All celebrities have charisma

Everyone has charisma

There are people who cast a spell over us like magic. But why do we hang on the lips of some people and let their gaze captivate us? Psychologist Dr. Eva Wlodarek on charisma.


Miss Dr. Wlodarek, who do you think has special charisma?
The choice is of course subjective. Two examples: I find ECB President-designate Christine Lagarde charismatic. She is characterized by self-confidence, elegance and competence in a male domain. Also ex-US President Barack Obama. He can inspire people with his speeches. But honestly, it used to be easier to identify charismatic personalities, such as Martin Luther King, Jackie Kennedy, Nelson Mandela or Romy Schneider.


What exactly is charisma?
Charisma is a special communicative ability. It can be divided into four styles: “Focus Charisma” is based on the presence of a person. Such a person is able to fully adjust to his or her counterpart. “Visionary charisma” relies on exuding belief in a cause. “Kindness charisma” is based on warmth of the heart and “authority charisma” is based on self-confidence and status. Rarely does anyone have all four styles. Most of the time we unconsciously choose which style suits us best.


What is the difference between charisma and personality?
By “personality” we mean the totality of the individual characteristics of a person. So everyone has a personality. “Charisma” is a specific way in which the personality communicates with others. However, this is often mixed up in linguistic usage. It is said that someone is a personality when they appear charismatic.


“People with charisma are perceived positively. We remember their faces, we look for their company. "


What makes me who I am?
Our personality develops in the interaction of physical, intellectual and emotional predisposition with external influences such as culture, upbringing, education and social class. In this respect, the social environment plays a major role. It shapes the personality. Nevertheless, we can influence our thinking and behavior. For example, you can become friendlier, more optimistic or more disciplined - and try to compensate for your weaknesses.


What specifically distinguishes a charismatic person?
They are confident and have a positive way of interacting with others, according to their style. As a basis for this, self-confidence is indispensable.


Why do we say that some people have charisma and others don't?
We don't have to tick off a list of characteristics, but rather intuitively judge whether someone has charisma. That depends on whether we feel an attraction. We judge insecure, self-centered, boring and pessimistic people as not very charismatic.


“Some people were born with charisma. Everyone else can learn. "


Can we learn to be charismatic?
Certainly some people have charisma in their cradle. But everyone else can learn. One example of this is Lady Di, who has developed from a shy kindergarten teacher to the queen of hearts. Or Steve Jobs, whose first presentations were boring and cramped and to whom one hung on the lips later. It does, however, require persistence and know-how. You have to find the style that suits you. However, our personality cannot be fundamentally changed. Long-term studies have shown that some properties are permanent. This includes our temperament and our sensitivity. A still water does not become a party animal and a mimosa does not become a pachyderm.


Is it worth working on your own charisma?
Charisma has many advantages: people who have it are perceived positively. We remember their faces and their names. We are looking for your company. You will also have greater professional success: For applications with the same qualifications, the more charismatic person is usually preferred. In a team, charismatic people put their ideas through easier because others like to follow them. Even when choosing a partner, charisma is a plus and counts more than external beauty.


What is your advice to people who want to work on their charisma?
In my book I have detailed instructions, here are a few tips in brief: Find out from the charismatic people around you or from celebrities what makes them stand out. Check which of them suits you and train this behavior. For example, to be open, to listen carefully to others, to speak positively.


“Still water does not become a party animal and a mimosa does not become a pachyderm. "


Individuality plays an increasingly important role these days. How do you rate this trend?
Individuality is often misunderstood these days. This is mostly self-centeredness. Real individuality requires knowing yourself well and bravely going your own way. That is still rare.


Would you describe yourself as charismatic?
Charisma is like charm: anyone who claims to have it is more vain than charismatic. Only other people can judge whether I am charismatic. But I am of the opinion that one should work on one's attitude and behavior for life. The qualities that belong to the charisma - self-confidence, presence, warmth of the heart, and enthusiasm for a cause - can be a good guide.

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Dr. Eva Wlodarek is a qualified psychologist, coach and speaker. Her guide books on charisma, success and self-confidence are bestsellers. It gives tips on how every person can consciously develop their individual potential, find support in themselves and better meet the challenges of life. Further information at: