Are You Tired of Feeling Invisible? On Charisma and Becoming INVINCIBLE!

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Tired of Feeling Invisible

The Symptom: Feeling Invisible

There are few things worse than feeling invisible for all of your life. Feeling unnoticed, unwanted, not making a single ripple, all while it seems everyone else is enjoying life and having fun without you.

I used to be like that. Invisible.

I’d get inside my own head while overanalyzing every little thing that happened which only amplified the feeling of being invisible. Other times I would say outrageous things and act immature to get attention. Those were the days.

Reflecting on my past allowed me to see where I went wrong. Getting attention (the good kind) was never about being loud and obnoxious. It wasn’t about wearing bright colored tie-dyed shirts. Being liked, noticed, and alluring took a special talent.

What do Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Oprah Winfrey, and Marilyn Monroe have in common? Yes, they’re all very well known, but that’s not all.

Each of them has a magnetizing aura.

Somehow, they can draw attention to themselves just by stepping into a room, turn on their personal magnetism and instantly capture everyone’s interest.

It’s not coincidence or just physical attractiveness. It’s not a Kryptonian superpower. They possess something that many people don’t have. Charisma.

The Cure: Charisma and Feeling Invincible

James Bond, Charismatic Spy
What is charisma exactly? Let’s consult the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. Charisma: a special magnetic charm or appeal.

Okay, pretty vague, but you get the idea right? Someone who has the seemingly natural ability to make people gravitate towards him or her is charismatic. An individual you’d describe as alluring, amiable, or engaging has charisma.

Hell, charisma can even make you look more physically attractive.

You want to be attractive right? You want to learn how to draw a room in and make people remember you several months (or even years) later. Of course you do. Who likes feeling invisible? We all want to be well-liked and people who say they don’t are lying.

With charisma comes confidence, the ability to attract sexual partners, and a greater chance of professional success. If you’re feeling invisible and unnoticed, it’s because you lack an engaging aura of charisma.

The good news is that charisma can be learned. Here’s what you’re going to learn by the end of this article and some things you’ll walk away with:

  1. The behaviors of a charismatic person
  2. How to imitate charismatic behaviors until they become natural
  3. The dangers of charisma
  4. Bonus material on charisma

Try to think of examples from your own life of someone who you’d call charismatic. Someone who lifts the energy in the room with his or her non-verbal language (sometimes with words too.) Come on, I know you have someone on your mind.

If you’re having a hard time thinking of real life examples, picture James Bond with his suave and calm demeanor. He’s like a resilient sequoia tree that is unwavering against anything nature tosses at it.

Personal magnetism is not magic, witchcraft, or just physical appearance. It isn’t exclusive to celebrities and public icons nor is it something you are either born with or without. It’s learnable even for the most socially awkward person lacking in confidence.

Would it be egotistical of me to say I’m charismatic? Yes, it would be, but I’d make the claim anyway because hey, why not? I’m not claiming to be James Bond, but there’s no doubt I have a much higher level of charisma than I did years ago.

What that means is that it’s not impossible to learn. You can be the least confident child ever and grow up to be James Bond, George Clooney, or Oprah.

Mariah Carey had self-esteem issues as she was growing up. She wanted to be liked but lacked the confidence as a teenager. Look at her now. Would you say she has charisma?

We all have insecurities and that doesn’t mean that people with charisma are 100% secure in themselves. However, I am saying that more often than not, people with a crippling amount of insecurities are usually the ones we wouldn’t consider charismatic.

Without personal magnetism, you’re invisible, unnoticed, and forgettable.

That’s harsh to read, crude of me to say, but that’s just the way it is. Enough of that. What makes a person charismatic and how can you learn to be like them?

5 Behaviors of a Charismatic Person (And How You Can Become So)

  1. Charismatic people radiate self-confidence through their non-verbals. When you see someone with a magnetic aura, they are usually appearing confident in everything they do. From what they say, to how they carry their bodies, you can’t help but feel like they know what they’re doing.
     
