A friend of mine told a beatiful metaphor about charisma: charisma is like a lamp. If you have charisma people will be happy to stay with you because they will shine of your light.
Ok...but how do I become 'the lamp'? How do I malke them feel better because of me?
Do you like people?
I find people usually like me when I like them.
Yep, and it's also like a lamp in that you can flip it off and on. ;)
I can feel the other person's energy change when I flip that switch on. Call it feminine mystique, I don't know. Guys can have it too. It's just basically creating rapport with people, which I've always been good at.
Charisma is hard to define because it essentially is people feeling attracted to you. Some say it's in the looks, the way their eyes glean, a smile, the way they make you feel, etc.
I've done a lot of research in this field, charisma is mostly a "dark side trait" meaning it's more associated with manipulativeness and lying.
The point of getting people to like you is some sort of trade. If people like you, you can get something out of them. Usually the most selfish of people become the most charismatic.
We ALL want to be charismatic but most of us don't put the time and effort into it because we survive in other ways (like getting a job). Unlike a manipulator who would rather do nothing all day and steal money... they have to become crafty charismatic people so they learn the ways fast and easy.
I'm not saying you can't be a "good" person and charasimatic, but it's innately hard. "Good" people don't like to lie, manipulate or con people to do things for them. Charismatic people learn these skills to manipulate.
IF you wanted to be a "good" person and be charismatic it would be like learning how to play awesome texas hold em and not wanting to go tournaments for money. People learn to be good at texas hold em FOR the money. And they get better because of that drive to get something. Same goes for charisma.
To be charismatic though, you have to learn what works. For example, I have a terrible smile. I can't smile fo shizzle. So generally I rely on calm tone and voice demeanor. I know a guy who's got a great smile and he whips out any time he can.
A psychopath is good at manipulating people the same way too because they lack emotion. So the way they learn to be charismatic is directly observing the reactions they get from other people and just copying it again. So if they tell a big lie that's a compliment they learn lying in that fashion will get them what they want and they repeat it. Whereas, "normal" people have a harder time not only because we don't want to lie and feel inconsitencies in our brain, but also because we can't always observe our direct reactions to the people we speak to. If I were to say "you look great today" I may not notice that person responded negatively or positively. A psychopath who is more charismatic will take note of it with seriousness and repeat it.
Charisma happens when you trust yourself so fully that others can't help but be curious about how you do it.
It's not a thought or an action or a manipulation, it's a bold declaration: "This is who I am!" And who you are, who you were, and who you can be all meet in that instant in a bright flash of light that shines for miles into the darkness of others hearts and minds, boldly transforming it into light so that others can shine most brightly through abd with you.
A charisma is what James81 said mostly. Hard to achieve and learn but very powerful... also kinda synonymous with leading. Seth Godin said it actually comes from leading I believe (in book Tribes I think..).
Charisma is a tool. A tool of power. I don't believe in "good" or "bad" but your common layman classifies charisma as a dark side trait. (shurg) The power of glibness if it were.
I'm not really sure why you would ever talk about charisma like being two stars in the sky brilliantly moving towards each other. More importantly it's an expression of yourself. You are yourself every minute of every day. Is there ever a time you are not yourself? How the hell is that a defnition of charisma? When you are more yourself than you already are?
Having Charisma is like having a good smile that charms people. A nice wink. Able to follow up with good convo and make the other person feel good about themselves. Charisma isn't even about yourself, it's about the other person. It's about make the other person feel good and to trust you enough and like you.
I've spent at least 10 years studying Charisma, (much like psychopathy, genetics, narcissism, and plethora of other topics you can find on these forums) and the most charismatic people of all time were psychopaths.
The #1 defining trait of psychopaths is charm. If you want to learn how to do it. You have to learn it from the best. You learn it from psychopaths. Manson was able to have women kill for him. Bundy could convince women to get in his car and drive with them. How'd they do it?
Well some secrets I prefer to leave to myself but there is an interesting aspect. Bundy was able to tell his victims from the way they swayed their arms. He could with good accuracy tell who was a victim of previous rape or assualt just by their strides (and this was tested). To a normal human we don't see these things because we aren't attunded to look and "hunt" for weaklings like psychopaths. But psychopaths look for ways to manipulate people and use their knowledge of a person's weakness to follow up with charm.
Here's an example, a psychopath could tell from certain people what their psychologically deficienes are. In particular they like to hunt for lonely women. These are prime fodder for them. Then the psychopath will put on an act, one built upon lies to help assuage the girl's lonliness. So a girl thinks "Oh this man is prince charming, he is exactly what I want and he tells me everything I want to hear". The psychopath knows exactly what she wants to hear, pretends to give it to her, and then takes everything from her.
