Become a Person People Want to be Around

person people want to be around

There’s not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met.

― Jim Henson

I knew this guy in college who had a magnetic personality.  Actually, I still know him.  He’s a good friend of mine.  But, I first got to know him well in college.  He attracted people everywhere he went, like moths to a flame.  It was amazing to me how easily he started conversations with unfamiliar people about everyday topics, and within minutes, was joking and chatting with them like they were old friends.

I was a bit on the shy side, and didn’t really get too talkative with people until I got to know them well.  Of course, since I didn’t chat too often with people, it made it hard to get to know them.  I envied my friend’s ability to be so free from self-consciousness and wanted very much to be like him.  I began to watch him closely (without being too creepy) to try to figure out what it was that he did that made him so irresistible to other people.

In my pursuit of this magical ability to attract people to me, I began to read a lot of self-help books about positive self-image and people skills.  As I was doing this, and observing my friend, I began to understand what it was that set him apart from others.

Why is it that some people just seem to attract others?  What are they doing that is different than everyone else?  Is it something you’re born with, or can this ability be learned?  I believe that anyone can become this type of attractive individual.

Whether you’re trying to lead a group of people, establish a reputation as someone who’s got it all together, or you’re just trying to make more friends, there are two traits that will make your desire come true.  I call them “traits”, but really they’re more like skills.  They can be cultivated and developed if you don’t currently have them in abundance.

1. Self-Confidence

The first is confidence.  There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance.  The difference, I think, is arrogance tries to impress others, while confidence doesn’t worry about whether others are impressed or not.  You have to be comfortable in your own skin to be confident.

In college, I wasn’t quite there yet.  The reason I didn’t initiate conversations with people I didn’t know was because I didn’t think they’d be interested in talking to me.  Even though I had a broad range of interests, I thought that I wouldn’t have anything interesting to say to someone, and any conversation I tried to start would become awkward and strained.  So, I just avoided the situation by hanging out with people like my friend, who took care of the conversational heavy lifting for me.  I could chime in occasionally without being forced to carry the conversation myself.

I started to understand more and more that everyone feels this way (at least a little bit), due to the fact that we project our self-image onto other people.  We assume that what we perceive as faults in our makeup are readily evident to everyone we meet.  What I came to realize and believe is everyone feels this way to some extent or another.  And, the person you’d like to talk to, but can’t because you’re too shy?  They have the same types of hang-ups that you do.  They’re most likely so obsessed with their own shortcomings that there’s no way they have the time or attention to pick up on yours.

What separated my friend, and other people with supreme self-confidence, from people like me was the fact that they knew this secret.  They knew that the other person was most likely focused on themselves, so there was no reason to worry about their own shortcomings.  This gave them the freedom to display the second characteristic that’s so important to building relationships.

2. Empathy

The second trait is empathy.  If, like I said previously, most everyone feels a little self-conscious around other people, then it’s helpful to be able to get them past that feeling.  You want other people to feel comfortable around you.  In order to do that, you have to understand these subconscious hang-ups that people have and work around them to draw the other person out.  Make them feel at ease in your presence by finding common interests, or find something that they can speak intelligently on.  If you can master the art of helping other people look and feel like experts on something when they’re around you, you’ll never be short of friends.  People like to feel like they’re adding to the conversation.  Here’s a hint:  if you’re having trouble finding something to talk about, ask questions about them.  Everyone’s an expert on themselves. :)

So, confidence and empathy.  It sounds more intimidating than it is, but I understand it’s tough sometimes to take that first step, especially if you’re not used to doing it.  Begin to make a habit of talking to people everywhere you go.  If you’re at the grocery store, talk to the person in front of you in the checkout line.  In the doctor’s office, talk to people waiting around.  The only way you’ll condition yourself to talk to people and get over your fear of it is to do it frequently.  By the time you’ve gotten over the fear, it’ll be a habit.  And good habits are hard to break.

What do you think gives people a magnetic personality?

82 thoughts on “Become a Person People Want to be Around”

  1. Great post!

    I’ve known several people who have charisma. Certainly they have self-confidence and empathy, as you mention. They also have ease. We are attracted to people to who seem completely at ease with the present, because most us are not at ease. Strangely, ease is one of easiest things to develop: Just be present.


    1. @Kaushik, you know, that’s a great point. I think (at least to me), one of the key indicators of being at ease is a person who is able to focus on whomever they are with at that moment. That’s part of what I was trying to get at with empathy. You can’t hope to establish relationships on a truly meaningful level if you’re looking for a bigger, better person to “network” with. Be in the moment. True words; thanks for sharing!

  2. I completely agree that confidence and empathy are attractive traits. Interestingly, I was the “quiet person” in my younger years, and to a certain degree, I am still the “quiet person.”

