The Magic of Charisma

Just mention the word ‘charisma’ and people will think of a magical quality that a few fortunate individuals are born with.  It conjures up images of magnetic and dynamic people who appear to have a mystical charm. However, as a much studied topic among psychologists, all the evidence points to the idea that the quality of charisma can be learned.  

Undoubtedly, some people appear to be born with charisma.  But in-depth study into the people the world considers most charismatic, indicates that charisma is predominantly something they developed over time.  Charisma is associated with a particular mind-set and specific behaviours, therefore we can all develop our charismatic skills.

It can be mesmerising to be in the presence of someone who has charismatic skills.  Their presence has a direct impact on us, leading us to feel valued, inspired and making us want to converse and share our experiences.  

So how does this relate to successful dating and relationships?  Simply put, people with charismatic qualities have greater romantic success!  Over a series of three blogs, we’ll look at the qualities of charisma, how we can harness our charismatic skills for success on the dating scene, and how vital these skills are in creating an enchanting long-term relationship.

So what are the qualities of a charismatic person?

1 Charismatic people are enthusiastic and joyous

They have a joie de vivre which is infectious, and they appear appreciative and positive about their lives.  Even when faced with difficulty or fighting for a cause, they are passionate about overcoming adversity.  This trait is charismatic because the qualities exuded from these people create the same response in others.  So people around them find themselves inspired and joyful as well.

2 They don’t go out to try and impress others.

Charismatic people don’t feel they have anything to prove and are consequently 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!

3 Charismatic people emanate presence

Many people think having presence is all about status and grandeur, but when it comes to charisma, presence is about giving someone genuine and undivided attention.  This is when you hear people say of charismatic figures, “he made me feel like the only woman in the room”.  Having someone fully listen to us can be so rare that it feels like a gift when it happens.  Amazing listening skills are the key to presence – charismatic people listen more than they talk and their responses are more non-verbal than verbal.

4 They make other people feel amazing

Charismatic people truly give the other person the limelight, 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.  Remember:

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

John C .Maxwell



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.