The Art Of Personal Magnetism
Former President Bill Clinton is often described as charming. Associates note that he always focused on the person speaking to him and showed real interest while being oblivious as to whether the person liked him or not.
When former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev first came to the U.S., his economic and political speeches made an impression, but reporters also noticed that he made a huge impact with his eyes. He gazed around the room, using his eyes as searchlights to find the people he wanted to affect. His emotional reach touched his listeners individually.
Being charming. Is there a more enviable quality?
You know how people always say first impressions are oh-so-important? A good body of research shows they’re right. Harvard research shows 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And the more important quality is warmth. We’ll take a lovable moron over a competent jerk more often than not.
Being charming is a pivotal “secret” to effective communication, persuasiveness and influence. In reality though, charm isn’t a secret. You can become charming. It just requires learning a set of applicable skills.
We’re social creatures with the innate desire to be with others. We have a need to connect with others that’s alive and kicking in all of us.
Given that we’re hardwired to make friends, you’d think that we’d naturally be good at this. Yet, interacting with others can be a challenging experience.
If your current social situation is less desirable than you prefer, this post will provide you with a new perspective on how to get others to want to be around you and keep them there.
Getting others to like you isn’t as hard as you might think. You’ll be surprised by how simple these techniques are and how easy they are to use.
The Signals You Send
You’re sending signals to everyone in your environment, even if you don’t realize it. You’re also scanning your environment for signals from others.
While there’s a lot you can gather from looking at someone, your brain’s primary objective is safety.
It’s attempting to determine if the people in your environment are potential friends or enemies.
Suppose you needed directions. There are certain people you feel comfortable asking and others that you certainly don’t. This is a conscious decision. It’s based on the signals you receive from that person.
Some people send out signals for friendship. Others send out the signals of a potential enemy.
Before you speak with someone, you’re both assessing non-verbal communication signals.
The majority of the time, others see you long before they hear you.
Since they’re looking at you, it only makes sense to send effective signals to create interest and friendship.
Have you ever noticed that some people are much more noticeable than others? Some are readily noticed in a positive way, while others are noticed in a negative way.
Then there’s everyone else. Most people tend to blend into the background and fail to send either friendship or enemy signals. These people are very neutral in the signals they send. They aren’t seen as a potential friend or threat. If you’ve ever felt invisible, this is the reason why. You actually are “invisible” to the brain of everyone around you.
Once a person’s brain classiﬁes you as “neutral”, you’re quickly forgotten. That brain has other concerns to deal with. You’re viewed as unlikely to provide anything positive or negative. You’re the equivalent of a tree to a person that doesn’t need any shade at the moment.
Send friendship signals to those that interest you:
A genuine smile.
Not that fake thing you throw around most of the time. It’s easy for people to spot a fake smile unless you’re Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro.
Smiling people are viewed as happier, more conﬁdent, and more likable.
This can be a good way to judge how others feel about you. We tend to smile at those we like and fail to smile at those we dislike.
Faking a smile is extremely difﬁcult without practice. The easiest way to tell the difference between a fake and a real smile is in the corners of the mouth and cheeks. In a real smile, the corners of the mouth are upturned, and the cheeks raised. Also, look for some wrinkling around the corners of the eyes during a real smile.
Practice your smile in the mirror and see how real you can make it look.
Raising and lowering your eyebrows.
This is a very quick movement. It’s really just a ﬂash, and only takes a fraction of a second. The eyebrows only move minimally. You’ve probably never consciously noticed it in others, but you will now.
Tilt your head.
Left or right, it’s entirely up to you. It’s believed we do this to expose our carotid arteries (the arteries in your neck that carry blood to the brain) to show we’re not a threat.
This doesn’t mean that you walk around with your head laying over to one side. But, tilt your head a little bit while interacting with others that you’d like to get to know better.
Studies have shown that people are rated as more attractive, trustworthy, and kind when they tilt their head during conversation.
A lowered head, lowered eyebrows, and the lack of a smile send the very clear signal that you’re not a friend.
Eye contact can be tricky. Too short and it doesn’t communicate your intentions effectively. Too long and your target could view you as a potential enemy.
Eye contact should be long enough to be obvious, but not longer than a second.
Be sure to smile when breaking eye contact. Remember that it needs to be a genuine smile.
Eye contact can be longer with someone you already know but would like to get to know better.
A small amount of touch can go a long way if used appropriately. Use touch sparingly. At the end of an interaction, touch the other person brieﬂy on the arm or shoulder and watch for their non-verbal response.
Any negative non-verbal signal is telling you that they aren’t ready for the relationship to proceed further.
Touching is one of the most powerful ways to build trust and intimacy with another person.