    Look around and you’ll realize most people have awful posture. They slouch as they sit, they hunch forward anytime else, they look at their phones with a neck that’s trying to drop to the ground while their bodies are resisting.
     
    Good posture and body languageCharismatic people don’t slouch, they don’t hunch, they don’t crane their necks. Most of their appeal and charm comes from the non-verbal cues they give off. This means head and shoulders back, spine straight.

    It even means smiling, when appropriate, something people forget.

    Be conscious of your body language until it becomes a habit.
     
    I used to have terrible posture and I still remember a relative calling me hunchback a few times. After working on my body language it became natural for me to sit and stand tall. In fact, people even compliment me on my posture on occasion.
     
    If you have a hard time getting yourself into the correct posture then imagine walking around with a cape.
     
    The second part of this is self-assurance. Do you imagine a charismatic person as being indecisive and unsure of themselves? Even when they don’t know something, they don’t just shrug their shoulders and shout, “I don’t know!” with a puzzled face.
     
    They give off an image of calmness. They’re self-assured enough to know that even when they’re clueless, things will be alright. Something to keep in mind is that charismatic people are proactive instead of reactive.

  2. Charismatic people speak their mind. Have you ever let a conversation go silent because you held back what was on your mind? Don’t get me wrong, gaps in conversation are natural and will occur. You should only be woried if you are letting them happen because you’re afraid of how the other person will react to what you say.
     
    What if I say something that makes me look stupid? What will this person think of me? What if…
     
    Stop. I know the feeling. I used to always be overanalyzing what I wanted to say and I’d do it so often that I end up being quiet. I’d let the conversation die.
     
    You’ve got to take off that internal filter and start talking about what comes to mind. That’s how you figure out if you and the person you’re talking to have a lot in common and you’ll come across more genuine.

    I’ve made more friends by sharing what I had on my mind than I have by staying quiet out of fear.

    This doesn’t mean you run around screaming racist remarks. It just means you don’t let insecurity get the best of you.

  3. Charismatic people appear natural. It looks like they were born with these magical abilities. Oh, wow, if only I was born like that. If you’re thinking like that then you’re on the wrong path. Charismatic people could be molded at an early age or be influenced in ways others don’t, but that’s just an advantage.
     
    They appear natural because they’re sure of themselves, or self-confident (my first point.) But it can be learned through imitation or introspection.
     
    I’ll share with you a story in the next point regarding appearing natural.
  4. Charismatic people are comfortable with discomfort. Think of someone that is the opposite of charismatic. What happens when this person is uncomfortable or threatened with something he or she doesn’t like? This person probably gets really squirmy, nervous, and then starts talking really fast.
     
    Try imagining James Bond nervous. You can’t. Come on, he’s James Bond. How can he be nervous?
     
    That’s what you need to practice. When you’re uncomfortable don’t complain. Don’t show it in your face, your body language, or your tone. Acknowledge it from the inside and move on.

    People only see what you present to them on the outside.

    For example, I get complimented on my public speaking skills whenever I give presentations. “Wow, you’re so natural!” I’d hear variations of this pretty often.

    It’s not natural at all. I wasn’t born with my presentation skills nor am I unafraid. My face used to run red and I’d stumble over every other word before. Of course, as time went by and I practiced, I learned to do it better.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m not scared to death. My heart is beating faster and faster as each second passes, me fully knowing that my time to come up in front of the audience is nearing.

    Yet no one can tell that on the inside my brain is scrambling and my heart racing. My palms sweaty, arms spaghetti (sorry, Eminem.)

    People only see what you want them to see, so I choose to let them see a confident presenter, not a shaky mess.

    What’s even better is that you can always expand your comfort zone through voluntary discomfort. You can never eliminate 100% of your fears, but at least remember to keep calm when your fears surface.

  5. Charismatic people are 100% present. Why are charismatic individuals so well-liked? It’s because they know how to make the other person feel wanted and listened to. Everyone wants to feel like that so when these figures appear genuinely interested, the other party can’t help but feel drawn to him or her.
     