    As I grew older, I discovered that the extroverted charismatic person was not me. I am quite confident and content being the introverted thinker that often goes unnoticed. When I need to speak, I do. I will not, however, try to evolve into somebody I am not.

    My confidence and empathy are quiet. I am nobody…

    “You spent the first half of your life becoming somebody. Now you can work on becoming nobody, which is really somebody. For when you become nobody there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything. The natural state of the mind shines through unobstructed — and the natural state of the mind is pure love.” Ram Dass

    1. @Kent, I’m still more of an introvert than extrovert. I’ve become more comfortable in my skin as time has gone on, and I’ve discovered that I don’t have to be anyone else. You want people around you who like you for you, right? As you point out, you can still exemplify both confidence and empathy without being an over-the-top, life-of-the-party type. It’s a personal decision, and whatever you do, first and foremost, you need to keep it real. Thanks for reading!

    2. @Kent, i like your advice. I am an Introvert and no single day of my life have i desired to be the Charismatic Outgoing person. I still exhibit confidence and empathy… the greatest thing in life.. is to be yourself…whether introvert or extrovert. There is totally no problem in being introverted.. i tend to like the introvert personality more than the extrovert personality… It is good to like and enjoy who you are… there are many advantages of being introverted. Personally, i tend to prefer quiet people over Charismatic over dominating people.

      1. Kent:

        My new husband and I have had problems for months. His explanation you just gave would be ‘word for word’ what he would say.

        I am an adult women, 54, who has a lot of confidence. I love to chat, chat with anyone. My biggest problem is I am loud, like every individual of my father’s family. Everyone trying to talk, while the thermometer rises in the room. I am always trying to lower the tone. I am also looked down because I talk fast and a lot. I love to share. I am a entrepreneur and I am working on loosing the “puking on a prospect”.

        Just got into a long drawn out lecture on my husband. He claims I verbally abuse him. I of course see it as, “if your going to act like a 12 year old, then, as a mother, I am going to lecture you.” We are at a time that ‘something’ has got to give.

        I realize you don’t think you should have to change. I see it different in this situation. If a couple are meshing together, they need to come together and ‘have a relationship’. My husband watches cartoonish type shows, or very slow moving documentaries on science. He does not like to chat with me, you, or anyone else. I can not live in a house where there is no communication. I feel alone.

        1. Cheri,

          Was your new husband a quiet person who watched cartoonish shows before you married him?

          Whether we like it or not, none of us can change anyone else. It’s hard enough to change ourselves, as the original post points out.

          Hope you can come to a place of celebrating each other as-is and fulfilling other needs through outside friendships and activities.

    3. As an introvert turned extrovert, I heartily agree with Kent’s comment about having confidence as an introvert.

      I would only suggest that some introverts could become more well-rounded by taking a bit more interest in others.

      Sometimes introverts inadvertently come off as standoffish. By being more approachable, they will find pleasures of friendship they might never have dreamed of.

      1. I wholeheartedly believe this statement to be true. As an introvert myself, I often struggle being around people and not appearing standoffish. It is not that I am not a friendly person and would not like to joke around and chat to this person, but more the fact that I simply do not know how to respond and as a result of that come off as antisocial or rude. I so badly want to be able to hold a friendly conversation with someone that doesn’t get awkward so hopefully these tips get me through, I just wanted to say thank you because I‘ve found this blog and comments very helpful xo

  3. This post is filled with great advice. I really believe confidence and empahty are critical to making you the kind of person others want to be around. People also really want to be around positive people. If you are complaining all of the time, people won’t want to be around you so be positive! :)

    1. @Positively Present, you are so right! Positivity is one aspect of a person’s character that will absolutely draw the right kind of people to you. The only people that will want to be around you if you’re not positive are people that are just going to bring you farther down. Great tip.

  4. Hey, great post.
    I must agree with Kent, don’t try to transform yourself in a person you are not, and you don’t want to be.
    But if you want to be the person people want to be around, this is great advice. Everyone is shy, and everyone is afraid to start a conversation, with that knowledge, we can be the conversation starters!


  5. Hi Jason,

    I would like to add a point here. Be genuinely interested in others. When you are genuinely interested in others, you tend to ask questions about them and this actually make them talk more than you do. At the end of the day, they will think that you are a good conservationist and the good part of it is they are actually doing majority of the talking. People love to talk about themselves, try it and you can be a person who people love to be around with.


    1. @Vincent, right on. That’s the key. All the other advice, if put to use in an artifical or insincere way, won’t work in the long term. You have to truly become interested in people, not using them as tools for whatever scheme you have in place.

    2. @Vincent, i think that who ever you are extravert or introvert just be contented with what u have been given, don’t try to be someone else coz u won’t succeed on the long term in that, and sooner or later u will get BUSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hhhhhhhhhhhhh
      so just love urself for who u are and people will love u for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      good luck

    3. Hi, what happens when 2 people who have the same problem meets? I have seen many advices about being genuinely interested in others.
      Will there be a case of asking too much questions until both of them feel awkward?

