February 9, 2021 |Gideon Hanekom

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In this post, we’ll briefly examine colour psychology and how colours affect emotions and, potentially, relationships.

Colour Psychology

Intro to Colour Psychology

We’ve all had the experience of walking into a room and saying, “Ahh,” as if it’s the most restful or peaceful place you’ve ever been in.

And then there are those times when you enter a room, and we go, “Wow!” – as something about it just feels good.

Have you ever thought about why different spaces elicit different reactions in us?

What makes us have these strong, spontaneous reactions to our surroundings?

Well, chances are, your reactions and psychological responses could be due in part to the colours used in the décor and design of that space.

Although all psychological experts don’t agree, many believe there is such a thing as colour psychology, which refers to the study of hues (colour or shade) as a determinant of human behaviour.

Historically, different cultures have regarded colour as having the power to affect your mood, feelings, health, and even your behaviour.

So, if you want to change the mood you experience in your home or even your mental well-being, perhaps you can consider what ancient tribes have known for millennia.

It might just give you that small and unconscious edge you’ve been looking for to create a more positive effect in your daily life.

Here’s a short summary of the effect of various colours.

Colour Psychology

Blue

If blue is your favourite colour (like me), you might not be too surprised to read that this particular colour will aid healing and help manage pain.

Blue can also promote feelings of tranquillity.

Maybe you can experiment with some blue lighting when feeling under the weather or dealing with an injury and see if it speeds up your recovery time.

Green

Because green brings thoughts of the outdoors and the wonders of nature, it’s believed to bring about feelings of serenity, restfulness, and perhaps even joy.

Some find that the colour green decreases stress and increases feelings of relaxation.

room therapy

Orange

Orange is said to promote healthy lungs and produce energy and vitality in people.

Closely related to red, orange is considered a warm colour that brings excitement.

You know it’s true when you walk into a room that’s painted orange, it definitely grabs your attention.

I love orange and the feeling it gives, which is why I use it as the accent colour on my logo and throughout my website and content.

Colour Psychology

Yellow

The colour of the sun produces feelings of warmth and brightness, and like orange, yellow cannot be ignored.

It’s even been called the most “visible” hue in the colour spectrum.

So, if you want to “cheer up” your kitchen, yellow might be the right choice for you.

Red

Full of drama and mystery, a room painted red evokes emotions such as comfort, intensity, warmth, and even love.

Humans also find red very attractive (see below), and you can use it to your advantage when you’re dating someone new or seducing your spouse.

sensual Colour Psychology

Black

Although you may not consider black a true colour, it’s an important hue.

The colour black is formed due to a complete lack of light.

In terms of your feelings, black can induce a range of strong emotions.

You might experience sensuality, mourning, or sadness when you’re exposed to black.

In films, you’ll notice that black is often used to represent a deep, dark, ominous character.

black knight Colour Psychology

Ultimately, brings about conflicting feelings for many and in different settings.

White

The antithesis to black and white evokes feelings of innocence.

It’s customary to have a lot of white in hospitals as the colour has come to indicate sterility and cleanliness.

Although some view white walls as boring, the colour is often used to trick the eye when walking into a room.

If you want a room to appear bigger, put some white paint on the walls.

Or, if you want a dark space to appear lighter, use white.

Also, using white as a trim colour in a room will make your wall colour “pop.”

White may be bland on its own, but it can enhance the appearance of deeper colours and hues used with it.

accent colours Colour Psychology

So, how you feel when you see white depends on how much white is used and the way the other colours in the room are presented.

As you can see, colours are powerful because they affect how you feel.

You can use these basics of colour psychology to decorate your home (for example) to lift your mood, bring about feelings of tranquillity, or induce excitement.

You can encourage the mood and feelings you strive for just by skillfully selecting wall and accessory colours or using lights whose colours can be changed with an app, like Smart Lights.

Many of the above obviously transfer to clothing as well.

But what about people?

What effect do colours have on attraction or sensuality?

I wrote a piece a while back on what colour attracts men, but is there a general rule of thumb we can go by?

Colour, attraction, sensuality and relationships?

Believe it or not, some colours are more attractive to both men and women than others.

We know by now that colours evoke emotional responses in us.

For example, blue is a colour used by many hospitals because it evokes a feeling of trust, and white because it elicits the feeling of cleanliness.

We know green symbolizes growth, harmony and freshness.

That’s why many decorators like to use the colour in the kitchen in some form or another.

Purple (which we haven’t mentioned yet) is the combination of the stability of blue and the energy of the colour red.

But if you haven’t guessed yet, the colour that most men and women find attractive is the colour red.

Red is the colour of fire and blood, often associated with sexy red lips or the ravages of war.

Both are strong emotional reactions, and both create an irrepressible bond.

So, if you want to wear a colour that gets a man’s attention and helps him remember YOU, then the colour red is the one to slip into.

sensual red Colour Psychology

However, you can overdo it when it comes to the colour red.

Don’t do the red dress, red necklace and red lips – even if they are all in different shades.

Instead, choose one place – your lips or your dress, and make it count.

Pick the place that elevates your best asset.

For example, if you don’t have full lips, then use a red dress that flatters your figure.

If you feel self-conscious about your body, try red hair out (I met my wife when she dyed hers red, and I can say that her hair caught my eye first).

Now, if there is one colour you shouldn’t wear too much or when trying to catch someone’s eye, that’s yellow.

For the most part, few people find the colour yellow attractive on someone.

yellow colour Colour Psychology

Blue, black and purple are other colours that both men and women find attractive on the opposite sex.

Also, black and red are a great pairing of colours.

attraction red and black colour

Red will increase your partner’s heart rate.

It is sexy, sassy, bold and daring.

Men are attracted to people who are confident in their abilities, and red says that you are confident.

Aside from yellow, men also find brown to be unattractive on women, and many women aren’t all that thrilled with pink on men.

colour brown Colour Psychology
colour pink Colour Psychology

The colour worn by more women on their first date is red, and the colour worn by more men is grey or black.

So, before your first, second or third date, think not only about how you look in the clothes you’re wearing but also about the colour of those clothes.

Because believe it – the colour makes a difference!

TIP: if you are wearing red lipstick, don’t reapply it at the end of the evening. Instead, layer on some lip gloss that makes for more kissable lips and won’t smear all over your date’s face.

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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