“Pursuing your passions makes you more interesting, and interesting people are enchanting.” – Guy Kawasaki –
When I think of charisma, I think of people who have a presence. You know, those people who walk into a room and captivate everyone when they speak. It’s an experience being around charismatic people, and they have the ability to sway our opinions. A 2003 study examined the relationship between charisma and trustworthiness, as well as the ability to influence the attitudes and opinions of others.
In this study, participants were asked to rate the charisma of a hypothetical leader based on a set of personality traits and behaviors. The study found that individuals who were perceived as more charismatic were also rated as more trustworthy by the participants.
Additionally, these individuals were found to be more effective at influencing the attitudes and opinions of others. This suggests that charisma may play an important role in establishing trust and credibility with others, which in turn can increase one’s ability to influence them.
While the study focused on a hypothetical scenario, the findings suggest that charisma can have important implications for interpersonal communication. While it may seem that some individuals are blessed with ample amounts of personal charm, many behavioral scientists hold firm that it is a learned behavior.
Charisma essentially boils down to your emotional approachability and your ability to motivate . Charismatic people have a way of managing their nerves and being confident. They believe that they are supposed to be a part of the interactions they’re in, and they don’t put too much pressure on themselves or the outcome of the situation.
Everything you’ve been learning in this article so far has been preparing you for this. That’s right! You are ready for this. In social situations, try to focus on enjoying the moment; that way, your natural charm will shine through. As we had a lot of tips in previous chapters, you can expect that in this chapter we’ll discuss different tips and approaches too.
Simply select the tips and approaches that you feel will work the best for you. We might think that charm is about saying the right things, having a cool catchphrase, or dazzling others with our bright insights. In reality, we don’t need to be entertainers or politicians to be charismatic. Charisma, like every human being, is a beautifully unique thing. We only need to listen, be curious, and be warm and open for our natural charm to shine through.
Becoming an Interesting Person
In the last paragraph, we spoke about how our storytelling skills can be improved to make us sound more interesting. While it is true that a good storyteller can make brewing a cup of coffee into an exciting tale, we need to be proactive and cultivate habits that add value to our lives.
All too often, we find ourselves stuck in the rut of going to work, coming home, and binge-watching series or playing video games. There’s nothing wrong with living a simple life, but we are not exposing ourselves to new experiences when we become so entrenched in our habits.
Much like a vehicle that is stuck in the mud, our value-detracting habits prevent us from seeing new places and doing new things. There’s comfort in familiarity. What I am suggesting is that when you feel ready to take your communication skills to the next level, spice things up in your life by applying these tips. Your social life will thank you.
Reading is probably the only way people can install new software in their brains. It is an amazing pastime that enriches our lives by opening the door to fictional worlds and fascinating theories. Many popular films, series, and games were originally books, so reading is still a very relevant pastime in our world of snappy dance videos and quirky photo filters. As an added bonus, reading can enhance our concentration skills, plus it is a great stress reliever.
Starting a reading habit is not complicated. Simply find a book in the genre that you love, and books you wouldn’t normally read, as well. Don’t like books? Try reading news articles, magazines, comics, or manga.
When we start looking, we’ll find many things to read! If you’re an avid gamer try reading the in-game lore instead of clicking hastily past it to continue slaying monsters. When you developed your reading habit, you will found that the more you read the more curious you will became about the world around me. Perhaps you’ll experience the same.
Switch Things Up
Another way to make life more interesting is to vary your routine. While there may be comfort in familiarity, it is important to break the monotony of daily life. It makes for great conversations!
You don’t have to do anything crazy but embrace doing things just because you feel like it. You’ll never know what experiences you are going to have! I remember going for a walk with my dogs by the river when I saw an eagle feeding peacefully on a branch. The eagle was devouring a fish, and I was so close I could see its talons dig into the branch. Watching that eagle feed was a magical moment that I would have missed if I stuck to my routine of work, home, and sleep!
Not only is volunteering a great way to make our lives more interesting, but it is beneficial for everyone involved. In exchange for helping other people and communities, we gain unique experiences that help make our lives interesting. In the laws of alchemy, according to popular television tropes, that’s equivalent to exchange!
Embrace Different Views
Change can be scary, so here’s an actionable tip most of us can try right now. Whenever we try something new and get that all-too-familiar knot in our stomachs, try to step through it. While small talk is an important first step to getting a conversation started, it is not enough to sustain a conversation, and it certainly won’t deliver new viewpoints to us. After everything we’ve learned in this article so far, you come too far to take the easy way out. So instead of asking the same old questions regarding someone’s work or personal life, try asking them what’s on their bucket list or the weirdest thing they’ve eaten. Give your questions a fresh approach. Who knows? The answers to your questions might lead to new insights. In the next chapter, we’ll look at ways to deepen the conversation.
There are many ways we can be proactive and create interesting lives for ourselves. In doing so we’ll have more to talk about and generate more opportunities to create conversations with interesting people. Sure, we may need to overcome some value-detracting habits, but if we take it one step at a time, it can be done.
Nurture Conversational Intelligence
Another aspect of becoming interesting, charismatic, and likable is our conversational intelligence. All too often people may find themselves trapped in a conversation that they do not enjoy. The person they are conversing with might be under the impression that they are charming and interesting, even if the other person thinks otherwise.
Now imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and we are the ones blissfully unaware of our lacking conversational intelligence. That would make it difficult to connect with people, that’s for sure. It can take some discipline, practice, and self-awareness to stop treating conversations as a monologue, but there is one thing we can do to prevent this: don’t assume.
People tend to make assumptions, but these are dangerous things to make as they often leave us in trouble. Whether we assume we know what others think, or that the meaning of our words is clear, assumptions can lead us down the path of alienation if we’re not careful.
When we leave our assumptions at the door, ask questions, and show genuine interest in the conversation, we develop conversational intelligence. This skill can be defined as our ability to understand others and have conversations with them, and how these conversations influence those around us. Everything you’ve learned so far is geared toward developing conversational intelligence, so don’t sweat it. Keep practicing and you’ll do great.
Overcoming the “Boring” Trap
Although many people try to be interesting, there are still many individuals who are considered boring despite their best efforts. A study led by a researcher from the University of Essex aimed to identify the most stereotypical boring jobs, hobbies, and characteristics, and investigated the negative impact of being perceived as boring. The study results showed that accounting, tax/insurance, cleaning, banking, sleeping, religion, watching TV, observing animals, and doing math were considered the most boring jobs and hobbies.
Meanwhile, stereotypical bores were described as having no interests, no sense of humor, being unopinionated, or being a bit of a complainer. Moreover, the study revealed that being perceived as boring had substantially negative interpersonal consequences, affecting perceptions of warmth and competence, and resulting in social avoidance.
From the study results, we can draw a conclusion that a lack of fun definitely contributes to the perception of being boring. The big question now is, how can we avoid being labeled as uninteresting people? These tips should help:
- Communication is more about fun. Think about it as a game. Enjoy yourself. Laugh at yourself. Be relaxed, open, warm, and playful.
- You can select and change hobbies and traits you share with others and how you describe them.
- Try different conversation starters that get people thinking. Ask people what the best part of their week was, what motivates them to get up in the morning, or if they have any passions they are pursuing at the moment. These questions will draw out emotions and can result in the most unique and memorable conversations.