      Just curious as I think sometimes I get this problem.

      Furthermore, I seem to get along all right at 1st few meetings with people ( new colleagues ). But, I can’t really have a closer relationship (don’t get me wrong, I mean as in friends ) with them after a few months. I frequently feel left out and not actually in the group, even though I try hard in mixing with them.

      Hope I can get some advice on my problem.


  6. My boyfriend is very much like this! He has a larger than life personality and gets along with EVERYONE. I’ve always said he could befriend a tree. That’s why I fell in love with him. :-)

  7. I belief people with charisma have a sparkle in their eye and joy in their step. They are willing to share that joy and sparkle with others.

    Remember all charismatic people aren’t successful and positive.

  8. Confidence is important. People want to be around someone who can “bring the party” rather than look to others for their source of happiness and enjoyment.

    Great post!


  9. I find a magnetic personality comes when someone is fully themselves. Authentic, Comfortable in their own skin….meaning they know they can count on themselves, they show up genuinely, and have the ability to have both empathy and compassion for self and others. Nothing is more attractive than someone else who is fully present with you. That is a rarity and a magnetism all its own. When you are ok with who you are people naturally like to be around you because on an unspoken level it gives them permission to relax and be who they are too.

  10. In reference to self-confidence, I employed the “Act as If” Philosophy spoken about by Wayne Dyer specifically and MANY others like him and wrote about it at length at my blog.

    According to Dyer, the more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and Act “As If” what you want is already here, the more you’ll activate dormant forces that conspire to transform your dream into your reality. Most of us mastered the Act “As If” game when we were kids.

    I think we all have magnetic personalities, we just need to wipe off the layers of self-doubt and muck we’ve created. I also think we attract people like us and that attraction, in large measure, has to do with our vibrational states – but I don’t want to get too heady or metaphysical about it.

    And fear, that nasty little emotion can serve us well or smack us down.

    According to Liara Covert, “Useful growth occurs through facing obstacles”. We can overcome fear and be the person we know we are deep inside – FABULOUS, INTELLIGENT, LOVING and CONFIDENT

    Yes. You. Can!

    Great post. Keep ’em coming…

    1. @Christa, that’s a great point. Acting as if something is already present, even if it’s truly only occuring in your positive thoughts, is a very powerful practice. Studies have been conducted with athletes who’ve actually improved their performance on the field by no other means than mentally rehearsing the process that they need to perform. Thanks for bringing that process up, and tying it into what I wrote about! :)

  11. Problem Talker

    Thanks for this post! Sometimes I’ll read things that just really ring true, and this is one of those things. In fact, TheChangeBlog is often my main source for such moments! The bit about confidence is hitting home for me big time. I know in my bones that that’s right.

    This particular topic is probably the #1 issue for me, and I struggle with it daily. I just can’t TALK to people. I can (and love to) write, but when it comes to VERBALLY expressing myself, it’s like a dense fog blocks my mind and I’m just terrible at it! It’s the strangest thing… I’m an INFP, which notes that tendancy interestingly. But I think that it really all boils down to confidence, and that’s just something I’m really, desperately lacking, and I know that.

    1. @Problem Talker, as the old GI Joe cartoons from my childhood used to say, “knowing is half the battle”. :) Just being able to identify your challenge is a lot further than some folks ever get. Best of luck to you in becoming more confident.

  12. Jason, you’re right on target! Confidence and empathy are two key traits everyone needs in order to make real, meaningful connections with others. Whether in business, dating, or friendship, it’s essential to not only feel good about yourself but to express a real interest in others. For shy, introverted types, this can often be a challenge, especially when shyness is misinterpreted as snobbery. But each of us can work toward becoming the type of “power connector” Jason speaks of simply by making one small change at a time. It’s something we really believe in and we’re so grateful to Jason for highlighting it in this post.

    1. @Linda and Robin @ThePowerofSmall, you bring up a great point about the shyness being interpreted as snobbery! Hadn’t thought about that in so long, but I was actually tagged as standoffish myself during college, when I most definitely wasn’t. :) It’s just another thing to be aware of; people’s perceptions are so quickly formed and so difficult to overcome. These traits I’ve outlined can become more of a defense mechanism against a bad rep, if nothing else. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Hi Jason .. I agree with both your points .. I learnt these things only when I was in my forties – but now feel pretty happy with being able to connect with people .. if they don’t want it then I leave it and smile ..

    If you practise those points of chatting to people .. you can start whereever .. even in the supermarket queue or with the cashier .. you start to get more comfortable ..

