If you want to be the person whom everyone else adores, you just have to be a charmer. What is charm? It’s that special appeal some people exude. Even those who are not particularly attractive or sexy, but have loads of charm, seem to radiate something so special that others are drawn to them. Think Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer. How do they do it? Ladies Home Journal writer Margaret Renkl identified the five traits of charming people:
1. A Sense of Humor
More important than poise or social ease, being funny attracts people like magnets. Make someone laugh, and you’ll have an admirer. “Humor offers immense physiological and psychological benefits,” Dr. Steven M. Sultanoff, a California psychologist who is the past president of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor, explained to LHJ. “It reduces stress hormones, dulls physical pain and promotes social bonding.” Not all funny people are charming, but they are original and originality is a primary element of charm.
2. Insight and Passion
A charming person has a unique ability to be fully engaged in the moment. They tend to be highly intelligent, curious and creative. They are able to see disparate connections. They are filled with energy, life and exuberance–and these qualities are contagious. “People are attracted to Oprah partly because they trust her, but partly because they think some of her energy is going to rub off on them,” Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told LHJ. “Charming people make other people feel more alive.”
3. Effortless Social Grace
Your mother called it poise. A poised person knows exactly what to do and what to say in every social situation, no matter how awkward or strange. Such a person projects self-confidence, which makes others feel comfortable. It’s all about putting people at ease. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a master at this, whether she was enjoying a day on the beach or hosting a formal state dinner at the White House.
4. An Interest in Others
A charming person is a sparkling conversationalist. When a charming person asks another, “How are you?” she really wants to know the answer. “Fine” isn’t enough of a response. She asks about the other person’s life. How are the children doing? Is your sick mother getting better? There is sincere, not feigned, interest. A charming person listens intently to the answers, giving her full attention. She makes her acquaintance feel treasured.
5. Curiosity About the World
Being deeply curious about all things is a trait of charming people–from trying new foods to reading books to meeting people. They always want to know more, and that attitude is contagious in that it inspires in others a sensation of energy, deeper engagement and greater curiosity, Dr. Jamison explained to LHJ.