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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

3 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Be the Most Likable Person in a Room

Some people are beautiful. Others are rich. Still others are powerful or wear an aura of success. A final group, though, may have none of these obvious draws and still be, well, irresistible.

You’ve no doubt met someone like this. For no obvious reason you can immediately discern they draw your attention, win your admiration, and always seem at ease in social situations. But even if the charisma of these magically irresistible people seems initially mysterious, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn their secrets and gain some of their special power.

That’s the contention of a thought-provoking recent post on the Good Men Project, outlining the key behaviors of irresistibly likable people (presumably these work for women, too). “Being irresistible isn’t the result of dumb luck,” writes Travis Bradberry, so you should “study the habits of irresistible people so that you can use them to your benefit.” He offers a long list of these behaviors, including:

1. Upgrade the Golden Rule

What’s better than that classic guide to decency, the Golden Rule? How about the Platinum Rule, which Bradberry says the truly irresistible among us follow.

“The Golden Rule—treat others as you want to be treated—has a fatal flaw: It assumes that all people want to be treated the same way. It ignores that people are motivated by vastly different things. One person loves public recognition, while another loathes being the center of attention. The Platinum Rule—treat others as they want to be treated—corrects that flaw. Irresistible people are great at reading other people, and they adjust their behavior and style to make others feel comfortable,” he explains.

2. Ditch Small Talk

The truly engaging don’t chat about the weather and the traffic on their way in to the meeting. They manage to steer conversations to topics that are actually meaningful and interesting. “There’s no surer way to prevent an emotional connection from forming during a conversation than by sticking to small talk. When you robotically approach people with small talk, this puts their brains on autopilot and prevents them from having any real affinity for you. Irresistible people create connection and find depth even in short, everyday conversations,” Bradberry notes.

How do they manage this? Bradberry is vague on details, but suggests those with intense charisma use their emotional intelligence to think of truly engaging questions and really listen to the answers. Other experts have offered more specific (if slightly intimidating) advice for breaking out of the small talk prison.

3. Know What’s Fact and What’s Opinion

If you’re going to venture off the beaten path of sports-and-weather-related small talk, you’re going to need to be able to handle opposing opinions and strong feelings. Truly irresistible people manage this by knowing the limits of their knowledge and respecting that others are equally entitled to their opinions.

“Whether discussing global warming, politics, vaccine schedules, or GMO foods, irresistible people recognize that many people who are just as intelligent as they are see things differently,” Bradberry writes. Not doing this is a mistake even the smartest people in the room commonly make.

Check out the complete post for eight more tips, or for a very different take on similar themes, learn the secrets of incredible charm from a former undercover FBI agent.

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