So it has finally come to this, the last of my trilogy of articles pertaining to charisma. As I have repeatedly stated, the state of being charismatic is a set of tools rather than just some inherent wonderfulness that you’re either born with or you’re not. And in a related revelation, there is more than one way to be charismatic than just being the stereotypical loud and aggressive “Chad”—although that is certainly one of the ways to be charismatic.
More specifically, there are four main types of charisma. In this article we will be discussing those, as well as my theories as to why “charismatic” people (like celebrities and politicians) also seem to be abject pieces of shit.
1. Focus Charisma
Focus charisma is defined by having ample amounts of “presence” and a cool confidence. This is good for introverts. People with focus charisma are people who make you feel like every word you say is being listened to. His body language hints at his PRESENCE. Even if you’re a dweeb you can have this. Focus charisma also conveys respect for others and makes them feel like they matter.
You get focus charisma by paying attention to people, good listening skills, and patience. Do the “presence” exercises that I discussed before. Also the nullifying of internal discomfort, like delving into sensations and responsibility transfers, again from the previous articles.
This is the simplest and easiest form of charisma to get, and it can be effective in more subdued and intellectual scenarios. But as it is the easiest, it is, in my opinion, the type of charisma that can most often go wrong.
One of the risks is the one that I have always warned about: having too much presence without enough power could very easily make you into a spineless, supplicating lapdog and that will not convey sort of positivity to those you are trying to convince. In other words, if you don’t display enough power you’ll come off as a fellating little tool, so if you’re going to use focus charisma, try to avoid this.
However, remember that the three elements of charisma are power, presence and warmth. Having power and presence without warmth can have its own problems, mainly that if you convey too little warmth, you will come off as interrogative. And whether you’re trying to make a sale or get into a woman’s bed, you don’t want to come off like a teacher grilling a student.
Focus charisma is good for defusing angry situations, or in negotiations—and really, what is sex and romance if not a series of negotiations? Do NOT use it when you need to be in authority.
2. Visionary Charisma: Belief and Confidence
This is the charisma that inspires people, it makes them believe what you’re saying. Conviction and passion. People are naturally uncomfortable with being uncertain, they want a leader to lead the charge. Hell, this sort of charisma even managed to get Dubya into the White House, and if it could make a moron like him President, you know it works!
This is probably the type of charisma that is closest to the stereotyped “Chad Thundercock” sort of charisma—Chad knows that his plan will work out, so he has confidence in his vision.
Conveying visionary charisma requires the ability to project complete conviction and confidence in a cause. In this way, visionary charisma is based on power and warmth—but not necessarily interpersonal warmth. They feel warmly about their vision, strong and passionately.
Visionary charisma is assessed via demeanor—which is to say body language and behavior. If you seem strong and inspired, they’ll assume you must have a good reason to do so. Somebody who is conventionally attractive will have better luck with this then an uggo, but if you can convince people really hard, then you can overcome your ugliness—think of the stereotypical “fanatical preacher wearing a hair shirt before a roaring crowd.”
The message matters for visionary charisma. This means knowing how to craft a bold vision and knowing how to deliver the message charismatically—and you can do that with the public speaking and body language tricks I have delivered here.
One of the keys to communicating your visionary charisma is getting yourself into a state of complete conviction, and shedding any doubt. You can use the tools previously learned here.
The main problem with this sort of charisma is that if you do it too well you will create a worshipful movement of slavishly devoted chodes around you— or even worse; you may start to overestimate your own abilities and set yourself up for a complete debacle.
3. Kindness Charisma: Warmth and Confidence
Kindness charisma is based in warmth primarily, connect with people’s hearts and make them feel cherished and accepted. Like visionary and focus charisma, kindness charisma comes entirely from body language—specifically your face, and even more specifically your eyes.
Practice this by accessing warmth with internal tools such as gratitude, goodwill, compassion, and self-compassion as the last article discussed. Also go out of your way to not show tension and coldness. Again, you need power and confidence here because otherwise you come off as a simp.
Use this when you want to make people feel safe and comfortable, like if you need to deliver bad news gently. Avoid it if you need to be authoritative or if there’s a risk the other person will get too clingy.
4. Authority Charisma: Status and confidence
Before I tell you what this is, notice that power and confidence are involved in all of these, the key is to make it seem like your great and magnanimous self is deigning to be warm and kind and present to them, not that you’re demanding THEIR approval.
Anyway, this form of charisma is possibly the most powerful one of all. People instinctively follow leaders—for better or worse.The Dalai Lama embodies authority charisma, but so did Stalin.
Those who have authority charisma are not necessarily likable: To quote The Charisma Myth, which in turn quoted a sportswriter: “[Michael Jordan] rankles, sometimes infuriates, his teammates. But he uses his charisma to lift the whole team’s level of play.”
Authority charisma is primarily based on a perception of power: the belief that this person has the power to do what he wants. We evaluate someone’s authority charisma through four indicators: body language, appearance, title, and the reactions of others. And you already know how to do all those.
Now, having learned all this, let’s ask an uncomfortable question…
Why Are Charismatic People Often Shitheads?
As the recent casting couch brouhaha with #MeToo and ongoing political controversies will indicate, many of our societal betters, who are charismatic by any objective measure, are also objectively miserable human beings. Why?
I have repeatedly been discussing that a major trick for getting charisma is to “fool” yourself into a charismatic state. And what is acting, in particular method acting, if it’s not “fooling” yourself into getting into character? For that matter, politics is “Hollywood for ugly people” after all, to quote Ronald Reagan. Are you seeing how it all ties together?
While this is just an idle theory I have had, perhaps the reason that politicians and celebrities are simultaneously so charismatic and such reprobates is because they don’t have any personalities of their own, and thus the budding sociopath finds it easy to “paint” various personality traits upon themselves.
Regardless of whether or not this is true, you certainly don’t need to be a sociopath to use the charisma techniques I have ennumerated—use them for good instead!