Charm is one of those mysterious words in the English language that is easy to see and to feel, but hard to put into words. If you were to ask 10 people how to be charming, you will likely get 10 different definitions.
To accurately define charm, you almost need one of those words in another language that is synonymous with some obscure yet super-relatable idea.
Like “Shemomedjamo”, which in Georgian means “I accidentally ate the whole thing” or perhaps “cafune”, which in Brazilian Portuguese means “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.” (see here for more of those, promise me you’ll come back 😉 )
Damn, that’s suave!
Anyways, so what is charm, and how do you do it?
To help answer the question of how to be charming, I reached out to some of the world’s top experts on the subject, and here is what they had to say.
Caroline Brealey- Mutual Attraction
Charm is effortless. It is being able to make someone feel special not through ‘buying’ their affections but by being genuinely kind, loving and thoughtful. For me someone has charm when they are humble, lack pretence and will always make whoever they are with feel valued. Having charm is not about putting on a show or trying to impress by doing things such as opening the door for a lady, as lovely as that is. Having charm is more about genuinely wanting to help someone and not for your own gain. To add more charm to your life ask yourself the question “what can I do to make this person feel special today?”
Caroline is an award winning London matchmaker at Mutual Attraction. She trains matchmakers through the Matchmaker Academy and can often be found convincing people that love can work across different London tube zones.
Kevin Alexander- Nice Guy Dating
When it comes to explaining charm, I love to use to the game of chess as an example.
Chess is a classic game most guys confuse with being about war, strategy, and technique. On the surface, I agree.
Sarah Jones- Introverted Alpha
Justin Stenstrom- Elite Man Magazine
Charm is the ability to please. When someone is described as charming, that person has the ability to please others. Now, this ability or skill, is not something that only few people have or can possess. No, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Just like any other skill in life, charm can certainly be worked on, practiced, and ultimately perfected.
So if you’re not very charming with women, or with your co-workers, or with new people you meet, don’t fret. Practice socializing more and put yourself into more situations that call for social interaction. Remember, the more you do something, the better you will get at it.
A few really quick and easy things to do right now to make yourself more charming is to start smiling more, joke around, be sarcastic, and comically exaggerate things when applicable. As a society, we’ve gotten collectively more serious over the past few years. Everyone seems to be frowning and afraid to let their guard down. By being someone who is light-hearted and able to let their watch down you’ll stick out from the rest of the pack. If you can joke around, laugh, and smile, you’ll be the most charming man around!
Justin Stenstrom is a nationally acclaimed life coach, author, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the founder of EliteManMagazine.com,the author of the book Giving Shy Guys Game, and the host of the Elite Man Podcast on iTunes.
Charm is the ability to make others feel comfortable in our presence. For those rare individuals who inherently possess this quality, we call it charisma.
If you’re not naturally charming, don’t worry. It’s a social skill that can be learned and mastered. Just like any other skill, typing or a foreign language, practice improves our confidence and proficiency.
The key to charm is warmth. Genuine warmth and real interest in others is the way to attract people to you. Especially women. Authenticity is the essential principle. Disregard the myths you’ve learned about male behavior; the ‘forced confidence’ of the player, or slick pick-up lines of a seasoned gamer. That’s all façade. It’s a pushy form of flash. Charm trumps flash because it’s magnetic.
Next time you’re out, try this: Be alert and attentive to what women are saying. Really listen. Be open, and be warm. Put aside the need to impress and relax into the position of allowing. You’ll draw far more positive attention to yourself from this approach, than by rattling off your accomplishments. No one wants to listen to your monologue. But everyone feels good when they’re telling you theirs.
As seen on OPRAH, best-selling author/relationship expert Susan Winter (Allowing Magnificence and Older Women/Younger Men) specializes in evolutionary forms of loving partnership and higher thinking. She writes, speaks and coaches on accessing our inherent perfection in life and love. Media credits include: THE TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ABC/CBS/NBC EVENING NEWS, CNN, BBC NEWS 5, COSMO, HARPERS BAZAAR, PEOPLE, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, THE LONDON TIMES, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE HUFFINGTON POST, and THE GOOD MEN PROJECT. In radio Susan is a frequent guest on NPR, ABC, PLAYBOY NETWORK (Sirius Radio), and CBS News Radio. www.susanwinter.net
Hunt Ethridge- LiveDatingAdvice.com
“I just want to meet a charming guy!” Have you ever said that or heard that? Soooo oddly ambiguous. What is it to be charming? Does “charm” work across the board or is it different for each person? If you don’t know how to define it, it’s difficult to work on it. So what is charm?
Let me tell you what charm is NOT. Perfection is not charming. The Taj Mahal is AWEsome, it is not charming. What IS charming is that quaint B&B you went to last year. It wasn’t overwhelming, it wasn’t new and fancy and it definitely wasn’t in-your-face. For humans, charming is understated, charming has quirks and is proud of those quirks, charming is immediately making you feel comfortable.
How does one become charming? Have a good sense of self, both the good and bad, and be okay with both. It takes a lot of confidence to show your flaws. It is being polite and mannerful while still having a mischievous twinkle in your eye. And it can be something a bit anachronistic. A brand new jean jacket is cool. An old vintage Guess jacket is charming. It makes people happy, comfortable and nostalgic. Make her an actual mixed CD. Charming! Pull back her chair with a tongue-in-cheek bow. Charming! Kiss her on the lips, then on the hand at the end of the date. You don’t ask her to come home with you but tell her how you’ll be counting down the hours ‘till you see her again.
