The #1 Killer of Charm
(Plus: Six Signs to know if you’re Guilty)

Click below if you prefer to listen.

A few weeks ago, while waiting for a friend to meet me for a cocktail at the bar, I was able to participate in one of my very favorite activities:

Eavesdropping.

I know it’s a little creepy, but I do it for several reasons.

  1. It’s very entertaining
  2. It often gives me a lot of ideas / material to write about.
  3. I learn SO much about human dynamics.
  4. And most importantly……I learn what NOT TO DO in social situations.

So, back to eavesdropping. 🙂

There was a couple sitting beside me at the bar.

It was obvious that they were on a first date.

Here’s a snippit of the conversation:

Guy: So, how long have you lived here?

Gal: Snoooooozeeeerrr!

(read: a looooonnnnnngggggg answer that bored me to tears. And based on his body language, I’m guessing him as well.)

As I sipped my Champagne, I had flashbacks to the days when I was that gal. #blessherheart

I understand all too well the mindset driving non-stop talking, long winded answers and a lot of fidgeting.

I used to be an extremely socially awkward and anxious person.

Yep! I’ve definitely had my fair share of social faux pas.

Thankfully, that’s not the case any longer.

(Okay, let me rephrase that. I still have social blunders BUT not as often AND I never beat myself up for them because after all, imperfection IS charming.)

Today, I feel at ease and confident in every room I enter — from a honky tonk to the Palais Garnier Opera House.

So….. how did I turn it around?

It’s called . . . C H A R M

Now, before you start rolling your eyes,

Listen up!

This word, “charm”, it gets a bad wrap.

On one hand, it can be seen as some sort of magic spell you put onto people in order to get your way. That’s not charm; that’s manipulation. This is not the kind of charm I’m talking about.

On the other, it can conjure up thoughts of the very elegant, exclusive and bourgeoisie “Emily post” type social formalities and finishing schools. While these can make a woman appear charming, these outward skills don’t make a woman feel charming. Big difference! While I did learn how to offer up the firmest handshake a girl can give, I still struggled with “being” with people. So, I’m not talking about that kind of charm either.

The charm I speak of is about having a presence so radiant, a confidence so deep and a curiosity so playful that you leave others wondering, “Who’s that lady?”

Back then, I was NOT that lady.

And, quite honestly, I was so sick and tired of …

…leaving social situations and replaying events in my head.

…feeling like I didn’t belong.

…avoiding difficult conversations like the plague.

…watching everyone else have fun — receiving the invites, laughing around the table, and really seeming to enjoy it all!

So I set out to do something about it.

I discovered that Charm isn’t a gene that only a few possess

Luckily, it’s a skill any woman can learn.

As a woman, we are taught many life skills — calculus, history and English, or how to balance a checkbook, how to cook a meal.

But no one has really taught us one of the most important skills that can make or break every area of our lives:   HOW TO CHARM.

Without charm . . . life is a lot harder.

Because no matter what you desire — a job promotion, a new romance, to make more money, to have better relationships — interacting with others is always part of the equation.

With charm . . . Life becomes a grand PARTY!

Who wouldn’t love to be that Charming Woman who always . . .

  • Has your phone blowing up with invites to dinners, parties and events.
  • Draws people towards you like a moth to a flame.
  • Knows how to respond to any social situation you may encounter with confidence.
  • Possesses the ability to influence people simply by managing your own presence.
  • Initiates the “turn around effect” because your presence can be felt before you’re even seen.
  • Is called the “lucky” one who seems to have opportunities fall into your lap.
  • Has cultivated a network of first-class people just a phone call or email away.
  • Lives a genuinely joyful life filled with incredible relationships.

Well, I most certainly want to be her!

Go here to enroll in my newest course…….

Successful people understand the power of charm.

Many people think it’s appearance, talent or IQ that will advance their careers and lives.

You and I both know that there are many beautiful, smart and talented people who are not able to achieve what they desire.

So, if it’s not their looks or intellect, why do they struggle?

They lack social confidence and the ability to influence and win people over.

Success is something that we all must define for ourselves, but no matter your definition, relationships are the KEY to a prosperous and joyful life.

In order to achieve your goals, you must learn how to powerfully connect with others, feel confident no matter who’s in the room, and captivate your audience of one or many.

Are you ready to learn “The Art of Charm”?