    I’d add .. walk in with a smile on your face, be open with everyone – I have to do this when I go in and out of the hospital and see the staff, patients etc .. I always walk past saying ‘good morning’ .. etc – this will help you be more confident – re the be open with everyone .. be prepared to chat .. keep your head up .. etc – you can always change the subject, or make your excuses (fi you need to)

    .. the other thing .. is remember people & remember details about them .. I can do that quite easily, though I’m definitely not perfect, .. it’s just something I’ve found I can do .. but there are tips and tricks for remembering – which are out there to help you.

    I’d just recommend everyone .. to give it a go ..

    Thanks – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    1. @Hilary, you bring up such a great point about how to handle people who don’t want to connect. Not everyone’s going to want to chat with you, and that’s okay. It’s so important to do what you said: just leave them with a smile. You can’t let other people’s responses to you determine how you react to them. Awesome point. Thank you!

  14. I really like this post, and I agree that this is a trait that can be learned.

    One thing I would like to add is that I don’t think first impressions really mean that much. People tend to think the first impression is so important, but because most people are concerned about the impression that their making – they don’t even remember the first few minutes of speaking with someone new. If you engage them, especially through genuine questions about themselves, as you suggested – then they begin to relax because it shows that you care about what they’re saying instead of what you’re trying to impress upon them.

    Take Care

  15. thanks for the post, i would like to add that it all depends on the beliefs you have about yourself, i experienced both being a shy person and a people’s magnet, the biggest difference between the two situations was my mental state.

  16. The interesting thing is some people are happy your talking with them. It’s as if they were waiting for someone to talk to or make them smile.

  17. Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading it. I wonder how you find life in Canada after being raised in Australia. Tho I guess if you were from Victoria, it would not be much of a change.

    I am moving from Qld to Victoria soon, (I did live down there for over 20 years) so am bracing myself for the cold again. :)

    Best wishes.

  18. Sometimes when you think you are confident, other people don’t think so. Convincing others to perceive you as confident person is also very important. There were times in my life when I thought I the most confident person, but other people had different opinion. How you feel and how people perceive you can be so different.

  19. I just want to say thanks for this post. It was very inspiring and very enlightening! But all your posts are awesome! Just wanted to say thanks, and what a great read to start off my week! cheers

  20. Wow. Part of the reason i think ppl don’t want to be around is that i google stuff like this, seriously. I’m betting that the extrovert is not! I feel that i go unnoticed in most situations, i hesitate to speak or keep answers short fo fear of saying something stupid as i have many times before. i definately over analyze everything i do. can’t even leave a voicemail without playing it back or rerecording same rings true for other forms of communication. I can’t seem to get pass this invisible “barrier” keeping me within. One of my “friends” recently commented on how boring i was and i often avoid situations where i will be left alone with anybody!!! I se people having conversations with one another and i can’t help but wonder what they are talking about. I first noticed this problem in highschool with a boyfriend. Everyday after class i would ask him the same questions, do you have to work today? God forbid if he said no!!!! I think my problem is deeper than anyone elses up here. I once started drinking before i went to work (don’t worry i wasn’t operating heavy machinery) just to loosen up. Why am i so stiff. I don’t wanna be the life of the party i just want to be someone that ppl feel like they can start conversations with and i don’t ppl to crawl outta their skin to get to a more comfortable enviroment when they are with me. I guess i could use more confidence. Any more suggestions!

  21. Hi i would just like to say how nice it is to read how other people feel about this as i to find it so difficult making and being friends with people. I have four hunderd friends on facebook which half added me as i am a face they have seen out at the weekend in the pubs and clubs ect to say hi to but none of them would start a conversation with me on facebook!! When i try to start a conversation they say hi back but it goes knowhere and i can tell they arent interested!!! Ive worked out that Its got to be the way i come across as its nothing to do with my body language or how i look because some people ive met on the internet dont know what i look like. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!!! Perhaps i am trying to hard to be friends or perhaps i come across in a way i dont realise. Im very confident at work with customers and i can tell they do genuwinly like me so why is my social life so very bad!!! (can anyone help??) Thanks

  22. Nice article. I too have been studying a few of my magnetic friends to see what secrets they hold – and it seems to always come back to two. One is self-confidence, which is being comfortable in your own skin and knowing what you stand for. The second is a having no fear of failure.

    As I continually strive to be a better man, these lessons have helped with building my belief system – the foundation for true self-confidence. What are the things I truly believe in, and why?!? And I also must continually remind myself that with failure comes success – and most failures hurt far less than we imagine.

