Charisma and body language
I opened a thread asking how to seem "more attractive." That's a huge, vague question, and I got a lot of varied responses, which is exactly what I was looking for. I'm interested in being more attractive to girls (who isn't?), but I'm also interested in having a "magnetic personality." I think I do a decent job of this already, but there some to be a lot of awfully knowledgeable people here, so I thought I'd ask for some advice.
Since that thread was a directed more towards my physical appearance, I thought I'd open a new open about charisma and body language. Both are interesting to me, and I'd like to know what I can do to be more charismatic.
So, here are the questions I have:
1. How can I have more "magnetic" body language?
2. What exactly is an "open posture"? Where am I supposed to put my hands/arms when standing and sitting?
3. What makes someone charismatic? How can I be more charismatic?
4. How often should I smile? Should this be a show-the-teeth smile, or a curl the sides of my lips up smile?
5. How can I have a more positive/uplifting personality?
When thinking of the people I've met who were quite charismatic the one common denominator was the ability to intensely focus on whomever they are speaking to. Smiling, not smiling, how close they stand to you or don't fly out the window - you don't really notice those things just feel their interest and connection to you.
That's what I'd work on to develop charisma. Learning the skills necessary to truly focus on the people around you and filtering everything else out. If you are talking to a girl for instance focus on her, what she's saying (not only the words but pay attention to see if body language is congruent and so forth) and respond to all of that information. Just my two cents...
Here's what I think:
1. How can I have more "magnetic" body language?
Learn to be self-confident and comfortable with who you are and the body language will follow.
2. What exactly is an "open posture"? Where am I supposed to put my
hands/arms when standing and sitting?
Again when you are self-confident and comfortable with who you are this comes naturally as well.
3. What makes someone charismatic? How can I be more charismatic?
As Jenny said charismatic people take an interest in others. They are good listeners and maintain good eye contact.
4. How often should I smile? Should this be a show-the-teeth smile, or a curl the sides of my lips up smile?
You shouldn't smile unnaturally or just for the sake of smiling. People will think you're not all there. You can smile to greet or acknowledge someone or when you are amused by something. If you find something funny by all means laugh. It is very attractive to people.
5. How can I have a more positive/uplifting personality?
By being a positive, friendly person. It will come through.
Whatever you do be yourself. Be natural and down to earth. If being yourself is difficult because you feel awkward or self-conscious then practice affirmations or visualizations on how you want to act. It's amazing how helpful they are.
Work on yourself to be the person you want to be.
I believe the key is eye contact. Looking someone directly in the eye while talking (even more important when listening) is such a powerful action. It's amazing how rarely we really look someone in the eye as opposed to just looking at their face. I've been focusing on doing this when out in public, particularly in those passing encounters, say, with a clerk at a store or when saying a quick hello to a neighbour and there seems to be a significant reaction from the other party- assuming they actually look up to notice :)
As for charisma, I believe charismatic people exude confidence and positive energy. I don't think you really have to be a fully confident person to appear charismatic, but carrying affirmations of confidence when in contact with others helps a lot. Smiling is another key and I don't think it matters how you smile as long as it's natural and appropriate to the circumstances. Charismatic people also seem to be inclined to touch others in a non-intimate, respectful way.
I am a firm believer that this stuff comes from inside. If you feel it, others will respond. The one thing I would be wary of is focusing on the behaviour so much that your behaviour becomes affected (and I mean that in the sense of "fake"). We all know people who come off that way and what a turnoff it is.
1. You can be "magnetic" by being relaxed, yet not slouching or being lazy. Look deep into the eyes of whoever you are talking to, without letting them wander over the person's face, keep steady and relaxed in your attention. Smile a grand smile, have fun, and people will love you for it. But don't become a oversmiley moron either.
2. Breathe deep, relax your belly and chest and jaw without slouching. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head skyward, straightening your body. Pull your shoulders back and relax to open up your chest. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart (any less and you appear timid, any more and you look like a posturing dork). There are tons of differents ways to describe this, take your pick.
Ah, and the awkward hands that feel like pool noodles when you think about walking up to a girl(at least that was me:o ). The tendency is to close up, to put your hands in your pockets, or to cross them in front of you, or to nervously fiddle with something your holding while talking. Often, it is the most vulnerable feeling positions that look the most confident, so keep those hands at your sides and out of your pockets. Use them to make gestures, shake hands, give hugs, play thumb wars, or gently brush aside a strand of hair before your lean in and...ahem.
