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Charisma. As Matchmakers at Seventy Thirty, we hear the word charisma or charm, after confidence, as one of the most desired characteristics in a male partner. The mention of the world charisma makes one think of a magical quality that few lucky people were born with. Google defines it as compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others”; we think of these magnetic, dynamic people to whom one just gravitates without reason or intent. However, great news for you out there wanting in on this magic: after much psychological research on the topic, the evidence suggests that the quality of charisma can be learned.

That’s why, in our last article, we talked about how you can develop charismatic skills for dating success. However, some queried, can you learn it? Others asked, what is it about charismatic people that we are so attracted to? We therefore thought we would take a step back to answer these questions before, in our next article, looking at how to create a wonderful ongoing relationship with charisma.

We would agree that some people are born with it. However, in-depth studies looking at the people considered most charismatic around the world, indicates that charisma is predominantly something they developed over time. It is linked to mind-set and specific behaviours, so our Matchhmakers at Seventy Thirty propose that we can all develop our charismatic skills and improve our chances of dating success.

There is no doubting the power of charisma, for example, great leaders often have buckets of it, which gives them influence and gains trust. Charisma has a direct impact making one feel valued, inspired, want to converse and share experiences.

When putting this in the context of dating and relationships, those with charismatic qualities simply have greater romantic success. So what are these qualities we are so drawn to?

Charismatic people are enthusiastic and joyous

With a zest for life that is infectious, they appear appreciative and positive about their lives. Even when faced with adversity or when fighting for a cause, they are passionate about finding resolve. This trait is charismatic because the qualities exuded from these people create the same response in others. People around them find themselves inspired and joyful as well.

They don’t go out to try and impress others

Charismatic people are usually more content with themselves, they don’t feel they have anything to prove and therefore are more attentive to others. This is beautifully illustrated by author Fox Cabane (2012) who describes how in 1886, political rivals William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli (who were competing for the post of Prime Minister) happened to take the same woman out to dinner. She was subsequently probed about her experiences with each gentleman, and her response reveals the captivating power of charisma. She stated, “when I dined with Mr Gladstone I thought he was the cleverest man in England, but after dining with Mr Disraeli I thought I was the cleverest person in England”. His genuine interest and attentive demeanour made her feel impressive and important. And guess who won the election!

Charismatic people emanate presence

One may associate presence with status and grandeur, however, when it comes to charisma, presence is about having confidence to give someone else genuine and undivided attention. This is when you hear people say of charismatic figures, “he made me feel like the only person in the room”. Having someone fully listen to us can be so rare that one feels the significance and impact when it happens. Having great listening skills are the key to presence – charismatic people listen more than they talk and their responses are more non-verbal than verbal.

They make other people feel amazing

Charismatic people are confidence enough to truly give the other person centre stage, and in doing so make themselves memorable. The idea of being ‘interested and not interesting’ as a way to improving communication has become a cliché, but this is only because it is grounded in truth. People associate you with the feelings you produce in them, so give others centre-stage and let them impress you.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”

John C .Maxwell

References

Bono, J.E. & Ilies, R. (2006). Charisma, Positive Emotions and Mood Contagion. The

Leadership Quarterly, 17(4), 317-334.

Fox Cabane, O. (2012). The Charisma Myth. New York: Penguin Group.

Riggio, R. E. (1988). The Charisma Quotient: What It Is, How to Get It, How To Use It. New

York: Dodd Mead.