Friday, February 25, 2011


I'd like to think that I'm disarmingly charming at times. No, I am not good looking, but I occasionally can put people at ease or calm them down if they are having a stressful day. It's the way I smile! (It's always the way you smile.) I think it is my beta attitude that throws people off.

As a heads up, people get very defensive when you come at them with certain tones and attitudes. Having a condescending tone of voice is a great example of how to get people to wall up.  Don't come at a person straight forward; come at them at an angle. Just like a velociraptor!

Pro tip for disarming people with smile-charm: Slightly raise your eyebrows when you make a grin. Kind of a sheepish grin but not totally.  Also, relax your eyes so they aren't intense but soft. Speak softly and calmly, maybe questioningly so as to seem like you need help. People will lower their guard; most people will inherently want to help.  Total beta approach to people. For those of you who are alphas, this still works, and you don't lose your alpha status!

Edit: Added this drawing to show what I mean by soft eyes and slightly raised eyebrows. Also 2 examples of how NOT to do it. 

Here are some examples:
Story 1.  The other day I got to the post office at 3:55pm. It closes at 4pm. I needed to get some items shipped, so I was hoping that someone would be at the counter.  No one was. I gently called out, and some lady who looked kind of peeved came out. I gave my signature smile and asked politely if I was too late and if I could ship some items out. She looked at me and said with a sigh that it was OK. I got my items shipped out without a hitch!  Booya.

Story 2 (and 3): I work in a very small IT department of a company -- 3 people + boss. My coworker (we will call him Bob) and I had to get a lot of work done. We needed to burn some information to disc, so he asked if I would go to the boss and ask for a blank disc. I said sure. Walked up to my boss, asked for a disc and received one with no questions asked.  When Bob asked how it went, he was surprised that I wasn't questioned as if it were the Spanish Inquisition. Apparently he gets grilled about it!  See, charming smile. ;)

Most of that same day, we were looking for an install disc. Couldn't find it anywhere. Finally at around 2pm, after completing some other tasks, I said that I'll try to look in the storage cabinets in the boss' office, the last place we haven't checked where it might be. Of course, I had to ask my boss if it was OK to go through the cabinets, but what popped out instead was: "Um, do you happen to have ____ install disc by any chance??" My boss looked at me for a sec, then went through his desk and handed me the install disc. I hopped back in my office with a huge grin, showing Bob the fruits of my easy effort; I was literally gone for a minute. Bob was simply dumbfounded! He asked where I found it, and I just said that I asked the boss! Haha. Let's just not tell the boss how much time we spent looking for that disc. :)

Pro tip for more disarmament: Be polite! Always say please and thank you, often! It doesn't hurt you, and it puts people at ease. People like to feel appreciated, mostly when they are busy working. 

So give it a whirl today!

Note to future self: Exploitation! :o
Note to near-future self: When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

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