If you’re nodding “yes,” I must warn you that this isn’t some cute-sy endeavor.

In fact, the journey to charm is one of courage, curiosity and commitment.

The first thing I had to tackle was the HARDEST.

What is it?

The #1 Killer of Charm = The need to be liked.

While most humans want to be liked, we can take it waaay too far.

When we do, we often push others away.

Oh, the irony, right?

Trying Too Hard to Be Liked
Makes You Less Likeable

{tweet this}

I can confidently tell you that when I was in the height of my “Like me! Like me! Like me!” years, these were the years when I least liked myself.

Now, I understand why.

Instead of being genuine, I was constantly contorting myself into versions of me that I thought this person or that person would like.  Instead of caring for myself emotionally, I was outsourcing my emotional life to others. “Please, please please like me so I can like myself!”

Folks, this is NOT how it works.

What this does is drain the people around you.

And it will cause you a lot of suffering.

Ironically, it does the exact opposite of what we’re desiring to achieve.

In coaching women for over a decade, I have seen first hand how “the need to be liked” wreaks havoc on so many women’s lives. Especially the women who (on the outside) seem to have it all together. This desperate need to be liked keeps us small, makes us act crazy, and actually pushes people away.

But, when you get over it?

M’friend…you’re on the road to sweet and glorious freedom.

But you must rid yourself of this very bad habit if you want to learn and embody The Art of Charm.

If you’re reading this wondering if you’re trying too hard to be liked, here are some key signs:

Six Signs that you’re guilty of killing your charm (by trying too hard to be liked)

FIRST SIGN: You say “yes” when you really mean “no”

You say yes to being on the board even though you’d rather be at home planting a garden.

You agree to host Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family (all twenty of them) even though you’d prefer to go away for the holiday weekend.

I once agreed to bake 100 cookies for a group my daughter belonged to even though she didn’t want to be part of it, and I hated baking cookies.

Why? I wanted the approval of the “it” moms. (Gosh, just saying that creeps me out now, but that’s what wanting to be liked will cause a woman to do.)

What charming people do:
They say no . . . a lot! And, they’re respected for it.

SECOND SIGN: Saying “no” when you really mean “yes”

You don’t book the trip because you’re afraid of what your family will think.

You don’t wear the dress because it may be too much.

My friend, Jill, took her kids to a roller skating party. All the parents were standing on the sidelines watching the kids have a blast. Her 8-year old daughter begged her to skate with her. Jill said “no” because she wanted to fit in with the other parents. This haunts Jill to this day. She regrets not saying “yes” to her daughter. And, deep down, she wanted to skate.

What charming people do:
They do what they want and inspire others because of it.

THIRD SIGN: You’re Acting like a crazy person

I’ve morphed into some really interesting characters in rooms of people where I sought their approval.

This has caused sporadic behaviors like:

– talking so fast that I couldn’t even keep up with my own words
– fidgeting like I was going through withdrawals
– running away to the bathroom mid-conversation because I felt so out of place,
– talking about myself non-stop.

Wanting to be liked causes you to act insane.

What charming people do:
They are calm and collected in groups of people
because they have nothing to prove and everything to give.

FOURTH SIGN: You lack healthy boundaries

Lori, who is recently married, came home to find her mother-in-law cleaning her kitchen. This isn’t the first time. She’s always showing up uninvited to their home and meddling in their marriage. But, Lori wants her to like her, so she keeps putting up with this kind of behavior even though she’s building resentment.

Whether it’s a co-worker who monopolizes your time or a friend who takes advantage of your generosity (aka people pleasing), at the core of this behavior is your need to be liked.

What charming people do:
They understand that they need some big fences around their lives,
so they re-set fenceposts often.

FIFTH SIGN: You don’t ask for help

In our quest to be liked, we help everyone else and refuse to ask for help ourselves. We don’t want to burden others or risk rejection, so we exhaust ourselves trying to be everything to everyone.

What charming people do:
They know that people love to help out,
and that a beautiful life is not a one-man show.

SIXTH SIGN: You don’t take a stand.

With one group, you’re opinion is “x”.

In another, your opinion is “y”.

Because you want to be liked by everyone, you become vanilla.

And, we know that most people would really prefer something a little more exotic like sea-salt caramel….or at the very least a Vanilla Bean, from Madagascar. Or even Vanilla made from cream from a small dairy farmer in Vermont.

