In an era of mass communication and social media, charisma has become a rare commodity. How can you be more charismatic in this day and age? There are just as many ways to show personality nowadays that it is possible to thrive without having the “it factor.”
Being charismatic is a skill that is not easy to master. It takes time and effort. If you are looking for advice on how to be charismatic, the “how to be charismatic reddit” is a great place to start.
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There are three components to charisma, according to Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth: Presence, Power, and Warmth. Last week, we discussed the nature of genuine presence and how to cultivate it. Today, we’ll look at the second component: power.
People that are charismatic have a lot of influence. This does not, however, imply that they are the free world’s leader or the chairman of a multinational firm. Individuals who exude Power may be found in the most unlikely places. Cabane defines power as “being viewed as having the ability to influence or have control over others, whether via influence on or authority over others, vast sums of money, skill, intellect, pure physical might, or high social position.”
Possessing the ability to influence the environment around us. People in positions of power can get things done, or at least create the idea that they can. People are drawn to charismatic people like a magnet, and power lies at the heart of that magnetic pull. It’s a primordial arousal. Back when we were cavemen, our existence depended on getting along with the big canines at the top of the social structure, who could provide us with protection, food, and women. Our brains developed to pick up on body language and status signals that imply authority in order to help us find and grab onto such individuals.
Even though we left the savanna thousands of years ago, people are still attracted to individuals who have resources or seem to know how to get them. Our ability to access larger personal and professional prospects may no longer be dependent on our relationships with such individuals.
It’s critical to emphasize that in order to generate personal magnetism, each of the three components of charisma must be skillfully blended. You could be the most affable, attentive person in the room, but without Power, people will see you as a nice guy at best, and a desperate person at worst; it may seem harsh, but the value people place on your Presence and Warmth is largely determined by the amount of power they perceive you to have. Here’s a simple illustration. Which praise would you value more if you got it from both a coworker and the company’s CEO on a job presentation? If you’re like the majority of people, you’d choose the CEO because he wields authority.
Power, on the other hand, is a charisma killer in the lack of warmth and presence. A strong guy who lacks these balancing characteristics may seem important and impressive, but he will come off as distant, arrogant, and cold.
To create really electrifying charisma, the currents of Presence, Power, and Warmth must be harmoniously linked.
How to Boost Your Charismatic Ability
Body language, such as adopting this “Power Pose,” plays an important part in projecting power. A strong guy might seem cold and distant to others if he lacks warmth and presence (inset).
It may seem tough to increase your charismatic power; it may feel like applying for a job where you need experience to get hired, but in order to gain that experience, you must first have that job! Remember, charisma is about how other people see you, so you don’t need a million bucks or the Pope on rapid dial to be charismatic. You also don’t need to be able to “crush your foes, see them pushed before you, and hear their women grieve” to be able to “crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamenting of their women” (though those things can certainly help). To gain Conan-like power, all you have to do is give the appearance that you already have it. Make it up as you go along! People will detect your charismatic Power and welcome you into their circles of influence, which will increase your real-world power, making you feel and exhibit even more charismatic Power – setting off a virtuous cycle that leads to more and greater success.
Boosting the things individuals are programmed to focus on when attempting to detect someone’s degree of power is mostly about enhancing the things humans are wired to focus on when attempting to determine someone’s level of it: body language and look.
Here’s how to accomplish that, as well as a couple more tried-and-true Power-boosters:
Boost your self-assurance. The mind is where power originates. Others will sense your confidence and strength if you exude it. Self-assurance creates an enticing atmosphere that pulls others in and makes them want to learn more about you. Developing confidence is a topic for another article, but for now, remember that mastery is the key to confidence. Expertise, regardless of the talent or field of study, identifies you as a guy with resources and the determination to go into the most in-depth aspects of a topic. Having control over anything will transform the way you feel about yourself and how you conduct yourself.
Putting the remainder of these suggestions into action will likewise enhance your self-assurance.
Know a little bit about a lot of things. In addition to one area of expertise, you should try to learn as much as possible about a variety of disciplines. Intelligence is one of the most important indicators of a man’s ability to influence the world around him, and the more discussions you can comfortably join and contribute to, the brighter (and more well-liked) you will seem to others. How can you acquire a broad range of knowledge? Read, read, and read some more. Take advantage of every opportunity to read.