The key point is that psychopaths are charming because they know what people want. They know what people's hangups are and they deliver it to them through lying.
Being yourself you can never achieve the same things. If you are yourself 100% you will never impress certain types of people. You are limited to your own dimensions. A psychopath is able to open up more possibilites by being everything someone could want with lies. Let's say there is a guy I want to impress. He values cars, sports and fly fishing. I don't like these things. If I am myself, we are doomed never to be friends. A psychopath lies, says he's interested in those things and can charm that person. It takes an element of deception to be charming.
You're defining charismatic psychopaths. You don't have to be a psychopath to have charisma. That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard,
@180 - There's a Dutch expression, "Every donkey is named Jan" (Jan is pronounced "y-un"). There's a lot of people named Jan in Holland and they tend to take offence to that statement. Generally, the followup is "Whoa, I didn't say every Jan was a donkey".
Basically what I read in your post is "Every psychopath is charismatic". Admittedly, many of them are! However, it seemed like the conclusion is that "Every charismatic person is a psychopath". Is that what you are suggesting?
I'd like to know more about charisma. Some ability to influence people is essential to success, otherwise no one will ever do anything you ask of them.
A relative of mine has an unbelievable influence over people, mostly women. Even when he was a child I remember watching women in the family gather around to talk to him at length. I listened in once and he was talking a bunch of nonsense...he was never a very bright kid. But they gave him their attention as if he was The Beatles.
Now he's probably 19 or 20. I have witnessed an older woman approach him at an ice cream shop as if she couldn't resist talking to him, then walk out sharing her ice cream with him. His dad told me some people who sat next to the boy on an airline flight gushed how much they had enjoyed sitting with him on the plane, almost like they had had a religious experience! With no prior job experience this relative was hired for a job that pays more than double what many of my friends earn.
It's like he gives off an energy that people are drawn too. Women especially are susceptible to his influence. From what I have observed, which is not much, it doesn't even look like he does anything to cause this to happen, or in terms of earning, or working for it. People approach him so they can give him something he wants! I don't think he has a dark nature, but he has learned he's able to take advantage of people, and he does. He also has a short fuse and will fight other men quickly if provoked.
I'm very interest in how this takes place because I tend to have the opposite effect!:( No, I'm not jealous at all. :)
What I am saying is that charisma and psychopathy are highly interrelated phenomenons.
I don't want to keep repeating myself but if you read my blurb, you should understand that psychopaths are some of the MOST charismatic. And in the case of confusion the defnition of a psychopath in clinical terms should be differeianted from the miscontrued version that people take away from hannibal lecter and other movies. A psychopath is not a wife wielding murder. A psychopath is a person whom lacks empathy and emotional content. Theories go that it has to do with how the brain is wired... I won't get into it but for those interested:
This is what real psychopathy is: Psychopathy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The prototypical psychopath has deficits or deviances in several areas: interpersonal relationships, emotion, and self-control. Psychopaths gain satisfaction through antisocial behavior, and do not experience shame, guilt, or remorse for their actions. Psychopaths lack a sense of guilt or remorse for any harm they may have caused others, instead rationalizing the behavior, blaming someone else, or denying it outright. Psychopaths also lack empathy towards others in general, resulting in tactlessness, insensitivity, and contemptuousness. All of this belies their tendency to make a good, likable first impression. Psychopaths have a superficial charm about them, enabled by a willingness to say anything without concern for accuracy or truth. Shallow affect also describes the psychopath's tendency for genuine emotion to be short lived and egocentric with an overall cold demeanor. Their behavior is impulsive and irresponsible, often failing to keep a job or defaulting on debts. Psychopaths also have a markedly distorted sense of the potential consequences of their actions, not only for others, but also for themselves. They do not deeply recognize the risk of being caught, disbelieved or injured as a result of their behaviour.Researcher Robert Hare, whose Hare Psychopathy Checklist is widely used, describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators". Also R.I. Simon uses the word predator to describe psychopaths. Elsewhere Hare and others write that psychopaths "use charisma, manipulation, intimidation, sexual intercourse and violence"[verification needed] to control others and to satisfy their own needs. Hare states that: "Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse". He previously stated that: "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony".
According to Hare, many psychopaths are superficially charming, and can excellently mimic normal human emotion; some psychopaths can blend in, undetected, in a variety of surroundings, including corporate environments."
As I've said, I've studied charisma A LOT. I've read books, done self studies on the most charming people and how they achieve them.
If you want to be charismatic, being able to lie is a huge advantage. Being able to understand people like a chess game rather than a "real" person allows you to analyze and dissect human behavior allowing them to manipulate them. Psychopaths can charm with incredible ease because they have these tools.
