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17 Insanely Easy Ways To Be A Bit More Charming

How to listen, talk, and ~connect~ better. Inspired by this Quora thread.

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1. Stop relying on complaints as an icebreaker.

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It's really tempting to create a rapport with someone based on how freaking freezing it is in your office or how gross the appetizers are at a party, but...don't. You want an excuse to start a conversation, but you don't want to seem like a whiny, negative person. Break the ice with a positive observation instead.

2. Make someone feel like an expert.

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When you want someone's help or opinion on something, stroke their ego a little bit when you ask. Something like "You're so great with Excel sheets, do you mind giving me a quick crash course?" just sounds a lot better than "Please please teach me Excel because I literally can't."

3. Introduce people with a thoughtful compliment.

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This just makes you look like an awesome person, plus it gives some context to the people who are meeting for the first time. Something like "This is Susan, the most rockstar chef I know. Susan, this is Dave, the one who runs that hilarious podcast I'm always talking about." Easy peasy.

4. Follow up with someone when they get interrupted.

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If someone's telling a story and gets cut off by a waiter or phone call or whatever, remind them of what they were talking about whenever they're free again. Not only is it super respectful and nice, but it shows that you were actually listening and interested.

6. Actually remember everyone's name.

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So hard, but so important. Try repeating someone's name when you're introduced. If that still doesn't work, try a little word association (in your head!). Like OK, that's Mary, who's Mary-ed to Steve. Whatever works.

7. Never ditch the person you came with.

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This obviously applies to parties and dates, but it's also a good tip for just general day-to-day stuff. If you're with a friend and run into someone else you know, make every effort to politely catch up and then return to the person you were with — or at least introduce them and keep everyone involved in the conversation. There's nothing worse than standing there while two people catch up and awkwardly wondering if you should jump in the conversation or just wait quietly in the background.

8. Accept the damn compliment.

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Fight the urge to meet every compliment with a rebuttal. You know the kind...

Person A: "I love your outfit!"

Person B: "Ugh, it was the only clean thing I could find to cover up how bloated and gross I am today."

Person A: "Oh, um, OK."

Congratulations, you just made everyone feel awkward and uncomfortable. Try to make a habit of saying THANKS and maybe even adding your own compliment, too.

9. Drop your tongue when you're listening.

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When someone else is talking, make a point to rest your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. You'll notice your facial muscles relax (which can signal to someone that you're really engaged). Plus, you'll be less tempted to interrupt.

10. Don't talk to someone with a cell phone in your hand.

David J. Bertozzi / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Even if you're not looking at it or typing on it, it's super distracting for everyone involved. If it's already a habit, just throw it in your pocket or bag whenever you're having a conversation.

11. Talk about ideas, not people.

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Whenever you're struggling for something to talk about, steer the conversation toward ideas and things rather than people. This way you're not relying on gossip for social interactions.

12. Respond in a way that proves you were actually listening.

Not, like, in an obnoxious way, but just respond thoughtfully — especially when someone is venting. Instead of a simple "Ugh, that's the worst" add in some details, like "I can't believe they forgot your guac AGAIN. Especially since you ASKED if it was in there."

13. Dole out genuine compliments whenever they come to you.

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That co-worker who's always in a (contagious) good mood, your friend whose hair looks flawless AF today, or the person who just gave an epic toast at a wedding — compliment them! Basically, get in the habit of telling people how awesome they are. Be that person who gives the best compliments. Everyone likes that person.

14. Reciprocate questions to get to know someone.

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It's the easiest way to keep a conversation going and show someone that you're interested in talking to them. It's as easy as "And how about you?"

15. Be someone who gives great eye contact.

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You want to strike that delicate balance between creepy, unblinking eye contact and confident, thoughtful eye contact. So don't overcompensate by widening your eyes, leaning in too much, or refusing to blink — just make a point to meet someone's gaze when you're having a conversation.

16. When talking to a group, actually look at everyone in the group.

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You don't have to count out five seconds of eye contact for each person, but just be mindful of your body language and your gaze when addressing several people. It's an easy way to seem personal, confident, and outgoing.

17. Say "please" and "thank you," FFS.

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Whether you're talking to your boss, your partner, your friend, or your waiter — just say it. It's polite, it's not hard, and it shows you're a nice person. Oh, and saying it in a rude/bitchy/condescending way does not count ever, so don't do that.

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