Charisma Hacks: A Cheat Sheet On How to Be Charming14 minute read

  • Quick Note: Consider this an unofficial follow-up on How to Be Dominant. Because dominance is about gaining respect (click here for the article about 7 different ways to command respect through dominance). Charm and charisma, however, is about exuding warmth and attracting people to you. And you need both to survive and thrive in any kind of social environment
  • Dominance gains you respect, but charm and charisma give you a magnetic pull that makes you likable. Dominance without charm will make people afraid of you whereas charm without dominance will allow others to step all over you

Imagine the most charming man you’ve ever met. The kind of man that oozes charisma. The social butterflies who are able to make friends and connections wherever they go. The types of people who could sell ice to an Eskimo chipped from their own igloo.

It’s annoying how smooth they are with people, like they’ve become an evil, black sorcery wielding social magician.

People line up to buy whatever they’re selling and they’ve got an invite to anywhere and everywhere. But when you meet them, you can’t help but be swiftly and quickly taken in by their energy. There’s something about them, their charm, their charisma. It takes everyone in. And instead of hating them you get taken in and can’t help but like them. Perhaps you even did business with them yourself.

After reading this article you’ll have the knowledge and tools to gradually and naturally take these traits and use them for yourself in an unlimited amount of ways that makes sense for you and gets you what you want (just make sure to avoid the charisma killers on this free list).

Now, let’s read on!

First Charisma Hack: Being Open

Want to have charisma? Keep your body language open
Open or closed off?

Having good energy, being friendly, or being open. It goes by different names but it’s all the same: it’s about being open to the world and the people in it. And it’s about exuding positive energy out into the world. We’ll cover the positive energy part next, but first, we need to talk about being open.

Because people who are closed off to the world are telling the world that they are scared and weak.

Realize that people don’t respect those who are considered weak. Logically and intuitively we respect those who have a dominating presence around them and if you want to gradually and automatically take those traits for yourself so that people will become more likely to do what you want then click this link because you are a man who has goals in his life.

Secondly, check out this link on body posture because great body posture is what allows us to trigger those powerful feelings in ourselves that other people utterly and sincerely understand as you becoming the powerful man that you are going to become.

A Brilliant Ted Talk:

The short version of those links is this: you have to have open body language if you want to charm people. Otherwise, you will not have any warmth to you. And people without any warmth to them get imagined as a drug-addicted robot in a dark alley looking for another fix. Not pretty.

People without any warmth to them get imagined as a drug-addicted robot in a dark alley looking for another fix Tweet This

In a Ted Talk, Mark Bowden talks briefly about this phenomenon in an awesome video. The video’s only about 20 minutes and worth every second, so make sure to check it out.

But here’s the TL;DR version;

Mark talks about how when people meet you they automatically put you into one of four categories:

  1. Predator
  2. Possible Mate
  3. Friend
  4. Indifferent

The Shocking and Ugly Truth About Being Called Creepy

  • Quick Note: the examples are of women because it’s easier to explain, but men will experience this same phenomenon. But instead of calling someone creepy, most guys will say: “There’s something off about him”.

Two people can walk up to a woman and say the exact same thing:

“Hi, I thought you were beautiful and wanted to come meet you”

Loverboy’s and creepers everywhere

The first person gets called creepy whereas the second is bold and attractive. Even if the woman isn’t interested she will still be flattered by the second man’s approach while creeped out by the first.

But why?

Predator Signals

The reason is because of what Mark calls predator signals. These signals can be as obvious as someone who looks angry, or like they’re looking for trouble:

This person does not ooze charisma because they look angry
Are you friendly?

But most of the time that’s not what’s happening.

Most of the time, whenever we see signals that someone is going to try and hurt us we will think of them as a threat and not use the word creepy [for a personal example, I was nearly robbed while sleeping in my car when I was homeless! I would never call that guy creepy, though I would call him a douchecanoe and possibly gay]. Instead, we’ll describe them as dangerous, or looking for trouble.

Rarely creepy.

The reason is that it’s more obvious. There’s no second-guessing or confusion, just a pure seething menace emanating from the other person. Creepy, on the other hand, flies under the radar. Similar to old guys at a public gym (large or small they choose to bare it all… and I don’t understand why). They aren’t doing anything that’s obviously trying to hurt me, but they are displaying a signal that puts me ill at ease (especially this one guy sporting a full mast at midnight in the gym locker room).

