The Key to Charisma: Having Genuine Empathy

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Minervx_2
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19 May 2021, 8:48 pm

Having genuine empathy for the person you're talking to. Being interested in their interests. Listening. Asking questions. Thinking about their wants and their perspective.

When I was younger, I thought charisma was more about the aesthetic: manners, tone of voice, gestures, posture, how you dress. Or maybe about the content: being intelligent, good conversations, humor.

These have a role, but there's more to it than that:

Many of us are confused on what to say in the situation. Always feeling like we don't know the right thing to say in the situation. Is there a rule, protocol, plan, formula, system, whatever of some kind that can guide us on what to do?

But being in tune with what the other person wants and feels will naturally solve this in many cases. You'll know what to say/not to say just by being aware of their interests.

And that's the difference between 20 year old me vs. 29 year old me. In the past, I'd try to appear charismatic and be impressive. Sort of like I was practicing talking to a mirror, at expense of genuinely connecting with the other person. I'd get so lost in thinking of what I was going to say or how I was presenting myself, that I paid less attention to the other person.

But I'm changing that. It's not easy for an Aspie to change a habit socially. It doesn't happen overnight, but I'm on the right path.

I heard the saying "interested is interesting" when I was younger. I didn't fully grasp the significance, but I do now.



Fnord
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19 May 2021, 10:16 pm

I will express empathy for others when others start expressing empathy for me.


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BeaArthur
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20 May 2021, 7:43 am

Fnord wrote:
I will express empathy for others when others start expressing empathy for me.

Well ... you kind of deflect empathy, you know? I think of you as strong and unassailable, so what's to empathize with?


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Fnord
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20 May 2021, 8:14 am

BeaArthur wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I will express empathy for others when others start expressing empathy for me.
Well ... you kind of deflect empathy, you know? I think of you as strong and unassailable, so what's to empathize with?
Hmm ... so do you think I would be better off to act more vulnerable and uncertain?  Here are some examples I could try:

"I don't know why nobody likes me ... I have been treated badly by everyone I know ... I have no friends ... I have a lousy job ... I live in a hostile neighborhood ... I have neighbors who point at me and laugh ... I get talked about behind my back all the time ..."

What do you think?  Is it a little over-the-top?  I cannot always tell, y'know.


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BeaArthur
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20 May 2021, 11:38 am

But do you want that kind of empathy? I did not get the sense that you were serious.


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Minervx_2
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21 May 2021, 12:06 am

Fnord wrote:
I will express empathy for others when others start expressing empathy for me.


But what if the other person is thinking the same thing? What if someone is waiting for you to open up to them before they will open up to you. Then it's a vicious cycle.

My attitude is that I'll be the first one to open the door. If they reciprocate, great. If not, then move on.



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21 May 2021, 8:18 am

BeaArthur wrote:
But do you want that kind of empathy?  I did not get the sense that you were serious.
I was being sarcastic, but you probably knew that; and no, I do not want the kind of "empathy" given to people who constantly blubber and moan about everything that is wrong in their lives -- I do not want pity.
Minervx_2 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
I will express empathy for others when others start expressing empathy for me.
But what if the other person is thinking the same thing?  What if someone is waiting for you to open up to them before they will open up to you.  Then it's a vicious cycle.
There is nothing vicious about it.  There is no reason to "open up" at all; and that is what is wrong with society right now, too many people want to "open up" about every one of their little problems without ever wanting to do anything to resolve them.  Today's social standards prioritize expressing one's feelings over doing anything about them.  Today's social standards suck.
Minervx_2 wrote:
My attitude is that I'll be the first one to open the door.  If they reciprocate, great.  If not, then move on.
While you are holding the door open, be sure to move your virtuous attitude to one side so that others may comfortably pass by.


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BeaArthur
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21 May 2021, 1:36 pm

I guess empathy is something I'm not invested in, one way or the other. At my (advanced) age, I'm not looking to change much. Take me or leave me.


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Fnord
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21 May 2021, 2:13 pm

BeaArthur wrote:
I guess empathy is something I'm not invested in, one way or the other. At my (advanced) age, I'm not looking to change much. Take me or leave me.
I think what you are talking about is called "character" in people our age.


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starkid
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30 May 2021, 9:07 pm

Minervx_2 wrote:
When I was younger, I thought charisma was more about the aesthetic: manners, tone of voice, gestures, posture, how you dress. Or maybe about the content: being intelligent, good conversations, humor.

Well I think all these things play a larger role in charisma than empathy (if empathy plays a role at all). Someone could be the most empathetic person in the world, but not show the empathy in a way that touches other people, and that person won't be seen as charismatic.



Minervx_2
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03 Jun 2021, 2:20 pm

starkid wrote:
Minervx_2 wrote:
When I was younger, I thought charisma was more about the aesthetic: manners, tone of voice, gestures, posture, how you dress. Or maybe about the content: being intelligent, good conversations, humor.

Well I think all these things play a larger role in charisma than empathy


But understanding the other person's needs is what helps the other things.

If you understand what the other persons wants/needs are, then you also know:
* What subjects to talk about
* What humor works/doesn't work with them
* What kind of demeanor to have appropriate to the situation



EEngineer75
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04 Jun 2021, 11:41 pm

Minervx_2 wrote:
starkid wrote:
Minervx_2 wrote:
When I was younger, I thought charisma was more about the aesthetic: manners, tone of voice, gestures, posture, how you dress. Or maybe about the content: being intelligent, good conversations, humor.

Well I think all these things play a larger role in charisma than empathy


But understanding the other person's needs is what helps the other things.

If you understand what the other persons wants/needs are, then you also know:
* What subjects to talk about
* What humor works/doesn't work with them
* What kind of demeanor to have appropriate to the situation

Hear, hear.

I seldom get along--conversationally--except with people who I know share a particular interest that we can talk about (e.g. other engineer-types, parents of similar kids, etc.)

My problem, though, is I seem to have a block about being able to listen--really listen & "see" a person for more than their words--while simultaneously being able to talk. (Again, unless I already know & have decent interest & knowledge of their topic or the idea(s) being discussed. In that case, it's not empathy but a shared idea knowledge.)


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