Character Trait Entry: Charismatic

Definition: having a special magnetic charm or appeal; having the ability to arouse loyalty or enthusiasm through charm or influence

Causes: a knack for reading others and knowing what they want to hear, a need to manipulate others in order to get what you want, an honest desire to connect with people, a desire to motivate and help others, ambition

Characters in Literature and History: Aragorn (Lord of the Rings), John F. Kennedy, Adolf Hitler

Positives: Charismatics are great at reading people and situations. They're often able to discern motives and true intent. Building relationships and developing trust comes easily to them. Their ability to charm and influence others makes them natural leaders. 

Negatives: Charisma segues effortlessly into manipulation. Charismatic leaders with great ambition often use their charm to win people over solely in an effort to achieve their goals. People become tools that are acquired, used, and cast aside. On the flip side, those with charisma are often the target of manipulation. Those with their own agendas may seek to befriend a charismatic leader in an effort to further their on purposes. Charismatics may grow weary of always being wooed only because of what they have to offer.

Common Portrayals: politicians, prom queens, quarterbacks, visionaries, con-men, villains

Cliches to Avoid: grasping politicians with an agenda, the reluctant leader

Twists on the Traditional Charismatic: 
  • Charismatics are usually portrayed as 1) egomaniacs seeking to further their selfish goals, or 2) bleeding-heart philanthropists who live to make things better for the less fortunate. How about something in between, like a girl using her influence to raise awareness about the disease that is killing her boyfriend.
  • Instead of someone who is reluctant or narcissistic, try an eager leader who is completely ignorant of the flaws that work against his charisma (fear of public speaking, bad breath, no fashion sense, spits when he talks).
Conflicting Characteristics to make your Charismatic unique or more interesting: average, clumsy, cowardly, grouchy, guilt-ridden, immature, sloppy

23 comments:

genelempp said...

Nicely done, Becca! Great suggestions in the "Twists" segment.

tracikenworth said...

LOVE the chosen picture. Such an inviting character trait to work with. Excellent post.

Jen said...

I'm sorry, Becca. Did you say something?
Must. Look. Away. From. Aragorn.

Great post! :)

Deb Salisbury said...

Great portrait! Definitely bookmarked. Thanks!

Tiffany Garner said...

Some great thoughts here! It really is such a 'bipolar' characteristic, for lack of a better word. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Heather said...

Ah Aragorn, a fine example indeed. :) You made me really think about both sides of charismatic with this one!

Michael Offutt said...

A great analysis of charisma. I may shamelessly steal some of your ideas on how to break out of this box.

Karen Lange said...

Thank you! This will come in handy. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Great post, Becca! :)

Becca Puglisi said...

Mmmmm. Aragorn....

The Golden Eagle said...

Great post!

Interesting point about people who are charismatic--but who also have other characteristics that aren't so appealing.

Deb Marshall said...

Nice. Love the conflicting characteristics....make for a very interesting hero IMO!

Martha Ramirez said...

Very nice!

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra

Becca Puglisi said...

Thanks so much, Deirdra! *flexes muscles* ;)

alaw said...

ARAGORN! YES! MY KING!!!

Sharon Jones said...

Great post, as usual...
and, I agree with all of the above comments...you know, the ones drooling over Aragorn.
OH YEAH!

Sharon:)

Angela Ackerman said...

NOM NOM.

That is all.

*drools*

Angela

Jeff King said...

I love these character types!

Nice post.

Kristen said...

Just catching up on reading blogs--charisma is such an interesting trait, and I find hard to get just right. But if you do it right, your character is bound to hook readers, right?
Always worth trying! And I am. :)

Matthew MacNish said...

That is a most excellent photo selection.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Once I was able to stop drooling over your picture...I really learned a lot from your post. Great insight. :)
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Hey, Angela! It's great to meet you - especially as a fellow writer! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog and becoming a Follower! Your blog is great, and I look forward to coming back soon!

Thanks again!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...