What is ‘Creepy’

More or less, creepy is simply incomplete or conflicting signals. Think again about the above example:

“Hi, I thought you were beautiful and wanted to come meet you”

On the surface, this sounds like a compliment. And reading it, it seems obvious why this hypothetical guy is talking to this hypothetical girl.

But if he comes up to her with his shoulders down, a blank stare on his face or overwhelmingly nervous energy it will feel off to her. The same is true if this guy were to talk to you. You would get the creeps, but again you’ll likely describe it using different words. Like saying something is off about the guy rather than calling him creepy. The reason is because it’s easy to lie with words but not as easy to fake everything else. The words say “I like you” while the body language says “I’m not happy to meet you”. It’s a competition of signals and even lacks signals that tell someone they’re happy to meet you.

Better Safe Than Sorry

The ultimate example of incongruence is that of a politician. They say that we can trust them and then they lie and stab us in the back non-stop
The ultimate example of incongruence is that of a politician. They say that we can trust them and then they lie and stab us in the back non-stop

Your brain would rather be safe than sorry. If it can’t say for certain which category a person belongs to, they go into the predator category automatically. This is called ‘incongruence’ and incongruence is a competition of signals.

An example could be when someone says they’re nice but then we catch them stabbing a family in the alleyway. Or when women come across a ‘nice guy’ who then stalks and harasses her. Not so nice after all…

This competition of signals gives us the creeps from certain people. What we see are positive signals whereas the ones we feel are negative. Because these signals are competing against each other it creates stress in our brains (called cognitive dissonance).

Our brains don’t enjoy stress. Because our brains want to get rid of this stress we make a snap judgment about this other person and call them creepy.

BOOM! Stress resolved. Our brains are happy and we want to run away from the creeper.

Why Does Creepy Exist?

Because a few thousand years ago if someone refused to trust their creeper/predator radars they got eaten. Or beaten up by a fellow caveman or whatever other terrible things happened back then. To avoid all of that, however, Mark has some great advice on getting into the friend category in his video. Check out how to get into the friend category in his video (linked here again).

Being able to get into the friend category is the first step of being charming. Because nobody wants to be friends with someone they think will hurt them.

Second Charisma Hack: Exude Positive Energy

If you want the superpowers that charisma has to offer, go in with positive expectations with people. You won't always be right but most of the time your positive energy will create the result you want
Charming people go in believing that others will like them. Because they have value and this creates a positive feedback loop

Has there ever been a time when you knew someone, maybe a friend or maybe an acquaintance, who was unbelievably negative?

You might say: “Awesome weather we’re having!”

Negative Nancy: “I guess, if you prefer warm sunshine”

Or say something amazing happened to you. Maybe you got a promotion and you’ve shared the good news with everyone. Instead of being happy for you, they talk about how they got fired. It doesn’t matter what it is, they cannot say anything positive. It doesn’t have to be that extreme, but we’ve all experienced someone similar.

Now let me ask you, how much did you enjoy being around this person? How many social invites did they get vs. how often were they made fun of?

Negative People Are Draining

People with charisma are not energy vampires. They're like energy plug-ins
No amount of hotness is worth putting up with an energy trampire

Negative people drain our energy, which is why we avoid negative people. Positive people, on the other hand, give energy freely. They make everyone around them feel better.

However, that doesn’t mean that you try to be positive at the expense of others and ignore the next charisma hack…

Third Charisma Hack: Empathy

Empathy: Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference. That is, the ability to place oneself in another’s position. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and somatic empathy

Wikipedia has the best definition of empathy, in my opinion (and information about the different types)

Being positive is a great thing! Not only for you but for other people. However, there is a line. Imagine if someone in your family just died and you told a friend about it. Would you be too happy with this friend if, after telling them, they were all smiles? If they were telling you to look at the bright side, at least not all of your family died in a raging inferno! It’s just a single one!


You’d be pissed!

But our everyday lives are rarely that extreme.

My Own Story

Here’s a story from an old coworker of mine.

A man with charisma does not end up on the bottom of the social dog-pile
He was always on the bottom of the pile

Something was always off with this guy. He seemed like he was always in a great mood but he was always the punching bag for everyone (that was the dominance side of things). He never stood up for himself. That was his first mistake and nobody respected him.

