The psychology of charisma – what charismatic people have in common


Charisma is the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. There are people who radiate such inexplicable magnetism that absolutely everyone reaches to them. They wish to be like them, to win their friendship or approval. So, it’s unsurprising that psychologists have studied charismatic people and complied a list of their most common  characteristics;


Confidence and charisma go hand in hand. Confidence doesn’t mean being the loudest in the room, or gloating about your accolades – it must be authentic. Charismatic people are confident in that they make courageous decisions, feel comfortable relying on themselves, don’t need external approval and typically, in speech, avoid words like “I guess, I hope, I suppose, I expect, maybe, probably”.

2. Gesticulate

Behaviour demonstrates confidence – slouching, fumbling or playing with hands communicates insecurity. Charismatic people have no problem with making wide hand movements when they explain their stories. They stare intensely into their audiences’ eyes and focus on locking engagement through, animation and face to face connection.


3. Great story telling abilities

This isn’t something that comes naturally to most but it is a by-product of both confidence and gesticulation. A good story teller is someone who tells a story from the heart, unafraid of the audiences reaction or their potential loss of interest – the story teller knows they will be interested. A great ability to engage an audience through story telling is at the heart of the charismatic individual.

4. Mirror effect

Charismatic people, either on purpose or intuitively, mirror their interlockers body language.   The mirror effect, or simply mirroring, is an easy way to make someone like you by repeating their facial expressions, intonations, and gestures. It always works because the method is based on the nature of human narcissism: an interlocutor unwittingly begins to feel that you’re in sync with them.

5. Positivity

Charismatic people don’t complain, in fact, they do the opposite, they are, on balance, more optimistic than others. Remember people don’t remember what you say but they remember how you make them feel – charismatic people attract others through their positive vibes.

Author: Leila Mezoughi

Leila is PCA’s Head Editor and Researcher. She holds a 1st class Law with Business degree and became a published author at 25. Former crime investigator turned business journalist. On a mission to show businesses that presenteeism is a thing of the past. Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Typically found working from a white beach in South-East Asia embracing rapidly changing technology.

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The psychology of charisma - what charismatic people have in common - PCA LAW