It was a bit of a challenge for me to narrow down my ways to be charming list for you ladies because it's a quality that I've become familiar with. The truth is, all of the tips on this list could really be summed up into learning to be authentically you without caring about what others think but respecting them and treating them as a friend at the same time. It's a fine line that is more than exciting to walk. Once I mastered these ways to be charming I tucked them away in my heart and have been able to make friends (or at least hold an interesting conversation) no matter where I go.
1. Show Interest in Others
One of my favorite ways to be charming is to show interest in others. When you show genuine interest in others you can't help but to be thoughtful. If small talk doesn't come easy to you, the next time you have a conversation with someone and they bring any subject up just ask a specific question connected to the topic. You could ask them how they became interested in the subject. If the conversation hasn't started you could take a moment to observe them and ask a question about an item of jewelry or a book in their hand. If you're fortunate enough to have people open up to you without much initiation, listen to what they actually say and be thoughtful in your response.
2. Eye Contact
We've all heard it before, the eyes are the windows to the soul. I think this statement has truth in it. I've noticed that when people are closed off they have a hard time keeping eye contact. Also, aggressive people can look just long enough to make the contact uncomfortable. It's important to practice keeping eye contact when you speak to others because in a subtle way it shows that you see them and that they matter to you.
3. Be Prompt
If you have an appointment with someone make sure you arrive on time. When you are prompt it is a sign of respect to others and even if they aren't prompt, they will appreciate it. If a person feels that you respect them, you will begin to earn their trust and interest. There may be occasions where you can't help being late and that's okay! Just make sure that you send them a courtesy text or phone call and let them know what's going on.
You don't want to flatter people constantly or they will grow suspicious of your motives. But if you are thinking something kind about the person be sure to tell them. A genuine compliment is always appreciated by other people. Compliment them without expectations because some people may not know how to receive compliments. That's fine if they don't receive it initially, it will still leave a warm impression with them.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person's shoes even if you don't know exactly what they're going through. Of course, there may be situations where you can't imagine what it's like, but the least you can do is listen and encourage the other person. The ability to empathize is important because it creates a selfless quality in you and other people are attracted to it because they feel welcomed and safe.
6. Remember Details
You won't be able to remember details about a person if you don't learn to listen to others. So practice, practice, and practice listening some more when others speak to you. If you can remember a person's name it's an incredibly powerful tool. This is something I am still working on. If you have a hard time remembering a person's name you can remember details to a story they tell you so the next time you see them you can ask a follow up question. This shows that you care.
7. Sense of Humor
No one likes a Debbie Downer! It's important to find your sense of humor and get comfortable using it around others. Your sense of humor may not be like other people and that's fine, as long as you have one. Try to limit your sarcasm because although it can be funny at times, if you use it too much it can make others uncomfortable and you may even hurt them without realizing it. Just learn to relax and share a good laugh with other people because laughter is the best medicine. If you find yourself at the end of the occasional joke it's good to learn to laugh at yourself, as long as it's not being done to hurt you.
8. Never Stop Learning
Most charming people have the ability to join any conversation even if they aren't an expert in what is being discussed. Take some time to keep up on current events and never stop learning. This shows that you value exercising your brain, and you'll be able to connect with people from different backgrounds if you take the time to learn. It's a big world with a lot of people so practice getting outside of your personal bubble and expand what you know. Just don't turn into a know-it-all.
9. Be Vulnerable
This can be hard but vulnerability can be a very attractive quality. Why? Because it shows that you are human and others will naturally connect with you. We all have people we admire for their strengths but there are also people we grow to admire because they are honest about their weaknesses and doubts in life. Vulnerability is key to building trust with others. If someone opens up to you and is vulnerable, find a way to return it with a moment of vulnerability as well.
10. Have Fun
This can connect with having a sense of humor. Learn to have fun because life is short. You don't have to be totally reckless to have a good time. If a friend invites you to do something new, do it if you're able to! Experience the many wonderful things that life has to offer. I'm sure you will use wisdom when deciding what this means ladies. A free spirit who knows how to have fun is attractive because it reminds us of our inner child.
11. Be Kind
Always be kind to others. Some people may not appreciate your kindness and that's fine. But I think that most people will love you for it because the world can be so harsh, can't it? Kindness is another way to show respect for another person. So practice treating everyone with kindness regardless of their background or belief system. They are human and so are you.
My favorite actress Audrey Tautou once said in a movie, "People can resist beauty but they can't resist charm." I found that line to be interesting and I think it may be true. It's not a manipulative kind of charm but a genuine openness that is so attractive to others. Can you think of other ways to be charming?