Have you ever been in that situation, where your mental faculties seem to abandon you at important social events? Do you sometimes shy away from great networking opportunities, because instead of summoning your wittiest remarks, your lips get glued together and you freeze?
As an introvert who succeeded in the PR industry, now turned entrepreneur, I’ve had to combat social fears every day to survive and thrive. While it was tiring in the beginning, experience has taught me a new approach to connecting with people. Charisma is inherent in all of us, if we are brave enough to let it be seen. Every person is fascinating, and no matter how famous, successful or well-read people are, you always know more about SOMETHING than they do. That’s humanity!
Meeting a charismatic person is like a breath of fresh air. It takes courage and confidence to voice thoughts and opinions – energetically and authentically.
You CAN take complete command over social situations. Being charismatic allows you to reach more people, win more opportunities and enjoy truer friendships. Here’s how you can turn that charisma ‘on’!
1) Know who you are
First thing you need to do right NOW is: learn to introduce yourself- in two lines. Make it fun and engaging, while keeping it real. This is obviously the first thing people want to know from you – who are you? And if you don’t captivate them in the first 30 seconds, especially if you’re dealing with important/famous personalities, it is hard to move ahead. This is something most people miss out on. We know very well that we’ll find ourselves in situations where we need to introduce ourselves, but how many of us actually have a unique two-liner ready? Time to go to work on this! It isn’t only your job title. Let a streak of your personality show!
2) Stay Authentic
The fewer masks you wear, the more attractive you are. Let yourself be seen, with your quirks, flaws, wins and everything. Don’t be afraid to fearlessly state your opinions. What did you think of the new book or movie the group is discussing? They may all rant about how awesome it was, but if you didn’t enjoy it, say so! Elaborate truthfully on what synced and what didn’t. Share YOUR experience truthfully. Let your voice be heard. Because your opinions matter. You don’t have to nod along to everything that’s being said. In fact, excessive nodding, smiling and forced deference can be a turn-off.
Don’t hide your emotions. Is the drink great? Let your delight be seen. Did the news make you angry? Let your indignation be seen. Do your views differ? Let the ‘difference’ be seen. All emotions can be expressed in a civilized way. And they make your presence valuable.
3) Treat people like ‘friends’
Most of us are funny and engaging with our friends – people we know and are comfortable with. We can be the same way with strangers or acquaintances to build rapport. If you were in the same setting with your friends, what comments would you whisper, what jokes would you crack, how loudly would you laugh, how freely would you speak up? As long as it doesn’t involve offending another person, talk the same way with your new network! We don’t always have to approach ‘networking’ with work on mind. What if the person behind the title is a soul you can really bond with? Hear them out, and share your life stories with them. Reclaim the human touch.
4) Embody Ease and Confidence
Our mind and body constantly feed information to each other. A tense mind leads to tense body posture. And a tense body posture leads to a tense mind. They almost instantly mirror each other. So shift your body language – take a few deep breaths, go to the rest room and do some jumps, loosen your limbs, or got to a yoga class before your networking event. The more free-flowing your bodily energy, the more free-flowing your mental energy, and you automatically grow charismatic!
5) Play music that relaxes you
Before attending the event, play some music that gets you in game mood. Sing along, if you wish. Tap your feet. Laugh out loud. Whistle. Even dance! This is a proven neuroscientific method to shift from social anxiety to relaxed charisma.
Like all things, socializing improves with practice.
7) Do the Inner-Work
Ultimately, confidence comes from within. Believe in yourself. Be the kind of person you would respect and adore. Cultivate high self-esteem. See beauty and perfection in the uneven journey of your life. And in the lives of others. Hold no grudges, but distance yourself from toxic relationships. Surround yourself with people who love and support you every day. Take care of your health and well-being. Do the things you love. Lead the life you love. And you will come to realize that what other people think of you doesn’t affect you as much. This alone is liberating and amps up your charisma a hundred fold – so you can be exactly who you are. Surround yourself with a positive environment – inspiring books, motivating videos, clutter-free and beautiful spaces. All of this contributes to a healthy, happy mind.
Here’s cheering you on to more friendships and fun!
By Sindhujaa Kumar