There's A Reason You're Always Attracted To Badass And Edgy People

by Chris Riotta

Edgy (adjective): At the forefront of a trend; experimental or avant-garde.

The defining quality of people who are truly "edgy" is that they are risk-takers, people who defy the norm and are capable of breaking any mold they're boxed into.

There is something so damn attractive about the edgy ones. They might be your crush, your boyfriend or girlfriend or the new coworker who seems to refuse to adhere to the company dress code.

Their abandonment of what is considered normal completely captures your attention, and their ideas, creativity or effortless style encapsulates your mind.

More than anything, the edgy ones are easily the most inspiring people to have in your life: They'll never let you lose that thirst for excitement we all need so much.

I'll admit it: I myself can't help but fall in love with the edgy ones.

Actually, I don't think I could ever be with someone so straight-laced. Something about falling into a mundane lifestyle feels so unappealing to me -- so not who I am inside.

I need to be with someone with passion, with a unique mindset, with the ability to decipher what's actually artistic vision and what is just more of society's force-fed bullsh*t.

Damn. Perhaps I myself am a little edgy, now that I think about it.

We're naturally more attracted to risk-takers.

In a study published in Evolutionary Psychology, both men and women stated risk-taking as a factor in choosing a sexual partner.

Researchers think this is an evolutionary quality that originally was used by women to determine the physical ability of a potential mate to care for her and her offspring.

Andreas Wilkes, author of the study, tells Elite Daily,

"We found that men and women find risks taken in the recreational and social domains to be most attractive. Other risky behaviors, in content domains such as health, gambling and ethics were clearly perceived as unattractive. That male risk-taking behaviors should be seen as attractive from an evolutionary perspective--particularly when performed during late adolescence and early adulthood--was something other studies explored before, but our study was the first that systematically investigated such effects by the domain of risk rather than assuming all risks are either perceived as attractive (or not)."

Back in prehistoric times, women would determine a man's worthiness based on a variety of factors: What types of risks would the man be willing to take?

Is the man smart enough to determine when a risk is too dangerous? How likely is it that the man performing the risk will not cause any harm to himself or anyone else in the process?

Clearly, not much has changed. Men still do stupid crap all the time that normally makes women roll their eyes. The study specifically revealed that participants determined whether the severity of the risk being taken was attractive or just downright unintelligent.

In fact, researchers think humans may have the inherent ability to judge whether risks are worth being taken, even when most people refrain from going against the grain. It's sort of like that feeling when someone says something everyone is thinking.

When we see someone who decides to break free from the flock and march to the beat of his or her own drum, we tend to see that person as living his or her life to the fullest.

Who doesn't want that in a mate?

Being edgy is thought-provoking and inspiring.

I genuinely feel that each person wakes up with a vision, and we can learn from the ones who choose to make a statement.

When I see people who I would categorize as edgy during my morning commute, on a lunch break or even while taking a walk to my bodega, I can't help but imagine what his or her life must be like.

I know that may sound extremely creepy and even make me seem like a borderline stalker, but I stand by it.

If you choose to be bold with your fashion choices, or if some other badass factor you embody captures my attention, I will people-watch the sh*t out of you. It's one of my greatest pastimes.

It's not that I'm judging these unique, creative or stylish people. The case is actually quite the opposite. I'm applauding them. I'm inspired by the edge.

One study published in the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice finds that being edgy (in this case, being humorous in the classroom) can actually inspire people to learn more from each other, communicate more and even enjoy their experiences with others in group learning environments.

Mark Carver, author of the study, writes,

An element of edginess can contribute to a learning climate in which students and teachers both feel more excited by the lesson, engage in spontaneous generation of content-relevant humor, and express greater ratings for satisfaction, enjoyment and perceptions of learning.

This could explain why we excel in certain subjects more than others. I would never have been interested in writing if it weren't for my sarcastic, dark-humored and certainly edgy high school English teacher, so this makes a lot of sense to me.

But, in a larger sense, this study proves we're often more likely to learn something from the edgy ones. They can give us new, interesting perspectives on life that we wouldn't normally have.

More than anything, they're not afraid to speak their minds, and that in itself is one of the most brilliant things we can learn from anyone at all.

We could all use a little more edge in our lives.

There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily life and get a little bit of that edgy factor we all crave so much.

Being edgy is about being true to yourself, more than anything. When we're confined into the boxes we're catalogued in, we lose sight of the things that make us who we are, whether it's our individual style, unique taste in music or abstract creative ideas.

In order to break free from these constraints, focus on the things that bring you happiness and expand on them.

If you like having a unique style so much, why haven't you tried designing your own clothes? If you're such a big fan of music or art, why are you not creating your own?

Trust me, you will have people who will hate you for straying from the norm. Those people are just mad they don't have the courage you possess to step out of line.

I personally encourage everyone reading this to think out of the box today and focus on whatever it is that gives you a drive or passion in life, even if it's something as small as wearing that outfit you never thought you could pull off.

In the end of it all, our lives are carefully curated pieces of art we each design on our own: We choose each addition to our manifestations, and we should make them as unique and creative as possible.

Here's to the edgy ones, keeping the spirit alive in all of us.

Citations: Is risk taking used as a cue in mate choice? , Edgy humour in the classroom: a case study of risks and rewards