If you want to be charming without being "psychopathic" it's a hard route. It encompasses that you have feelings for the people you are charming. But Charm is manipulation. And trying to manipulate people you like, is difficult.
Are you a surgeon or know a surgeon? Ask a surgeon if he looks at a human insides and think of the human being as a human being. Or does he see a human as separate parts like a machine that go together. A surgeon views surgery as a job, and looks at people in their parts of a machine. He rarely wants to view the person as a human being with feelings, family, and a job. He will become emotional about the person and it will interfere with his job.
Same goes for charm. If your job or goal is to charm someone, but you have feelings and you are a "good" person, you will run into difficulty. In order to charm you have to analyze and see what makes a person tick. This is a hard job and requires a very .... scientific view of human beings. As chess pawns. Not as human beings.
I have the ability to charm certain people... but I find this ability stronger when I have the tendency to lie or do my psychological experiments on people. If I am honest and caring... then I DON'T want to charm or manipulate this person. Wanting to be charming basically is saying you want people to like you. You want to "control" others through likability.
A personal example, Last night I was at a club and two girls I've known for a while came up and talked to me. While I don't have any interest in them, I did want to see how they would react to certain cues. So instead of doing what I normally do, I set it up so that I looked like I was the life of the party. (which is a lie, I wanted to be sleeping at home) I talked to some random guy, pretended I was tipsy as an excuse, and said really loud "YEAH you're the man!". He shouts back "YOU da man!". The girls come over and start finding excuses to talk. This is a partial element of charm. See how I artificially changed the environment through a lie to be attractive?
What you'll find is some of the most "popular" and "attractive" people are the most fake. All of it is simply an act.
It's funny how people will associate loudness with charm and popularity! They are looking to be a part of whoever is the centre of attention...regardless of whether there is anything substantial to that persons character or personality. People are easily manipulated.
And, yes, I believe that you've studied charisma. I believe that you study it through your own warped view of the world, and that you filter all your studies THROUGH that warped sense of reality. Again, I remind you, that countless people here on these forums have told you repeatedly that you must be living in a different world than them. In fact, one of the most charismatic people that posted here told you that (PlaysWithLife).
So, what you are saying, is that YOU use manipulation tactics and fake charisma to draw people to you. For what means, I have no idea. That doesn't mean that what you are using is charisma, though. It means that you are using elements of charisma to manipulate people. Which is, well, what a psychopath might do. ;)
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling YOU a psychopath by any means. I'm just saying that you're viewing it through a wonky lense and all your studies have done nothing but help you create the world as you want to see it.
I believe that if you were to entertain the notion of stepping outside that frame, for just an instant, and entertain that the world isn't the sick, dark, manipulative place you think it is, you might recognize that it's your own unconscious patterns that have lead you to this place and not any measure of the truth or "the way things are."
IMO, JFK was one of the most charismatic of all time. Hardly a psychopath. Same with Jackie O and even JFK jr. Not psychopaths, I'm pretty sure.
I think plenty of people would classify Angelina Jolie as charismatic. I suppose it's possible she's a pyschopath but for her rainbow family's sake, I hope not.
Muhammed Ali? Charismatic. Hell, Conan O'Brien is charismatic. He seems like the farthest thing from a psychopath you can get.
I could go on. And one person's charismatic is another person's supercreep. Some of Charles Manson's followers said he was charismatic but I quite clearly see psychopath. Same with David Karesh and Jim Jones, both who were described at length as being charismatic.
So I'd have to say that I heartily dissagree with your subjective assertion that "the most charismatic people of all time were psychopaths".
I'd reply to this thread, but it's turned into a foodfight of banquet proportions. Poor old Marcel Proust, despite having depression (the real Proust that is) has, like Dr Frankenstein lost all control of his creation. :p
I will also add that charisma arises naturally (and cannot be forced) as a result of:
-Not fearing others (through not fearing yourself)
-Liking others (through liking yourself)
-Being honest about who you are -- being yourself, so that others may be themselves too
-Feeling good within yourself -- most importantly, not trying to "get" anything from people. This arises from a state of internal fulfilment and a sense that things are okay how they are. "Everything in its right place".
So being charismatic mainly comes from your relationship with yourself. Your relations with others will simply be a reflection (projection) of this. Not fearing others and the consequences of being yourself is the most important. This basically comes from life experience -- experiences which show you that you have nothing to lose, and ultimately it is better to be yourself because there is nothing else you reliably can be.
I will also point out that any actions you "do" in order to "be charismatic" will simply come off as try-hard. It is an internal grounding and true relationship with yourself that causes the behavioural characteristics of what we call "charisma".
