Who’s That Girl? // 5 Ways to Cultivate Your Mystery

She is a mystery. Her only companion a cup of coffee and a copy of her favorite book. Though she sits alone at this sidewalk café, she savors the moment. She quietly delights in the sights and sounds of the scene unfolding before her. She has nowhere to be. No one is waiting for her elsewhere. She will stay as long as she likes. And only leave when she is ready. Who is this woman?

She leaves us wanting to know more.

In an age of social media, over-sharing has become an unfortunate by-product. But maintaining a mysterious element about oneself can leave people wanting more. Not to be mistaken with being stand-offish or aloof, cultivating one’s allure – when done with kindness, grace and authenticity – is an empowering way to keep the people you meet fascinated by the person you are inside.

Consider the following five ways to cultivate the right kind of allure:

1. Less is more.

Leave things unsaid. When in conversation, resist the urge to share too many details or overwhelm your conversational partner with too much information (it’s OK, we’ve all been guilty of TMI). It’s a wonderful thing to be warm, honest and open, but the girl who talks incessantly can leave a person with nothing to ask.

2. Good listening.

A nugget of wisdom from Plato, “Wise [wo]men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Hone your powers of observation. Draw people in with your genuine interest in them. This is a beautiful way to open up a new relationship or friendship — slowly, like peeling an artichoke and getting to the heart of a person.

3. Off the radar.

Practice restraint on social media, even if for only one day out of the week. Get off your Facebook feed. Refrain from posting your every thought on Twitter. Instagram snaps can wait. Keep them wondering.

4. Solitude.

Revel in being alone. It can be fantastic for the soul. You are anonymous in your own city. No one knows your name, how old you are, what you do for a living. Enjoy sitting alone on a bench at your favorite park. Look around, observe the interesting people passing you by. Notice the different colors exploding in the sky, the delicious scents in the air, the feel of your hands folded in your lap. Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Cherish this moment.

5. Take time.

Why in such a rush? Remember to daydream. Be in the moment. We live in such a fast-paced culture that we rarely take time to rest. Take the time to grow, to change and to invest in others. Take the time to stroll in a garden. Take the time to be quiet. Take the time to ask yourself who you are and what you want.

Do you think we need more “mysterious” women in our culture?

Image via Melody Munn



Jennifer is a newspaper reporter turned magazine editor turned blogger. She’s also a California girl with Midwest roots (currently in Cleveland) whose next big adventure will take place in New York City. When she’s not musing about fashion, art or motherhood you’ll find her plotting dreams with her husband, snuggling with her kids, and rueing all the unread books on her nightstand.

15 COMMENTS
  • Anna November 9, 2015

    I fully agree with you ! You simply said the truth !
    But not everyone understands that the human being sometimes needs also solitude; nowadays we want to be as busy as possible. We lost lots of values such as the family, the honesty, the semplicity of everyday life, it’s a pity

    • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

      Hi Anna-
      Thank you for reading and thank you for your insights. I couldn’t agree with you more!

      Kind regards,
      -jennifer.

  • Chrissa Reed November 9, 2015

    Beautiful article, Jennifer. I especially love your ‘less is more’ point – in this day and age, that is definitely an art!

    • Anna November 9, 2015

      In my age (20 y.o.), sometimes I’m afraid to remain alone
      I should find a balance
      Do you have some advices for me ? Thank you

      • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

        Hi Anna-
        I think there is a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Solitude happens when we are at peace with ourselves. Loneliness comes from a place of self-doubt. Surround yourself with people you trust and who fiercely want the best for you.

        All the best,
        -jennifer.

    • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

      Hi Chrissa-
      You are so right! “Less is more” is certainly an art! Thanks for reading.

      Kind regards,
      -jennifer.

    • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

      Hi Chrissa-
      You are so right! “Less is more” is certainly an art! Thanks for reading.

      Kind regards,
      -jennifer.

  • Megan November 9, 2015

    Such a beautiful post with wonderful insight. Solitude (YES!) is so important and something I really need to work on.

    Darling, you rock // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  • Jessica Hunter November 9, 2015

    Yes. Yes. Yes! Thank you for the insight and your pointed reminder 😉

  • Elizabeth November 9, 2015

    This is part of why I LOVE to travel. As a college student I can’t get a moment’s peace on campus and when I am off campus its always in a rush to get something done before my next class. The ability to cozy up with a book in a shroud of anonymity sounds heavenly as the pressure of Finals approaches.

    • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

      Hi Elizabeth-
      Travel is such an important component and I wish more of us did it more often (myself included!). Good luck with Finals (you probably already took them by now). How did you do?

      Take care,
      -jennifer.

  • Lauren Burkitt November 9, 2015

    Beautiful post. I love the imagery it gives me. Going to a cafe without my laptop, reading my book (possibly on the patio with a big cozy scarf and sunglasses), and enjoying the anonymity of this act. Bringing back some mystery. So good!

    • Jennifer Cho Salaff January 22, 2016

      Hi Lauren-
      I love that! “Enjoying the anonymity of this act.” So good! Thanks for reading.

      Kind regards,
      -jennifer.

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