When Oxford University Press unveiled its 2023 Word of the Year—"rizz"—the buzzword spread quickly through the internet, followed quickly by "huh?" Often described as a shortened version of the word "charisma," the word is commonly discussed in terms of people vying to attract romantic partners. Zoom out to think about the larger picture, however, and the idea of rizz can play a part in how we form interpersonal relationships of all kinds, not only romantic ones.

What does rizz mean?

According to Oxford University Press, rizz means "style, charm, or attractiveness; the ability to attract a romantic or sexual partner." Kai Cenat is credited with the creation of the word in 2022 solely in the context of being able to find a romantic partner.

When we think about rizz in a broader sense, however, this idea of an inherent quality that helps pull other people into your circle can be applied to all kinds of relationships or situations. This idea is even more intriguing when set against the rising trends of isolation and loneliness being reported among all groups of people.

How does rizz impact relationships?

For many of us, when we’re looking to establish relationships on any level, we can only really look superficially—at a person's appearance, manner of dress, or general behavior from a distance. But moving from a superficial acquaintance to BFFs or more requires connecting with people in a way that feels authentic and profound (side note: dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster picked "authentic" as its 2023 word of the year). Given that so many people are burned out by the pressures of navigating a pandemic and resulting shifts in workplace culture, and living vicariously through social media, it's no wonder that we collectively desire more authentic relationships.

That's where rizz comes in—something about a person's style or mannerisms draws you in and makes you want to get to know them better. A person with rizz seemingly possesses an undeniable and undefinable quality that grabs your attention. It can be seen in how they communicate, how their energy matches yours, or how they make people feel at ease and encourage community around them.

Effective communication and rizz

Relationships are built on effective communication—friends, co-workers, lovers, and long-term couples all need to communicate in a way that is effective for the people involved. Whether it's chatting up someone who appeals to you or trying to make friends when you've just moved to a new place, effective communication is key to connecting with others and deepening relationships. Communication styles will shift for different people and in different settings, but at the end of the day, being able to share your thoughts and feelings clearly will always help bridge connections.

Magnetic energy

Some people are naturally more exuberant and outgoing than others, and there's no wrong way or right way to express your energy. Most people prefer to be around positive people, and to feel positive about situations themselves. Rizz might be thought of as being more magnetic, having more pull, but that's really just another way of saying that a person makes other people feel good when they're around.

Encouraging community

Whether it's a community of two in an interpersonal relationship, a community of dozens in an organization, or somewhere in between, charismatic people make other people feel like they're part of the team or in on the secret. This sense of belonging is becoming more and more important, as most of us feel overwhelmed and increasingly isolated.

Brush up on your communication skills, harness the power of positive thinking, and find your community—embrace your own rizz and strengthen your relationships.

Lifespan Blog Team

The Lifespan Blog Team is working to provide you with timely and pertinent information that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.