How to be Charming

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In the last article, I talked about what Charisma is and how you can go about developing it.   Remember that there are two main elements to charismatic individuals:  Their inner-working personal beliefs, and subsequently, the Behavior that exudes as a direct the result of how they’re particularly wired.  You can read that article here:

Defining Charisma & Charm – How to develop each

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Charm is different than Charisma.   I touched upon this briefly in the last article. Certain people such as JFK were extremely charismatic as well as charming.  Other historical figures such as General Patton were charismatic leaders who were not thought of as “Charming” by any historical account.

What’s the difference?  What creates Charm?  These are answers I had to go and research for myself to learn and so I came to realize the consistencies and patterns of those individuals, so let’s get to it.

People who are charming have the ability to make other people feel good, even if it’s for a very short period.  The definition is really that simple, but then, if it’s so simple, why can’t everyone be charming?  Surely, someone is to read this article at some point and think, “I try hard to make others feel good.  They don’t appreciate it, nor do they see me as charming.”   (By the way, trying hard to be charming is part of the problem, but I’ll get to that later.)

The reason is that charm has to come from a cool confidence.  It’s funny but until about a few years ago, I didn’t even know the word con-man really stood for “Confidence Man.”   I had assumed it somehow equated to a “Fraud” or a “Swindle.”   I was amazed to learn that the “Con” in Con-man actually stood for “Confidence.”   The people who can dupe you so easily sometimes are better known as “Confidence-men.”   Interesting, don’t ya think?   You don’t have to rip people off to be charming.  The point is that confidence from a cool reserved demeanor is a prerequisite for having Charm.

Noteworthy examples of Charming Individuals:

. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

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Two of the most famous notable charming people in recent history are United States Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.  It’s not uncommon to hear reports of their “Charm” from random individuals recalling their encounters with these two Presidents.

Both Clinton and Obama possess that cool confidence and demeanor which is mandatory.  It’s an absolutely necessary ingredient one must possess before he/she can start making others feel good.

Once you have that baseline established, you can make people feel better about themselves, usually by giving compliments.  They don’t have to be cheesy compliments, but rather they can be appreciations for their work.  Even our current president Obama has this charm.  Obama and Bill Clinton don’t have anywhere close to the Charisma of JFK, but they do have the Charm factor.

It’s also the ability to relate to people.  Whether it’s lawyer or the farmer plowing the land, each one feels as though Clinton and Obama understand his situation to some degree.  This is also part of “Charm.”

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Barack Obama

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Bill Clinton has a fantastic memory and is able to recall names and faces of countless individuals he has come across.  This is part of his charm.  He is able to make people feel important, and those who have come to meet him personally, usually report what a charming man he is. If he can’t remember their name, he remembers the encounter which still has a significant impact on people’s emotions.

Individual like Dale Carnegie have written extensively about having the ability to make people feel good. “How to win friends & influence people” is a fine piece of writing that has stood the test of time.   I’ve read quite large chunks of the book and think that it is a fantastic piece of prose on creating rapport and improving rapport skills.  Yet, there is one area which Dale Carengie and his contemporaries failed to address: Social Value.

This single element of human-interpersonal relations is the most neglected factor by social psychologists, and self-help advisors such as Mr. Dale Carnegie.   Sometimes, people read these books in order to be able to become more attractive in the dating world.  It rarely ever works in gaining attraction because the mechanisms for human attraction require a different set of criteria than criteria for establishing rapport.  This is why men repeatedly fail to attract women even after reading works of Dale Carnegie and his contemporaries in the self-improvement business.  (It may be why you’re reading this article at this very moment.)

YES, to be charming, you’ll be served well to dish out compliments.  YES, it’s important that those compliments be sincere.  YES, these actions will make people feel good.

All of that is true, IF YOU HAVE PROPER SOCIAL VALUE. This is the piece of the puzzle that Dale Carnegie and his contemporaries missed.  People don’t always care for a barrage of compliments from those who have less social value. They LOVE compliments from those who have higher, or at least, equal social value. You may not meet Bill Clinton or Mr. Obama, but then, you may find yourself at a house party with a charming host.  Let’s examine that.

