I still remember, as if it was yesterday, when my friend John called me on a Sunday afternoon. He had an enthusiastic tone in his voice. “I want you to meet Marta, she is the most incredible woman I’ve ever met. Come to my place tomorrow at 6 p.m. and I’ll introduce you to her.”

He was clearly head over heels. In the beginning, I was slightly skeptical, as I thought it was the typical lustful ‘honeymoon period’ that was influencing him, but I was truly glad to hear him happy and I accepted the invitation.

Fast forward to today, they are still together, and I know Marta much better. I now understand why John was overwhelmingly happy at the beginning of their relationship, and why he’s so in love with her today.

Marta is a great partner to my friend, she’s an amazing friend to me, and she also displays some personality traits that makes it particularly difficult to forget her. These are characteristics that you can easily learn and apply to improve your relationships and truly connect with others.

Being a Natural Giver

An example of this is when John lost his job. Marta didn’t hesitate to help and told him he could move into her place, so he didn’t have to pay any rent. When he found a new job, he told Marta he would give her back his part of the rent for the months he was unemployed.

However, Marta refused his offer. She told him he could contribute to the rent from that moment on, but that she didn’t want the money for the past few months. She did him a favor — a big favor — without expecting anything in return.

I have always found people like Marta to be unique. They are selfless, and that in itself makes them special.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

We are all somehow inclined to want something in return when we give. However, the easiest thing you can do is learn to do things out of love, without expecting anything in return.

Next time you do someone a favor, do it without wanting anything back. Feel the joy of giving. If then you receive something in return, it will feel great; if not, it won’t be a big deal.

Laughing at Yourself

When you take yourself too seriously you hold yourself to an impossibly high standard — which inevitably causes problems both for you and those around you. Anytime you don’t meet that standard, you feel bad about yourself.

People who don’t take themselves too seriously are OK with who they are and what they do because they love themselves and have learned to embrace their imperfect self. If something doesn’t go their way, they have the ability to laugh at themselves.

As John Haltiwanger mentions in one of his articles, being able to laugh at yourself is a sign of mental toughness. Also, as Mark Twain once said,

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

And it’s true.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Embrace your imperfect side without fear. Fall in love with it. Learn to healthily laugh at yourself as you would do with your best friend when they do something funny. And don’t get upset over small things; laugh at them, instead.

Never Trying to Impress Others

Unlike Marta, John’s ex, Carla, was continuously bragging about herself and her accomplishments. She tried to impress others all the time. And she hardly asked others anything about their life, hobbies or career. I had always seen her as a great person, but it was clear she had some insecurities to work on at that time.

I don’t know about you, but when I see someone trying too hard to impress, the first thing I perceive is insecurity.

When someone talks about themselves naturally instead — without stretching the truth — and is also genuinely interested in knowing more about you, it’s pleasant to be in their company. The conversation is balanced.

Unforgettable people usually speak about themselves only when asked to, and they don’t overwhelm you with too many details. They don’t feel the need to impress others. When you talk to them they are relaxed, natural, and spontaneous.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

If you often find yourself trying hard to impress others, work on yourself, and on your self-confidence. When you know your value and have high self-esteem, you won’t feel the need to prove yourself to others.

Having Strong Boundaries

One night I was out for dinner with Marta and John and we were talking about traveling alone. This is a passion Marta and I have in common, however, John seemed a bit reluctant to accept the fact that his girlfriend wanted to travel alone from time to time.

“Why can’t we just travel together? I don’t get it” he asked her. John never traveled alone, so it was understandable he didn’t fully get our need to go on a solo trip once in a while.

Marta replied, “Honey, traveling is my passion, and don’t worry, most of the time we will travel together. However, from time to time I like to travel alone, as it helps me disconnect completely. I will keep doing it because it is one of my favorite things in the world. And please trust me, because you know that I would never cheat on you.”

She was basically setting healthy boundaries. John didn’t like the idea of Marta traveling alone, but she loved to do it. So, she kept going on solo trips once or twice a year. She didn’t give up on her passion for my friend. That’s attractive — as long as you take the time to understand the other person’s feelings and point of view.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Simple. Never give up on who you are, on your standards, and on your passions — as long as this doesn’t interfere with respecting others. Be you.

Having Your Emotions Under Control

People like Marta don’t act on their emotions. They reflect before talking instead. If someone hits a particular nerve, they take their time to cool off before responding.

Having control over your emotions is one of the most attractive qualities you can have. Sometimes it’s difficult when there are people that can drive you nuts, I know. However, it’s how you respond that defines you, not how others treat you. And you can train yourself to have control over that.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

As one of my favorite writers, Barry Davret, explains in one of his articles, whenever someone says or does something that sets you off, take a deep breath and pull out a pen and piece of paper. Then, allow yourself some time to cool off — if you can, wait for 24 hours to pass before you take any other action.