But the second was that he was incredibly selfish, and I had to experience this a few times before I figured it out. People like this are always unbelievably selfish.


Because they don’t bother to express any empathy at all! These people are social burdens. But they still want you to give them what they want when they want it. The morning that I figured this out was a morning we had to be at work earlier than normal. It was five in the morning and I didn’t sleep well the night before. Not the best recipe in the world already. And I get paired up to work with this guy. A guy that inspired the name for these types of people…

Happy Hijackers

I’m not a morning person and usually need a few hours to ‘wake’ up.

But this guy would not pick up my hints that I didn’t want to talk. I was dead tired. Not only that but he never seemed to breathe as he talked and only talked about himself. Not only did he not ask me a single question about myself, but he ignored the fact that I didn’t have any energy to do much of anything at all. It took all my focus to do my work.

He basically treated me as a sounding board. And that’s the second thing these types have in common. They hijack any and all conversations to be about them and their stories. Keep in mind, if you have entertaining stories you can get away with this (sometimes you can get away with this if you have a deep, powerful voice). But these people almost universally don’t seem to have anything entertaining to say.

They Talk Just to Talk.

No, *yawn* I’m still listening…

And finally, they completely ignore the people around them and how uncomfortable they are. But you’re still supposed to be thankful that they’re around. That’s what this old coworker did.

The fact that he wanted to talk didn’t bother me so I let him. But then after a while, he got frustrated that I didn’t want to talk and started bitching at me. Which is another thing these types always do.

If you don’t give them what they want when they want it then they get mad, and somehow you’re the problem.

In short, they’re a social burden and they don’t offer anything of value.

Don’t Do What Happy Hijackers Do

A guy will start talking to someone he would like to do business with. Okay, nothing wrong with that. But if they’re not interested then they’re somehow a piece of shit.

That’s not how the world works.

In order to get something from someone, we have to offer value. A majority of the time, being in an infectiously positive mood can have significant value. And charming people understand this.

How to Be More Empathetic

One thing that is an absolute must, and something that people full of charisma understand is this: nobody gives a shit about you.

At least at first. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the only people that care about you are those that are invested in you. We are the same way, by the way. People, in general, are selfish creatures. We want to get things in exchange for what we have to offer. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s how humans have come to rule the planet.

Need Proof?

Think about the starving kids in Africa. Now think about the various tribes of people in the Amazon. Do you know anything about either or both groups? Do you know and understand their struggles?

Because I’ll be honest; I don’t. Neither do I care. And there’s a good chance that you don’t either.

Why is that?

Because they don’t have anything to do with our lives.

What Charming People Do Differently

But what people full of charisma do differently than a happy hijacker is that they make the conversation all about other people. Charmers make themselves and the conversation relevant to other people. And once they’ve learned what the other person wants or needs in life, they link their conversational partner’s goals with their own. Thereby creating a win-win scenario where the charmer gets money or whatever else, and the other person gets value they want.

You get excited to talk to someone with real charisma because someone with charisma will allow you to talk about whatever you want. That allows you to feel better understood and validated. Do the same for others and you'll gain this superpower

Normally, the charismatically gifted are insatiably curious people (or have learned to pretend to be). They want to understand how someone got to where they are in life. What choices did they make through life and why? We all have a need to be understood, and someone with charisma understands this.

People love talking about themselves, as you will have realized when talking to a happy hijacker.

This is emotional investment in action.

And a charming and charismatic person understands this. To get value, we have to offer value. To gain charisma and the superpower to charm anyone, you have to give people what they want (and you can do so in a way where you get what you want at the same time!)

What Do People Want?

Thankfully, people want surprisingly little most of the time. We want respect, love and understanding from our peers. In short, we want to feel connected. Mastering dominance will allow you to become a respected person. A dominant man is a respected man whom others value.

The charisma part of the equation gets us emotional investment. Doing this will allow others to feel connected to you. And once people are connected to you they will become emotionally invested in you. Once emotionally invested in you they will start to care about your success. And they will start to care about you as a person.

After that, you will become the annoyingly charming person that we’ve all come across and hate to love. You’ll become the type of man overflowing with a charisma that allows you to swim through life with a team of people happy to see you and buy your shit.

These aren’t the only things you will need for charisma, but these are critical in getting there.

Until Next Time, Keep Moving Forward

Charisma Hacks Re-Cap Infographic

3 Critical Components of Charisma Re-Cap

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