    Active listening is rare as everyone wants to fight for the spotlight in a conversation. Charismatic people don’t fight for attention. They either listen to you and make you feel wanted or they will have the microphone handed to them. Practice active listening.
     
    These individuals also focus on the present moment. They’re not thinking about the past or worrying about what’s going to happen next. They’re not time traveling (with the exception of The Doctor.)
     
    You know what that means? You’re never going to catch them blanking out and just staring off into space.
     

The Dangers of Charisma

Picture of Christian Bale Being His Charismatic Self
Olivia Fox Cabane mentions in The Charisma Myth several dangers that may come with the power of charisma.

  1. People will envy you. Are you surprised? People who feel invisible or inferior will be threatened. They’ll think nasty things. They’ll make stories up in their head to convince themselves that you’re awful. That’s not what everyone will do, but you’re bound to meet envious people.
  2.  

  3. You’re held to higher standards. This is the worst drawback in my opinion. I feel like I have to always perform and meet expectations because any mistakes I make will be met with a “Whaaaat?” Of course, it doesn’t really bother me too often after the fact, but it’s more stressful without my “IDGAF” mentality.
  4.  

  5. It’s lonely at the top. Does this sound condescending? It sort of sounds like it, doesn’t it? Olivia is right though. When you’re charismatic, you realize you’ve got a powerful gift. You realize you’re unique and that you have powers most people lack. It’s a very strange feeling.
  6.  

  7. It’s too powerful, even when you’re wrong. Even when you’re wrong (without realizing it) you can convince people that you’re right. You could be spreading false information or potentially sabotaging something because of your persuasive abilities.
  8.  

  9. Charisma can be dangerous. In the wrong hands, charisma can be deceiving. It can be manipulative. It can be so many things. If you’re on the path to building charisma, remember: with great power comes great responsibility (Thanks, Uncle Ben!)
  10.  

We’re not done yet…

Charisma is a huge topic, one that is worth reading several books on. There’s no way any individual article can cover the topic thoroughly.

That is why I’m doing my best to tackle the subject of charisma, confidence, and learning to be well-liked in a free eBook that I am releasing exclusively to Self Stairway readers. That’s right. Free.

There’s no purchase involved, no hoops you have to jump through, or any sort of personal sacrifice on your part.

This article is my second longest (over 2,400 words) and most in-depth article I’ve ever written on this blog. It can be taken right now and used by you today to be more charismatic, but… Like I said, charisma is a very ambitious topic.

Reading this is like reading an excerpt and teaser of something greater. The greater being my eBook that’s only a few clicks away.

eBook Cover art for The Compact Guide to Charisma, Confidence, and Being Well-Liked

The eBook’s full title is “The Compact Guide to Charisma, Confidence, and Being Well-Liked.”

In it, I break down the topic of charisma and confidence in more detail. I give you outlines, steps, exercises, and mindsets to study, review, and start applying immediately so you can get closer to becoming charismatic and confident in yourself.

No more feeling invisible.

There is one small catch though (there always is, isn’t there?) When I said this eBook is exclusive to Self Stairway readers, I meant it. It is exclusive.

That means you have to subscribe to Self Stairway’s email list to get a copy of the free eBook. But don’t worry, there are definitely a ton of awesome benefits for joining.

Emails every Tuesday with: weekly quick tips (on a variety of topics,) new articles sent straight to your Inbox, and of course, the free eBook.

Not a bad deal. I’m never going to send you any spam nor am I ever giving your email to anyone. Your information is safe.

Subscribing is easy. I have subscription boxes after every article and on the sidebar of every page. Or you can subscribe right here:

“The Compact Guide to Charisma, Confidence, and Being Well-Liked”








 

In case you need more convincing, check out 7 Reasons to Subscribe.

Photo Credit: Cayusa (Flickr)Aashish950

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway. After landing his dream job with Empire Flippers, he dropped out of college and began living a location independent lifestyle (still always drawn to coffee shops though.) Don't worry, he still publishes every Monday and hasn't missed a single week since starting this site in January 2013.

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46 responses to Are You Tired of Feeling Invisible? On Charisma and Becoming INVINCIBLE!