If this doesn't make sense, then "fake it until you make it." Ask yourself what you would do if you did know how to be charismatic, then do it until it becomes second nature. That is how I learned. ALSO, I can't believe I'm mentioning this last, WORK OUT, go to the gym and lift some weights, go out and run for a few miles, get yourself into your body. Now THAT is how I learned. I went from nerdy, gawky, and timid, to intelligent jock, and I would never go back. Working out makes strong body language NATURAL. Do it.
Know what? I'm just going to blow off the rest of what I was going to write, and I'm just going to say, "Go work out, now." Do it so you feel powerful afterwards, then your body language will reflect that. In every question that you asked, working out can be the answer.
Smile in whatever way feels most natural.
In my opinion, this forum is not the place for this kind of question. There are other forums and resources to use.
There's the pickup community, but its hard to find good sites anymore.
Fast Seduction 101: Art of Pick-up and Seduction ignore the banners, and go to the forum, search for "body language." If you have a question about attracting women, ask it there, its still the most active and useful "community" forum on the net. Thankfully, there is a ranking system too, so you can weed out less useful responses from guys who don't know what they're talking about.
Pickup Podcast - Got Game? free podcast, updated every week, basically clearing the air in the pickup community. These guys actually love women, and they're hilarious to boot. And they link to a ton of great sites.
Here's a site that is beyond good. But I miss the old URL, "Howtobecooler.com":D ,
How to have more social success | Free advice for guys on social skills, getting along with people, and getting your act together
Its so hard to sound like I'm not advertising...
As Truefire says, stevepavlina.com is not really the place.....
There could be hundreds of books written on the subject of attraction..... and conveniently there have been! (but most people are kept in the dark about it all...)
For some reason I feel compelled to point you in the right direction so...
...you can begin by reading "The Game" by Neil Strauss. This will give you an overview of what is possible and the PUA community.
Secondly you can read the Venusian Artists Handbook (VAH) which in my opinion is the single best material for covering the basics for how to attract beautiful women...Most of the products on the market are essentially rip-offs of the VAH.
Once you have basic knowledge you will probably have specific questions to fill in the blanks. For this there are forums designed especially e.g. The Mystery Method where people who have had massive success with women can give you advice.
Fast Seduction 101: Art of Pick-up and Seduction is the original forum but I've never used it- I don't like the layout- it's very messy.
p.s. sorry to end on a downer but realise that there is no magic bullet to make you amazing (although Savoy- CEO of the mystery method corporation- has just released an excellent book, ironically titled 'Magic Bullets')...when you first discover the community it is easy to think you're destined for a lot of sex straight away......and you might be! But if you're like everybody else it takes a very long time to master the techniques taught in the books I have recommended. In fact you will probably become worse with women initially as you unlearn your bad patterns of behaviour, but the girl who just left my room is proof enough to me that it's all worth it;)
I don't think that there is any one specific way that all charismatic people behave. Two people can behave very differently and be charismatic in their own ways. Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich suggests spending 30 minutes a day just envisioning the person you want to become. You could picture yourself charismatic and confident. Don't underestimate the power of your mind! It's capable of a lot and we really have no way of explaining it... its fascinating.
How curious, yesterday, I was in the bookstore reading a psychology magazine and they had an article about Charisma.
Their key point has already been mentioned here, but I'll put it in their context. The most important part about Charisma is to be a good listener. You need to be able to tell what emotional state the other person is in or is going through. Then you need to be able to tailor your reponses to help meet their needs or to find the commonality between you so that they know that you "get" them. Most people talk to fulfill their own needs, being charismatic is about paying attention to them rather than focusing solely on your own needs.
Open postures are postures that make a person more vulnerable. Usually they are more spread out and take up more space. Closed postures shrink the person and create barriers between the world and the person. When people cross their legs/arms, stand with their feet close together (as opposed to shoulder width), or with their hands in their pockets, they are communicating that they are insecure at that moment. They gain a feeling of security because there are extra barriers between them and the word to protect them. The fetal position is the epitome of this. Confident people don't need those extra layers of protection because they know they can handle the issues that might arise in their given situation.
