Four people in a circle, chatting. Across the circle, we are not facing each other, but turned towards one of the group- three people are an audience to Her. It’s not just when she is speaking, and anyway in groups like that you tend to turn your head, not your whole body, to pay attention. It is that she is completely fascinating. That may be part of the strong hostility expressed about her by another woman. I have noticed this more than once with this woman, and in my own response to her. I want to spend time with her.

I fear I may have that quality myself. Charisma. People notice in others the qualities, good and bad, that we share. It can be a way of getting to know the Shadow.

I fear it because I also have this strong motivation to hide in the shadows away from scrutiny. Such as I have an understanding of myself which includes charisma, it is that charismatic behaviour was strongly discouraged when I was young. So I am self-conscious and second-guessing when I use it, and I do not have the experience to use it properly. And my presentation is not consistent- successfully charismatic persons tend to dress better than I can afford. People are used to a particular set of signals together, and one without the other surprises and feels wrong.

Charisma without other qualities backing it up is a problem. Rather than just being I think about how I may be.

Or, I have a delight in showing off without necessarily much to show off.

I spoke in a dominant (so objectionable) way. H suggested that people objected because they saw me as a woman. Women interrupt less, are interrupted more, and are objected to when they show dominant traits as they are supposed to be conciliatory. It is such a pain- I am only “treated like” or “seen as” a woman when that’s a bad thing for me!

Yet- fear it? It is a gift. It is beautiful. It is something to learn to use. As with anything else, suppressing it only creates malaise.

It is only possible, not certain, to me that I am charismatic. And it is a way of conceptualising my responses as Good independent of their effect. A person does not like my manner or what I say, and I say they are wrong, rather than my manner was ineffective. Or I should learn to better use that Gift rather than restrain that offensive trait. Tomorrow- how I am “ingratiating”.

I asked facebook, and friends reassured: “Am I charismatic, do you think?”
Ooh yes 🙂
Blimey not half!
Not half
Yes very
Uniquely so
Er, yes!
In a quirky way

This is the only Evelyn de Morgan I can recall seeing the original- now at “Queer British Art 1861-1967” at Tate Britain.

2 thoughts on “Charisma

  1. As I clicked into your blog this morning to see what Clare was up to I had a thought, “I do like to see what says; it’s often interesting.” Indeed, it is!

    I think you can take away from this that I find you charismatic, and we have only met here!


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