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7 Signs You Are Charismatic Even Though You Don’t Feel You Are

7 Signs You Are Charismatic Even Though You Don’t Feel You Are

It’s unfortunate that many of us do not give ourselves the credit that we deserve. Yet, we recognize and commend others for their gifts. We automatically recognize charisma the moment it enters the room, but we don’t see the same in ourselves or notice our own gifts, charm and attractiveness.

However, it is so important to appreciate yourself. Only when you appreciate yourself fully can you come out of the shadows and step into your true self. If you embrace who you are and all you have, then you’ll have all you need. You might not be as gifted as everyone else or have charisma 24/7, but you are just as sufficient.

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Here are seven signs you are charismatic even though you don’t feel you are.

1. You have a genuine spark of life that rubs off on others.

Charismatic people exude joy and enthusiasm about life. Other people feel inclined to invite them in experiences they are having because they just make you feel good and happy. They are lively and genuinely upbeat. If you take obvious pleasure in experiences, that’s a good sign. “Honest signals” is a term that refers to nonverbal cues that social species like us use to fine-tune our communication. Studies show that what makes honest signals unique is how they impact the person you’re talking to. The more happy and upbeat you are, the more-so your conversation partner becomes, says Professor Alex Pentland – who led a research ream to measure charisma’s power. Basically, Pentland’s work shows us: if you’re happy, it rubs off on others.

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2. You believe in something powerfully, and share that belief with others.

Charismatic people believe in something so strongly that they just can’t keep silent about it. They share that belief with others. Their passion and conviction oozes right out and their energy shines through to others. If you believe in something passionately, and your conviction is consistent with your action, that passion will trigger powerful emotions in those around you and make them feel happy to join the cause. That’s another good sign, right? Even if it triggers emotions and influences only one person to follow, it’s still a sign of charisma. You stand out the most when you are championing a cause or belief your passionate about.

3. You are a great storyteller.

Charismatic people are great at telling stories. They have a way with words. Their voice, their inflection, their mannerisms, everything is pleasant and easy to listen to. Moreover, their humor, metaphor and symbolism entertains while also informing. If you love a good story and can express drama and intrigue in a captivating way that others around you want to hear more, then you have something special in you. Your ability to spin a yarn that many of those who happen to listen can relate to is powerful. It can deeply connect, attract and influence people’s actions. That’s definitely a sign of charisma.

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4. You are empathetic.

Charismatic people are genuinely empathetic. They care about others as much as they care about themselves, if not more. You can see, hear and feel their energy comes from a place of empathy and wanting to improve other people’s state. They focus their eyes, ears, and soul on you. They listen to your problems and want to help. It has been said that when Bill Clinton speaks to you, he makes you feel like you are the only person on the planet. If you make others feel special; if you make them feel safe; if you make them feel loved; if you make them feel heard – that is a good sign. People are drawn to, connect with and follow you because they get strong, positive emotions in your presence.

5. You speak your mind.

Charismatic people don’t let a conversation go silent because they held back what was on their mind out of petty fears like, “What if I say something that makes me look stupid?” Or, “What will this person think of me?” They speak their mind openly and confidently. They don’t seek validation from others. That’s how they manage to appear so natural and sure of themselves. If you are self-confident, assured and not afraid to say what’s on your mind or speak in front of people, that is a sign of charisma. You talk openly about things, but you also listen intently.

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6. You acknowledge discomfort or threat and process it calmly — inwardly.

Charismatic people stay calm even in uncomfortable or threatening situations. They don’t get really nervous, squirmy or start talking all agitated. They are comfortable being uncomfortable. Can you imagine James Bond being nervous? You can’t. Come on, he’s James Bond. How can he be nervous? But that does not mean he is not scared to death dodging bullets and jumping out of flying aircrafts. His heart beats faster and faster every time, but he doesn’t show it on his face, voice or body language. He is fully aware that he could die, but he doesn’t break down into a nervous fit. If you acknowledge discomfort or threat when you encounter it, and process it inwardly, while calmly working on a solution – that’s a positive sign. It inspires others to remain calm and follow your cool and collected lead through difficulties.

7. You take risks in being vulnerable.

Charismatic people are more willing than most others to take conversational risks. They often abandon conversational scripts about discussing the weather and instead go a level deeper. They reveal something personal – even quirks. Sharing their quirks with others actually enhances their appeal and charisma. It shows people they are real. They aren’t fake and predictable. If you often take risks in being vulnerable with people, it is a mark of strength not weakness. That is a defining characteristic of people with charisma. For example, Oprah laying bare everything from her troubled childhood to her weight battles on national TV comes to mind. Your strength shines through your cracks and your vulnerabilities.

Bottom line:

Charisma is within. We all have it. You really don’t have to be Marilyn Monroe, Oprah or Brad Pitt to attract people towards you. If you accept this premise, then the question is not: “How can I have charisma.” The question is:“What are some of the ways in which I can reach within, tap into my charisma, and bring more out of myself in order to connect with more people?”

Featured photo credit: Charles Roffey via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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