We live in a world where everyone shouts to be heard and seen.
Like in any situation, there are always ways to take advantage, so everyone wins.
Going against the grain will give you momentum and is good for your mental health because you aren’t competing with the masses.
Here’s how to be different and nurture your air of mystery:
1. Be honest.
Most people jabber on about all kinds of junk, and a lot of that stuff is fabricated nonsense designed to fill awkward silences and embellish who they are.
Those who turn heads don’t speak as much as most and don’t reveal everything about themselves.
But when they do, it’s straight honesty.
Perhaps you take the courage to share what feels uncomfortable, or you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake.
This is refreshing and relieves stress because you aren’t walking around trying to cover up all the lies.
2. Slow to reveal.
Coughing out everything about you too early will be met as one would greet a cat’s hairball — indifference at best.
Create intrigue by holding back on sharing all your gripes, woes, stories and personal plans.
If others know it all, there’s no more incentive to want to find out more.
3. Do what you actually want to do.
Most people spend their lives doing things for others instead of for themselves.
The power to conform and seek approval is strong for many. But mysterious people buck this force and follow their strange.
They listen to their inner sub-woofer and do what intrigues them.
Follow your intrigue, and you will be intriguing.
4. Be curious.
Finding a genuine interest in others will set you apart.
There is value here because not only will this get you valuable intel about other people, which you can learn from, but it will place the attention away from you and onto others.
This keeps people guessing while poking their curiosity about you because you never asked for it.
5. Know your purpose.
We don’t always need a clearly verbalised life mission to act with purpose, but it might help to know what it is you are striving for.
You needn’t tell people what it is, but this awareness will enliven you, infuse assertiveness into your actions, and put a sparkle in your eye.
People will wonder what you’re up to and why you’re not always available.
6. Disappear occasionally.
Colour will drain from the vision people have of you if you’re always seen.
Mystery will fade if your ugly ass shows up in someone’s face at 9am sharp every day.
Strategically disappear occasionally.
Make people miss you.
Have others wonder about whether they offended you a little.
When you return, your presence will be a relief and a pleasant surprise.
7. Be a little mischievous.
While everyone else is on their best behaviour, desperately seeking validation and obsessively focused on avoiding offending others, you’re a cheeky little sprite.
This requires some finesse, but in a nutshell, it’s ok to occasionally tease, use a sprinkling of light-hearted humour, and to demonstrate that you’re enjoying yourself — which you are.
8. Let others discover you themselves.
It might strike you as a no-brainer to blurt out your recent achievements when given the opportunity, but that’s too easy.
Let others learn about your little successes and talents on their own or only after light prompting.
When they do, the effect will be felt with an extra dash of electricity, and their admiration for you will jump.
9. Tell people something they ‘don’t know’ about themselves.
In a similar vein to ‘cold-reading,’ adopt the persona of a magician with a vision and make some guesses about the kind of person you are with.
These needn’t be easily verified assertions, like someone’s place of birth, but rather, tell someone what you think they would enjoy that they haven’t yet tried, for example.
10. Be unexpected.
Earlier, we spoke about occasionally disappearing.
This is an excellent example of taking a pattern of expectation others have for you (showing up every day, for example) and switching it up. Be unexpected in other areas.
You may change the way you work or dress or the types of topics you write about.
You might give someone a surprise gift who least expects it. Have fun and mix things up.
This will create a delicious air of mystery around you to which people will be inexplicably drawn.
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Dear Alex Mather: Thanks so much for the article on "Ten Subtle Behaviors". Good work. Well received. Cutting straight to the chase, I'm oversubscribed already...perhaps not so subtle, but true.
I printed out your list and plan to subscribe with actual money rather than genuine, simple admiration.
For now, the admiration will have to do. Sincerely, Marcia
Marvellous and very useful!