What made this party-host charming?  He made you feel good, important and welcomed in his house, but he did so from a place of non-needniess. In other words, he was not seeking your approval.  This is key.

Approval seeking compliments backfire where as non-approval seeking compliments charm.

A sincere non-needy compliment that is not fishing or seeking your approval from someone of respectable social value will charm you.  It’ll make you feel good, and accepted.  It’s a natural human trait to want to be accepted.  It’s almost hardwired in us from 100s of thousands of tribal living. No one likes being the outcast from the tribe.

Let’s remind ourselves that this charm is different than charisma.  So let’s revisit the party host who made you feel good, warm, and fuzzy.

-Did he galvanize you (or anyone else for that matter) to take action?   No.
-Was he inspirational or passionate?  Not necessarily.
-Did he have a strong sense of purpose?  Not necessarily.

The above are prerequisites for “Charisma” as I discussed in the previous article.   This particular host was charming.

What he had going for him was the fact that he came from a cool place of confidence. He has a “Cool” demeanor about him, and had recognizable social value.  Having established that, his compliments came across not as a vehicle to seek your approval but rather, as a sincere act of chivalry and generosity.

It made you feel chummy and cozy.  Hey, maybe it made you curl your toes and giggle.  Regardless, you left the encounter thinking, “Wow, Charming Fella.” It’s no different if Bill Clinton shook your hand and thanked sincerely for making the event and even cracked a joke for you to share.  You may hate his politics but you’ll probably still walk away thinking he was charming.

Again, a sincere “Thank you” coming  from someone of high social value carries weight and it has some meaning.  That same “Thank you” from someone of low social value will be very easily dismissed.  Simply put: As human beings, we love to be rewarded with approval from those whom we PERCEIVE to be of high stature.

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  • Including you in the Fun

As I mentioned already, the ability to be charming is to INCLUDE and incorporate people in the fun.  You’re enrolling them into the club.  In other words, you’re giving them acceptance.   It’s natural for all human beings to want to be “Accepted.”  Whether it’s high school kids, or the repulsive hipster, they all want to be accepted, at the very least by their peer group.  The Hipster may snob his nose at upstanding members of society, but he still wants to be accepted by his peers and fellow “hipster douchebags.”

It’s part of our natural instinct as humans.  Again, we’re evolutionary wired to survive in groups and tribes working together and being accepted to our tribe is important.  Let’s not get lost in evolutionary psychology please.

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  • Being Comfortable with oneself

If you want to be charming, you have to learn how to give other people the feeling of acceptance.  However, before you do that, you have to establish yourself as someone whose acceptance carries meaning! In order to establish that, you first have to be comfortable with yourself.  You can’t make others feel comfortable if you are not comfortable with yourself.  A compliment, regardless of how sincere, from a nervous, fidgety, insecure person will carry little meaning in teams of being charming or endearing.

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  • Optimism

Another ingredient in being charming is optimism.  Being a positive & a happy guy/girl goes a long way in setting up the platform to become charming.  Hence, you have to find a happy medium with yourself first.  It’s difficult to be charming when you’re stressed out or “Bummed out.”

The appearance of not taking things too seriously goes along way in establishing this attitude of charm.  Remember incidents when you were a kid when you did something stupid and your parents or teachers admonished you.  It may have been a case where you knew you did something dumb but it was done and over with.  Nothing you can do, and yet you got scolded anyway.

Then you may have had that uncle (or a teacher perhaps) who just laughed it off and made it seem like it was no big deal.  Hey, maybe he even said something like, “Man, you should have seen the stupid shit I did when I was your age.  Learn and move on.”

He was the charming uncle or teacher.  He made you feel good by establishing an attitude of positivity and making you two feel like you were on the same team: Two individuals who made stupid mistakes at a very particular age.  He was optimistic and he related to your experience and immaturity of that age.

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  • Dating application:

You too can apply this exact same dynamic to your personal encounters.  Let’s say you’re at a party talking to a girl you like, (Or say you’re a girl talking to a man you like), and you hear the other person confess to a dumb recent mistake.