  23. thanks Jason Barr….i really want this….now i am trying to do this and build self-confidence and empathy :)

  24. Being an introvert to some degree is not bad, however, not learning how to make friends or talk to people can make for a very lonely existence. In high school I was extremely popular, I didn’t have a particular click like many other kids, I was one of those people that could move from click to click and fit in and talk with everybody. Then something happened after high school, I am not sure what it was, but slowly my friends began to drop off one by one, dating started to slow down, then stopped and I found myself going out places, everywhere, alone. Then finally I stopped going out all together. It was a life of going to work and then coming home. I had become a hermit. This went on for several years. One day while on one of the social networking sites I saw a girl that I knew from high school and sent her a message to say hi. We began to talk and subsequently started to date. I can say I was a real challenege for her. It took quite a while before she could get me to start coming out of my shell. The unfortunate thing is that I did not come out of my shell enough. She had a group of close knit friends that threw parties, went to events, did things and invited us to do things with them… well invited her… I was the +1. I was happy to be the +1, it got me out of the house, but I also resented it secretly to some degree because I was only really invited because of her and felt like an outsider or out of place a lot of the time. This wore on my self-confidence and self-esteem even more, which wasn’t particularly high in the first place, I ended up damaging my relationship with her and she broke up with me. After the break up I am faced with the fact that I don’t have any friends and once again trying to force myself to get out of the house and do things alone. It has been a tough year for me… diagnosed with several health problems, lost my girlfriend of 3 years, my job of 6 years, my dog of 15 years… all in the same month. It’s an understatement to say I have been hit pretty hard by depression due to all this, especially without any friends I can turn to for support, but i refuse to give up. I have been on a mission to change and become a better person… the person I want to be. Part of that is search is what led me here. Thank you. You offer some good advice and insights. Every little piece of information helps me to assemble the puzzle and take another step in the right direction. Little by little, I am attempting to build a better life, not rebuild the one I had. Any advice or suggestions you might have for me are welcomed and appreciated.

    1. Robert,

      I understand what you are saying completely. In High School I was not so much of a social talker like you but more of a person who had friends because I was nice. I was the one who everyone went to for their problems or stories but no one would ever ask me about my life. I attract people who are more into themselves and are full of drama. I got tired of this repetative cycle of depressing friends so I don’t like people much now. I did however build up confidence at one point between the ages of 18 and 22 and made many friends and got married. My husband is the life of the party and I tag along. I even feel like he needs to be with me to visit MY friends. That doesn’t feel so great either. My confidence dissapeared and now I’m trying to build it back up. I’m 26 and struggling with friendships and even my marriage due to lack of confidence. I know you wrote this a while ago but I am very curious to find out how your life has been since you posted this.

  25. I can really relate to this story, I have a friend who is exactly the same but I’m tired of depending on people to carry conversations for me.

    Thank you!

  26. I’m just reading this and sharing some of it with my wife. It ties in so much with what has happened for me this year.
    In January this year, I finished off the 8 sessions of therapy I took. Now I’d had therapy before, but on this last occasion, I was so fed up with the bouts of depression I’d suffered for years, I told the therapist I wanted it sorted once and for all.
    Self Confidence:
    This is something I’ve gained in abundance. The result has been exactly as you have described here. I performed well at work, and as a result I decided to claim the credit for it rather than shrink back and say “well it wasn’t all me and I don’t really deserve it”. Claiming that credit has been SO good for me. People now come to me for advice. I’ve stopped letting people walk over me. I resolved to stand up for myself (and that was pretty scary, believe me).
    I joined a band this year and left the one I was in before because I identified that it was not good for me.
    People come up to me in the street that I know vaguely in some cases and say “Hi Marty”.
    On The last 3 gigs I’ve played in the band, the person paying us has come to ME with the money and thanked us for the music. It’s magical!

    Thanks for sharing this. It works!

  27. My best friend is someone who people always want to be around. She is comfortable in her own skin. I on the other hand, am not. Any ideas for helping me become more comfortable in my own skin?

    1. Hi Breanna
      That’s the big question!
      Something you can start to look at is what you true values are. Those values that are not influenced by anyone else. It’s a starting point. Once you have an understanding of you own uniqueness, you’ll begin to be more comfortable. This will manifest itself to others. It’s about getting some balance too.
      Good luck and be blessed!

      1. Thank You Marty! I am going to start looking for what I think my true values are. Thanks for the great advice!

    2. Hi Breanna ,
      First of all … you have a lovely name :)
      Obviously , different ideas and practices work for some people , but not others .
      I started practicing meditation and using the power of vivid visualization ( important to use all the body senses while practicing this method ) … playing out scenes in my mind of being a comfortable person around people and to importantly accept myself , ( people are subconsciously receptive to these signals ) and have found with continuing practice , most beneficial .
      I hope this helps … all the best in seeking out that best friend … yourself ! .
      Vince .

  28. Thanks for sharring this. I have a friend probably similar to yours but i never really thought about describing him with those traits until now. If i had to add 1 thing it would be optimism but mainly not complaining. when you complain it makes everybody feel bad and there’s absolutely no point. it doesn’t get you anywhere.

