16 Secrets of Naturally Charming People

Updated: Sep. 27, 2019

Some people are always the life of the party. You can’t get enough of them and they’re a pleasure to be around. What makes them makes them so likable and irresistible? Find out some of their shared traits.

friends looking at tablet together

They’re good listeners

Charmers immerse and focus themselves in what the other person is saying. They aren’t busy thinking of a rebuttal or a response. They don’t interrupt people while they’re speaking, try to dominate the conversation, or tell stories to brag about themselves. They don’t use a conversation as an opportunity to give a lecture or unsolicited advice. Instead, they make people feel like they’ve been heard and focus on what they’re saying. “Everyone loves to talk about themselves,” says Mike Goldstein, founder and lead dating coach of EZ Dating Coach. “Ask the people you meet to do so.” Brush up on your listening skills with these 9 ways to become a better listener.

group listening to woman speaking

They speak well

They take their time to think about each sentence, avoiding any unnecessary fillers that will make them unclear. This way, everything they say has a purpose and objective. These good communicators speak confidently, precisely, and deliberately. “If you ramble on or go off track, you’re more likely to lose someone,” says Cherie Burbach, relationship expert and author. “But sharing a few genuine, clearly spoken words will leave an impact.” And being direct, concise, and succinct makes them come across as more friendly. These simple tips can help you be more articulate.

woman seeking advice from friend

They ask for advice

When people ask for your advice, it shows that they value your opinion and sincerely want to know and trust what you think. (And people typically love to talk, especially if it relates to themselves.) They hold your knowledge in high regard. Asking someone to share their area of expertise helps boost their confidence and will help them think of you more favorably, Goldstein says.

women smiling

They’re authentic and genuine

People who are genuine seem more trustworthy. No one likes a fake or a phony. “With phonies, you feel played instead of being treated like a unique, special human being,” says Burbach. You don’t want to have to waste time trying to figure out someone’s hidden agenda. If you’re likable, you’re comfortable in your own skin and know what makes you happy. And that makes you more interesting and appealing to people. “When we come across someone who is authentic with their words and intentions, it stands out,” says Burbach. “People can tell when you’re not being real, and it’s annoying.” Here are the subtle habits that make people trust you.

people reading and on phone

They ditch their phones

Likely nothing is more of a turn-off than when someone sends a quick text or even glances at their phone while you’re chatting. “In order to really make a positive impact on someone, you have to not only put your phone away, you have to pretend you don’t have it,” says Burbach. You feel like they care more about their device than their conversation with you. “The signal you send when you constantly check your phone when you’re spending time with someone is that the person on the other end (on the screen) is more important,” says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing). “People quickly pick up on it when the person they’re spending time with isn’t present or engaged. It’s not a good feeling for the person on the receiving end!” When someone is charismatic, he makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the world and uses the chat as an opportunity to learn about you, not to bury his head in his phone.

businessmen talking

They use your name in conversations

Who doesn’t like to hear the sound of their name? A charismatic person remembers people’s names and greets them with it. It shows that you made enough of an impression that someone made the effort and time to remember your name. “Your name is one of the most important words in your life, and it has a highly powerful and positive emotional charge,” says Stacey Laura Lloyd, a health and relationships writer. “When you hear your name in the course of a conversation, it grabs your attention, indicates that whatever is about to follow is important and boosts your self-esteem while simultaneously generating and fortifying trust between you and the speaker.” They’ll add in some small and personal details—sometimes to a surprising degree—and information that they recall, too. It helps make us feel better and prouder about ourselves, and in turn, increases their likability. Once you say their name, use these conversation starters that make you instantly interesting.

woman talking to friend

They don’t name-drop

They may remember names but they don’t squeeze in the name of celebrity they just met into every conversation. Sure, they may know people who are high profile, but they don’t talk about it. And that makes them even more likable. “They don’t need to use anyone else’s names to substantiate their worth because they bring enough value that they don’t need anyone else to amplify them,” says Laurel House, a dating and empowerment coach on E!’s Famously Single. “They’re comfortable and confident enough to stand alone in their skin without being surrounded by the presence of the names of anyone else.”

friends raising a toast
iStock/Alexandra Iakovleva

They acknowledge others’ accomplishments

Who doesn’t want to be recognized and appreciated for something they did that they’re proud about? Notice these good doings and you’ll be sure to be remembered favorably and positively. “It’s a basic human need for each of us to be seen, heard and valued,” says Syrtash. “People who engage others instinctively know this.” A charming person doesn’t have to be the only one shining, says House. “Because when they let you shine, you shine some of your light on them.” Just be sure to do so in a way that doesn’t come across as insincere, superficial, or phony. Otherwise, you won’t be trusted and it could hurt and damage your relationship. Here’s how to make sure your compliments sound genuine.

