Person (a good friend who I dated a long time ago) - "I've been so depressed lately that I've lost my charming ways, and I'm normally a really charming guy."
Me: (something like) "Well, charm isn't everything."
Person: "True, I didn't fall in love with you because you were particularly charming, ha ha, yep, you're definitely not charming." He wasn't being sarcastic either, he really did mean it, but not in a mean way, just kind of like stating a fact.
So umm. That kind of hurt, as this seems to be a recurring comment I get from people from all walks of life. STBXH always was saying (on his nice days, esp. when we were still in the early stages of dating) how "you have a lot of great qualities, woman, but you definitely don't have an ounce of charisma" etc.
And I've heard it from other people too, good female friends as well as a couple more people I dated in high school or college, etc. No one was saying it to be MEAN, but why would you point out to a person that they weren't charming? I mean, really. I wouldn't point out that someone was a great person but they had a horrible sense of fashion, even if that was true. Or whatever. But this is something I've been getting all my life it seems.
What *exactly* is charming or charismatic? Attracting people to you? Magnetic personality? Ironically this comment seems to come mostly from significant others or good friends - so obviously they're attracted to me for SOME reason?!
I'm definitely an introvert and I'm not really comfortable in crowds, but I don't think the people saying it mean it in a "are you the life of the party" way but rather just in general.
I smile, I'm polite, I think I have interesting things to say... I'm not very good at telling stories, and I tend to ramble, but I think I'm a good listener too. I make eye contact. I don't have any bad hygiene or bad table manners or anything. I dunno! What else is there? Just some vague attractive quality that I lack? How does one go about a) cultivating it or b) making peace with the fact that that's just not one of the gifts I received?
Thinking about charismatic/charming people I've known in the past... one guy had a perpetual grin and always seemed like he was letting you in on a joke. A very popular girl I used to know was always smiling as well. I guess it's partly about smiling, extroversion, making other people feel included/liked/special? I dunno. I'm pretty sure I'm not charming, but I have friends and a husband, so I guess I've done OK!
If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.
I don't know, I'm not charismatic and I don't think anyone would call me charming, but I feel like I'm nice and have other good qualities. But I'm the sort of person most people just ignore.
You can have a lot of charm with zero depth.
I'd think in the romantic situations you referenced, it means you're not all sugar and spice and submissive and proper and polite and fake as women are supposed to be. Therefore, even if it wasn't the intent of the person to compliment you by saying you're *not* charming, I would certainly take it as a compliment.
Katreena, 39 year old Alaskan Mama to 1 and 1
Perhaps you're blunt?? Direct? Not necessarily bad things.
Goodness. I'm not entirely sure I can define charm or charisma, but it certainly doesn't lie in telling other people they lack it!
That was definitely an insult, especially coming from someone who is supposed to love you.
But this doesn't mean that you lack zest or enthusiasm. Do you? Do you say things with enthusiasm? (I don't mean hyper.) Are you openly interested? I don't know you, so can't say if you're charming or not. I do know that it wasn't very charming for the people in your life to insult you that way - although maybe not meant to be cruel, it certainly wasn't tactful!
Charisma is similar. I mean certainly if someone is really dynamic I might hear that, but it's not such and everyday word that you would switch it around and describe someone by their lack of that characteristic.
Maybe they mean "charming" in a Martha Stewart kinda way and they're saying you're not Martha Stewart in which case I'd take it as a backhanded compliment.
ETA: I just wanted to add that the way I usually hear "charming" used is sarcastically, like saying about a mean cat/person/dog/whatever, "he's being his usual charming self," meaning that he's anything but. I do have a friend who referred to someone else recently as "charming" and meant it as a genuine compliment, but it was so unusual to hear that it stuck in my head. Maybe I just usually hang around snarky people!!
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
Now charming...anyone can be charming. *I* can be charming when I want to turn it on, but I lack the charisma to continue to carry it out.
I've thought about this alot because my ex is highly charasmatic and it took me longer than I care to admit to see through it. When I finally did I started noticing how he'd use it against people to get his way. He certainly used it in a good ways (i.e. in his high profile job), but he most always used it to manipulate...yep, like Hiter (omg! if only he'd used HIS charisma for good!!!)
I've been told the same thing, that I lack charisma. But, I tire of putting on airs and always trying to feel like I'm trying to get someone to like me...when that's not really who I am. I'm an introvert like you so it doesn't come naturally...hence, I have very little charisma.
I mean, I don't think everyone that is charming is fake. Their measure of charisma might just make them highly charming, but I don't think it comes naturally to alot of people.
People telling you don't have any? I would take that on a case by case basis.
Coming from my dad I take it as just a statement of fact..he knows. Coming from someone I've dated...it would depend on how much I value their subsequent friendship and where I put them on my list.
Coming from my ex? While I might lend it some creedance cause he knows me, I would still blow him off cause I know it's laced with malice.
I guess it depends on how it makes you feel when you hear it.
I hear it now and just acknowledge it and move on. It's just a fact.
I used to hear and get all huffy because I felt like it was someone pointing out my "difference"....and I still hadn't accepted and become comfortable being myself.
I don't think people have to have charisma or be charming to be found attractive.
If you have a reaction to these statements then there's something niggling in the back of your mind making you uncomfortable. It's up to you to either become comfortable with your lack of charisma or try to cultivate your charm.
Katreena, 39 year old Alaskan Mama to 1 and 1
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .
I have a family member who is charming; and I don't think much of her. She's pretty and knows how to say the right things, but she is truly mean-sprited and cold. Takes people a while to learn who she truly is.
I think charming people can certainly be cold and 'evil', but I do not think that all charming people are that way NOR do I believe that charm in and of itself is a bad or negative quality. Charming people, in my opinion, are just one of the many types of people that keep the world turning.
So are the uncharming
I myself may fall somewhere closer to the Less Charming end of the spectrum, but I think that being aware of that and remembering that sometimes honey IS better than vinegar really makes my life easier.
Charming probably won't appear on my tombstone, but I'm ok with that
Personally I don't think being "Charming" is a compliment. The reason is, when you "charm" someone you are hypnotizing them you lead them on to believe something you are not. How many times have I heard "Oh he was charming at first..." of course he was charming AT FIRST. It that "charm" that attracted you to him but as time goes on the true personality surfaces and you see the person without "charm". So I wouldn't be worried if you are described as being without "charm" as it really means you are REAL you are who you really are. Now some people may not like your directness but that is their problem and quite frankly I would rather date someone who is direct and honest than someone who is pretending to be someone else just to please me.
It's best to distance one's self from anyone who is superficially charming. There is nothing in it for you when caught in a relationship with them. They are extra charming when they are seeking out new victims. Don't be one.