Why You Need to be Charming


Some people are naturally charming.

We are naturally drawn to people who are polite and make us feel important. Being charming is a nice trait to have in both our personal and business life.

My dad was charming. You always felt important in his presence; he would smile, touch your arm, or give you a hug if appropriate. One thing about him, he invariably made eye contact with this huge smile on his face. His smile made his eyes light up.

Smiling with your eyes, or “smizing” is called the “Duchenne smile.” This is named after the French physician Guillaume Duchenne, who studied the physiology of facial expressions in the nineteenth century. The Duchenne is considered a “real smile.”

A child in my kindergarten class once told me a smile was when the corners of your mouth touch your eyes.” She may have been right.

It’s said that learning how to give a ‘real smile’ will change your life! It sends a warm and friendly greeting to the other person. I haven’t done any research, but a Duchenne smile takes practice. The key is to get your eye muscles to be involved! Check on YouTube to see how to deliver that ‘real smile.’

I don’t want you to think that being charming is a “fake state of mind.” On some level, we all want to be liked and can build rapport. I have a next-door neighbor who is always saying that ‘no one likes her.’ She never talks to anyone, unless they talk to her and is suspicious of why they don’t invite her to their parties. One of the keys to being liked is showing people that you really enjoy them. In my neighborhood, all she would have to do is say hello!

Some people a “genuinely like other people and know how to show it.” If you’re not comfortable building rapport, here are 7 tips for you.

Greet people as if they’re famous! I love this. It means you’re glad to see them. If you have a friend who suggested you meet, that’s even better. This can just make the meeting more fun.

Assume that people like you. I have found this to be very useful. Instead of looking for cues, why not just approach them and show them you’re interested? Even if it’s a conversation about the weather, start talking and see where it goes. Don’t forget that smile!

Show them you’re interested in them. If it’s a business meeting, and you know who will be there, go on social media and find out about them. Linked In can certainly give you information about their business profile and Facebook or Instagram will tell you more about their personal interests.

Be vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to share personal information about yourself. Being vulnerable always brings down one’s guard and makes people feel closer. I don’t mean sharing information on your business; I’m talking about something that’s happened in your personal life. For more information on being vulnerable, just click the link.

Be yourself. There’s the face we wear for business (what we want people to think about us) and the ‘real us.’ Don’t be afraid to share some of the ‘feeling you’ if you want to start to build a long-term friendship.

Can you pass the waiter test? If you want to know what someone is really like, have dinner with them. How do they treat people when they think someone is beneath them? To they have the same manners. Do you remember your manners? You know, the manners your mother taught you. No one gets a pass on being rude to the  server.

Be great with names. I will do a seminar and sometimes there are hundreds of people; I try my best to remember their names. I’ve found taking pictures with them, and then tagging them on social media really helps. I look for them on LinkedIn and Google. I think learning people’s names is really an art. 

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