From the first moment you walk into a room people are making judgements about how much they like you. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your chances.
Through to the end of the year, BBC Capital is bringing back some of your favourite stories from Most of us have come across them at some point - the kind of people who can walk into a room full of strangers but then leave with 10 new friends, a lunch date for the next day, and the promise of an introduction to an industry insider.
What makes these lucky individuals so effortlessly likeable when many of us have to work so hard at it? While many would have you believe social grace or winning people over is something of an artform, there The art of being charming a surprising amount of science behind it too.
The factors that determine our success with "The art of being charming" people, and the impressions we make upon them, can start even before we meet them. Research has proven the people we meet often make judgements about us based purely on the way we look.
View image of Credit: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions explores this phenomenon.
Making a snap judgement on something so superficial might seem rash, but we do it all the time without even realising. And it can have serious implications. For example, it might influnce who you vote for. One study showed that facial appearance can be used to predict the outcome of elections to the US Senate. Similarly, facial characteristics associated with competence have also been successful in predicting
The art of being charming outcomes of elections involving BulgarianFrenchMexican and Brazilian politicians.
In one experimentborrowers who were perceived as looking less trustworthy were less likely to get loans on a peer-to-peer lending site. Lenders were making these judgements based on appearance in spite of having information about the borrowers employment status and credit history at their fingertips.
Of course, while you may not be able to control the physical features of your face, it is possible to alter your expressions and The art of being charming. Todorov has used data-driven statistical models to build algorithms that can manipulate faces to look more or less trustworthy, allowing him to tease out the features that we trust the most.
If you look at our models and and manipulate the faces to become more trustworthy or extroverted, you see the emotional expression emerge—the face becomes happy. For those situations where our first impression has not been as good as we might have hoped, there is also hope — we can still win people over so they forget that initial snap judgement.
This is where charm can come in.
Contrary to popular depictions, being likeable can have its benefits in business. Entrepreneurs with better social "The art of being charming" are more likely to be successful and workers who are well liked are better at getting their way at work. A study by the University of Massachusetts, for example, found that internal The art of being charming who were well liked and provided an organised argument were more likely to have managers agree with their proposals, even if manager would otherwise tend to disagree with the auditors position if they had not met them.
Suzanne de Janasz, an affiliated professor of management at Seattle University, says interpersonal skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace as organisations have done away with older, hierarchical structures in recent years. Jack Schafer, a psychologist and retired FBI special agent who is a likeability coach and author of The Like Switch, points to Johnny Carson as a quintessential example of someone who preferred being alone, but who learned how to be extremely sociable for the camera.
So what can the rest of us do to be more charming? Schafer says charm starts with a simple flash of the eyebrows. The three major things we do when we approach somebody that signals we are not a threat is an eyebrow flash a slight head tilt, and a smile.
So now you have made your entrance — hopefully without gurning like a maniac — experts agree The art of being charming the next key to likability is to make your interaction about the other person.
That means not talking about yourself. Cabane agrees, but says it can only work if you show a geninue interest in what they are saying. Focus on the different colours in their irises. By maintaining that level of eye contact, it will give the impression of interest. If that fails, she says interest can also be faked.