Whether it’s letting your personality shine through during an interview, or impressing someone on a first date, it never hurts to turn up your charm and be more charismatic. Being the most magnetic person in a room is a pretty handy skill that can win you friends, while scoring you all sorts of life perks.
If that sounds good, then you might be wondering what it means, exactly, to be charismatic. “Think of the best salesperson you know, the person who is able to fit into any group and situation, or the person who is so witty they are able to think of funny and profound things on the fly,” says psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez. “This is charisma, this is intelligence, and this is a quality that will take these people far in whatever area they choose to apply this skill.”
Once you know how to work it, so to speak, charisma can be used during a job interview to win over your potential boss. Or on a first date. Or when hanging out with friends — especially when they need someone caring, empathetic (and fun) to hang out with. Read on for a few easy ways to turn up your charm, so you can be all that and more.
1. Prioritize Self-Care
Before you can go off into the world inspiring and impressing people, you’ve got to lay the groundwork by focusing on yourself. As spiritual life coach Tina “Kat” Courtney tells me, this will require lots and lots of self-care. While that means different things to different people, it might include exercising, getting lots of sleep, and eating well. Whatever makes you feel your best.
2. Say “Hey” To People Throughout The Day
It’s so tempting to trudge through life without looking up. And hey, sometimes that’s all you can do. But there’s no denying the benefits of occasionally making eye contact, smiling, and greeting people. “Over time, you will find more people will be drawn to you because you exude happiness,” intuitive Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. “That is magnetic. Happiness is charismatic.”
3. Pay Attention To Your Posture
Body language is everything when making a first impression (or second, or third). So don’t forget to pay attention to your posture. “If you are slumped into your body, that shows you are tired or your self-esteem may be dipping,” Rappaport says. While it may or may not be true, it never hurts to give off an air of confidence by standing up straighter.
4. Be As Supportive As Possible
Trustworthy, supportive people are great to be around, so go ahead and work on being that kind of gal. One way to start, as NYC-based relation therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW tells me, is by calling up friends to check on them. Ask how they are, listen, let them vent. I promise they’ll truly appreciate it.
5. Be Proud Of Your Accomplishments
Humbleness certainly has its place in life, but sometimes you just gotta proudly share your accomplishments. “When you are at your best and someone acknowledges you, you will glow. When you glow, people will feel it,” Rappaport says. What could be better than that?
6. Focus On Your Best Qualities
While you’re at it, go ahead and focus on your most charming qualities, too. “Take a moment and write down all of the things that are wonderful and fantastic about you,” Rappaport suggests. “Keep those thoughts and memories with you.” And you’ll soon be one of those wonderfully positive, magnetic people.
7. Try To Live In The Moment
I love staring into my phone just as much as anyone else. But sometimes you just gotta put it down and start a (real) conversation. “The more sociable you are, the more people will enjoy your presence,” Rappaport says. “Put down your cell phone. Stop texting and sending emails when you are with people. Engage with people.” I assure you they’ll appreciate getting your full, undivided attention.
8. Work On Your Self-Esteem
This one is easier said than done, of course. But the more you work on your self-esteem, the more charisma you’ll project. “Charismatic people are really confident people — people confident in their own skin,” says NYC-based success strategist Carlota Zimmerman, JD, in an email to Bustle. “People who are comfortable in their own skin tend to have more empathy, and are usually more fun to be around.”
9. Find What’s Exciting In Everyday Situations
Charismatic people have a knack for finding the fun in any situation. “Think about the people who make you feel alive,” Zimmerman says. “More than likely [they're the people] who can turn a trip to the grocery store into a fun adventure … that’s charisma. They’re alive in the moment.”
10. Practice Actually Listening To People
Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time, or sitting down with an old friend for lunch, make it a point to truly listen to what they have to say. As Rappaport tells me, people who do this make those around them feel heard and understood. In a world where that rarely happens, this skill will earn you all sorts of friends.
11. Remember To Make Eye Contact
Again with the eye contact, I know. But it really is so so important when it comes to projecting that all-important confidence. “[It] all starts with looking someone directly in the eye when speaking,” says life coach Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching. It really can be what makes the difference between impressing someone, or not.
12. Ask Lots Of Questions
Whats one trait of likable people? They ask questions. Lots and lots of questions. “People love to share their story, and they also deeply enjoy being listened to,” Roger says. “While charismatic people are typically thought of as gregarious characters, they also take the time to let someone else shine while participating in the conversation.”
13. Be Your Most Authentic Self
While it can be tempting to change yourself or tweak your personality in order to be liked, the most likable thing you can do is just the opposite. “Every time you reject yourself, you kill your inner charisma gene,” Zimmerman says. So go ahead and be you.
They may take a lot of work at first, but these traits are all so charming it’ll definitely be worth the effort. While it’s not important to be “on” 100 percent of the time, knowing how to turn up your charisma is something everyone should know how to do.