“OMG Stacey, so how was he?”
**Sigh** “He was just so charming…”
Hunt Ethridge is CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of LiveDatingAdvice.com, co-founder and senior partner at International Dating Coach Association (IDCA) as well as the senior coach at New York Dating Coach. To read more of Hunt’s articles, check him out at www.HuntForAdvice.com
Kyle Ingham- Distilled Man
Sure, those things may help you feel charming. But the truth is, charm isn’t about you at all. It’s about how you make other people feel.
Simply put, charm is when you make people around you feel good.
When you brighten their day. You make them feel special. You make them forget their worries, their fears…and feel happy…or silly…or sexy…
It might sound challenging, but sometimes all it takes is giving someone your undivided attention. Focusing on them for just a moment.
Of course, this is why people who are charming rarely seem to lack confidence. Do they have worries and insecurities just like everyone else? Of course! But they’ve built the habit putting other people first. They’re so busy focusing on other people, that they don’t have time to worry about themselves.
So, to recap, if you want to become more charming, it takes just 2 simple steps:
Step 1: Stop worrying about being charming, and forget about yourself.
Step 2: Focus on brightening someone else’s day.
If you can master those steps, you’ll never worry about being charming again. It will just become second nature.
Kyle Ingham is the founder of The Distilled Man, an online community that helps everyday guys become better men. Click here to get a free copy of his ebook, “48-Hour Gentleman: Your One-Weekend Plan to More Confidence, Poise, and Manly Know-How.”
Claudia Cox- Textweapon
Charm is making someone feel like they are the most special person you have ever met – every time you meet them.
Someone who is charming communicates with other people within their own comfort zone. Have you ever seen someone who is super loud carrying on a conversation with someone who is quiet as a mouse? It looks uncomfortable (and sometimes it even is, with jabs to the ribs). To be instantly more charming, try mirroring your partner’s body language, tone and choice of words – it’s a subtle tweak, but it will put them at ease.
The second aspect of a charming person is their positivity. They exude a positive energy that is infectious. Charming people look happy, sound happy, and even have a “happy vocabulary”. They mesmerize you into feeling an urge to be positive yourself, and give you the impression that YOU are the reason they are so happy.
Claudia is the creator of Text Weapon, and the author of French Seduction Made Easy. She is passionate about modern communication and loves helping people improve their relationships through creative texting. To read more by Claudia, visit Text Weapon . Don’t forget to signup for the FREE Texting Club trial with over 300 messages. You can also hit her up on Twitter
I believe that charm is an ability to make someone feel entirely comfortable and at ease in your presence, even when it’s the first time you have met. Charming people have a fantastic knack for ensuring whoever they are interacting with has their attention, curiosity and interest, even if they are in a heavily social environment where they might be conversing with many people. Charm is also largely about energy – even a simple smile without words can exude charm but it’s the warmth, confidence, assurance and energy behinds it that draws people in.
Charming people tend to harness their inner confidence. They’re not usually overly excitable or overpowering but more calm, collected and invested in their conversations and interactions. There is also an element of playfulness about charm.
To improve your charm, this starts with simply getting out as much as possible and talking to people. Have conversations and practice listening to notice those hooks that lead to going beyond small talk. Be positively curious about people. Always keep eye contact, smile and work on your body language so that you display confidence. It can also help to think of someone who represents charm to you and look at what they do and how you can incorporate this into your interactions.
The key is to practice. Go to as many socials, events or networking groups where you can practice ‘working a room’. Charm is something that can absolutely be built with lots of practice until it becomes an integrated and authentic part of who you are.
Laura Yates is a dating and lifestyle coach, writer and speaker who specialises in helping people see the better side of break-ups. Laura’s work has been featured on Eharmony, the Daily Mail, FHM and The Metro UK. Laura can be found at http://www.laurayates.org/, on Twitter @laurayatesUK and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
Saskia Nelson- Saturday Night’s Alright
For me, charm is when someone has a natural charisma that means they come across as confident and comfortable in their own skin. What I like about them is that they have a real knack for making everyone they come into contact with feel good about themselves. They are excellent at connecting with people, are easy to talk to and put others at ease within minutes.
My top tip to become more charming is to focus all your attention on the person you’re with, ask questions, listen attentively and make them feel special in the way you interact with them – as though they are the most important person in the room. The more genuine you are while doing this, the better, of course. This may not come naturally – the majority of people focus on themselves instead of others – so practice every time you are out meeting new people. Make the decision that you are going to make the other person feel good about themselves and do what it takes to make that happen. The more you get into the habit of doing this, the easier it becomes.
Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s coolest dating photography business, specialising in creating dating photos that kick ass and win dates for 100s of single people. She is also the co-founder of Irresistible Dating.
To sum it all up, we have some some great definitions there. Each one different, but each one relating to charm in its own unique way.
Though no two definitions were the same, there were a few common themes among them. Some of them being:
- be comfortable yourself
- allow others to feel comfortable in your presence
- bring positive energy
Note that these concepts don’t have anything to do with having the “perfect thing to say” all the time, being the most outgoing one in the group, or being the star of the show.
You’ll know you charmed someone when their eyes tell you that they are fully appreciating the present moment that both of you have created for each other.
Now if someone could just invent one of those long, crazy words to describe that scenario, we’d be all set.
Have any more charming tips to add? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Comment below with your best stuff!