Some people will overly sympathetic, and will want to probe & ask a 100 questions about the details.  Others will want to provide solutions immediately.  You can be charming by taking the path of the charming uncle.  You can discuss the issue briefly and then quickly share something dumb that you did, but not to TOP the other person’s story. (Topping others’ stories is a very repulsive quality.)  You share your mistake QUICKLY, and then say something to the tune of, “Man, we all make dumb mistakes at some point, but hey, guess we wouldn’t be who we are without them…”

If that sounds too cheesy, change it to what sounds natural coming out of your mouth.  You don’t have to use what I wrote verbatim.  It’s just so that you get the idea.

Socialites are many times charming individuals.  In some parts of the world, the aristocratic folk are taught and raised to be charming.  They’ve learned to make people feel good by saying the right things.

Coincidentally, this is one dynamic where you may find the Charismatic leader diametrically opposed to the “Charming & smiling” individual.  The Charismatic leader has a cause and a purpose that drives him.  Nothing will sway him otherwise.  If general Patton says, “We’re going to take that Hill/castle/bunker” then you better believe everyone will fall in line.  He is not going to be understanding of those who may not agree. He is not going to charm you by making you think that your disagreement matters a whole lot.

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The Cocky Charmer

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A good example of a super famous charming individual is Arnold Schwarzenegger.   I’d like to give you a broad spectrum of various charmers and Arnold is very different than Clinton or Obama.  You’ll notice this while watching Arnoold’s interviews.  A good example can be witnessed in the beginning of the 1975 documentary “Pumping Iron.”  We see Arnold go to a gym to start gearing up for a new competition.  You can see his charm right away, even in the way he tells the skinny guys working in the gym, “Hey, I am here to get big like you guys. Hahahah. ”

Yes, it’s very cocky and a little bit condescending, but on the same level, he is applying to what I talked about earlier:  He is getting everyone involved in the fun.  Despite his arrogance, he is making the skinny guys feel like they’re on board with the Arnold. He is (obviously) not complimenting  the Skinny dudes, but he is making them feel involved as though they’re part of the team.  This in, essence, is part of his charm.  A common misconception is that you have to be a sweet-understanding person and Arnold shatters that misconception.

The interesting thing is that if you live in Los Angeles, you’re going to inevitably hear a lot of anecdotal stories of personal encounters of everyday folk with celebrities.  We can all agree that one story from one individual does not present an accurate presentation of the person discussed.  However, you hear enough personal anecdotes from enough people and you’ll find consistency patterns a majority of the time.  I mention this because it directly applies to Arnold and his brand of charm.

The fascinating thing about Arnold is that he is NOT a charming individual with all people.  He turns it on and off.  If he believes that you have enough social-value to be important, he will be very charming, and if he deems you as a low-status person, he can be a complete unkind & cruel prick.  In some ways, you can make the case for him as the “Charming-asshole.”

He knows how to be charming and applies to get ahead in life, in order to get what he wants.  It’s a very intriguing character study.  He is definitely a hard worker and very driven, and he is a fascinating study of charm because he is charming despite being a supremely arrogant individual.

In another interview, I observed Arnold tell the interviewer, (Imagine his famous thick accent in your mind here)   “You know you could go work out all day long, everyday, you could lift weights, go hiking,  and no matter what, you’d never ever get sore…  You know why? Because bones don’t get sore. You’re so skinny.  Hahahahah”

OK, no one said he was a comedian!  These jokes are atrocious, but these terrible jokes are part of his charm, and despite being condescending, that interviewer will walk away thinking, “Man, he is a charming nice guy.”

It’s important to mention Arnold here for he proves that you don’t even have to be humble to be charming, nor do you even have to compliment people.  His charm is counter to the charm of someone like George Clooney.
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Clooney

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Clooney, as well as being charming, is also a charismatic as he has a cause that he will stand up & fight for.  Anecdotal stories about George Clooney are also consistent in Los Angeles: He is an extremely charming individual.  The difference is that Clooney’s charm is genuine.  Perhaps a better explanation would be:  Non-discriminatory.   He’ll be charming to an attractive woman, but he’ll also be charming to the disheveled guy working for minimum wage at a job he hates.   He’ll be just as friendly to a hotel clerk as he’ll be to a tycoon businessman.  For this reason, he is very well liked.

