5 Mind Hacks to be More Charismatic
Hello, socially awkward penguins! Here are a few tips and techniques (backed by science!) to help you survive social interactions in this world today. These are small everyday things you can do to help you be more comfortable in social situations. Remember: You are more in control of it than you think. We have all been there, so don’t dwell on the awkward and embarrassing moments. As cheesy as it might sound, we need these uncomfortable situations to learn and grow from.
ON CREATING THE MOOD
I’m sure we all know That One Person who can liven up the room just with their presence. In the same way, we all feel a little uneasy when That One Person is in a bad mood. They are called “mood makers” for a reason.
It’s because of the Emotional Contagion phenomenon where people can pick up and be influenced by others’ emotions. So when you have to approach someone new (or when you finally get the courage to approach your crush), be confident and make yourself comfortable. One ridiculously easy way to do that is to listen to upbeat music. Create a playlist of your favorite hype songs to jumpstart your day or any activity with a great mood.
ON TALKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE
If you have nothing nice to say then maybe, you’re not nice at all? The Spontaneous Trait Transference phenomenon states that people will associate the words you use to describe others with you. Just like how The Happiness Project’s author Gretchen Rubin puts it:
"Whatever you say about other people influences how people see you."
So learn how to be kind and give others a (genuine) compliment. Others will relate those traits or words to you as well.
ON BREAKING THE BAD NEWS TO SOMEONE
We can’t always sing praises about others. Sometimes, we have to be the one to break the bad news to someone else. It never gets easy (ask any doctor), but you can always soften the blow.
The Gain-Loss Theory of Interpersonal Attraction suggests that people would not only like you better if you say something that criticizes them, but they would be more receptive if your comments went from negative to positive instead of positive to negative.
Think of it this way. Imagine that these two statements came from two different people. Which person do you like better?
Same thought but it registers differently, does it?
ON ASKING FAVORS
People like feeling useful. So there are times when you can simply go up to someone to ask for a favor, and it will work! But there might be times when you’ll need some… negotiation skills. Here is where the Door-in-the-Face technique and the Foot-in-the-Door technique comes in.
How about asking for a big favor first? Of course, they’ll turn it down, but then you can ask for a smaller request (aka what you really wanted in the first place) and seeing it as a compromise, they will more or less agree. That is the Door-in-the-Face technique.
On the other hand, the Foot-in-the-Door technique starts with small favors then builds up to bigger favors in the long run. It works by getting a small “yes” at first before building up to a bigger “yes.”
But what if you’re just around people who are bad at making decisions? What you can do is to simply present them with two options (that are both acceptable to you) and have them pick! Most people have a hard time suggesting or choosing an option that isn’t provided, so they tend to choose only one from two.
ON MAKING MISTAKES
Don’t sweat it! According to the Pratfall effect, you will become more likeable when you show your vulnerable side every now and then. No one is perfect, after all.
So if you’re feeling stressed from all these social expectations and activities, just chill and keep calm. Mistakes are something we can all learn from, anyway.