When standing, keep your legs far enough apart to create a stable base. Stay balanced and don't lean more on one foot than the other. Stand straight up and stay relaxed. Truefire explained it well. When sitting in an unprofessional setting, take up space. Spread you legs apart rather than crossing them and control more of the space than you normally would.
Body language all stems from how you feel. The key to having confident body language is actually feeling confident. It's much easier to pretend you're confident than trying to master all the details of body language.
I recommend practicing confidence. Remember a scenario where you felt very confident and try to relive that feeling when you want to exhibit confident body language.
can you be popular, well-liked, admired if you're unatractive?
Firstly, I do accept myself. However, it is difficult for me to talk to people and hold a conversation with people, because I donít feel pretty enough and feel they think Iím not pretty. I feel like I can be really funny and cute if I wasnít so shy. And people tell me I have a great personality, well the ones that I am already somewhat good friends with already. I guess what Iím asking is how can I stop being soooooo shy? Iím 20 years old now, and Iíd really like to break out of this shell that Iíve created. The thing is I have acne, and acne scars which are very very noticeable. I KNOW that if I was prettier that I would have been really popular and had more confidence. I know thatís shallow of me, but since I am not very prettyÖhow can I talk to people and get to know them and let them know me? The thing is Iím in this science camp in college with 60 other kids, and a lot of the kids have already established good friendships within three days (itís a 7week program), but not me. Its even more difficult for me to talk to guys (Iím a girl). I guess what Iím asking is because Iím not attractive, how can I have a great personality, not be shy, and be able to hold a decent conversation with people Iím meeting??? How should I carry myself? I feel inadequate when everyone else in the group is good looking and not me. SERIOUSLY THOUGH, I know I have to grow upÖI mean Iím friggen 20 years old already, and I still donít feel confident when talking to people!!!!!! Another thing is how do I start new conversations with people? I mean what else can you ask besides the weather???????????????? Also, can you be well liked if youíre unattractive???
Last question: How do I make the acne go away???? I eat a lot of junk food, and I KNOW that contributes to a lot of the acneÖbut I just canít stop!! Someone needs to throw a rock in my eye!!
Acne can be really tough for girls, way more so than guys who are less judged by their looks.
A part of me just wants to say accept yourself more, but really...that doesn't make the acne go away. I know some people who talked with their doctors and got an anti-acne medication/pill that cleared up their face up after everything else failed. It's great to say you accept yourself, but when that acne clears up, oh man is it like a weight off your back.
It's not shallow to want to be liked and popular, that's natural.
You answered you're own question. You're in your head and in your "shell." If you did truly accept and love yourself, including your acne, it wouldn't be a problem. Granted, other people would be more accepting if you had clean skin, but you shouldn't let that stop you. Instead of looking at your negative self perceptions, change it up, start complimenting yourself(this works better for girls than guys), Tell yourself you've got a nice ass, even if you don't think it looks that nice yet. Eventually you'll be wondering why you aren't giving your nice ass the attention it deserves by eating bags of chips and sitting on the couch.
Regular exercise, a proper diet and multivitamins go a long way. Exercise will help you tremendously, simply because it puts you into an amazing state. Vitamins keep the skin happy.
Everybody has a childhood, everybody has SOME friends, everybody has lived SOME kind of life. Therefore, everybody has some experience that they can relate to others. When you're talking with others, relax yourself and start really listening to them instead of trying to keep a dying conversation alive for the sake of your own ego. When you really hear what people say to you, your relevant memories will naturally bubble up, so talk about those. If the weather is sunny and great, say so! If its raining and crappy outside, joke about it. If you work in class rooms or in labs, sit near somebody, smile if you happen to catch their eyes, and say "Hi, hows it going?" Or "that test SUCKED" usually gets a knowing nod at the least.
There really is no magic bullet. As for you current situation, you've already isolated yourself(and you did it on purpose). You are stuck in a camp for 7 weeks. Instead of mulling around in your Shell of negative thoughts all day, just embrace the experience as a whole. Open up and feel the moment. If you aren't that skilled socially, so what? You'll just have to learn over time. A 7 week camp turns out to be a great way open up because you can get to know people over time and ease yourself into different groups. Just because people are making friends now, doesn't exclude you from those groups. Look for ways to have fun with others, and they'll naturally see you in a positive light. Feel the love!
