How to Be Charming: 5 Science-Backed Tricks
A little charm goes a long way in this world. Brighten someone’s day by making them laugh. Levy positive body language and what makes you unique to form authentic, deep relationships with others. Communicate difficult topics with a light and clear touch, and find it easier to connect with strangers at a party or get that promotion.
Charm comes uniquely to each, but there are a few commonalities to tap into to bring your appeal out into the world. Here are five science-backed tricks to be charming.
1. The Art of Tone
You may not always remember the other person’s name, but you can use an appropriate tone to charm them. In an intimate conversation, you shouldn’t exclaim your words. A whisper signals mystery and requires trust. A loud tone can show passion, but it can also appear obnoxious.
Listening to the words in a conversation doesn’t mean you’ll catch the full meaning. You find intention in the tone over the semantic meaning of spoken words. The brain perceives intention through tone along several neural pathways for language, mostly on the right side of the brain. Just as your brain tells the difference between a question and a statement, different pathways assist with deciphering tone.
So, the other person knows when you’re not authentic by your tone. Find something to feel genuine about in the conversation.
If you have a soft voice, intimate conversations may be your forte. Turn your body and mouth toward the person, so they can hear you better. Sometimes, it’s not that you’re quiet, but you talk away from the person out of nervousness.
2. The Art of Eye Contact
Meet someone’s gaze 60 percent of the time to develop a rapport. Liars tend to look away from a person, and others perceive this as you having something to hide.
If you feel nervous, try staring slightly above the space between someone’s eyebrows. It looks like you’re meeting their gaze, but only do this if you have a foot between you. Don’t zone out, or your trick will become obvious.
3. The Art of the Interpersonal Quotient
Every person has something about them that inspires others to follow or bond with them. Just as you have a signature style, you have a signature form of being known as your interpersonal quotient. You can learn more about it in the audiobook “PeopleSmart: Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence by Mel Silberman.”
Your interpersonal quotient also informs how you contribute to your relationships. Next time you’re in a crowd, watch when others smile at you mid-conversation or shift their body toward you. You’re charming them with your signature form of being.
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4. The Art of Leaning In
Leaning in tends to mean taking risks and trying new things. When you lean in during a conversation, it communicates a positive reception of what the other person says.
Nonverbal communication can warn you about someone through the small cues they give with their expression and bodily movements, and it can also tell you how well you persuade and interact with them.
Crossed arms and legs, rolled eyes, raised eyebrows and bouncing legs can communicate frustration, boredom and other reactions you don’t want. Look for “leaning in” types of body language to indicate a rapport, such as eye contact, mirrored posture and smiling. Use this when you interact with others to charm them.
5. The Art of Empathetic Touch
Scent can help the mind recall memories, and most people rely on sight to dictate their movements through the day. Many forget and underestimate the power of touch to inspire and bond with others.
Humans are social creatures, and hugs are as crucial as laughter when it comes to bonding. The touch variable gauges the differences in receiving and not receiving affection during childhood, and the variable accurately predicts a 70 percent tendency towards violence in those who didn’t receive affection. Use appropriately timed and given empathetic touches to increase rapport and share your charisma.
A few-seconds gentle pat on the shoulder is a safe way to begin, and you can watch the other person’s body language to see how they react. If they pull away, they don’t want to be touched at that moment, and it’s important to respect that. Clasping one person’s hand with both hands as you shake hands, if familiar with that person, also communicates genuine happiness to see that person and share time with them.
Many people forget to use these five science-backed tricks, but they come from instinct and common sense. You use the five senses to form a perception of your environment, which includes others, and you also use your body to communicate your meaning. Your external expression of yourself may feel awkward at times, but your style of charisma belongs to you alone.
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