Couple having coffee

They pick up on nonverbal cues

Nonverbal cues are just as important as verbal ones to people who are charismatic. “They understand that nonverbal cues often convey far more meaning than merely the spoken word, and they’re highly aware of the pitch, tone, volume, and body language of others,” says Lloyd. When you’re in an intense conversation, they often copy the other’s nonverbal cues like smiling or making good eye contact. “Charming people apply their knowledge of nonverbal communication to help clarify and emphasize what they’re saying in order to further engage others in the dialogue,” says Lloyd. By mimicking and paying attention to the speaker’s body language, the other person feels more comfortable and better about herself. Here’s how to use body language to build trust.

People looking at a computer together

They let someone know they believe in them

Even the most successful people have likely had to overcome some adversity to get to where they are today. These people remember those who had faith in them and encouraged them to rise above any challenge in their way. They offer praise in a way that’s genuine without being excessive, says Lloyd. When someone shows that they have faith in another person, it makes them feel good about themselves and gives them the confidence to do better. Here are more science-backed ways to boost your confidence.

Friends by a campfire on a beach

They look for common interests

We all have a shared interest or two if we dig deep enough. Once you identify that shared interest, you’ll have a stronger connection. Mutual interests provide an avenue and outlet for people to express what they love, Goldstein says. They help conversations flow in a positive direction. Finding common ground also shows that you care about them because you’re interested in what’s important to them, he says.

friends chatting

They don’t focus on themselves

People who are likable don’t spend too much time obsessing about themselves. They don’t worry how well they’re liked. Instead, they focus on those around them, Syrtash says. In conversations, they ask a lot of questions, including ones that are open-ended to draw the other person out. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, try these 30 little things you can do to feel instantly more confident.

waiter serving food to couple

They treat everyone respectfully

Whether they’re interacting with the waiter taking their dinner order or their biggest client, charming people realize that everyone should be treated with the same kindness. “Everyone deserves respect, and if you see someone disrespect another person, you won’t walk away with a positive opinion of them, no matter what they’ve said to you,” says Burbach. Charismatic people don’t feel that they’re better than or above anyone else. In fact, being disrespectful to wait staff is one of 14 common behaviors that immediately make you look like a jerk.

friends in lively conversation

They skip the small talk

The key to using small talk correctly is to not get stuck in it, says Burbach. “Small talk should serve as an opener that allows you to find out more about a person so you can get to more meaty subjects,” she says. What kind of impression do you leave if all you talk about is the weather? That’s no way to create and build an emotional connection with someone. “Small talk is forgettable,” says House. “Conversations of depth are memorable.” Charming people form a bond in even the shortest and most basic of conversations. They show a genuine interest in you that enables them to relate to you and ask deep questions right off the bat. “If someone walked up to you and went deep into conversation without knowing you, it may put you off,” says Burbach. “But if they opened with small talk and then quickly transitioned to a topic that you could both enjoy discussing, this would make you feel connected on more than just a superficial level.” Try one of these magic phrases that can save an awkward conversation.

Friends laughing
iStock/Todor Tsvetkov

They don’t mind looking a bit silly

“The number-one most attractive quality in both men and women is confidence,” says Goldstein. “If you can dance like no one is watching, you’ll highlight your confidence, help others unwind, make others feel comfortable and show the world that you’re fun.” So, they’re at ease with putting their guard down occasionally. They’re OK with being a source of laughter for others and themselves. And people respect them more, not less, for that. People laugh with them, not at them.

coworkers viewing screen together

They’re consistent

When you’re all over the place and people have no idea what they’re dealing with, you might not be very likable. People reliably know what kind of response to expect from someone who is charismatic. So even if you’re in a bad mood, it doesn’t change how you treat people. “Be yourself,” says Goldstein. “People will be drawn to your consistency and feel comfortable knowing where you stand all the time.” You have a basic and sound idea of who you really are. Check out the 14 signs you’re a charismatic person.