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What Is Charm and How Can I Get It?

What Is Charm and How Can I Get It?

Charm is that elusive, hard-to-define, but highly sought-after attribute that many attempt but few achieve. Like the narwhal of character traits, you're not really sure how to explain it, but you'll know it when you see it. It is that je ne sais quoi that separates the merely personable from the popular.

It used to be assumed that charm was the exclusive claim of the Southern and the British. Not so, Sparklebutts. YOU TOO can have charm aplenty, so much charm the opposite sex will swoon over you and your old babysitters won't even recognize you. Follow this program and you'll have the world under your spell in no time:

Step 1: Don't add "-butts" to anyone's nickname. Actually, don't say "butt" or use nicknames at all.

Step 2: Wear deodorant. (Aerosol desperation Axe Body Spray does not count.)

Step 3: Stand up straight, shoulders back, head held high. If it helps, pretend you are searching the air for the scent of freshly baked cookies.

Step 4: Look people in the eyes when speaking to them. If this results in the ping-pong effect of looking from one eye to the other eye, look at the center of their forehead.

Step 5: Smile. A lot. But not too much. If your face begins to hurt, it's probably too much.

Step 6: Remember someone's name when you meet him/her. It helps to repeat it after you hear it the first time ("Hi, Zack") and when you say goodbye ("Nice to meet you, Zack"). Do not overdo it. ("You're so funny, Zack. Would you like a pretzel, Zack? Where did you get that shirt, Zack? Were you named after Zack Morris, Zack? Can I touch you, Zack? You're so pretty, Zack...").

Step 7: In conversation, don't talk all about yourself. Ask other people interesting questions about themselves and listen to the answers. For example: Where do you go to school? Have you read any good books lately? What's in your pockets?

Step 8: Give the person you are talking to your undivided attention. Stop looking around the room for Dan Bergstein. He is not there. He is at the Lego Convention in Reno.

Step 9: Don't gossip. If you do gossip, precede it with "bless his/her heart."

Step 10: Be informed on issues of the day, such as climate change, payroll taxes, and the latest cast of Teen Mom.

Step 11: Never raise your voice. Unless you are at a cocktail party in the middle of a hurricane with a metal mariachi band playing behind you. Then it's okay.

Step 12: Give creative compliments, such as "You sing like an angel," or "You look like you know your way around a yo-yo."

Step 13: Accept compliments graciously, with a simple "thank you." If someone comments on your clothing, don't respond, "This old thing?" It makes them want to hit you in the throat.

Step 14: Be able to laugh at yourself.

Step 15: Be George Clooney. What's more charming than a villa on Lake Como in Italy? Nothing. Nothing at all. We should all just stop trying.

Did we just charm your pants off? What else do you find charming?

Related post: How to Charm a Teacher

Topics: Life
Tags: guides, how to, charm

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About the Author

Kathryn Williams is the author of three YA novels but only one with an Oxford comma in the title. She is a Taurus and hates writing bios. Check out her website,, and follow her on Twitter @kathrynwauthor.

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