Wednesday, August 29, 2007

what makes someone attracted to another? What keeps the interest?

What makes someone attracted to another person? I know that whenever I have moved or had a big life change, I inevitably meet new people before the change. The same seems to be true for most people and is bringing on this question. I have been at a cafe with my husband while spending a weekend in San Francisco - we had people approach us wanting to talk because 'we looked interesting'. I don't think I am but what would make one person interesting and another not? It seems to be some type of life force.

What causes this attraction? confidence? the way one carries him or herself? The ability to converse naturally and show empathy? Perhaps I am trying to articulate charisma.

In Wikipedia the definition for charisma seems to fit:
The word charisma (from the Greek word χάρισμα (kharisma), "gift" or "divine favor," from kharizesthai, "to favor," from kharis, "favor": see also charism) refers to a rare trait found in certain human personalities usually including extreme charm and a 'magnetic' quality of personality and/or appearance along with innate and powerfully sophisticated personal communicability and persuasiveness. Though very difficult or even impossible to define accurately (due to a lack of widely accepted criteria in regard to the trait), charisma is often used to describe an (elusive, even undefinable) personality trait that often includes the seemingly 'supernatural' or uncanny ability to lead, charm, persuade, inspire, and/or influence people. It refers especially to a quality in certain people who easily draw the attention and admiration (or even hatred if the charisma is negative) of others due to a 'magnetic' quality of personality and/or appearance. Similar terms/phrases related to charisma include: grace, exuberance, equanimity, mystique, positive energy, joie de vivre, extreme charm, personal magnetism, personal appeal, "electricity," and allure, among many others[1]. Usually many of these specific qualities must be present within a single individual for the person to be considered highly charismatic by the public and their peers.

Despite the strong emotions they so often induce in others, charismatic individuals generally project unusual calmness, confidence, assertiveness, dominance, authenticity, and focus, and almost always possess superb communication and/or oratorical skills. Although the etymology of the word ("divine gift") might suggest that charisma can't be acquired, and despite the persistent inability to accurately define or even fully understand the concept, it is believed that charisma can be taught and/or learned. Others [Who?] disagree with this assertion and maintain that it is an inborn trait and that it cannot be learned, taught, or 'gained.'


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