People who are naturally charismatic usually display these 12 body language signs

What exactly is charisma?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, that bastion of English tradition, charisma is “the powerful personal quality that some people have to attract and impress other people.”

This is one of the qualities that great leaders possess. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing, as some leaders have used their charisma to draw people to them to do very bad things.

The word has Greek roots and originally meant “gift of grace.” This makes perfect sense because charisma is quite a hard-to-define quality that you either have or you don’t, like a special talent or other gift. 

It’s a mysterious combination of presence, confidence, magnetism, and sex appeal.

Still, charisma is one of the qualities we all know when we see it. So, let’s try to nail it down by talking about the signs that someone has great charisma.

People who are naturally charismatic usually display these 12 body language signs that you’ll instantly recognize.

1) Upright posture

If you’re like me, your mom always told you to sit up straight, not slouch, and keep your elbows off the table so you weren’t propping yourself up.

Instead, I was encouraged to develop a strong core and straight posture whether I was sitting or standing.

I was encouraged to, but I didn’t do a great job. I don’t know if charismatic people naturally develop great posture or if they still need their moms to help them out. But this is definitely something they share.

When they’re standing or sitting, they don’t hunch over, stoop, or bend their necks down.

They keep their chins level, their shoulders back, and their backs straight. And we all recognize this as the posture of someone who’s bold and confident.

2) Smiling

Naturally charismatic people don’t smile all the time.

Like most of us, they have enough empathy and social intelligence to know when it’s appropriate.

But when it is an appropriate time, they tend to smile more than the average person would.

And guess what? 

So do the people they come into contact with.

That’s because their smiles are infectious. And when you smile back, your brain gets a little jolt of dopamine that makes you feel good.

This, in turn, makes you feel better about them, and their charisma is cemented.

3) Facing faces

I’ve always been a ground looker.

In my case, it’s not because I lack confidence or feel unhappy and like to mope around.

Instead, I’ve always been fascinated by rocks, insects, and other things below our feet, and I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting things down there.

So, when it comes to facing people, I’m not the greatest example there is.

But naturally, charismatic people tend to face others head-on, and this orientation gives people the feeling that they’re being paid attention to. That makes charismatic people more attractive and appreciated.

4) Eye contact

Not only do they face the people they’re interacting with, but charismatic people are also great with eye contact.

Rather than looking away frequently, they keep their eyes on the person they’re talking to. But they don’t fix you with a penetrating, aggressive stare. They give a lot of eye contact but not so much as to be off-putting.

Another thing that you might not have noticed with naturally charismatic people is that they don’t seem to blink as much as the average person might.

Blinking a lot in a conversation might show that you’re shy or even intimidated by the other person.

So when people don’t blink very much, they seem cool, calm, and collected, and that reveals a confidence that can really inspire others.

5) Touch

Naturally charismatic people will touch not only your emotions but also your physical person.

I know that this can seem creepy or offensive, but that’s because we’re quite a hands-off culture.

However, naturally charismatic people use touch in such an adept and intuitive way that they never come across as creepy or inappropriate.

But they’ll touch people to grab their attention and hold it, and it really works.

I’m talking about a clap on the shoulder or a hand on the arm. It doesn’t ever take much, but these tiny physical connections can cause you to pay a lot more attention to them, and that makes them seem more important or worthy of your focus.

6) Firm handshakes

phrases negotiators use People who are naturally charismatic usually display these 12 body language signs

One other body language sign that involves touch, which naturally charismatic people use, is giving firm handshakes.

I’m definitely not talking about bone-crushing death grips that some people seem to think are somehow appropriate. These handshakes seem to be designed to injure or intimidate.

Nor do they hand you the limp handshake of a corpse.

They give handshakes that are firm and confident and last the perfectly precise amount of time that they should. This gets the message across that they’re confident, trustworthy, and respectful, all in one simple gesture.

7) Enthusiastic gestures

Speaking of gestures, charismatic people use a lot more when they talk than the average person does.

A lot of people are really wooden when you talk to them, keeping their hands lifelessly at their sides or, worse, stuck in their pockets the whole time.

But naturally, charismatic people gesture a lot, and it really draws your eye and your attention.  It’s also important to note that their gestures are relevant to what they’re talking about and how they feel.

This makes their body language line up perfectly with their message, and that makes their communication exceedingly effective.

8) Mirroring

Mirroring is adopting the same postures and gestures of the person you’re talking to.

We do this unconsciously when we’re having a conversation with someone, and we feel connected.

In fact, the more we’re interested and emotionally involved in the conversation, the more likely it is that we’ll mirror the other person, and they’ll mirror us. Still, people mirror to different degrees.

Some people seem to have a lot of postural momentum, and it takes an awful lot to get them to move or change. Others flit between postures, almost like they’re fidgeting.

But charismatic people tend to get mirroring just right. They do a lot of it, and unconsciously, this makes people feel heard and appreciated.

9) Attentive listening

Another way that naturally charismatic people make others feel heard is by actively listening to them.

Active listening is a combination of body language like laughing, smiling, and nodding at appropriate times and also verbal feedback. 

All of this works together to show the person who you’re listening to that you really are paying attention.

This is really appealing to people as we all want to feel like others appreciate our words and find what we say important. It makes people who do it more likable and magnetic.

10) Open poses

People with natural charisma stand up straight, face you, and give great eye contact.

But one other feature of their body language and posture is that they’re open and not closed.

Closed postures like crossing your arms and legs or even planting your fists firmly on your hips can seem aggressive or defensive depending on how they’re done. But they never seem open and inviting.

So these people stick to open postures that show people they’re friendly and approachable.

11) Perfect proximity

It’s going to come as no surprise that naturally charismatic people know exactly where to stand or sit to make others feel comfortable.

Sometimes, we encounter people who stand way too far away and seem really meek or intimidated.

But we can also be totally put off by people who get too close and make us feel like they’re inappropriately entering our personal space.

Charismatic people find the right balance, normally getting as close as possible to gain our attention without going too far and making us uncomfortable.

12) Volume

You never have to ask someone with natural charisma to repeat what they said.

That’s because they don’t mumble or murmur. They speak loudly and boldly so that they can be heard by all.

This doesn’t mean they shout or even necessarily speak louder than everyone else.

But they certainly don’t shrink away and make you lean in to hear them.

I have a friend who is one of the most charismatic people I know, and she also happens to be the loudest person I’ve ever met.

I’m positive that Pam has no intention of bellowing or talking over other people. She just has the lungs of a mountain climber and doesn’t feel a need to keep her voice down.

She says what she means, laughs incredibly loudly, and draws people’s attention without trying whatsoever. If that’s not natural charisma, I don’t know what is!

Final words

People who are naturally charismatic usually display these 12 body language signs. They’re generally masters of confident, friendly, open body language without even realizing it.

However, this mastery is a big part of what makes them attractive and magnetic to others, and that’s just what charisma is.

Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00