Charisma and confidence are so important in life. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, having good charisma and feeling confident will affect your life in many positive ways.
Studies have shown that having good people skills will make you more money, and will make you an overall happier person. This sounds too good to be true, but it is. You can learn the skill-set to effectively communicate your feelings and go after the things you want in life. I used to be terrible but I have gotten better through practicing and reading.
Some say you’re born with your level of confidence, or your charisma abilities. Now I do believe there is SOME truth to this, maybe not born with necessarily but your upbringing can have a huge impact on the rest of your life, things that happen as little as 1 or 2 years old may effect somebody when they’re in their 30s. It’s scary to think how fragile our minds can be.
But fragile can be good. Fragile is malleable, it’s changeable. Nueroplasticity aside, skills like charisma aren’t just something you can upgrade in The Elder Scrolls video games, they are legitimate skills, and can be taught.
For the record, I’m fairly introverted. I do believe we are born with a level of introversion/extroversion that isn’t entirely changeable. Not to go off the rails here but I believe it has something to do with your dopamine levels, which are different in everyone, and based on genetics. If you’ve ever read Top Dog you might remember the chapter about Worriers and Warriors.
Practicing these skills are very important. Through practice I’ve become more empathetic, been able to read peoples’ body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. I’ve also realized how to become more confident and personable, as well as memorable, and much more. I’m not an expert social magician capable of influencing people into drinking the kool-aid, but that’s not the point either.
As I have said time and time again, we are forever a student, and we must continue to learn and repeat our teachings through practice.
In this article I’ve chosen three books that will boost your people-skills 10 fold, each complimenting the other on depth and practicality.
Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards
Practical and actionable
I first found out about Vanessa through Impact Theory, the YouTube channel. Then I found this book in Barnes and Noble and started engorging on it. Even when I thought I knew a bunch about people-skills and charisma, this book served as a beautifully written guide with amazing references and tools to take action on.
The book is formatted to make it a very easy read. Vanessa also has a fun way of writing, I’ve laughed at least a dozen times from reading this book, and most of the stuff I laughed at were really cool ideas that I wanted to try myself.
If you’re in any type of business position, especially sales or self-promotion, this book will change your business. I can promise you. I wish I knew this when I worked in finance, considering all the networking events I went to.
Truly though, this book will change every aspect of your life that requires you to interact with people. You’ll understand when you read the book.
Among the 3 books I have chosen, this book makes a great reference tool due to it’s formatting, pictures, well written examples, and actual tasks that you can do today to improve your skills and become CAPTIVATING! Vanessa also has a website where there are interactive tools and quizzes to help you hone your social skills.
Get the book today!
The Charisma Myth by Olivia fox Cabane
Finding your charismatic strengths
Similar to Captivate, Olivia has filled this book with actionable tasks that you can work on in real time. But this book goes deeper into the science of socializing. With this book you’ll figure out what type of communicator you are and what charismatic style brings out your strengths the most. Everyone has different social styles that are more authentic to their true self. Being fake never works very well, people can sense it and they don’t like it.
Studies have shown that people dislike “fake” people more than most traits in people. And I agree, I even wrote an article about it several months ago.
The big difference between this book and CaptivateCaptivate is that this book will give you psychological hacks to use on yourself before or during social interactions. The best part is that these “hacks” are backed by scientific research. On top of that, you’ll be blown away by the actual studies themselves and what they reveal about human behavior.
Olivia has consulted for several high-ranking CEO’s and companies all around the world. Ultimately, this book isn’t about transforming your fundamental personality, but adopting a series of specific practices that fit in with the personality you already have. Capitalizing on your strengths.
After scouring the Earth (not really) I have had no luck finding the 3rd book for this article. To bring together all three aspects of charisma/confidence and relations I wanted the 3rd book to be on the types of people you should AVOID. Or even our own behaviors we should all be conscious of.
It’s easy to find a book about Narcisism for example, but that’s just one of the many toxic traits that you will come across in your travels. From the insecure, to the psychopath; the Machiavellian to the stubborn, there is not shortage of toxic traits everywhere you go.
Instead of a book, I will supply some references and tools here to give you a better understanding of these traits and also a way to test yourself to see if you fall heavily on any spectrum. To take the Dark Triad Test, which measures Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellian behavior click here.
Someone should definitely write a book on the Dark Triad, what to look for in others, and in yourself, to avoid these people. Personally, I’ve learned to avoid negative toxic people over the last few years, but I didn’t automatically become a master at it. I’m still learning what traits to look out for but I have a much better idea now and a few basic principles that I follow to quickly make a decision.
I rarely ever tell somebody to burn a bridge unless it’s absolutely necessary. One thing I’ll always remind myself is that Time reveals all. If you think someone might be X, just wait it out, it will inevitably reveal itself if it is true. Some traits are very magnetic at first as well, and it could take up to a year or more before you really see who someone truly is.
Two great blogs on relationships that I’ve been reading over the years are the works of Nick Notas and Jason Connell. If you read these you will eventually build a better idea of the type of people you should avoid.
Also, Tai Lopez has some videos out there on people you should avoid and I have learned a good amount from him, like avoiding people who are insecure, which sounds crude, but insecure people can have very destructive traits. I briefly dated a girl with some intense insecurity, and she was rather talented at making me feel like a shitty person, when in retrospect, I really wasn’t (phew!)
There are also a plethora of books out there that hone in on certain traits (narcisism probably being the most wirtten about, or maybe just the most popular because we all have a little narcisism in us.)
And for the record, having a little bit of a certain “bad” trait isn’t bad at all, in fact it can be good. Having a little pride is good, being a little stubborn is fine, feeling a little sensitive is normal and can breed empathy.
Study the monsters around you or be overtaken by them, and always remain a student to life.