulnerable, other people find you more likable, human, and relatable. She acknowledges that it can be hard to be vulnerable because nobody likes making mistakes and looking silly in front of other people. However, Van Edwards cites research that shows the following:

  • We’re more aware of our flaws than other people because our self-centeredness gives us a distorted perception of what others think of us.
  • Making mistakes causes others to see us as more likable and attractive.

Most people’s choices make sense to them. When they don’t make sense to you, it’s usually because you are being driven by a different primary value.

Van Edwards asserts that each of us values and prioritizes one resource need above all others and that this resource drives our behavior. When you know which resource people value most, you can use that to motivate them, make them feel validated, and strengthen your relationship with them.

With a first impression, you are a Triple Threat when you use your hands, your posture, and your eye contact. These are the three nonverbal weapons you can use to pass through all three levels of trust.

Van Edwards asserts that people decide whether they trust and like us before we even speak, so it’s critical to make both happen immediately. She says you can increase the likelihood of a positive first interaction by making three simple adjustments to your physical behavior: 

  1. Use your hands to demonstrate that you’re trustworthy. Keep your hands visible to show that you’re not hiding anything, gesture to show your intent, and give a firm handshake, which releases the connection hormone, oxytocin.
  2. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and chest out to project confidence.
  3. Maintain eye contact in 60 to 70 percent of your interactions to cultivate trust, demonstrate your interest in the other person, and produce oxytocin.

When you produce dopamine during a conversation, you not only give your partner more enjoyment, you are also assigned more significance, which increases your memorability.

Van Edwards explains that we’re most compelling to others when we’re unscripted in conversations because novelty triggers activity in the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning and is linked to dopamine pathways that arouse pleasure and fuel interest.

5 Captivate Quotes by Vanessa Van Edwards to Inspire You

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Here's what you'll find in our full Captivate summary:

  • How socially awkward people can become social superstars
  • How to make yourself likable and memorable
  • Methods to establish and improve relationships with others

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, and philosophy. A switch to audiobooks has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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