How to Develop Charisma and Be More Likeable

Charisma is one of those things that people think you’re born with, but that’s not always the case. Regardless of your personality type, it is quite possible to become prettier and develop your charisma. The key is to focus on certain traits that you can practice and apply to your own behavior that can possibly make you more attractive, trustworthy, and influential. Here’s where to start.

Charisma can be learned

If you’ve ever met someone cute but couldn’t specifically explain why you like them, they have charisma. You can also learn to be charismatic, and all it takes is a little change in your behavior. Charisma is what you say and do, not who you really are as a person. Your subconscious mind, social cues, physical expression, and how you relate to others all play a role in developing your charisma.

In the video above, behavioral expert and writer Olivia Fox Kaban tells the story of Marilyn Monroe. At a very busy time of the day, Monroe brought the photographer with her to Grand Central Station in New York. People were everywhere, but no one seemed to recognize one of the most famous people in the world. She got on the train and rode unnoticed to the next station. Cabane explains that Monroe tried to prove her point:

“Marilyn wanted to show that just by making a decision, she could be either the charming Miss Monroe or just Norma Jean Baker (her real name). On the subway, it was Norma Jeane, but when she again took to the busy sidewalks of New York, she decided to turn into Marilyn. She looked around and mockingly asked the photographer, “So you want to see her? Marilyn? ” And then, according to him, there were no grandiose gestures, she just ruffled her hair and took a pose. Yet thanks to this simple shift, she suddenly became attractive. An aura of magic seemed to radiate from her, and everything stopped. Time stood still, as did the people around her, who stared in amazement at the star standing in their midst … “

Undoubtedly, the beauty of Marilyn Monroe was on her side, but she wanted to prove that charisma is something that you create and radiate, and not just from birth. Your goal here is to find Marilyn Monroe inside your Norma Jean Baker. It exists, but to find it, you need to work hard.

However, keep in mind that you need to show a little courage. Developing charisma is a process that involves looking at what you are doing under a microscope. You may not always like what you see, but don’t berate yourself for it. By keeping your expectations in check, you can identify the behaviors you need to change. Remember, you are not changing who you are as a person, you are only changing how people perceive you by fine-tuning your external communication.

Master the art of being present

“Presence” is the most important aspect of charisma, behind which is confidence. Presence is sincere interaction with others. Basically, you are showing the other person that they are completely focused on your attention. Without confidence, you may appear shy or uninterested in others, but without being present, you may come across as someone who is only interested in showing yourself. As with most things, neither extreme is perfect.

In fact, the art of being present highlights the most important thing to keep in mind when developing charisma: it’s not about you. Or, as Brett and Keith McKay put it in The Art of Manliness :

When you think about charisma, you might think about making yourself appear super cool to others. But the paradoxical secret of charisma is that it’s not about trumpeting your good qualities, but about making the other person feel good. Real charisma makes the other person feel important; when they finish communicating with you, they feel better than before.

In truth, we love ourselves and love to talk about ourselves. However, the people in your life that you find cute and charismatic let you be yourself and let you talk about yourself. Be positive, drop your ego and give your full attention. It’s really that simple.

Pay attention to every word that comes from someone else’s mouth. Imagine watching a movie or reading a book and gradually learn about the main character. Give them your attention and focus on them. Most importantly, don’t sit and think about what you are about to say while they are talking. This may seem like a proactive action, but it only shows that you are not really listening, but are simply preparing to argue.

Plus, it goes without saying, but pulling your phone out during a call basically negates any sympathy you’ve accumulated. Nothing demonstrates that you’re not listening like sending a “quick email” or scrolling through Instagram.

Of course there is a balance. You can’t just sit and listen to people day and night. It is also important to be able to speak and confidently express your thoughts to other people.

Develop a sense of confidence

Confidence will give you a huge foothold as you become more charismatic, but it’s not easy to build. You don’t want to be arrogant, but you also don’t want to look timid or intimidated. It all comes down to how you feel. Exercising regularly, wearing clothes that make you feel good, and talking about things you understand well can help you build and maintain your confidence .

However, you shouldn’t just talk about what you know. You can be open with others and show that you are curious, but still look confident. Most of us are locked up when we are having a conversation about something that we know nothing about, and suddenly we are looking for ways to protect ourselves instead of putting up with our ignorance. If you go from “defensive mode” to “curiosity mode”, you will seem confident that you do not know about something. In addition to this, curiosity speaks of the importance of being present. You are not lost in your mind trying to find answers – you are clearly involved in the conversation.

Live with a purpose

Confident and charismatic people also live purposefully. This is noticeable when it seems that you do not have a mission or driving factor. You don’t have to wear your passion on your sleeve, but you have to make sure that you are alive in order to do anything. HighExistence’s Jordan Lejuwaan invites you to pick something that motivates you and work with it:

Choose a cause, purpose, vision and live it . People want to have a reason to bond – something to believe in. You have to believe it so strongly that it animates your every gesture. Be confident in any scenario. Show that you do not share the doubts that plague most people. Act as if you know where you are going, even if you are not 100% sure.

You may not know where you are going all the time, but you should look like you do. When the scene is played out, act as if you know your lines . We all have moments when we do something and think to ourselves, “That was stupid.” Forget those moments. When you have those moments and you think so for a split second, your behavior changes noticeably. You hesitate and people see it. Confidence is about being okay with what you do and who you are, whatever that means. People like confident people, even if their other qualities are less attractive. If you can be confident in yourself, charisma is about jumping, jumping and jumping.

Master the basics of conversation

Charismatic people are good at talking to other people. They know how to start a conversation, steer it in the right direction, and make others feel comfortable. If you don’t know how to talk to people at the most basic level, you need to practice. It will be difficult, but if you are brave and move away from the yellow flower mentality, it will be very helpful. It will be uncomfortable at first, but it is because of this that you get better.

