This would be my first book of practical psychology; some would say it is long overdue, right? It can only mean I am either too confident or in such denial that I don't even dare face the truth. As a matter of fact, in the beginning, I thought my charisma was just fine, but after having read the book, it turned out I needed to work on my skills.
Jokes aside, it was a kind of mental gymnastics type of activity that challenged my mind. First, there were some nice types of exercises meant to emphasise the importance of certain chapters or to trigger certain emotions. Andrew Leigh believes there are some hidden, various characters, living inside ourselves that we allow to come out whenever it feels right. And it made me wonder what is that I have been hiding inside me for such a long time; I am a popular person, a fabulous cook, an avid reader, a severe mother, a movie buff, a charming host, a joker, the most faithful chocolate lover and probably much more. It is funny and intriguing to think about the situation when all these facets of my personality emerge; so what if the cranky, not-so-happy-in-the-morning ME happens to bump into the popular, charming person who likes to entertain? That is when you need to plug in your Emotional Intelligence and use it to generate a kind of personal magnetism. But what if you just happen to be in one of those days when your personal radar fails to read and interpret the others' true intentions? Less charisma and more work on your situational consciousness, right?
It all looks so nice in theory but I believe it is rather difficult to be able to control your every move and thought, to stay alert all the time and to be aware of your charismatic effect. Sometimes, it is just too much; plus, it takes a certain amount of self-discipline that not all people possess. We all need to wear a mask, to leave a shred of our vulnerability, somewhere, behind our social personality; whether the hidden part of ourselves hinders our charisma or not, that remains to be seen and dealt with.
I enjoyed the part about our intuition, though; according to the author, intuition can only mean that you are already familiar with the answer and your instinct only helps you get the answer. If it doesn't sound that simple, well then, you need to explore your intuition and there are plenty of exercises in the book, to help you.
My question is whether you can still feel authentic after having been fed with all this psychological guidance. Frankly, I started doubting my charismatic effect and this can only mean my self-esteem needs some boosting. So, to take Andrew Leigh's word of advice, I need to let people hear my inner voice and perceive me as an authentic human being; thus, by being genuine, I can improve communication and develop my self-consciousness. One step in achieving this fabulous charismatic effect on people is to get rid of all personal fears with the help of this nice exercise that tells us to find a quiet spot, relax and voice our fears, even shout them, if necessary. I wonder what the neighbours might think...
Moreover, the chapters about passion and attraction were really interesting; they helped me see it clear: I am passionate and I can hold someone's gaze for a couple of seconds, enough to send him my interest wave and dazzle him. The only thing that fails me is my memory issue with people's names as I don't seem to be paying enough attention; one simple and successful way would be to associate the name with a remarkable facial feature of the person. Obviously, I need to make sure I don't mix familiarity with relating to people, never make assumptions about them and use my body language and smile to come up as a proactive woman. That being said, I am ready to face the world, so I'll just go out there and work my magic!