  1. I remember when I first started to learn how to approach women having read about ‘The Game’ and thinking it was something you had to learn to get good.

    But about 3 years into it, I realised as I got more comfortable with myself, I began to adopt the traits you mentioned above. It’s good to know what a confident does at a conscious level, but ultimately, it’s all a result of not caring what other people think of you.

    A few things happened to me on my journey:

    1) I learned that who I was, was enough and didn’t need to change.

    2) I accepted people’s opinions and didn’t need to prove them wrong.

    3) I didn’t seek for validation any longer due to consistent external reinforcement from girls to show I was attractive.

    4) My vibe improved due to no long feeling self conscious.

    The best way to help describe this feeling is to put yourself in a comfortable environment that you’re comfortable in. (Your bedroom).

    How do you feel/act/behave?

    This is how you eventually feel wherever you go once you become completely congruent with who you are. It takes time, but this is what gives you charisma :)

    Really, all of us have it naturally. We simply need to be comfortable with who we are with complete conviction.

    As a bonus. Here’s a private video of me approaching my ex girlfriend a few years ago. Notice my body language and communication. You could say I had charisma, but really, I was simply comfortable with who I was having done countless approaches and weeding out all of my insecurities over time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKvgGSDwxkU

    • I try to be careful when I suggest things like “don’t care what others think of you.” There are plenty of people out there who don’t understand the “IDGAF” mentality is different from being apathetic towards everything. Some take it too far.

      But your points are solid and your advice about being comfortable with yourself is right on the target. As long as you find that perfect balance, you’ll be fine. Just don’t fall into the gray area where you’re rude, inexcusable, and everything in between.

      Also, thanks for sharing your video. Thats awesome. :)

      • I think that’s the problem with today’s generations. Without a standard for moral values people fall into the *grey* area and think they can get away with things without consequences so they act like the animals they are taught they came from in skool.

        We teach people they come from monkeys and we wonder why the come out of school acting like them towards their peers/other people and wonder why they can never get a job unless it involves screwing others.

  2. Hey Vince,

    This was a damn good post. Packed full of value and solid takeaways.

    It’s crazy how important body language is. I also spent some serious time working on my body language. Once I started to get the hang of my posture all of my interactions drastically changed. People’s reactions were much more positive and I felt sooo much more confident.

    Being comfortable in discomfort is also another big one. When shit gets uncomfortable it’s so easy for the “fight of flight” instinct to hit and get the fuck out. But, being able to stew in the lack of comfort and realize the world is not falling is a huge deal.

    Great stuff man. Really enjoyed this one.

    • Thanks, Kevin! I really liked the article you just put up today too.

      Yup, I can’t deny there is a huge difference in how the world treats you simply because of your body language. It’s amazing and I can’t even capture in words how different things are. It in turn gives you confidence because of the improved feedback you get and bam, even more confidence. It’s a beautiful cycle.

  3. Interesting topic. I’ve never really considered myself “charismatic,” nor have I really strived to be one. However, I guess I’m hitting on 3 or 4 of the 5 behaviors without realizing it.

    I don’t often speak my mind unless I’ve already established a prior relationship. I’ve gotten better with new people, but I usually won’t express a differing opinion with strongly opinionated people.

    Sometimes, I struggle with posture, but I’ve really focused on standing and sitting taller. My biggest struggle is knowing what to do with my hands. I’m trying to break the hands-in-pockets habit. I’ve found it helps to walk briskly and with confidence.

    • Interesting so you’ve already got some of the traits, that’s great! With some introspection, would you say that you are charismatic though? Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as one, what are your thoughts now?

      • I tend to be slightly charismatic in certain situations where I am comfortable. Overall, my personality tends to shy away from the attention. In all honestly, I don’t have a desire to be noticed by everyone when I enter a room. I prefer to develop deeper relationships with a few than be concerned about whether an entire room of people likes me or not.