  29. Hi Jason,
    I totally get your messages; one of the best I’ve come across in a long time, but having said that, I would like to understand why people are also drawn or magnetized to people who don’t seem to want or like them, e.g the so-called ‘popular people’ found in almost every sphere of life; especially schools, get it easy; everyone wants to be like or be with them all the time, even those they might act rude or unfair to.
    Why is this so then?

    1. In my mind there is a distinction between the “popular kids”, and what I consider to be a magnetic person. Being drawn to the popular high school, isn’t nearly the same thing. I find that is just other people wanting to fit in by association. A magnetic person is someone you know who is kind and giving, and make’s everyone feel special. It’s genuine, and you recognize it, perhaps purely on a subconscious level. They attract people to them, because they are good friendly down to earth people, that at the same time inspire you. I also find they have an extreme level of knowledge in regards to social cues and rules, so that they can maximize their friendliness without ever making a situation creepy. They are constantly aware of how their actions can make a specific person feel, and based on that, tailor their interaction with you so you won’t ever feel uncomfortable. I think whenever someone pictures a magnetic person, they picture the good-looking alpha male with the winning smile who seems like a nice guy and should be in Hollywood. I picture the guy you meet at a party where you’re just standing in a corner, and he sees you standing in a corner, and before you know it, you’ve been chatting all night, and everyone’s passed out, or gone home.

      1. Yep. Totally agree with this distinction, Tony, and with your description of an authentically charismatic person. Their focus is others rather than themselves.

  30. I’ve read this article. It’s very good but I also find it very depressing as I have no confidence and feel like I have no friends at work. I do have a few but I feel inferior to them and wonder if they think I’m boring or dull or too nervous. I always feel that they don’t really want me around and as I type this I feel weepy. Is there any hope for me and people like me as I don’t want to be lonely?

    1. Hey Steve,

      I have the say that I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve also felt this way. I found it very hard to connect with others when I was in college and when I was at work.

      I started to reach out to people via the internet about 10 months ago because I felt so introverted and whenever I tried to contribute or be friends with anyone, I would always get the impression that they thought I was weird or something and it frustrated me.

      If there’s done thing I learned from the people who talked to me on the internet is that in order to gain confidence, it’s important to give value to others consistently, no matter how you’re feeling. Reaching out to people who need help simply by sharing your own experiences and feelings and thoughts give you a real confidence boost and sense that you belong.

      Doing this does two things:

      (1) keeps your mind focused on other things
      (2) gives you a sense of accomplishment and content when you know you helped someone.

      I hope this helps Steve.

      Take care…

  31. I tend to feel awkward during a conversation so I usually let other people do the talking as I tend to stutter to much and due to being Autistic I do not pick up on body language.

    I used to think it was just me but after my parents studied Autisium I learned it’s common for us to not pick up on body language as easy as other people so I am not aware of how I am reaction.

    I am now usually keeping what I say to a few sentences unless it’s with my parents but with strangers I feel weird.

    I sure wish I had that self confidence that some people seem to be born with and I do believe that some people are born with them from a past life that carried on over to this but it’s probably randomly chosen.

  32. Good article.

    But from another view,, we do what we have to do to get what we want. Our society is full of advice on how to make a million, get the latest and greatest car, the best girl or boy partner etc. etc. We get it drilled in us early if our parents have done there homework to play the game to get the things we want,, God forbid you turn out like so and so…. You get the point….

    Imho,,, we do ourselves and society a favor by not caring about whether we’re the toast of the party or the shine that lights up the room.

    Be yourself and whatever that entails. Be comfortable with not being or being the center of attention.

  33. Really fantastic advice. Someone once tried to tell me the same thing, and I didn’t understand. I thought I was supposed to try to be someone different. To stay as far away from ME as possible. And up until now, I believed that was right. But now I understand. And it’s hard. It’s really hard to like myself, to radiate confidence in Me. I’ve always wanted people to be comfortable around me. Now I realize the first step is to be comfortable with myself. Thanks Jason. You are totally cool.

  34. I really enjoyed reading this.
    I have realized that the friends that I do have always hold my conversations for me.
    I find it difficult to be around new people without my conversationalists right by my side.
    This is something that has increasingly began to bother me.
    I am an interesting person and I don’t need anyone else to show that to anybody else but me!
    Note to self: If you say something “stupid” big deal; the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world! Shine your light!

