Charm practice

Charm is simply the practice of making someone know that you feel good about them without embarrassing them or asking anything of them in return, and it's really, really seductive. It's being a fancy maitre d' at a French restaurant without the tip — making someone feel that they are the most important person in the world to you at that moment.

Charm has to be sincere. Charm is its most potent when you believe what you're saying.

Charm must include eye contact. If you're good at eye contact and vocal warmth, it's almost impossible to lay it on too thick.

Charm may include compliments. What to say is relatively easy: Figure out what would feel the best to you if someone were making you feel good. This technique doesn't work 100 percent of the time, but it works more often than not, and because you're tuned in to the other person (a large part of the charm experience), you'll be able to adjust accordingly.

Charm is done lightly and pleasantly.

Charm isn't sexual; it's just warmth.

The trick to charm is to be selfless: You're not asking for anything here, not even feedback. Charm is independent of response (well, almost independent; all of us like to feel appreciated, but with charm, being appreciated isn't the point).

The difference between charm and flattery is that flattery has an agenda — I'll give you compliments so that you'll give me what I want. Charm is a way of being, rather than a tool to achieve something.

Charm at its simplest just says, "You're terrific; thank you for letting me bask in your glow." Who among us isn't going to respond to that pitch?

most things, charm benefits from practice. So where do you start? Any place. Practice on your mom, your cat, your neighbor, your dad, your boss, your teacher, the cop on the corner, the 2-year-old next door. You will also be amazed at how charming people will be in return, the smiles you will glean, the fun you will have.

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