Psychologists tell us that the core of personality is self-esteem. This has best been defined as “how much you like yourself.” Your self-esteem is the sum total of how important and valuable you feel you are at any moment.
The Secret of Charm
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to feel valued and valuable. The secret of charm is therefore simple: make others feel important.
Five Ways to be Charming
1. Acceptance. The greatest gift you can give other people is the attitude of “unconditional positive regard.” That is you accept them in their entirety, without limitation. You never criticize or find fault. You are totally accepting of everything about them. This is the starting point of being charming.
2. Appreciation. Whenever you express appreciation to others for something they have done, small or large, their self-esteem increases. They feel more competent and capable. Their self-image improves and their self-respect soars. And how do you trigger this wonderful feeling in others? It is simple. You say “thank you” on every occasion, for any large or small reason.
3. Approval. It is said that “babies cry for it, men die for it.” Throughout life, all humans have a deep subconscious need for approval of their actions and accomplishments. No amount of approval ever satisfies for long. The need is ongoing, like the need for food and rest. People who continually seek opportunities to express approval are welcome wherever they go. Perhaps the best definition of approval is “praise.” Just remember, whenever you praise other people for something they have done, their self-esteem is elevated.
4. Admiration. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Everybody likes a compliment.” When you give people a genuine, sincere compliment about a trait, possession, or accomplishment, they automatically feel better about themselves. They feel acknowledged and recognized. They feel valuable and important. They like themselves more, and they like you more. Compliment a person on an article of clothing. Compliment someone on a trait, like punctuality or persistence. Compliment for small things as well as large.
5. Attention. This is perhaps the most important quality of all. It is the most powerful behavior for building self-esteem and is the key to instant charm. The more closely you pay attention to other people, the more valuable and important they will feel they are, and the more they will like you.
The next time you meet your significant other or even someone you work with, conduct this exercise: Imagine that when you were young, you had a dear friend with whom you shared many important emotional experiences of your young life. But years passed and you lost touch. You had no idea where your friend had gone. One day, when you are walking down the street suddenly there he is! Your whole face lights up and all you can think is, “It’s you!”
Now, the next time you meet a person or persons who are important to you, especially loved ones or dear friends, create this same feeling and act as if you are rediscovering them after a too-long absence. Treat these special people as if seeing them makes you feel incredibly happy. No matter who they are, they will think that you are an incredibly charming person.
(Article by Brian Tracy)