Defining Charisma & Charm! How do you develop Charisma?
What are they? Are there differences between the two? Can you develop Charisma or Charm?
If so, how?
There was a time I really wanted to understand what made someone Charming. I understood Charisma on some level but I didn’t really get the notion of what elements made someone charming. Problem was no one else could define it either. 19-years old in a university full of professors, and I couldn’t find anyone to give a straight answer.
I mean you could ask the professor who has a PH.D in sociology from a distinguished university and all he could give you was some fluff that couldn’t really deconstruct the elements. If professors in psychology, philosophy, or sociology couldn’t define it, then who could? There wasn’t even an Internet database where you could conduct searches on Google.
So, I had to find my own answers. Textbooks didn’t have it, and nor did any professors. I wish I had some sort of a noble intention but I really wanted to know because I knew charm was a good quality to possess in attracting women, and when you’re 19 years old, that’s a very serious issue. It took me a while, and I sort of went the long in doing all of this, lots of trial & error, mixed up with various individuals, lots of reading, experimenting, essentially absorbing data like a sponge and writing analysis based on that data. Eventually, however, I was able to not only understand it intuitively, but even able to explain to others cognitively.
So then, what is CHARM? What is CHARISMA? Are they the same or is there a difference? Can you become more charming or charismatic? If it’s possible, then how do you do that?
Well, it’s Valentine’s day, and so here is my Valentine’s day gift to you, the Blog reader: An Article to provide insight in order to enable you develop these characteristics.
Being Charismatic and charming are two different behaviors and while they affect each other, they operate on separate plains. You can be charismatic and not very charming, but in order to be charming, you need a little charisma. Not a lot, but you do need a little bit of it. Before going any further, we need a baseline & agreeable description of each quality.
First we have Marian-Webster Dictionary definition:
*Charisma: A personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader)79856320
*Charm: A trait that fascinates, allures, or delights. B: A physical grace or attraction- used in plural <her feminine charms> C: compelling attractiveness <the island possessed great charm> Charimg: extremely pleasing or delightful.
Those were the “Official” definitions. I’ll personally provide the following general layman definition:
*Charisma: Charismatic is being magnetic and inspirational. Magnetic is perhaps the perfect word here because it describes the ability to attract people. More so, being charismatic implies that one has the ability to inspire people.
*Charming: Charming is essentially having the ability to make people feel good. Unlike being charismatic, you don’t have to necessarily be passionate or inspirational to be charming.
So let’s start with those general definitions. The next is a step by step break down to deconstruct what each one is, using historical figures who depict those qualities. In order to illustrate these behaviors and paint a more clear picture, I’m going to utilize various historical figures who depicted and exhibited these behaviors.
What is Being CHARISMATIC?
People who are charismatic are able to lead and sway people’s emotions. Leadership in this context takes on a very interesting connotation. It’s not merely enough to want to force people to do something, but rather, the more important distinction is to realize that leaders have the ability to inspire people to WANT to do something. It is this innate ability to inspire people’s desire level to take action that separates charismatic leaders from the rest.
In essence, charismatic figures are able to lead by swaying people’s emotions. They do so through inspiring them, and essentially, they galvanize people to take action.
They have a unique ability to allow people to see the bigger picture. They’re able to move people emotionally through allowing them to see the bigger picture of life, of how they can be better.
Essentially, they have the ability to allow people to see a better version of themselves in the future. Not too many individuals were better at doing this than John F. Kennedy. Growing up, he was one of the people I idolized even though he had long passed away before I was even born. Nevertheless, I was inspired enough to read more about him, and get my hands on various pieces of literature regarding his life and times. As a result, I was able to learn quite about him which will serve well in the following examples.
JFK had the ability to project a better self-image onto people. This is supremely powerful. Human beings by nature want to believe that they are noble. They want to believe that they are better than they think they are at this very moment. They look to those who can make them feel dignified.