If you haven't guessed yet, I used to be a shy, unhappy teen (with acne) who didn't know how to start a conversation! In fact is was so desperate I went looking online for help ;). Jeez another long post, go figure.
PS: For the record, acne scars aren't that unattractive on their own. Speaking as a young sexual guy, there can be hotties with acne scars. The scars diminish after a while, and to tell the truth its just not that big a deal as long as the girl takes care of herself. Hell, I don't even mind a breakout once in a while after I get to know the girl more. My secret friend crush(PU guys, read: oneitis) gets bad forehead zits during exams. Sexually speaking, its only really a turnoff for first impressions, after that its only a minor issue. Zits are tough. Thankfully there are tons of products on the market that deal with this too.
Also, as someone else suggested, shyness is about self-consciousness - if you focus on the other person instead of yourself then you shouldn't be shy and conversation will come naturally.
I strongly recommend Toastmasters, too. It's a great way to build confidence talking in a supportive atmosphere.
P.S. You seem to have a strong belief that you need to be attractive before you can talk to someone. This is (a) a limiting belief and (b) completely wrong.
P.P.S. Noone needs to throw a rock in your eye. Don't be so hard on yourself. Habits are hard things to break - that's what makes them habits.
Really Good Points
Interesting topic! I'll give my advice/opinion to LightTheCandle first and then to ArtVandelay second.
I've been severly shy all my life. When I was 13 I developed typical teenage acne. But it never went away; instead, it turned into adult acne which is a totally different animal. I'm 27 now and trying to break away from the shyness and acne, and trying to develop charisma to talk to people while feeling at ease.
My advice: Try involving yourself with work that forces you to interact with other people.
My first job out of college was working as a programmer. As a programmer I only had to interface with a few people, and it suited me just fine. But I wanted to overcome my shyness, so when a position for a business analyst became available, I took it. Business analysts have to deal with a lot more people. It was a very tough thing for me to do but little by little I became more comfortable working and talking with other people. I'm now in consulting where I have to deal with even more people, and I also volunteer, whenever I can, to give presentations at work. Doing these things - forcing myself to interact with people - has made me a lot less shy. But I'm not fully cured yet - social gatherings are still hard for me to deal with. But I've made a lot of progress. However, having acne makes this very difficult to do. All I can say is just DO it. Forget that you have acne. Try to look and act nice and professional; people will get past your looks.
One interesting thing, that just now popped into my head... I mentioned that I've been shy all my life... When I was in elementary school I remember my mom told me that even though I was just being shy, other people didn't always see it that way. She said that other people might see it as me being rude. Indeed my mom was right; my best friend in high school once said that when we were in elementary school I had an attitude that seemed like I was 'too good' to talk or be friends with anyone. That couldn't have been any farther from the truth! I was just to shy! So even though you don't talk to people because you're shy, other people may not see it that way.
If you talk with a dermatologist you will probably be prescribed antibiotics. If you talk with an endocrinologist they'll take a look at your horomones, as they have a lot to do with acne in adults.
Now to Art's question...
My advice: let the other person do the talking.
I've learned that people really like to talk. Therefore, in conversations I try to ask open-ended questions. I'm at the age now where a lot of the people I know are raising children. A great question I ask is if you have children. Oh, you do? How many? How old? Are they in school yet? I also live in an area where there are a lot of foreigners and transplants, so I'll ask if you're from the area. You're not? How long have you lived here? Where did you come from?
People would rather talk about their own goings ons than listen to you talk about yours. So I just ask questions and listen. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with charisma but it helps the other person feel at ease and creates great conversation.
Well, that's my two cents - I hope that helps! :)
Great replies everyone, and I'm glad someone else is getting helped as well :).
I would like to ask, though, if anybody knows anything more about body language? Does anyone know a really good site on it? Everything I could find was pretty basic.
Here is an excellent article on charisma:
JDA - Finding Gold
The author, Michael Lovas, focuses on three major keys to developing charisma - your emotional state, your focus and how you listen. I think he synthesises many of the very good points made in this thread.
