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Can you learn to be more charismatic? Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards thinks so.

Vanessa’s 5 secrets to charisma:

1. Embrace imperfections.
2. Don’t be a conversational Narcissist.
3. Gush, don’t Gossip.
4. Use your hand.
5. Gaze deeply (in a not-too-creepy way, of course)

Should you work on being charismatic?

If you want to get ahead in the world, have healthier relationships with the people in your life including your family, your kids, partners, co-workers, clients, and others you interact with, the answer is yes.

If you’re socially awkward, you may try too hard. Instead of listening to what is being said, you may be busy thinking up a response… scanning your memory for the perfect anecdote, question, or story to follow up when the other person pauses. In trying to make an impression, you aren’t listening.

Get over social anxiety

The discomfort of feeling like you nothing in common with the people in a room is fine. More important than trying to appear interesting, is to be interested. If you try to suck up and be disingenuous, others will be able to tell. Ask questions that genuinely interest you and show enthusiasm physically.

Habits of good listeners

Besides the fact that others appreciate them and find them charismatic, good listeners have other likable qualities:

  • They remember what you tell them. The next time you see them, they’ll ask “How was Hawaii?” because they remember from your last conversation that you were heading there.
  • They never make it about them. You don’t get a lot of “I did that too” and other one-upmanships.
  • Good listeners ask good questions, and you feel like it’s not just for the sake of saying something.
  • They put away their phones and if they have to take a call or text, apologize and explain why they had to take it.
  • They don’t correct dumb things like syntax, correct pronunciations, etc.
  • Good listeners show empathy, and of course…
  • Have good body language.

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