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.
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