But you want it now, and don't have the insight to be comfortable truly being who you are around others. So you will have to get that insight, by trying, and thus by getting those experiences that will build character. Accept this probably won't be pretty when you first start out. Again, this is to do with getting over the fears you have -- the perceived consequences you might believe will happen as a result of being yourself. Explore those fears, and disqualify them one by one with real life evidence.
Some people are very good at projecting a certain image on-line...but they may not be that way in real life at all;)
It's estimated 2-3% of the world population is psychopathic. You've probably met one in your life and never realized it.
Psychopaths are simply people who have no understanding of emotions, but can fake them. Psychopaths blend into normal everyday people and usually take high positions in companies.
They are narcissistic and have "high powered traits" such as aggressiveness, pushiness, and charm.
Now let's keep this straight. TO be charming, you don't have to be psychopathic. But psychopaths are very good at charm. It's sort of this one way street. When I studied charm, more often than not, psychopaths were mentioned. Even your basic "How to be charming" books mentioned psychopaths. There's really no way around it.
Why? Because they able to make people do some of the most extreme things they wanted. I'll admit, I love conan o brien! and he's such a lovable character. But there is no way in hell he could ever make me kill a pregnant woman in her home and write bloody letters on the wall.
Now I've met psychopathic people (It's not obvious, it took some time to realize but you find out that they lie easy and constantly so you realize what they are). Now honestly, the girl I met COULD HAVE made me do some pretty extreme things. But I've had experience with psychopathic people before so I'm on guard. But she had people giving her money, acting as her entourage, and getting into fights for her pleasure. She had these eyes you could get lost in. She was somewhat physically attractive but not exceptionally. She was smart because she would tell sob stories about her life. How she was mistreated and abused. You'd feel sorry for her and you'd want to be a knight in shinning armor for her. And then she would proceed to tell you that you look like that knight. And then she would advance sexually and give you what you want. This recipe could make men do anything for her. I was so close to being her slave. She just felt so special and she said everything you wanted to hear. But I stayed away from her in clubs mostly because I was on to her. Every night at this one club/bar there would ALWAYS be like 2 guys fighting because of her. I stopped going to that club after a while.
JFK, conan o brain, Jackie O... they are charming to a degree. Psychopaths take charm to most extreme. They make people kill for them. They make people loyal and dependent on them. They charm people and make them their loyal subjects.
The reason I mention psychopath is because the OP wants to learn charm. People who are naturally charming didn't intend for it nor built it on purpose. It was natural. As I mentioned, a basic premise for wanting charm is to control people. If you want charm, then you have to learn it. Psychopaths "learn" charm.
It's like... if you wanted to get good grades in school, you could ask the natural who doesn't study and memorizes everything. OR you could ask the guy who used to fail all the time, and gets A's now. I'd prefer to ask the previous fail guy for advice than the natural. I've asked naturals and the same cliche response "it's easy".
People who are naturals sometimes don't exactly know how they developed it. But people who mastered or purposefully learned charm though a handicap, are more efficient examples to learn from.
Generally there's two schools of thought when it comes to social skills. Some will tell you it's easy, others will tell you it's hard. Whether it's hard or not depends on what you're looking for.
Real skills are difficult, and take years of meticulous, assiduous effort. (look up assiduous) For an example of real social skills, look at Bill Clinton. The man is effortless, smooth, and very, very charming. These skills do not come from nowhere.
If you're looking for real skills, buy the three Robert Greene books that are relevant, The Art of Seduction, The 48 Laws of Power, and The 50th Law. He gives detailed breakdowns, and you'll be constantly referring back to them as you climb social ladders.
It's much, much easier to accomplish an objective than it is to build skills. You do not need to build an aqueduct to get clean water. You just turn on the tap. Similarly, it's far easier to find a girlfriend than it is to gain social skills. You just keep asking girls out until one says yes. You'll learn as you go.
What you're referring to, charisma, being a lamp others want to be around, is building skills. All social skills can be gained from reading Greene's work, and they're the fastest way to acquire them, short of constantly putting yourself in "do-or-die" situations.
Search your motives. Are you looking for fulfillment in a certain area, or is the lure of having good skills too much to resist? Personally, I own the three books above, and I'm never far from them.
If you're wondering, "Vince, you dunce, I just want to be more social, not be Bill Clinton!" then you're not appreciating the difficulty of keeping and maintaining the attention of others. The same amount of effort will get you much farther if you apply it towards the goal of real, true social skills, than it will if you apply it to the goal of, "have lots of friends."
And no, charisma is not a tool, unless you turn it into one.
There's a positive and negative potential for everything. Most people these days are living on the "eat or be eaten" instead of "live and let live" idea. It's because they fear that someone is out to get them, steal their imaginary treasure, or w/e.
p.s. CHILDREN are the most charismatic and they have no ill intentions so you might wanna study children before they're socialized and turned into "people" and "adults".
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