Writing down whatever is going on in your mind will help you dissipate those negative emotions. Taking your time to cool off will help you process and work on your emotions without acting on them.

Being Genuinely Happy for Other People’s Success

Envy is undoubtedly one of the worst threats to any kind of relationship. Miserable, insecure people are inherently jealous, which prevents them from connecting with others. People like Marta, instead, are truly happy when it comes to others’ achievements.

I remember when John got promoted in his department shortly after he got his new job. Marta was over the moon. She wanted to celebrate the promotion and organized a dinner at their place with some friends.

As Sean Kernan mentions in one of his articles, envy can be detrimental to relationships. When your partner is your cheerleader instead, and vice-versa, the bond gets stronger, because you both feel you have a true ally by your side. And this applies to any kind of relationship.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Don’t compare yourself to others. You can be as successful as others; the important thing is that you pursue your dreams as they do theirs.

Learn to celebrate others’ accomplishments. Even if it’s not your own success, you have a reason to feel good — for someone else. So just go and feel good. Don’t feel threatened by other people’s success, make it an excuse to celebrate life instead.

Being Passionate About Something

I have always found people who are highly passionate about something to be very attractive. It could be enthusiasm for ten different things or even just one simple hobby.

People who pursue a career, a hobby, or any kind of dream with passion transmit a sense of the thrill of life that you can hardly ignore. Their enthusiasm and passion are contagious, and that in itself makes them unforgettable.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Let’s be honest. You can’t force passion. So, make sure you find something to get involved with that you truly love. It can be writing, playing an instrument, your job, dancing, anything.

Get clarity of thought over what your life purpose is and go after it. If you haven’t identified anything yet, try different things; learn, travel, and read a lot. Enjoy the process. You will eventually find your life path, and you will fall in love with it.

Being Kind to Strangers

Imagine you are on a date with someone in a restaurant. The person in front of you starts treating the staff badly. For example, they tell them the food was disgusting, without even making eye contact. Then they shout at the waiter and complain about having to wait to be served.

How would you find this person? Charming? Attractive? Probably not.

As Ayodeji Awosika mentions in one of his articles, treating others poorly, shows you have low integrity, empathy, and even self-respect — because people with a high level of self-respect don’t feel the need to act as if they’re above others. And I couldn’t agree more on this.

Now imagine yourself on a date with someone who is kind and warm with others. They smile — without faking it or overdoing it — and it feels good to be in their company. You know they would never make you feel ashamed in public because they clearly have respect for others, no matter what they do.

This is something truly genuine people have in common. They would never treat others poorly, and that speaks volumes about them.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Be warm, kind, and friendly. Call people by their name. If you don’t know their name, ask them. As much as you would love others to be nice to you, remember that others need kindness too. Be the person who brightens someone else’s day.

Being Self-Confident Staying Humble

People like Marta are simply confident. You see it from the way they walk, the way they talk, and how they seem relaxed in any situation. Their confidence is healthy because they know their worth and they believe in themselves.

They learned to embrace their imperfect and most authentic self. And they are extremely humble.

I don’t know about you, but I find the combination of confidence and humility particularly attractive. When someone is confident, but at the same time humble, you are more likely to feel drawn to them, because you will never, nor should ever, feel threatened by them. It’s easier to open up to them and create a connection.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Remember that your flaws don’t make you unlikable. They make you authentic, and there’s nothing more beautiful than that. Learn to embrace your imperfect and vulnerable side, see the beauty in it. That’s the starting point of true confidence.

However, also remind yourself that others are as beautiful and unique as you are, no one is better than anyone. This will help you stay humble.

Taking Care of Your Body

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Jim Rohn

I have always admired Marta for the way she treats her body. She consistently takes care of it — by eating extremely healthy, drinking herbal teas, taking long walks, meditating, and working out regularly for example — which is attractive because it is a sign of self-respect and self-love.

When you truly love yourself, you automatically take care of yourself as you would do with a loved one — because as you want the best for them, you also want the best for yourself.

How to apply this, in a nutshell:

Your body and mind are your most valuable assets. Remember that consistently loving and taking care of yourself gives you the fuel you needto be at your best every day. This means not only eating healthy foods, drinking water, and working out — which is essential — but also keeping your health in check and making it your number one priority.

Learning and applying these simple qualities can transform your relationship with yourself and with others.

If you want people to remember you in a positive way, keep this in mind: it all comes down to how you treat yourself and behave around others, which is something under your control.

People like my friend Marta are not necessarily drop-dead gorgeous. What they have in common is they usually make you experience strong positive emotions when you are in their company. Because they love to spread positivity and are happy if they can make you feel good.

Be like them, be unforgettable.

Originally published on The Truly Charming

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