        • I understand your view and I respect that. There are people who don’t mind not being the center of attention. A lot of times I find myself not wanting the attention either so I sort of turn it off just to relax. You’re in a good place, Chris, you have the characteristics and I am sure you know when you need to turn it on (job interviews, meetings with potential clients, etc.)

          Unfortunately, I know a lot of brilliant people who don’t have their talents recognized because they hide in the shadows. I don’t doubt that when they need charisma the most they miss it and will be overlooked because of it. Having charisma in your toolkit is a must.

          • That’s a perfect description – I know when I need to turn it on. I don’t have the energy level to be charismatic 24/7, but I recognize that it is essential at various times. In the past, I would shy away from any attention, but in the last couple of years, I have recognized that I have value to offer the world. So, it does me no good to hide in the shadows.

          • Oh, without a doubt I’m an introvert. I’ve known it for a long time, but I only began embracing it and recognizing it as a strength a couple of years back.

            • Great! It doesn’t help that so many people have misconceptions about us introverts huh? :) People never believe me when I mention that I’m introverted.

  4. Vincent! Congrats on a fab article and the book! This is a fascinating topic. These are great tips, but one should be cautioned that all of them could end up backfiring for the simple reason that one may look as if they are trying too hard. I’ve seen people try doing these things with ill affects. They just can’t pull it off. On the other hand, it is good to keep experimenting to see what works. Some of us will simply have to work harder at seeming charismatic than others. Have a hippity hop day, V!!!

  5. Ha!

    James Bond was the first person who came to mind when I read the first few paragraphs and then I saw the Daniel Craig photo.

    If I’m feeling small or inadequate or frustrated, all I need to do is pop in the Casino Royale DVD and I’m feeling badassish again.

    (A slightly older film but equally empowering: Stuart Townsend as Lestat in Queen of the Damned).

    I think this really ties into the ideal of “to act is to become” – I prefer that phrase to the “fake it till you make it” because the latter implies that you don’t really believe it.

    But when you act, it’s not so much about belief as it is about the experience itself. Specifically, experiencing the very results you desire.

    I tell the story of when my son was in Kindergarten and the most stressful time of our day was between 7 am and about 7:20 as I’m trying to get us the door in time for school. I finally got tired of being frustrated and stressed all the time (at the time of day, like clockwork) so I invented the Enthusiasm Game.

    We would see who could act the most excited and enthusiastic. It did absolutely nothing to improve the schedule, but it was still a pretty profound experience – you simply cannot be excited and stressed at the same time.

    • He is one of the most well-known after all. :)

      That’s a cool game you thought of. Has it seeped in and become actual enthusiasm now or is it still a bit “forced?”

      • LOL – well, it’s always initially “forced” – but what’s so weird/profound about it is that it’s an instant transformation once you do it. If your body is all excited and yelling about how happy it is, the mind doesn’t have much of a choice but to go along with it.

        Give it a whirl and see for yourself!

  6. Vincent, I really like how you also included the dangers of charisma. I have met many charismatic people in my life, and most of them are good people. I enjoy watching a very charismatic man at the coffee shop. While I am not a fan of smoking, this man is confident in his puffs. He is confident in his interactions and his walk. You would never catch this man saying, Uh, oh, um… He’s that kind of guy. Houston’s own version of Al Pacino. ;)

    I’m so happy that you’ve released your book!

    • That guy sounds like the type of person who has at least one individual taking notes to imitate him! I’m sure he’s helping someone become more confident without even realizing it. Either that or… Someone is envious. Nooooo…

      Ah, the book isn’t out yet actually.

  7. Being a child victim of a cult, I’ve seen what charisma abused can lead to. I agree with your five points in working toward stronger charisma. And although, yes, charisma can be learned, I think some have more natural tendencies than others. Great idea in the ebook.

  8. Hi Vincent! I remember Tony Robbins sharing a story about a client he worked with. The guy was mopey and depressed and the moment he pulled up to Robbins’ house, he begins griping about his life. Robbins stops him in mid-thought and says, “I’m sorry but we haven’t started yet.” The man is taken aback and says, “Oh, okay. I apologize.” Later, Tony brings it back up and says, “Do you realize how quickly you were able to change your entire physiology? JUST LIKE THAT!” As he snapped his finger. Our emotions go on and on as long as we let them go that way, but we have every ability to shift them! And instantly. Great post!

