Answer this fill-in-the-blank item: The ability to be a fascinating and enchanting person who captures the attention of potential partners is…
(A) Purely a matter of genetics, either in your DNA or not
(B) A product of your childhood, set in stone (one way or another) by age 12
(C) A random gift from meddlesome and capricious romance fairies
(D) An attitude and skill set to be adopted and mastered
If you have ever said of yourself, “I’m just not an outgoing person” or “I might as well be invisible in social situations,” you probably picked A, B, or C. You believe that a lifetime of negative and disappointing experience is the result of who you are, not what you do. That mistaken idea has been reinforced so often—and so convincingly—that you think of yourself as irreversibly handicapped. Sadly, you no longer expect anything better.
On the other hand, if you suspect there’s something wrong with that fatalistic point of view—or if you’re just plain sick of leaving the party alone time after time—maybe you took a chance and chose option D: To be charming and attractive is an attitude and a skill you can learn like any other. You are ready to stop settling for mediocrity and take charge of your romantic future.
Here are four proven ways to turn self-defeating timidity into charisma. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these tools. Practiced to their full extent, they possess the power to transform all your relationships.
Be positive. There is nothing attractive about someone who is quick to criticize, condemn, and complain. An air of pessimism is a creepy fog that forms around you and warns others away. If you want to be the bright spot in the room, cultivate the ability to notice—and believe in—the positive potential in everyone.
Be genuinely interested. Most people ask only perfunctory questions in conversation with others, showing the minimum amount of polite interest. Often, they listen only long enough to think of what to say next. That’s not only socially inept, it’s a guaranteed romantic turn-off. To stand out from the crowd, develop a real desire to know more about the person you are with. Everyone has a story to tell. Make it your mission to care enough to hear it.
Be generous. In any relationship, you will get back what you are willing to give. It is within your power to help the one you are with feel important and worthwhile—a gift that will earn their undivided attention in return.
Be welcoming. Nothing is more engaging and attractive than a bright and genuine smile. It costs nothing and pays instant dividends. A smile can even spark self-confidence you didn’t feel until choosing to project it on purpose.
Be strong and secure. Self-confidence is contagious, and self-assurance is highly appealing. You’ll boost your odds of attracting a partner if you become convinced deep down that you have a lot to offer. Believe the best about yourself and your future—and others will believe along with you.
Magnetism isn’t the exclusive property of the romantically gifted. You can be charming and charismatic too—the moment you decide to do something about it.