Old-fashioned Pharisees with a Modern-day Makeover

You and I are just normal folk: we struggle to make lasting friendships. But we also know people who casually stroll into a room of strangers, and leave with a dozen new friends, three lunch dates, and a personal introduction to someone’s dear old grandmother. We wish we were more like them: delightful and enchanting.

Last summer I read a BBC article entitled, Tricks to Make Yourself Effortlessly Charming. It rightly pointed out that all human beings long for someone to show interest in them. To do so, the article suggested a set of techniques. First:

Imagine the other person is a character in [a movie] flick … You’ll find yourself observing and showing genuine interest in their mannerisms and personality.

If that doesn’t work, the article instructed us to “fake” interest, and it offered a suggestion:

Focus on the different colors in their irises. By maintaining that level of eye contact, it will give the impression of interest.

If all else fails, it suggested a trio of facial expressions:

The three major things to do are: … a quick up and down movement of the eyebrow that lasts about a sixth of a second, a slight head tilt, and a smile.

That is all we need to forge deep, lasting friendships: either pretend other people are someone they aren’t, or pretend we are someone we aren’t. It’s quite easy: just pretense and deceit.