Improve your physical fitness. When people meet you, one of the first things they notice is your body form, if not the first thing they notice. A lean, powerful appearance conveys a message to other people’s minds about your strength and capacity to control and defend them. Fitness also communicates to others that you are self-disciplined and capable of tolerating discomfort in order to achieve a goal. This is most likely why men of average-to-husky build earn more than their slim and obese counterparts. One research indicated that “thin males earned $8,437 less than average-weight men,” according to The Wall Street Journal. However, they were continually rewarded for gaining weight, a pattern that ended only when they reached the obese threshold. In one research, individuals who weighed a hefty 207 pounds received the highest salary.
Dress for success. Clothing is one of our most powerful power indicators. We instantly think “authority” when we see a guy in a military uniform with a lot of ribbons on his chest and stars on his shoulders. You don’t have to wear Dress Blues, though, to get immediate respect from others. Numerous studies have shown that merely wearing high-status apparel has the ability to affect individuals. Cabane mentions one experiment in The Charisma Myth in which people tended to pursue a jaywalker sooner and more often if he was wearing a well-tailored suit rather than more schlumpy-looking apparel.
Dressing nicely may make you feel more strong and confident, in addition to helping others regard you as more powerful. You behave more forcefully when you feel more strong, and others see you as more powerful as a result. FTW for the virtuous charismatic cycle!
In a later article, Antonio will go into further detail regarding the physics and psychology of clothing’s impact on power and confidence, but you can start dressing better now. To seem more powerful, you don’t need to invest on luxury double-breasted pinstripe suits. Simply make a few little stylistic adjustments to demonstrate that you’ve got everything together. Wear a beautiful button-down shirt, khakis, and leather dress boots instead of a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. Put on a sport coat or jacket to expand and heighten your shoulders and give your shape a more manly look. Having your clothes modified by a tailor or seamstress is another easy (and affordable) option to enhance your look. You’ll be surprised at how much better (and more strong) you’ll appear in a dress shirt that isn’t too baggy or poofy, or in a suit that emphasizes your shoulders appropriately.
Finally, you could be thinking, “But someone as powerful as Mark Zuckerberg wears hoodies and sandals.” True, but his success is the exception rather than the norm, since it began in a dorm room rather than under the pressures of needing to impress and build relationships with others. Steve Jobs would be a better example. Today, we think of him as the classic iconoclast, his “uniform” consisting of jeans and a black turtleneck symbolizing his character. Steve Jobs wore pinstripe suits and even a bow tie before becoming the Apple wonder-worker of the late 1990s, when he was still striving to develop his business and convert people to his goods and ideas. You may be able to wear anything you want if you reach the peak of power. However, while you’re still attempting to earn power, dress as if you already have it.
Take up the role of the Big Gorilla. Body language is the second most powerful effect on other people’s perceptions of your strength, behind clothes. The quantity of space a person utilizes is one nonverbal indication that shows authority. Powerful individuals, as you may have guessed, take up more space than others. They behave like “Big Gorillas,” as Cabane characterizes them.
“Powerful individuals sit sideways on chairs, throw their arms over the back, or appropriate two seats by putting one arm over the back of an adjacent chair,” says Deborah Gruenfeld, an organizational behavioral professor. They sat down at the desk with their feet on the desk. They are seated at the desk.”
Look for methods to quietly increase the amount of space you take up to raise the degree of authority others consider you to have. Like Don Draper, drape your arm over the back of a chair, or instead of sitting behind your desk, sit comfortably on top of it when a coworker walks into your office to speak. Another advice Cabane has is to practice convincing others to step aside for you in a busy area using just your body language. Imagine that you’re a Big Gorilla, then enlarge your chest and stand tall. Begin strolling and see if people will move out of your way as you saunter in this commanding posture. This may seem strange and unpleasant at first, but it’s an excellent exercise for observing the effectiveness of body language. If you happen to run into someone, use the chance to express warmth and generosity by apologizing and making the other person feel at ease.
Assume a position of power. Using “Power Poses” is related to becoming the Big Gorilla. These are body positions that have been shown to successfully communicate authority. Arms akimbo, hands resting on the waist, is the most well-known Power Pose. This Power Pose is popular among superheroes.
Leaning back in your chair with your hands behind your head is another Power Pose:
Simply stand up, lean forward, and place your hands on the table in front of you if you want to project strength to people in the room during a conference. Authoritah in a flash!
Lifting your arms straight up in the air, as though you’ve just thrown the game-winning touchdown pass, is the last Power Pose. However, I’m not sure when you’d be able to adopt this stance into your normal life without seeming strange.
What’s fascinating about all of these varied stances is that they not only make you seem more powerful to others, but they also make you feel more powerful to yourself (and manly). According to studies, standing in a Power Pose for two minutes increases testosterone levels while decreasing cortisol levels, making you feel more confident and less worried. You behave more strong when you are more confident. Another virtuous circle with charm! They’re all over the place!
