When you meet someone for the first time, you notice a lot of things about them. Some of these things might be the way they look, their mannerisms, and how they speak, while others have more to do with how their carry themselves, the energy they seem to have, and how comfortable they are with themselves; they’re intangible. Charisma, humour, and confidence are all some of these less-tangible things. There are some things all charismatic people do to impress someone they first meet that you’ll definitely pick up on, even if you’re not consciously thinking about what it is that makes them so charming. There’s just something about them that makes other people want to talk to them and get to know them better.
So how do they draw you in? Several experts tell how it’s done.
1. They Have A Clear Presence
The presence that charismatic people have draw others in, there’s no doubt about it. “Presence really embodies both the verbal and nonverbal communication of someone in an integrated fashion,” Dr. Risa Ryger, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, tells. “You may not even be able to put your finger on it, but there’s something about how they conduct themselves, their energy, that there’s this kind of almost field around them that just seems to energize the air around them.” From how they stand to how they look and speak, and even the vibes they give off, there’s just something about them.
2. They Keep Eye Contact
Eye contact is important and can make you seem more charismatic, but there’s a fine line between being creepy and being genuine, Bianca L. Rodriguez, MA, Ed.M, LMFT, tells. Eye contact can show people that you’re paying attention and actually care about what it is that they’re saying. Everyone wants to feel like what they’re saying matters.
3. They’re Focused & Attentive
Charismatic people pay attention to the person they’re talking to and what they’re saying. They don’t just focus on how they’re going to respond or who they’re going to meet next. “A lot of people feel like, when you first initially meet someone, they just kind of talk about themselves and they’re not listening to what you have to say, but somebody who’s got that charm is really kind of presenting like, ‘I want to hear what you have to say. What you have to say is important and I’m listening,'” Colette Lopane-Capella, M.A., LMHC, LPC, a reiki practitioner and psychotherapist, says.
4. They’re Curious
Charismatic people are genuinely curious, they don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions. Rodriguez says that people who come across as charismatic are interested in people and what makes them tick, even if they’re not natural extroverts or find meeting new people to be a lot of work. “They’re innately curious about other people,” she adds. Ryger says that people will recognize if you’re faking authenticity, however, so make sure it really is genuine.
5. They’re Comfortable With Themselves
“If you can’t sit with yourself, you really can’t sit with other people in a really authentic and genuine way and when you’re really able to be with yourself and tolerate all of your different feelings and emotions, you can also hold that space for other people and really connect with people in a deeper way,” Rodriguez says. “Because I feel like that’s really what charismatic people do; they can make fun of themselves, they can talk about where they’ve screwed up in life, and I think that’s really disarming for other people, so they feel kind of like drawn to this person because it’s like, ‘they’re not going to judge me, they’re up they’re talking about how much they’ve screwed up in their life or what their struggles have been.’”
If you have charisma, you’re authentically yourself and fine with showing others that person.
6. They Have Intention
People who are driven and inspired can often come across as charismatic. “One thing that ties them all together, is they seem inspired in some way,” Rodriguez says. “They’re innately inspired by whatever their own project is or whatever their own purpose is. There’s some energy behind them of like purposefulness, I always feel like, and I think so many people are longing for that and that’s part of what makes them so attractive.” They may or may not be likable, but they’re charismatic all the same.
7. They Smile
Lopane-Capella says that smiling can add to one’s charisma and charm because it can make you appear more approachable. Most people don’t like to be told to smile, but there’s little doubt that it can be attractive and make you seem super friendly and approachable.
8. They’re Polite & Complimentary
“Charismatic people know how to compliment and what sets them apart from someone else is their compliments have the element of surprise, they’re honest, and they’re sincere,” Greene says. “So for example, if you’re always complimented because you have the best silky straight gorgeous dark brown hair and if you hear one more compliment about your hair, it’s like, who cares, but if I say to you, ‘I’m so impressed that you’re not afraid to show your vulnerability,’ and you’ll go, ‘wow, she really noticed me and she really paid attention.’ So that’s someone who really knows how to compliment.”
It’s always nice to be paid a genuine, respectful comment, but it’s more memorable and more impressive when it’s not a stale compliment that they’ve heard one hundred times before.
9. They’re Humble
Humility can be magnetic and draw people to you. Lopane-Capella says that gratitude and humility are innate characteristics of people who are naturally charming. It can also make you more relatable, which Rodriguez says is key for people with charisma.
10. They Use Humour
Both Lopane-Capella and Greene noted that humour is factor in charisma, as well. It helps you connect with other people, which, after all, is what charisma — and even just simply communicating with other people — is all about.