What makes someone charismatic?
If I put you on the spot to answer, I bet you'd give me some uncharismatically rambling, incomplete answer.
And this indefinite aura around the word charisma, and people "blessed" by it, is partly what gives it its mythical quality.
So becoming slightly less uncharismatic starts with having a solid idea of what "being charismatic" entails.
Here are what Cabane says are the three components of charisma, along with quick tips on how to pretend like you have them.
As Cabane puts it, "Don’t try to impress people. Let them impress you, and they will love you for it.”
To me, the hottest tip Cabane had for warming yourself up to someone you're not so cool with is this:
Find three things you like about anyone you meet.
If you paid attention to the previous Consider This on listening, you're already on your way with this one.
On top of actively listening, being present involves common sense stuff you've heard before: no distracting phones, keeping eye contact, not fidgeting, etc.
You've probably also heard that mirroring others' body position projects presence. But what I didn't know is that it works even if that person knows you're doing it, so there's no excuse not to.
This has got to be the most difficult to project of the three charisma components.
As a first step, try minimizing what makes you look powerless:
Discomfort—physical and mental.
To reduce mental discomfort, one of many suggestions Cabane has is to:
For example, rather than think, "You wimp. You're feeling anxious again." Label the feeling and depersonalize it by thinking, "The feeling of anxiety is hitting me again." Then destigmatize it by thinking of people you admire and how they must have experienced the same at some point in their lives, too.
Not fully convinced that these little tips will transform you into a present, warm, and powerful beacon of charisma?
For one, they're a lot easier to write about than to actually do. That's why Cabane didn't break the Charisma Myth for me.
But she did convince me that I'm not a total lost cause. So I'm trying some of her charisma training exercises.
If you're willing to try, too, consider checking out my extended recap of The Charisma Myth for more tips like:
- Why you should blame your parents
- How to pack a charisma cocaine boost in your back pocket