    • Thanks for sharing the story, Bryan. I’ve never heard it before and that’s pretty clever of Tony. It got the point across in an instant while the man was in between both feelings. I think of the ability to stop yourself from feeling a certain way as a muscle. The more you use it the stronger the ability, or muscle, is. If you don’t use it or if you’ve never even tried at all you can’t expect it to work.

  9. I love the posture graphic – I can relate….I tend to slouch, for sure something to work on. I’d argue charisma has gotten quite a few politicians further than their competence alone would have allowed.

    • It takes time but it’s definitely worth it, Tom! Not just for health reasons either. :)

      Ah, yup. I think you can say that about any career actually, but charisma is necessary to have any success as a politician.

  10. Great post – I tend to use the word “charming” to describe the behaviors you call charismatic.

  11. Excellent tips Vincent. If you’re not naturally charismatic, I think it’s also important to realize building these skills will be a long term effort. But with daily practice, you can make a lot of progress over a period of time. And you will find that you’re getting stronger and stronger.

  12. Hey Vincent, this is an awesome post! You just picked up a very eye-popping topic. Being invisible? Aaaargh- I do not even want to hear about that because it brings back sad memories! Still happens these days but I just have to do something. As for charisma, woohoo! Did you just say I can have it too? I thought it was an in-born thing? I’m intrigued and hope to hear more about it.

    • It’s what I do, Rob! Taking lessons I learned and applied back in the days of insecurity, loneliness, and whatever else to inspire those who don’t think it’s possible. If you’re still stuck in the mindset that charisma is exclusive to naturals then work on it in small steps. Start with posture and active listening. You’ll be amazed how different interactions will seem.

  13. Hi Vincent – an interesting post!

    I think charisma’s a very slippery concept and not something that’s easily defined – and I don’t believe it’s something you can manufacture. I’m not sure consciously trying to ‘be’ charismatic is a very good idea – truly charismatic people are unconsciously so – it’s just the way they are.

    I don’t totally agree with your point about always speaking your mind – we don’t always keep our peace out of fear – we sometimes keep our thoughts to ourselves because we might upset or offend others. There’s nothing very charismatic about being rude and offensive – and, let’s face it, we all have uncomplimentary thoughts about others from time to time.

    I think your last point is probably the most important – about being present and an active listener. Charismatic people can do this because they’re comfortable in their own skin, they’re not busy trying or wishing to be someone else.

    Thanks for a very stimulating read :)

    Sue

    • Interesting, so you’re not convinced it’s something that be learned? From my own experience, it’s something that can be. My own life serves as a prime example.

      Not to mention the fact that many prominent figures today who are very charismatic describe themselves as the complete opposite in their earlier years. It can be argued that maybe there was an innate flame or something that just needed to be let out, but I think that’s far-fetched.

      I could have been a bit more detailed in the part about saying what’s on your mind. Of course, keeping other people into consideration is important, but where I see insecure individuals mess up is when they don’t contribute to conversations because they’re afraid of ridicule. So they guard their thoughts or they overthink, causing themselves to shut down.

      I’m glad that you voiced your opinions though. :)

      Thanks, Sue!

      • I have that problem myself of either guarding my thoughts or overthink too much about a situation and wind up shutting down and make a fool of myself.

  14. Vincent,

    I really enjoyed that article. You were right, it was long (took me til today to get around to reading it), but it was worth it. It really touches on outward evidence that exudes from a person who is truly confident and truly comfortable in their own skin. So to me, the key to charisma really boils down to cultivating a bullet proof self esteem.

    Thanks for the article though, I enjoyed it!

    • No problem, Scott! I’m glad you got to it. :) Self-esteem is tricky because what happens when we’re younger really takes a toll on us (good or bad.) I’m still in the process of unlearning a few things myself, but hey, I can’t complain about progress.

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