My Hormonology

Did you ever meet someone who had a special kind of magnetism that made everyone in the room stop and stare?

I sure did: In the mid-’90s in NYC, I worked for Henry Rollins, a musician, writer, actor and spoken word artist. Whenever Henry walked into the room, you could just feel it. He had that kind of dominating presence. And not just because of his celebrity status and notoriously bulky build that made the floorboards creak beneath him–but because he exuded extreme confidence, took a keen interest in everyone and everything that was going on around him and was friendly to everyone he met (which belied his macho tough-guy image).

I bring this up because there’s one week in your cycle when these traits become more prominent in you, making you the person other folks are gravitating toward.

When is it? Week 2 of your cycle (which starts 8 days from the onset of your period). In this phase, high estrogen is ramping up your self-assuredness and curiosity by helping the brain the churn out a higher level of feel-good chemicals that prompt confidence and extroversion.

In addition, a 2011 study in the Journal of Research in Personality shows that in this week you also become kinder, more considerate and friendlier than you typically are during other weeks of your cycle. This change, the researchers speculate, is because you’re subconsciously tweaking your personality in ways that make you more attractive to potential new partners or that rev the desire in the one you have in case you want to entice someone to fertilize your egg during ovulation at the end of Week 2.

So, how can you use this information in everyday life?

Since you know Week 2 is when you make the best impressions on others, go out and meet new people, for instance, head to a networking function, go on a first date, plan a dinner with your sweetheart’s family for the first time, schedule a job interview or chat with an investor about your business.

And what if you can’t schedule these meet-and-greets around your cycle? Simply remember the traits that others find so attractive you in your Week 2–confidence, curiosity and friendliness–and remind yourself to put these traits on display.