Mirroring is exactly what it sounds like. You essentially mirror the body language and mannerisms of the other person.
If the other person tilts their head, you tilt yours.
If the other person has their arms crossed, you cross yours.
Avoid making your intentions too obvious. If you look like you’re mimicking the other person too closely in real time, it’ll be viewed as odd or awkward.
Notice this behavior in others in social settings. Notice who’s mirroring and who’s not.
We naturally mirror others when rapport is high.
You can create rapport through mirroring.
Once you’ve been mirroring someone for a short time, you can lead them. Change your body position and watch them follow you.
When two people like each other, they lean in toward each other. You can see this everywhere you go in everyday life. Look for it.
And notice when two people clearly don’t like each other. They lean away from each other.
People that like each other also point their torsos toward each other. If they’re standing, they’ll also point their feet at each other. Notice the next time there’s a group of people standing and talking. Look at where everyone’s torso and feet are pointing.
If you want to send a positive message to someone, face them with your body.
Use more gesturing.
When two strangers meet, their gestures are minimal. Use more gestures when dealing with those people with whom you’d like to build a stronger relationship. These can include: head nodding; smiling; obvious hand gestures; or stronger eye contact. Just be sure to minimize any non-verbal signals that might be viewed as unfriendly.
Use head nodding to your advantage.
Head nodding is a powerful tool that can be used to show that you’re listening and would like the other person to continue talking. But be careful. Head nodding can also send a negative signal if you do it incorrectly.
Rapid head nodding can send the signal that you’re disinterested or want the other person to ﬁnish talking so you can talk.
A slow, single head nod tends to disrupt the conversation. It sends the signal that you’re not sure you believe what you’re hearing.
Notice when others nod their heads and how they do it. What signal are they sending?
Give your full attention.
We’ve all spoken to someone that isn’t paying attention to us. They might be looking at their phone or looking around the room.
Listen intently to the other person.
Avoid answering your phone during a conversation. If you want to score big points, take your phone out, send the call to voicemail and put your phone away. Put your attention ﬁrmly back on the other person.
You know that you’ve made great progress in a relationship when you can whisper something to that person without it feeling weird to either of you. Use whispering to build your budding friendships.
Give verbal encouragement.
These are those simple ﬁllers that show support and encourage others to continue. These include statements like:
- “I see”
- “Go on”
- “Of course”
- “Mmm hmm”
Be on the lookout for these signals in your everyday life. Notice which people seem friendly and which don’t. Try to determine why you come to those conclusions. What are the differences?
Just as there are signals that demonstrate an openness to contact and communication, there are also signals that scream, “Stay away from me.”
You’re picking up on these signals all the time from others that you see in your day-to-day life.
You might be surprised at how often you’re sending these signals even if you don’t mean to.
Understanding these signals can be very useful. You’ll know when not to waste your time approaching someone. You’ll understand when your message isn’t being received positively. And, you’ll be able to avoid sending these signals inadvertently.
You’ll also learn how to keep others away when you don’t want to be bothered.
Be aware of these non-friendly signals in yourself and others:
Obvious facial tension.
When others are hostile toward you, they clench their jaws, furrow their eyebrows, and just have a look of facial tension. This is a good sign that you’re not welcome in their space.
Rolling of the eyes.
You’ve rolled your eyes at something someone has said. You’ve also been on the receiving end of the same gesture. Use this as a clue that people aren’t responding positively to what you’re saying.
And watch yourself. Rolling the eyes is automatic behavior that you might want to check, depending on the situation.
Invading someone else’s personal space.
Try standing too close to someone else and see what happens. You can stand closer to a friend than to a stranger. You can stand closer to someone in certain countries than in others. Watch for people’s reactions as you move closer to them.
Any other obvious signals.
There are many other signs of negativity, but we’re so skilled at noticing them in others that they hardly require mention. Just ensure you’re not doing any of these if you want to make more friends and inﬂuence more people.
- Scrunching the nose
- Aggressive stance
- Impolite gestures
- Wearing clothing or accessories that send the wrong signals
The signals people send regarding their potential friend or enemy status are unconscious.
You’re now aware of them, so you can send whatever signals you like.
Use these signals to your advantage.
Be on the lookout for signals from others you meet in your day-to-day life. It’ll be clear who’s interested in being your friend or lover, and who isn’t.
The #1 Rule To Get Others To Like You
The people we enjoy being around are the ones that make us feel good.
We like the people that make us feel good about ourselves.
If you can keep this simple rule in mind in your dealings with others, you’ll have more friends and inﬂuence than you know what to do with. Whenever you make someone feel good about themselves, they’ll want to experience that again. Be the cause of those feelings and others will want to spend more time with you.