If you ever watch Oliver Stone’s film “Nixon,” you’ll see an unforgettable scene featuring a memorable quote towards the end of the film. Disgraced from the Presidency and the White House, Richard Nixon is getting ready to step down as President. While walking the hallway, he sees an oversized portrait of John F. Kennedy. Upon seeing this, a disenchanted and shameful Nixon utters,
When they look at you, they see what they want to be, when they look at me, they see what they are…
It’s one of the most profound quotes you’ll ever hear in a movie and nowhere is the difference in Charisma better explained in such short words than in that quote.
People are resistant to a negative self-image of themselves. Even if the individual in question is the thief, liar, or the conniving con-artist backstabber, he still wants to believe that he could be noble if the circumstances were different. When they look at John F. Kennedy, they are somehow reminded that they can be better. John F. Kennedy makes you feel and believe that you can be better, and he inspires you to be better. When that same swindler sees Richard Nixon, he is reminded of what he actually is.
So then how was John F. Kennedy able to accomplish this? How was he able to galvanize the masses to take action?
It starts with passion. That person has to bring forth an easily distinguishable amount of passion. He has to present that passion from a place of sincerity. In essence, that passion has to come from his soul, if you will. It has to rise from within. It’s difficult to fake that sort of passion.
So then, why is it that some people have that passion and some don’t? What creates that difference?
In order to answer that, we have to yet dig one level deeper. When we dig deeper, and delve deeper, we once again find ourselves looking at Purpose & Identity. Purpose & Identity create an unmistakable quality that is very transparent. People may not be able to define it but they can recognize it.
People who have a strong sense of self (Identity), and a strong sense of purpose have what is, in my opinion, the most attractive quality: Certainty.
Certainty is the most attractive quality a person can have. (And if you’ve read my Ebook, you’d know this already.) I’ve never heard another person say this, nor have I heard any dating “gurus” discuss it. Nevertheless, I am sure of it. Certainty, certainly is the most attractive quality.
“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” is an old cliché, but really it’s not power that people really are talking about, it’s strength. (Read my article, Strength. ) And that strength is generated from with in because you have to have certainty.
It’s Certainty in your purpose & Identity which then forms certainty in your beliefs. This certainty manifests itself in the way you speak, in the way you carry yourself, and in your overall actions.
Why this is the most attractive quality is outside the scope of this discussion . However, this attraction applies in the dating world, and to your dating life as well. Interestingly enough, it also applies to world leaders who want to inspire people to action.
It’s with conviction and resolve that JFK stands on a podium and tells the masses that we are going to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. He believes it, and more importantly, he makes us believe it, even though the technology to accomplish this task is not even in place yet.
He creates the Peace Corps, a volunteer organization that allows people to serve humanity in 3rd world countries for very little pay. This is done so with passion, purpose and it also gives people the ability to see the bigger picture, and a better version of themselves and it is carried out with certainty.
John F. Kennedy, through consensus by almost all eyewitness account was also a very charming individual. Yet, you don’t have to be charming to be a charismatic individual.
You don’t even have to be “Good” in the clichéd definition of that word. There are characters in history who have been widely recognized as charismatic and they weren’t necessarily charming and sometimes they weren’t even necessary nice guys.
As a simple example, most historians and people in general would describe Hitler as a very charismatic individual and almost no one would ever describe Hitler as “Good.” This is a case where we could throw around the word “Evil” and even the most foo-foo pansy new-age type person would dare not disagree with us. Yet, the tyrant was able to galvanize people to take action because he had certainty, conviction, and had a strong purpose. He also was able to project a better self-image onto people by promising them a better tomorrow.
His ability to lead people to see things through his eyes is perhaps in the same mold as the modern day religious leaders and evangelists you see on TV. They all have a certain passion for something, and believe in that cause. That cause doesn’t necessarily have to be a humane cause, but the believers must believe that they’re doing the right thing.
