Discussion » Questions » Life and Society » How do we distinguish charisma from manipulation?

How do we distinguish charisma from manipulation?

That is, if we can.

Posted - September 4, 2019


  • 5391
    The former does not require the latter. 
      September 4, 2019 5:33 PM MDT

  • 1191
    Yet how do we know that what we perceive as charismatic isn't only very effectively manipulative?
      September 6, 2019 3:56 PM MDT

  • 46117
    Because charisma draws one in due to nothing the person is doing on purpose.  It is the whole man or woman.  It is the X factor.  

    Now someone who has charisma can be a very good manipulator.

    Manipulators are doing the seducing on purpose for their own end.  
      September 4, 2019 7:13 PM MDT

  • 1191
    Can a person seen as charismatic actively be doing little things to make us think so, though? As if it's spontaneous and natural, even when it's all learned behavior?
      September 6, 2019 3:58 PM MDT

  • 9907
    In my opinion, to at least a certain degree, charisma is in the eye of the beholder. 

    I've noticed that I tend to be somewhat repelled by people who are generally considered to be charming by others. I've considered that it's because I suspect they're insincere. That could easily be translated to manipulation. 

    Great question! Hope you've been well, friend. 
      September 4, 2019 7:14 PM MDT

  • 1191
    I agree, Savvy, and it's precisely whence the skepticism. With celebrities too, be they talk show hosts or Hollywood greats, I at times can't shake the thought that every charming act is simply pulled off so well as not to seem an act at all. Any suspicion of insincerity, on the other hand, indeed shuts that down. But then there may be the kind of behavior that is sincere enough in general intent yet not entirely so in exact expression. (For instance, genuinely appreciating someone's company while looking to affect them in different ways than if there were no ultimate purpose in mind.) To what extent is that undesirable?

    Thank you, friend! While the move to a different country hasn't been overly simple, it's good to be here. Hope you are well too!
      September 6, 2019 4:11 PM MDT

  • 9907
    It's definitely something I've given some thought to, especially after becoming a member on another online forum. There are some pretty smooth operators out there, just lying in wait for unsuspecting 'victims'. They're oozing charisma and charm!

    I suppose celebs are paid to be charismatic, aren't they? I like to use the word "seems" when talking about celebrities, because I obviously don't know them. I think we tend to view them as some kind of super-humans, but they are just people like the rest of us. They tend to get away with more bad behavior than us 'regular folks', because they have lots of money and are famous. On the other hand, they're much more scrutinized, too. I'm sure that many of them are cool people, and many are complete jerks, same as it is with any other group of people. I think the most interesting thing is how not everyone admires or is attracted to the same characteristics. Which kind of goes back to my initial reply. I'm not particularly attracted to people who are traditionally charming. It's likely because I've been down that road before. :)

    Glad you're enjoying your new location, even if it's been a challenge! I'm sure you'll grow a lot from the experience. 
      September 10, 2019 8:02 AM MDT