Make people feel good about themselves, and you’ll have friends for life!
Try these techniques:
Give sincere compliments.
It’s important to be careful with this one. It’s not easy to give a sincere compliment to someone you don’t know. You simply don’t know enough about them. Compliments are best used on those that you already know.
Show an interest in the other person’s life.
This is easy to accomplish just by asking a few questions.
- “How was your weekend? What did you get up to?”
- “You said you were going to have lunch with your sister. How is she?”
- “What are your favorite hobbies?”
- “Tell me about your family.”
Make the conversation about the other person. Be concerned and supportive.
We rationalize our failure, misfortunes, and misdeeds all day long. We love it when someone else helps us do it. Suppose someone didn’t get a promotion they were expecting. You could say something like:
- “That company never seems to be able to spot real talent.”
- “The hiring manager for that department only likes to hire men.”
Help people justify their failures, and you’ll have a new friend.
Ask for a favor.
Most people have a hard time refusing a simple request. Whether it be to carry a box, hold a door, or to pick up something while the other person is at the store, you make friends by asking for favors.
It seems counter-intuitive, but it works for a few reasons.
People feel good about themselves when they do a favor for someone. You’ll be credited with making them feel good about themselves, even if they aren’t consciously aware of this effect.
People like to be consistent. By doing you a favor, they’re acting as if they like you. It only makes sense to do favors for people you like, so if they’re doing a favor for you, they must like you. At least, that’s what their brain leads them to believe.
How someone feels about you is strongly correlated to how they feel when you’re around them.
You don’t even have to be the actual cause!
If they get good news when you’re present, their brain will attribute the good feeling to you.
It’s even more powerful to have a positive inﬂuence on how they feel about themselves. You can be the equivalent to a powerful drug in someone’s life.
What We Find Attractive In Others
We’re attracted to many things. Physical attractiveness, money, power, and all the other usual things that are attractive in our society. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to instantly create a more attractive face, make a million dollars, or become a corporate juggernaut.
Luckily, there are things we can control that are attractive to others.
Make yourself more attractive to others simply and easily:
We like others that are like us. We like people that have the same interests, attitudes, and spend their time in ways similar to how we like to spend time. For instance, a Republican is more likely to like a fellow Republican than a Democrat. Someone who likes baseball is more likely to make friends with a baseball fan than with someone who hates baseball.
Look for common ground with others and make it apparent to them.
Highlight your similarities.
We’ve wondered what’s on the other side of the mountain or at the bottom of a hole for thousands of years. As a species, we’re still wondering how to power a spaceship to another solar system, live longer, or how to fully harness the power of the wind. We’re curious by nature. You can use this to your advantage.
Have an interesting life but reveal the details of your life slowly.
Others will wonder what you’re all about. Imagine you had a quiet coworker that loved to skydive, hiked in the Andes, or walked the Kokoda Trail. You’d be curious to say the least, right?
This is like asking for a favor in reverse. Instead, you’re going to do something for someone without even being asked.
Once you’ve done something for them, they feel compelled to do something nice for you.
Most of us are quite guarded with our challenges and secrets. We don’t want others to know we’re having health issues, ﬁnancial issues, or had cosmetic surgery in our 20’s.
However, the more you’re willing to reveal, the closer the other person will feel to you. They’ll also be more likely to disclose personal information to you.
Be careful though. You don’t want to tell someone you don’t know very well your deepest and darkest secrets. You don’t want them used against you some day.
And be caring and respectful when you receive a disclosure from someone else. This is a great way to strengthen any relationship.
Have a sense of humor.
Humor is attractive across all cultures. Those that are able to use humor effectively are seen as more attractive and likable. Use a light touch in your social interactions and inject humor where appropriate.
A good sense of humor puts others at ease and reduces anxiety. What a great environment for creating friendships.
Be around more often.
We’re more likely to create relationships with those we see regularly. Neighbors are more likely to become friends than people that live at opposite ends of the street.
You’re more likely to be friends with a coworker than with someone that works at another location.
Find ways to spend more time around those you’d like to become friends with.
Be happy with yourself.
High self-esteem is attractive. Low self-esteem isn’t. The same is true for self-conﬁdence. People low in both attributes are less likely to be open and are always on guard. Neither is attractive.
Avoid being too available.
There’s a reason diamonds are so valuable. It’s their scarcity. We don’t value things that are right in front of our face as much as we do those things that are less available. You’ll be seen as more valuable if you make yourself less available.
Answer personal emails and text messages slowly.
Be unavailable for an entire weekend.
Have regular plans.
