We’re in an age where we constantly hear, “Be yourself, don’t try to please anyone, if they don’t like you, whatever”. This has made many people forget the simple act of being charming and considerate of others.
When I first met my friend Kate, I instantly knew she’d be a friend to keep for life.
I had never met anyone who straightforwardly asked me, “So what’s your story?”. Was she really interested in my traumatic childhood and the subsequent years I have spent in therapy?
I felt special at that moment. Even when I decided to summarize my story and shift the attention back to Kate, she kept coming back to ask more questions about me. That’s what charming people do.
But being charming isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about what you don’t do. Here are things charming people never do.
1. Compromise on courtesy
Research shows that a remarkable number of people rarely say thank you.
When I was little, I was brought up to mind my Ps and Qs. Maybe little kids are the only ones still saying thank you.
The pleases and thank yous have gotten lesser and lesser as people no longer bother about forms of courtesy, but charming people do not compromise on it.
I struggle to remember when Kate forgot to say thank you for an act of kindness. Sometimes it might even be something other people consider insignificant, but she will still say thank you.
Related: 4 Habits Of Highly Attractive People
2. Not pay attention when someone is speaking to them
The human attention span has decreased in recent years, and we now have the attention span of a goldfish, according to research. This is precisely why it is essential to at least try to pay attention when interacting with other people.
Studies show that the average user picks up their phone about 1,500 times a week. I dare say most of the time, we might be interacting with others, but it does not stop us from scrolling mindlessly on social media.
I traveled to Tanzania with Kate last year, and we had the most fantastic time. I often took out my phone when we were in the middle of a conversation, and she would say, “I think we should just be in the moment and put our phones away for a while”.
Not only did she show me to pay attention to the moment, but she also said it in a non-judgemental way.
3. Try to be the center of attention
It takes someone confident and secure in themselves to know that they don’t have to always be at the center of attention to be relevant. Other people are just as important and need to be seen and heard.
Charming people do not act like they are the center of attention or try to redirect conversations to themselves. They are genuinely interested in others, so rather than change the topic of discussion from someone to themselves, they will ask more questions to let others speak.
Just like Kate.
With people like these, you leave their presence feeling validated.
Interesting: 6 Qualities of People Who Are Highly Likable
4. Judging others/gossiping
I remember when Kate and I were conversing, and we mentioned another friend. I had not heard from that friend in a while, but Kate knew that a lot was going on with that friend, and she also knew it was not in her place to tell me. She simply said, “I think we should wait for her to talk to you”.
I looked at my friend with more respect because I knew that other people would have taken the opportunity to gossip and judge.
Kate did not do that.
Sometimes we judge and gossip about others with the excuse that the truth must come out, but most times, it’s just out of jealousy.
This is something charming people do not do.
5. Ignore other’s messages
Call me old school, but I still believe in responding to messages promptly. Being respectful is still cool, and I’m all for it.
Intentionally neglecting to respond to text messages or emails is disrespectful because it shows a lack of regard for the sender. Even if you are busy, you can reply with the assurance of getting back to them later.
If you have some messages you have not responded to yet, better late than never. Reply now.
You might say, “Oh, I don’t like this person”. Well, you don’t have to like people to be respectful of them.
6. Ignore other people’s needs
Don’t you find it annoying when you’re on a bus, for example, and another passenger is singing at the top of their voice or speaking loudly on the phone for a long time? I do. It is irritating.
It is also inconsiderate when you invite someone for lunch or dinner, and they show up with their friend or partner without even asking you or giving you a heads up.
If you are guilty of any of these, or similar, then you are probably the least charming person. You might want to change that.
You don’t want to be the person people avoid because you do whatever you like, regardless of other people’s feelings.
Related: How to Be Effortlessly Charming
7. Put others down
We’ve all met people who seem to find something wrong with you and everything you do. Even when you accomplish something, they can’t express their happiness for you without throwing in some snide comments.
We might say such people are jealous. And that is one factor. Research shows that a threat to people’s ego can cause them to be mean to others.
When someone constantly puts you down, it’s because they want to feel good about themselves, and your presence or achievements threaten that.
You may just be going about your business, but someone may find you a threat to their self-esteem, so they put you down every opportunity they get.
Rather than celebrate, praise, or motivate, they will criticize and make crude jokes about you.
It’s another thing charming people don’t do.
8. Act closed off
When my friend Kate asked me about my life story, it was so easy to talk to her because she had already shown herself to be a warm, accommodating, and open person.
She shared her story with me; she showed emotion, she smiled, and her genuineness was palpable. I felt completely safe talking to her. She has always been that way, and I can see why she is likable, from her interactions with other people.
It is antithetical for charming people to be closed off, non-engaging, and disinterested in other people.
Studies back this up.
When two people walk into a room, the person smiling, nodding their heads during a conversation, and maintaining eye contact will get more engagement from the audience than the one who does none of the above.
If you are guilty of one or more of the above behaviors, this is a no-judgment zone. I’m here to help. So maybe you’re asking, “how can you change?”
1. Listen more to others, say less.
It is our nature to want to often interject when people are talking. Usually, instead of really listening, we are mentally planning our response.
Active listening involves direct eye contact with the speaker, nodding your head occasionally, and providing feedback after they have finished speaking.
2. Be courteous. Manners matter.
Saying please and thank you never hurt anybody. Responding to messages is a decent thing to do. When you invite other people to a dinner you’ve pre-planned with another friend, be courteous enough to ask your friend first.
3. Be considerate of others’ needs.
Need I say more? Everything is not always about you. Considering others’ enables them to be heard and supported and helps you learn more and expand your worldview. If the only person you ever listen to or consider is yourself, you’re not learning or growing.,
As the saying goes, you’re never truly dressed without a smile.
5. Avoid distractions when interacting with others.
Learn to put your phone away in the company of others. Give your full attention to them and be present in the moment.
You might even notice the beauty of your surroundings and be refreshed.
6. Be slow to judge others
You never truly know what other people are going through or the reason behind their actions. Like you, everyone has an untold story, and even if you think their mistakes are glaring, it is not up to you to judge them.
If you just take a moment to get to know people better, you might not be quick to make assumptions and judge.
We often judge what we do not know or understand.
In a nutshell, it is essential to note that we don’t become who we are overnight.
Whatever admirable traits you want, you can cultivate them, just like my friend Kate. Her mantra is we live, and we learn. She always looks for ways to improve herself. Reading books, taking classes, and connecting with nature.
Becoming charming emanates from within. When it comes from within, there are just some things you will never do.