The usefulness of Power Poses is well explained in this TED presentation by Harvard professor Amy Cuddy:
Take command of your surroundings. When we’re comfortable in our surroundings, we feel more confident, at ease, and strong. We gain confidence through familiarity because it provides us a feeling of control. This is why companies often quarrel about where to hold discussions before they even begin. Each team is vying for the home-field advantage.
But how can you be acquainted with a room if you’ve never been in it before? Steve Cohen, a magician and author, recommends doing tiny things to get control of your environment quickly. When you sit down at a restaurant table, for example, rearrange the items on the table. Move a saltshaker or a glass of water. It may seem stupid, but doing so signals to your subconscious that you have some control over your surroundings (even if it’s just nominal), which makes you more confident and magnetic. In your daily tasks, look for modest yet courteous methods to take control of your environment. You may be surprised by the outcome.
Reduce the amount of time you speak and speak slowly. Powerful individuals don’t simply take up physical space; they also take up conversational space. Surprisingly, this does not imply that you should take up all of the speaking time. People in positions of power tend to talk less than those in lower positions. Powerful individuals raise the value of their communication by making their words rare. People pay attention when they talk. Use your speech to channel your inner Spartan by being a little less talkative and a little more laconic.
Silence is sometimes used by powerful individuals to take up space in conversations. Powerful individuals, unlike other people, aren’t frightened of “awkward” silence. They really like it. They realize that people will attempt uncomfortably to fill in the blanks. The other guy frequently gives up some strategic edge or important information during these periods of frantic conversation. This is why interrogators, job interviewers, and negotiators often use the silent treatment to get information about the other person’s weaknesses.
Slowly speaking is another approach to take up space in a discussion. Nervousness and worry are shown by speaking quickly. The wisdom, thoughtfulness, and composure that strong individuals exude may be conveyed by speaking slowly. “The underlying law of human nature is that strong people talk slowly and subordinate people speak rapidly – because if they don’t speak fast, nobody would listen to them,” observed legendary actor Michael Caine. You’d be shocked at how quickly you speak. Make an attempt to channel your inner Sam Elliott and slow down. It may seem that you’re speaking… much… too… slowly at first, but believe me when I say that you’ll sound perfectly normal, if not royal.
Boost your self-assurance. People in positions of power are composed. They exude poise, or a sense of elegance and serenity. They don’t nod excessively (a sign of submissiveness), fidget (a sign of anxiousness), or depend on verbal fillers such as um and uh. Act genuine in your next meeting with someone while remaining as motionless as possible. Nod occasionally to show you’re paying attention, but don’t become a bobblehead. Keep your hands motionless and your feet from tapping. Learn how to get rid of ums and uhs in this post.
How to Discover Your Inner Gorilla
I’m sure there are those of you who are thinking, “I’m not sure about this.” It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. “I found the piece on Presence to be more interesting.” I’m sure you did. It’s “good” to pay attention to others, and we’ve all been taught and encouraged to do so. We aren’t taught how to express ourselves or behave powerfully. In fact, we’re often encouraged to feel awful for wanting to.
Remember that being strong does not imply being a jerk; in order to be really magnetic, you must also build your Presence and Warmth. However, being pleasant is not the same as being charismatic; you may be liked, but you are not interesting, magnetic, or someone who draws others to you as soon as you enter the room. So, even if it doesn’t come easy to you at first, focus on growing your Power. I guarantee it will get better with time and practice.
Listen to my charm podcast with Olivia Fox Cabane:
Complete the Series
Presence is one of the three elements of charisma. Warmth is one of the three elements of charisma. A Charisma Case Study from the Tender Is the Night Podcast: Olivia Fox and the Myth of Charisma
“How to Be Charismatic” is a blog post that discusses how to be charismatic in high school. The author of the blog post, shares his experiences and gives tips on how to be charismatic.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get a charismatic personality?
A: There are many ways to achieve this. Some may choose to baby talk, while others might have an exciting and upbeat personality that can captivate a crowd with their charisma.
How can I be charming and charismatic?
A: There are a lot of things you can do to be more charming. One is to know what makes other people laugh, and use that in your interactions with them. Another one is by knowing the right times for humor, such as when someone has just had a big success or great accomplishment. Finally, try not being too serious all the time – even if youre having fun you should still crack jokes every now and then!
How do I know if I am charismatic?
A: You can tell if you are charismatic by how easily people trust and like you. Charismatic individuals tend to have a natural magnetism that leads other people to want to be around them, while non-charismatic individuals may need more effort in order to gain the same level of social support.
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