You don’t have to look like a movie star, or have the bank account of one, to be attractive to others. Use these tools to make yourself a more attractive prospect for friendship.
Common Conversation Errors
Making friends and getting others to like and trust you is relatively simple. You encourage people to talk about themselves, demonstrate that you’re a great listener, and use the various tools to grow the connection between you.
However, there are many things you can inadvertently do to disrupt the rapport and ﬂow of communication.
Avoid these common conversation errors if you want to attract others into your life:
Avoid talking about your problems or complaining too much.
Everyone has problems, and everyone is struggling to deal with them. They don’t have the time or energy to deal with yours too. Avoid being too negative.
Avoid talking about yourself excessively.
It’s a turn off. Remember that it’s important to make the other person feel good about themselves. You can’t do that by only talking about yourself all of the time.
Keep meaningless chit-chat to a minimum.
Be the person that’s known for having meaningful conversations.
And always avoid gossip.
Avoid topics that could make the other person feel bad or upset.
Avoid conversations about politically charged topics, or anything else that could create a negative emotion in the other person.
Be emotional, but not too much.
If your emotions are outside the normal range for the topic and situation, you’ll be viewed negatively.
We often destroy a good conversation or budding relationship by saying the wrong things.
It’s not always easy to undo the damage caused by a verbal misstep.
Remember to keep things positive. If you make the other person feel bad about themselves, bad in general, or bad about you, you’re going to struggle to create, build, or maintain a connection.
How To Forge Stronger Connections Online
The internet can be a great tool for building your social network.
People have successfully found jobs, started businesses, created friendships, and met their future spouses online.
The potential really is unlimited.
While there can be pitfalls, it’d be ludicrous to ignore the possibilities the internet provides.
The internet has many advantages for creating social contacts and inﬂuence:
The internet is a great social tool for introverts.
There’s a layer of anonymity and a lack of timeliness on the internet that appeals to introverts.
If someone asks you a question face to face, you can’t sit there for two minutes and think about your answer, but you can online.
It’s easier to start a conversation with someone on the internet than it is in person.
It’s much easier to ﬁnd others with something in common.
It’s easy to ﬁnd thousands of people with the same interests online. That’s not as easy to do ofﬂine.
There are plenty of people available.
There are roughly 4.2 billion people online. That’s over half of the world’s population. You won’t have any problems ﬁnding someone to talk to.
Rejection is much easier to take.
Considering how easy it is to start and end friendships online, the sting and embarrassment of rejection is greatly reduced.
People are much more open online.
People feel more comfortable sharing information online than they do in person. Rapport is built easier and faster online.
The internet is here to stay, so ensure you’re taking advantage of it.
The ease of contacting similar people, with similar interests, in high numbers, is hard to beat.
If you’re introverted, the beneﬁts are even greater. Rejection and failure are easier to swallow online. Use the internet to build your social network and inﬂuence.
Additional Tips For Influencing Others
If people like you, and you can make them feel good about themselves, they’ll do just about anything for you.
But there are additional ways to inﬂuence others — even people you barely know.
It comes down to trust, gain, and loss. If you can control the perception of these three things, you can get someone to move a mountain for you.
Consider these strategies:
Emphasize the beneﬁts.
What does the other person need? If you’re selling your services or product to someone else, you have to know their needs if you want to be successful. Present a solution to their problem.
Keep it simple.
A confused mind says “no.” If you want to inﬂuence someone to do something, keep it simple. Complex ideas are confusing. People worry that deceit is hidden amongst the complexity.
Inﬂuencing others is easier if they view you as an authority in a particular ﬁeld or situation. We all like to follow an expert. We trust that they know what they’re doing.
Be able to demonstrate or explain your experience.
Social proof is great for establishing certain types of authority.
Show what they can lose by not listening to you.
We like to gain something positive. Even more, we hate to lose something. Consider that earning $100 isn’t as motivating as keeping $100 that someone is trying to take from you. Create the pleasure of positive gain or create pain via loss.
Attracting and inﬂuencing others is not overly difficult.
- We’re all constantly sending and receiving signals. Learn what to do and what to look for. Just as importantly, learn what not to do.
- There’s only one thing others really care about when it comes to liking or disliking you. Understand and apply the #1 rule and you’ll become a powerful person.
- What traits and qualities do people ﬁnd attractive? Many of the things you need to be attractive to others are well within your control.
- You’ve ruined more conversations and potential friendships than you realize. Learn how to put an end to that.
- The internet is the most amazing thing to have come along since the invention of the wheel. Are you using it to your full advantage? Learn how to use the online world to boost your social life.
Apply the techniques you’ve learned.
You’ll have plenty of friends and plenty of inﬂuence as a result.
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