You could make a strong case for WWII, United States general George S. Patton being a charismatic leader. Patton is regarded as an astute tactician, a great leader, and a charismatic individual. By all historical accounts, Patton is by no means considered a charming individual. He was a proverbial “Hard-Ass” and didn’t take shit from anyone, and yet, his attitude commanded respect from his soldiers and peers alike. George S. Patton is recognized as perhaps the best in field leader of that war.
In the Sports world, basketball player Ervin “Magic” Johnson is generally regarded as a very charismatic individual. Magic Johnson is an interesting case, because he has redefined his sense of purpose over the years. A kid with a perpetual enormous grin on his face, he set out to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He went on to establish himself in the eyes of many (and certainly me) as the greatest basketball player who ever played the game.
After prematurely retiring from the game, he went on to build a business empire of sorts becoming far more financially successful in business than he ever was in basketball. His purpose of being a great basketball player shifted to being an ultra successful businessman and father. Does his name warrant being mentioned in the same article as Patton and JFK? Well, before you decide, you have to see the overall picture of what Magic had to deal with.
It’s important to note that in 1991, Magic Johnson contracted the HIV Virus. Also, in 1991, people thought of that as death sentence. Yet, there stood on the podium, the only one believing that he was going to beat the virus, and continue living.
To throw the towel in at that point would have been easy and yet his strong sense of purpose and identity enabled him to move forward and make progress. In this case, just staying alive by itself took purpose, and perhaps, it was his strong sense of purpose that gave him the passion to live. Magic Johnson is inspirational in the sense that his life’s goals may have changed but his passion for life and his purpose remained unaffected.
Going from one of the top basketball players ever to a successful businessman while contracting a disease most folk considered a death sentence, Magic remained purposeful and still moved forward while inspiring people. In 2010, Magic is still living an active productive life running multiple business while finding time to do occsasional commentary on basketball shows. In the midst of all this, it is forgotten that he wasn’t even supposed to be around at this point.
In a nutshell:
Whether they are individuals we consider “Good” or “Evil”, and regardless of whether they push for forward-progress or tyranny, charismatic individuals are passionate individuals whose sense of passion arises from a strong identity and a very clear strong purpose. Regardless of whom we are discussing, JFK, Martin Luther King Jr. or Fidel Castro, the aforementioned charisma stems from the fact that they are able to move people emotionally.
They are able to galvanize people to action, inspire them, and project onto them a better image of themselves. They are able to give the masses a better self-image & the chance to be noble, as well as able to unite the masses for a common cause. They carry this out with certainty, fervor, and passion.
You can use this information to create more charisma in your personality whether you want to be more successful in dating or if you’re a college kid who plans to run for political office one day. The elements of charisma do not change. Without delving into too much detail and psychobabble, I am going to provide a bullet point & concise list of what creates charisma, and what you need in order to develop it. I discussed two main elements: The behavior of a charsimatic individual, as well as the personal inner-working of such individuals that makes them what/who they are:
- Extremely Passionate People
- That passion stems from a strong sense of Purpose & Identity
- Possess Certainty
- Certainty is the most attractive quality.
- Again, that certainty in their beliefs fuels their unbridled, unwavering passion.
Charismatic individuals are able to:
- Utilize that passion & Purpose to inspire people,.
- Galvanize people to action
- Enable people to see the bigger picture
- Help them imagine how they can be better (project onto them a better self-image)
- Appeal to a higher cause than the self. (Make humanity better, a better place for their children, homeland, etc…)
- Unite people based on a common cause
- Appeal to people sense of wanting to be magnanimous
Charismatic individuals are not necessarily charming individuals. Charm is a different characteristic and one that I’ll deconstruct in the next article. In the meanwhile, you can use the information above to take an introspective look at yourself, discover where you can make improvements and adjustments, and develop more charisma in everyday life & your relationships.
PS. The articles you just read will have profoundly improve your dating life! Please realize it’s supporting material to what I discuss in my expanded work. Get a copy of my Ebook here: Building Attraction with Women