The days of ostentatiously holding doors for women, laying your clock in a puddle for queens to safely cross and standing to attention when female companions leave the dinner table may have gone the way of other infuriating forms of everyday sexism, but is there still space for men to be charming in 2018?
Is charm synonymous with self-satisfied sleaze and oblivious misogyny, or can men still be charming without being sexist? How does charming look once stripped of its out-dated trappings and should modern men even try to exude this type of charm?
It’s who you know
There’s no doubt that “modern charm” does exist – and quite possibly exists without the sexist subtext too – in this day and age. Take a second to consider the people you know. Chances are you know somebody who can walk into any room and be everyone’s mate in a matter of minutes. The person who draws attention for the right reasons, who creates a happy hubbub around them, who has a warm handshake and whose presence is missed when they finally leave.
It’s even more likely that you know someone who’s the polar opposite. Someone who finds it hard to connect to others. Someone who is just plain no fun to talk to. Someone you try to wriggle out of conversation with, who doesn’t have anything positive to day, who is easy to overlook.
Is “charm” simply social skills?
This crucial difference could well indicate the presence and absence of charm amongst our peers. So what “is” modern charm? Is it simply having more successful social skills? This may well be the case.
A key aspect of creating this charming impression lies in how an individual makes others feel. Encourage confidence in your conversational partners and you’ll soon have a great chat on your hands. Show interest in what they have to say and you’ll leave them feeling great about the interaction, themselves and (in turn) you. Make yourself easy to talk to and you’ll soon be surrounded by a gaggle keen to chip in. This certainly seems like modern charm.
Banishing the berk
But there’s another layer to being a contemporary charmer. Not being a berk. You may be fantastic at engaging people in conversation, but fail to be socially clued-in and you’ll soon alienate your peers with your opinions. The key here seems to be empathy. Having the empathy to accept everyone without hurting anybody. The empathy to understand what makes people tick and finding a way to connect with them which is kind and interesting.
The final part of the puzzle surely has to be genuineness. No matter how many of the trappings of charm you exhibit, if you’re not the real deal, others will smell it a mile off. Charm may have changed substantially over the centuries, but being the genuine article is just as important as it ever was.
How would you describe modern charm? Who is the most charming person you know? Have your say below.