I'd say start with your hands in your pockets if you have a habit of crossing them. then after you've gotten your arms uncrossed,
work on using your hands to gesture, and getting them out of your pockets, not like like a wild person or anything.
where the charisma sneaks is is being positive, caring, eye contact and then touch your audience/person you are talking to from time to time. I think it's the touch that does it. It redirects the attention of the person to your conversation, and honest, not enough people touch any more. as a result we feel disconnected.
the big thing is the hug, don't pat people on the back when hugging.
give a good warm hug and release. "the pat" is like toe tapping wanting something to be over.
pats on the back reserve them for a job well done:)
do not wear glasses where folks can't see your eyes. my glasses, you can always see my eyes.
if you do, take them off when conversing. it lets people know you're interested and value the time you are spending with that person, even a stranger at the bookstore or equestrian center.
it is about being witty. make smart funny comments about whatever situation is going around. be observant and make relevant comments to conversations that actually mean something, that are not just part of the 'small talk'. and look people in the eyes when you speak to them and when you are listening to them so they know you care and are paying attention to them.
Check out Attracting People it has heaps of information on attracting men, women, dating and the right body language for attracting people.
ArtVandelay, I think I've replied to you before and made a similar compliment on your allusion to Seinfeld, but I love that show. Anyway, everybody here seems to be giving advice on how to make improvements externally: smile more, confident body language, being interested in the people you're talking to, exc..
All good stuff no doubt, but changing inner beliefs can really make huge long term differences. I've never been very adept at visualizing so I maily use affirmations and conversational reframing. Conversational reframing is an awesome way to change beliefs, because you literally argue with it and test it in a variety of ways. If you do this daily I guarentee you will make some noticable improvements in your interactions with others, as well as internal confidence. I've been using a book called Mind Lines. I highly recommend it.
ArtVandelay, thanks for the great topic!
I would encourage you to investigate local Toastmaster's (TM) Clubs in your area. They are public speaking groups which anyone can join to develop the qualities that you may aspire to develop. People can get over fears and complexes as well. The whole philosophy behind Toastmaster's is "praise, improvement, praise" (PIP). This means peers will encourage you to develop yourself in positive ways and draw your attention to behaviors you can work on. You can typically be a guest at a club for a handful of meetings with no financial obligation or requirement speak aloud if you don't wish to. Some members even just attend meetings from long epriods just listening and watching others. The cost to join as a member has benefits you can find out about based on your interest.
Guests and members are given opportunities to learn how to be less self-conscious and to build their confidence which can spread into otehr areas of life outside TM.
IIRC you're fairly young (as am I - 27), so I may not be the ideal person to advise you, but in my experience attracting people has fundamentally come down to being happy with myself. Honestly, people can smell self-loathing a mile off and it's extremely off-putting. If you're reasonably happy with yourself, positive, and interested in other people and their interests, the rest will follow.
Easier said than done, I know. However, if you approach people, men and women alike, looking to find what is interesting and special about them rather than just trying to pick up, I can't see how you can go wrong. It's worked for me - several loving partnerships and a close and affection circle of friends, male and female.
Theres a lot less to charisma than one may think before hey thought it was a gif from god now we know were just highly eolved animals, so do as the leader of the group in animals world be the alpha male
doesnt mean jerk just no *****
The answer, I believe, lies in self-confidence. I know perhaps you're looking for a specific solution, but the truth is, as has been already answered in this forum, that "charisma" comes from within. Be friendly, express interest in others, smile, work on your physical appearance, work on your spiritual and mental development, exercise. One thing in particular might not be effective, but when you decide to develop in every way possible, you'll see how others will be attracted to you. A good tip is to act in a confident manner and always carry a positive attitude. You may feel silly at first, but the physical act of expressing confidence (by standing up straight, smiling, speaking assertively, etc.) has been proven to actually create self-confidence.
Great advice people, keep it coming.
- Does listening to upbeat music before meeting with people help make you more charismatic?
- I notice people touch each-other a lot when they communicate. I don't do this at all. Is there a way or place where I can learn how to do thisówhat's appropriate, what's charismatic, etc.
- Is there a good internet guide to body language somewhere? I don't want to read someone's body language (well, it would be interesting, but it's not what I'm looking for), but I'd like to know how to never look awkward, have charismatic body language, and I guess attract people.
- Where do you put your hands when you're standing? Having them dangle by my sides seems kind of odd. I remember something about showing your palms being attractive/charismatic, but that always looks kind of awkward.
Found a great blog just now.
Approach Anxiety » Blog Archive » Develop Magnetism: Get Comfortable Being Seen
Great article, mainly geared toward community guys but very relevant I think.
Best way to be thought of as a good person: Have a good time.
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