  35. I’ve noticed that a lot of the comments have been posted by people who feel that their introversion is a limitation. The most charismatic people I have met in my life have been introverts. There is a very profound sense of power in being an introvert, and I for one am extremely grateful for it. It is what makes people feel extremely comfortable around you, if you know how to use it properly. In fact, I don’t think I’ve met a single extrovert, that I have truly connected with, only introverts with self-confidence. As introverts, we are constantly aware of how things make us feel. Now just learn to take that a step further, and begin the process of understanding how others feel and perceive the world. If you’re in touch with how you want to be treated, being able to know how others want to be treated is a big part of the equation. You have the awareness to be able to understand and make other’s feel at ease, because you have the ability to truly see them. Another amazing thing about being an introvert, is that you don’t need to feed off of others to feel alive. This rids you of the clinginess factor. I find there is such a misconception among people that assume that introversion and shyness are the same thing.

  36. I think the best advice I can give, is to just learn to really listen to people, get comfortable with hearing peoples life stories, everyone… not just people you respect, but everyone you meet. Take the time to just hear them out. Everyone is dying to let the world know they are there. After a while you will see that everyone thinks they are so alone, but we’re all very much alike. The best sense of confidence comes from a profound understanding that everyone has their cute little flaws, and everyone is a little to wrapped up in their own lives. Once you can see the big picture, and get a little perspective, you begin to understand that in the grand scheme of things, your problems aren’t the end of the world. Empathy-> Understanding-> Perspective-> Compassion-> Confidence…(I know it sounds simple, but trying to understand and connect with people has been my life’s work)

  37. I personally believe that confidence or lack of it, is something that is affected by one’s upbringing during formative years (not always, but imho mostly).
    Now having said that, there is another tricky side to ‘having’ confidence…. especially people who made a concerted effort to be ‘taught’ this trait later in life.
    These people have to watch that fine line between confidence/positivity versus insincerity and arrogance. THAT takes discernment.
    I know loads of people oozing confidence but when I pick up that it is a “learned art” ..(usually body language is a dead giveaway) I tend to see beyond the charisma.
    Often the confidence we admire in others is just another means of a cover up for some or other insecurity – we all have them.

    “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” – a good old fashioned Bible quote.

  38. Thanks Jason … great post ,
    Enjoyed reading all the comments … many people have expressed their thoughts and ideas very well . I agree , natural self confidence and empathy are important attributes and go a long way into possessing that special quality of a ” magnetic personality ”. I have always been on the quiet side … yes , another introvert lol , but have accepted this as who I am , and to be quite honest , like myself this way … after all , self acceptance is also vital … the mirror effect … you like you , other people will like you … other people naturally sense this and like your company . I also strongly believe in the perception of reading body language and facial expressions as being important so as not to take the conversation beyond its limits .
    Once again , great post and keep ‘ em coming … cheers .
    Vince .

  39. Hi everyone,

    I just found this thread and thought I’d write and see if anyone could help me.

    I have been having problems making friends for years now. I often get the impression I’m unliked and I’m left out of groups and feel like other women want to put me down or show off to me. Im very lonely and feel isolated even when I’m talking to people, it’s as though it’s uncomfortable for me to look at them in the face and I feel numb and removed. Although on paper I do a lot of the things suggested above, e.g I try to be happy and positive, I seek out groups/people where I have something in common, I ask relevant questions/show interest in peoples lives……..people only seem comfortable/happy during the periods when they are responding to questions I’ve asked about their wedding plans, children, promotions etc. They never ask me questions in return and seem to feel akward or bored with me otherwise, like I’m very insignificant.

    The trouble with me is I just don’t ‘feel’ right. I can’t connect and the common denominator in my lack of friends is ME! I crave friendship but can’t seem to get over myself and my inability to connect and nothing changes because of this. I have a feeling my body language doesn’t correspond to my positive/interested efforts?

    I have felt like this to varying degrees since I was a teenager. I have made friends here and there but these friendships have never lasted for longer than a couple of years and seem to be with people who are also marginalised.

    Most importantly I have a 5 month old baby boy and feel sick that he may end up as lonely and isolated as me. I joined a baby massage class hoping to make a friend and the rest of the group went for coffee at the end of the last session and didn’t invite me. I chatted to two other Mums at another baby classes and took their number but they never replied to my texts, this is quite a typical example of my problems. I feel that my baby is already losing out and I’m so scared :-(

    Has anyone any thoughts on this or suggestions to get better? I am adopted but had a fairly happy childhood and can’t see any glaring reason why I struggle so much with this problem.


    Sarah xx

    1. this is exactly how I feel, It’s hard not to be self-sympathising when there is no one to talk to about it because no one wants to talk at all!

    2. Hi Sarah,

      It sounds like you’re really trying to connect and make friends with people – good for you! :) But I wonder if you might be trying too hard. I’ve recently learned that people can tell when you’re working hard to earn their acceptance and approval – and sadly, this can turn people off. It also seems that you’re so worried about how you’re coming across to others that you may be missing the chance to really ‘connect’ with them. May I ask, when you are talking and asking questions of others, do you share anything about yourself with them? If not, give it a try. Sharing invites communication. They probably want to learn as much about you as you seem to want to know about them. I hope this helps.