When I started my business, I was that vanilla girl. I didn’t want to repel people so I took the comfy and very boring road of keeping my beliefs neutral. I didn’t get a lot of love nor hate. I just got crickets!

But when I started sharing my love of France, how what you wear matters, my quest to finding a great handbag and my love of luxury, everything changed.

There were people who called me materialistic and shallow.

But, there were also a lot more women who could relate and I naturally began to attract my ideal community of women who want to French Kiss Life.

What charming people do:
They know what they value and believe. And, they aren’t afraid to share it.
However, they don’t argue their points. They value their happiness over being right.

If you want to be more charming, you must break the habit of wanting to be liked.

I get it.

It’s so uncomfortable to risk rejection and disapproval, but do you know what’s even harder?

Rejecting yourself over and over again, all the while, disapproving of yourself.

This is why learning the Art of Charm will be one of the most amazing gifts you’ll ever give yourself.

I’m delighted to let you know that enrollment is open in my newest course “Charm the Room”

And if you liked this post, I can guarantee that you’ll love this course <click here to learn more>

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JOIN THE CHIC CONVERSATION BELOW: Did you like this FKL Post? Which of the six signs are you guilty of that are killing your charm? And what is one small thing that you can start to do TODAY to help break your habit of wanting to be liked?

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43 Responses to The #1 Killer of Charm
(Plus: Six Signs to know if you’re Guilty)

  1. THIS. IS. ME……But how on earth do you stop? I will say something that is on my mind and instantly feel guilty!

  2. Well, I must confess that I have been guilty of all SIX signs in the past! But thanks to a lot of growth in the last couple of years (and your MDI program and emails, etc.) I am living a much more charmed life these days 🙂 Thank you for this fantastic topic and wisdom!

  3. Oh, oh, oh! I just listened to the podcast (I always read it first and then listen) and heard that your daughter is coming to Nashville!! Oh YAY!!!! I would love to meet her and welcome her to my favorite city and my home!! Congrats! You will love Nashville – it’s both Southern and cosmopolitan at the same time. Lovely!

    • Your blog post was exactly what I needed. I had booked a room for a girls trip later this year. I was charged half of the amount on my credit card and I had been vacillating whether or not to ask the other girls to please send me a check. I wanted them not to be mad at me. On the other hand I didn’t want to have to pay the large amount charged to my card. After your reading your blog post I sent a text and everyone was so gracious and said their checks were in the mail. Thank you so much for being an encouragement to us. God bless you

      • Hi Stacie,

        Isn’t it fascinating how our big fears often never come true but keep us hiding out in our lives.

        I’m so glad to hear that you honored YOU.

        Have fun on your girl’s trip.

  4. These are very true but they also very hard to do. For example, not saying no–yet farther down, there’s asking for help. When we ask for help, we don’t always ask for things that are a joy to do. Yet people oblige, because they like/love us. And sometimes we have to say yes to things we don’t want to do. You qualified the example by pointing out that the mom hated baking cookies and that the girl didn’t really want to join the group–so there was no love/like of the people being helped.
    That said, trying hard to be liked is the sure way to fail.

    • Excellent podcast…timely as I am navigating the dating world. Loved the “I sound like Dr. Seuss right now” comment…I laughed out loud.

    • Hi there! I always love seeing you.

      You’re right. They ARE hard to do because of a lot of old programming.

      Here’s what I’ve come to understand. We don’t have to say “yes” to anything.

      We don’t have to work, pay our bills, take care of our children, pay our taxes.

      But, we choose to do these things because we actually want to.

      It’s when you’re saying “yes” out of fear that causes issues.

      These days, I help people all the time, because I WANT to, not because I’m trying to get them to like me.

      It’s such a different approach.

      • As usual your topics are right on and speak to my core. I relate to all six signs at some point. I’ve always admired those women with charm and I felt “the pull” be like that but didn’t have a clue how to get there. I recently started with MDI and I can feel the shift in myself. Loved your comment “we learn when we are supposed to”. Thanks for that reminder. My 90 yo self is smiling.

  5. I can truly say you are always in my diary because this morning after meditation I wrote in my journal “start having a better opinion of yourself that is when things will flourish.” I can be honest it is a process learning to not care what other people think of me especially for church {working in ministry) but I am so ready to grow from this and live my life fully on my own terms. Thank you Tonya can’t wait for the next podcast.