If you don’t know how to start a conversation , get creative. First, think about what you would like to talk about and what you would not like to talk about. If there is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, it will likely make them feel uncomfortable. Plus , it’s much easier to conduct a conversation by being polite rather than trying to appear brilliant. Not to mention, being nice is a great charisma booster anyway. If you can’t figure out where to start, or if you’re having a lull, use the rule of history / philosophy / metaphor . Do your best to avoid awkward silence.

Good conversationalists also know how to put people on the same level. They share experiences and tell stories . Use humor as a tool and remember that it’s not what you say, but how you say it. If you’re not sure about the joke, wait. Nobody gets worse if you miss this. Imagine a comedian blowing up a bomb on stage. There is nothing more awkward or more awkward, so don’t be like that. At the same time, the comedian, confident in his jokes, is very charismatic. Used correctly, humor can make you the prettiest person in a room.

Last but not least, ask questions. People love to be heard and, as Forbes’ Siimon Reynolds says, asking questions gives you a great opportunity to be liked :

The person who asks the questions usually supervises the meeting. And those who ask reasonably smart questions tend to come across as smart and even wise – two elements that help develop a perception of charisma. It’s always interesting to me that it takes far less knowledge to ask a good question than it does to give a good answer, but those who ask a lot of questions often end up making the best impression.

Think about talk show hosts. They are some of the cutest and most charismatic people in the world – that’s how they get this job. They are funny, but in most cases they do nothing but ask questions of their guests, but at the same time they give the impression of a sweet person who is in control. Charisma learns more about others than what others learn about you.

Practice effective eye contact

Sometimes good eye contact can convey more than words. Proper eye contact can show that you are listening, that you care, and that you accept the other person as a person. Looking down or constantly moving your gaze shows that you are not interested in this and that you are focused on something else.

However, practicing eye contact can be challenging. Too much can be repulsive, but too little. You will need to experiment to find the amount you want. Ramit Sethi, author and founder of I Will Teach You To Be Rich , invites you to experience the water for a bit :

… try holding eye contact for a second longer than usual. How do you feel? How does the other person react to this? Remember, you have A LOT of opportunities to try this. Practice with a waiter, barista or checkout counter.

Over time, you will feel what is working and what is going too far. How you make eye contact is just as important as how long it lasts. If you’re unsure of where to start but don’t feel creepy, try focusing on the other person’s eye color. Try to notice the color of the eyes of every person you talk to and make it a habit. This is the type of eye contact that makes you seem personable, but not eccentric.

Be expressive with your body

Charismatic people express their feelings in different ways. Using your body to accentuate and enhance what you are feeling or talking about can go a long way. No one thinks that someone who stands motionless like a board is attractive or interesting. Above all, remember to smile. Smiling people are more approachable and likable than those who appear angry or uninterested. If you’re unsure where to start with physical expression, The Sims Wyeth of Inc. recommends thinking about people or pets you know and paying attention to their physical condition:

Think back to Kramer of Seinfeld ‘s fame when he slips through Jerry’s apartment door to discover something amazing. Or your grandmother, who throws her hands up and bends her knees when she sees you after a long absence. Or my dog, Little Bear, who dances with joy when I come home at the end of the day.

People enjoy being around people (and animals) with a vocabulary of expressive gestures. Sure, you don’t want to joke around at work and act like Kramer, but gestures that are responsive and appropriate to the moment are winning and engaging.

You should also be aware of bad types of expressive behavior. For example, a nod is a great way to explicitly show someone that you are listening, but too many nods can look worse than no action at all. Suddenly, it becomes obvious to the other person that you are trying to show that you are listening and they no longer feel the confirmation. People can pick up your facial expressions, no matter how insignificant they are, so it is only in your best interest to find out about your worst offenders. If you are not sure if what you are doing is not readable, ask your friends or someone you trust to be honest with you. It can be difficult to hear the truth, but you can’t fix something if you don’t know about it.

Just as the Methodist actor is transformed into the role they are playing, put yourself in a state of mind that allows you to be aware of your behavior. If you start to lose awareness of your mannerisms, Kabane recommends stopping and focusing on the sensations in your toes . This will give you a complete appreciation of everything your body is doing. Are you slouching? Is your hand fiddling with something in your pocket? Be aware and adapt.

When in doubt, practice mirroring

Reflecting your qualities is an easy way to be charismatic in the moment. Compare the other person’s physical manners and energy levels, and you will notice how well they will react to it. You don’t have to agree with everything they say or do, but just act in some way as they do. This can happen naturally, depending on your social environment, but it’s an easy way to boost your liking. And it goes without saying: don’t try to reproduceCharlie Chaplin’s mirror scene and overdo it by imitating what the other person is doing. This is just weird.

You can also reflect the qualities you like in others. Observation is an important factor when it comes to charisma, and as Joyce Newman, president of the Newman Group, suggests, you should look at people you think are charismatic :

You don’t need to copy them, but you will learn their secrets, try them on and tweak them until they suit you. This is a trial and error method.

Look in Hollywood or wherever you see charismatic people and notice how people behave. Of course, some of them may be full of themselves, but you can still improve and use your effective, charismatic qualities. Imitate people you know and you will learn a thing or two about how to be more likeable.

You have the ability to be prettier and more charismatic, and the changes you need to make in this process are not as great as they might seem. Be real, confident in yourself, gradually become the master of your behavior and watch how you shape the perception of yourself as others.

This story was originally published on 12/22/14 and updated on 10/07/19 to provide more complete and up-to-date information.


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