In direct stark contrast with Arnold, George Clooney uses a lot self-deprecating humor.  You’ll notice this works well for him because it enables people to be able to relate to him, and again, makes people feel as though he is just one of them.  It gives him a more human dimension.  I don’t think it’s contrived or planned out.  It’s his natural way of being just as Arnold is naturally arrogant.  Yet, they both can charm others.

Clooney’s charm stems from the fact that the disheveled bitter guy working for 6 dollars an hour will feel like the 3 minutes he spent with Clooney somehow made his life better.  This is the same experience that Obama would provide.    The same disheveled hapless individual would be probably be shunned by Arnold and treated like a peasant who shouldn’t have even looked him in the eye.  (Yes, I’ve come across both of these stories from various people in L.A.)

What’s the point of the Clooney vs. Schwarzenegger comparison?  It’s that you don’t even have to be genuine to be charming.  You can be charming when you choose to be when the moment is right for self-serving gains.  Is it cool? No.  Is it a fact of life? Yes. I suppose you could make a case that Arnold’s charm is also sincere towards the people he deems important.  If you can’t help him financially, politically or career wise, then he is very sincerely going to be very standoffish.   (PS.  I’ve never met either person, so all of this is based on numerous anecdotal stories of other people.)

However, let’s put that judgment aside.  Point of this article is to explore charm, and give you ideas on HOW YOU CAN BECOME MORE CHARMING IN YOUR INTERACTIONS.

You just have to make the feel like they’re part of the team, provided you have somewhat of a high-status yourself.  Again, no one wants to jump on board a sinking ship.

Whether it’s Presidents JFK, Clinton or Obama, or a movie-star like Clooney, or just a non-famous random individual, their charm arises from the fact they are able to make the people they come in contact with feel good.  They compliment people and give them acceptance.   On the other side, someone like Arnold is a bit condescending and arrogant, and still charms people.  One common element is that they are all people who are comfortable with themselves, positive, and enable to incorporate others in the fun.  In other words, they make other people feel like they’re on board the same team.

OK, I touched on a lot of different points in this article.  I’ll provide a summary so you can look into the specific elements of what behaviors a charming individual displays and what elements play an essential role  in creating a charming person.

RECAP.

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Charming individuals ARE:

  • Generally Happy
  • Comfortable with themselves.
  • Optimistic
  • Establish an easy going demeanor
  • Generally Higher Status
  • Relate to people and their issues

Complimenting other people:

  • Must be from non-approval seeking disposition.
  • Must be sincere
  • Must be not-needy.
  • Coming from higher social value.
  • Can’t be kissing their ass.

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Differences in Charming people as opposed to Charismatic people:

  • Don’t have to have a strong sense of purpose
  • Not necessarily passionate,
  • Not necessarily believing in any cause,
  • In some case, Are willing to say the right thing even if they don’t believe it.
  • Not necessary to be very passionate
  • Not necessary to have extreme sense of purpose or charismatic leadership qualities.

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Charming individuals make other people FEEL GOOD Through:

  • Make people feel good through compliments
  • Make people feel good through relating to their issues
  • Make people Feel good by granting others the feeling of acceptance.
  • Make people feel good by incorporating them into the team
  • Make people feel good by including them in the fun, as part of the In-crowd
  • Make people feel good by making them think that they are important

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Of course, in order to accomplish the above, you must have the necessary elements taken care of: Carrying yourself as a high-status person would, and being comfortable with yourself armed with a bit of social intelligence.  If you don’t have those basics, you’ll probably never be considered charming.  If you think you need help on the basic, a good place to start is my ebook or audio course.

When you have the basics down, you can utilize the above elements to create a more charming persona if that’s what you wish to do.

Cameron

PS.  The articles you just read will have profoundly improve your dating life!  Please realize it’s supporting material to what I discuss in my expanded work.  Get a copy of my 16 CD  Audio Course here:  Building Attraction with Women