  6. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
    First let me just say, though I will miss the old intro I have to say I’m grooving with the new one.💃

    At this point in my life I’m resonating with saying YES to those experiences I truly desire to say Yes to. Starting tonight…Candle light dinner with myself while enjoying the sights & sounds of the storm raging outside. Thanks Tonya!

  7. Portugal is amazing! Where are you going? If you go to Porto, pay a visit to the port cellars to learn about this special wine (and taste it, too). If you’re going to Lisbon you must visit Sintra. It’s absolutely magical.

  8. Is it possible to lost the Charm ? Or I didn’t had any before ? I used to be a woman who has an natural impact on others (men, women, businesses), however I am so overwhelmed with duties that I feel like I even didn’t noticed and I’ve lost it… Thanks to you Tonya I can go through my life, undertake an deep self-inspection and remember again whom I once was. Thank YOU !

    • I think so, because it’s all about energy. But, I don’t think it’s lost, as in “out there.” It’s within you, m’friend! Just hard to find underneath all the stuff. But, you’ll find it.

  9. I am in the midst of this right now (on the bad side of it). Thanks so much for this clarity. It is so helpful. I love the word charm. I think it’s so magical and a breath of fresh air. I won’t beat myself up for what I’ve gotten myself into in the wanting to be liked department; I am going to start from this moment! Thank you so much for this. xoxox

    • Nope! Beating yourself up is NOT charming. And, guess what? You’re a human. We all do it, but now you get to make a new decision. Muah!

  10. Tonya,

    Yet another important learning lesson, love it! I also think this would be great to share with my son as well. Yes, I wish someone told me this stuff in high school too. Keep the good stuff coming!!!
    Love ya!

    • I know, right? I think that every school should have some type of Emotional Intelligence educator. Think about how that would help our children. But, I guess the job comes down to us. Your son is very lucky to have you :).

  11. Tonya:
    You are right on target and wonderful advice that is needed as the new school year begins. Be charming goes a great deal into having a successful year. Thanks for on point, on target advice. Thanks Valerie

  12. Tonya:
    You are right on target and wonderful advice that is needed as the new school year begins. Be charming goes a long way into having a successful year. Thanks for on point, on target advice. Thanks Valerie

  13. Thank you for this! I have probably been through all of these at one time or another in my life. Probably the hardest one for me is saying No when I know that would be my preference; but, I often feel that my reason is not good enough and that I “Should” say yes. I am getting better at this as I understand that sometimes an explanation of your No is not necessary and people would respect for saying No when that is best.

    • Oh, the alluring “should’s” 🙂

      And you’re right, the use of “no” has garnered me so much more respect that I ever anticipated.

      xo

  14. I just stumbled on this wisdom in my own way this week and I THANK YOU SO MUCH for confirming! I spend time regularly with time my fabulous granddaughter who is seven and often I would choose to “play” when I didn’t feel like playing. It suddenly occurred to me two days ago that children have an epic ability to feel a”vibe” or a transfer of energy and when I was playing half-heartedly she probably knew that I was not very into it. Two very negative messages there – that she could “make” Grammy do whatever she wanted AND that it was okay for Grammy to do something she didn’t really feel like doing. NOT what I want to pass on to a precious young lady in formation. Next week, if it seems like she should do something solitary for awhile like read or play her own imaginary game, I’m going to change the message. Thank you Tonya for nailing the root of things. You are a work of art! xo

  15. Hi Tonya
    Thank you for the on target advice. I was embarrassingly guilty of wanting to be liked – gushing! Blah!
    The older I have gotten, the less gushing, however, just because I’m not gushing these days doesn’t mean that intense desire is gone. Love the tips on signs to look for.
    Thank you,
    Eileen

  16. Tonya, I loved this post!!! I definitely see myself as doing or having done these “killers” of Charm all together or one by one. Quel crazy! I love learning the Art of Charm and it comes at just the right time for me, as I truly need help to let go of the need to be liked and approved of once and for all! I know deep down I am a charming lady, it’s time for me to let her out and no longer hide her! XXOO Thank you!!!! Cannot wait to hear more on Charm!

    • Yes you are, lady! I’ve known you for a long time now. And, guess what? We’ve all been guilty AND we can change into our charming selves :).

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