      Nicole xx

  40. I’m confident, and easy going person and don’t get easily offended, I don’t lie or cheat, I help people out I’m inquisitive and like listening to people, I try to look my best and approachable…. then why is it I repel people? Not just bad friends but any kind of friend? Why do people loose interest in me so easily :S

  41. Wonderful post Jason. Thank you! I enjoyed reading all the comments too. I especially appreciated yours, Tony, about charisma and introversion not being mutually exclusive. Some of the most charismatic persons I’ve ever met are (probably borderline) introverts too, I think. The true definition of an introvert is someone who needs plenty of “alone time” to process/recharge. They are not necessarily more wrapped up in themselves than extroverts are (they may be thinking about others in their alone time!) Though since they tend to spend more time “in their own little world”, I agree that it’s likely they are very tuned in to how they feel; which is why I love your suggestion (in accord with Jason’s insights too) to simply take this a step further and apply this awareness to others. Top advice. Thanks for sharing it with us all. :)

  42. Also, all people are worthy of basic respect, whatever we may think of their views/opinions/behaviour; and I think that if we sincerely respect as fellow human beings every single one of those around us, they subconsiously pick up on this, are grateful for it, and relax. I once saw a bit of advice exemplifying this: something like “treat others as they should be, not as they are” – e.g. if someone is being obnoxious and impatient, don’t be scandalised by this, and mirror their behaviour (two wrongs don’t make a right!) – instead be neutral, continue to treat them with respect (not in any way condoning their obnoxiousness but simply overlooking it), and they will probably very quickly start to feel ashamed of acting objectionably. It’s simply an immature, reflex way of trying to get what they want, and they will abandon it once they realise it’s not necessary.

  43. @Sarah I am the exact same way, I am not necessarily a quiet person but I feel that I am awkward when I am around people. It is hard for me to make friends I have been going to the same school for almost three years now and I have not made many friends. I hung out with some once and then saw them the next day and they just ignored me. I do have major self esteem issues and I try to make friends but it is hard. My friend has the ability to attract people and although she doesn’t go and start talking to people they come up to her. It makes me feel jealous, what does she have that I don’t. I want this ability, I would like to make friends, a life outside of school.

  44. Thanks Jason for the post,Its been well written.
    I was so shy in my school and college days,that i had only few friends.Always finding it difficult to fit in a new group. My boyfriend was so popular in college and I was very much intimidated by that.i wanted to be like him. He could just speak to anyone about anything. I always watched him involve in conversations , were as i was finding it difficult to be a part of it. But he was always there supporting me , helping me start a conversation, letting me know almost all his friends and slowely my fear to open up faded.

  45. I am not really shy when meeting ppl, and I can hold conversation well, I even make ppl laugh. I always listen and consider other ppl’s opinions. i try to keep things drama free. But often no one wants to go beyond conversation. There is always somebody more important.

  46. this is really great. the best way to overcome shyness I’ve read yet. i know that this will help me. thanks a bunch!!!

  47. This seems great and has some very valid points on this topic. BUT… Haven’t you ever met someone who was confident, and empathetic but was still socially awkward? What if your confidence creates awkwardness?

  48. I was an extreme introvert and failed in all meetings,interviews,failures in love life, and an utter failure in all the aspects. Reading self help books,philosophy, psychology etc., etc., changed me a lot and now after may be 30-40 years I now myself consider as confident, charismatic and magnetic personality.

    The point i want to emphasize is that there is no absolute introverts or extroverts as such. The adjectives is the result of your internal confusion, guilt and societal pressures. You meditate on yourself continuosly for say weeks, months or even years and the inner confusion melts away and you are comfortable at yourself.

    The inner peace radiates itself out as confidence. There is love when you love yourself. No contradictions inside you and people starts liking you. You are instantly connected with anyone anywhere. Words come automatically to you. This is real life vibrating with extreme energy. No extrovert/introvert theory can explain this. Everything is internal. You find your rhythm and the song follows.

  49. I think that your genuineness and how real you are as opposed to being a fake help to give you a magnetic personality. People are tired of relating to persons and finding out after that “that was all just a show”, they had a hidden agenda, they were well practiced in what they did – knew the right words to say and how to act but it was not coming from their heart. One example is how often we ask persons, “How are you doing?” We sometimes don’t stop to even hear the answer or we brush over their response because we asked as a cliche. If we are going to ask such a question of others, we should genuinely want to hear and know and see if we can assist in any way if a problem comes out in their answer. Of course, we should check first if they would want our suggestion/advice. Being able to have heart-to-heart conversations with people makes one attractive.

  50. Looking like you’re enjoying life, or the situation. Happy being you, and not needy or nervous. Not overly confident, just relaxed and happy. That’s the key. Too much confidence puts me right off though.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *