Dear Core Edge/Mr. Brown:
I have followed your work on charisma, particularly your blog, radio show and You Tube videos. I’ve found your ideas inspiring, thought provoking and generally on point. However, there is one aspect of human nature I believe charisma can’t overcome---personal preferences. I don’t believe that individuals who are extremely short, unattractive or the myriad of characteristics deemed contrary to an ideal standard can be overcome by being more charismatic. On countless occasions, I have seen where nice guys have finished last and the “jerks” that women say they hate, succeed in numerous ways. How can charisma be used to help the “underdog” succeed?
The Last Nice Guy
Dear Last Nice Guy:
It has been my experience that most things in life are relative. Most people do not attempt to objectively determine their marketability within personal and professional settings. In other words, how do you rate against the basic choices and options an employer or opposite sex has at their disposal? If you have something to offer or bring to the table, you are in a better position to ask for and get what you desire. Individuals can be delusional and see themselves in “leagues” where they may or may not fit. But, the ones who have a track record of being confirmed to operate within certain arenas gravitate towards people they believe they have a kinship with. Opposites may attract, but similarities keep people together. Nice guys should attempt to meet nice girls, not necessarily “hot girls.” “Hot girls” are not necessarily negative, but the constant attention they attract creates a self-perception in their minds of being highly valued. Their ideal man has a similar impression of himself. He may be as much of a “monster” as she is. Remember, opposites may attract, but similarities keep people together. Many guys want to be charismatic to attract more women, but never take inventory of what they have to offer and how would those traits tie into the needs of women. For example, if women have a need for emotional, financial and physical security, how do you rank? Does a woman feel comfortable communicating with you (which leads to emotional security)? Does she feel you are fiscally responsible and manage your money wisely (which leads to financial security)? When she’s out in public with you, does she feel protected by the potential for danger (which leads to physical security)?
Guys who merely complain about the attitudes and maltreatment by attractive women have not developed the edge and savvy that life teaches you when you’re paying attention. In a patriarchal society, the totally secure woman is a misnomer. Everything from songs to TV commercials is geared to keeping women insecure (Men have also become targets). From childhood to adulthood, women are indoctrinated into an idealized belief system, which is used against them for manipulative purposes—Beauty, marriage and children. The “bad boys” have decoded this dynamic and consequently objectify women, because they seemingly view women as being cut from the same cloth. In this sense, beautiful women are not necessarily special to these guys. These guys play the numbers knowing full well that the odds favor their winning more than losing. There will be more women who give him what they want than those who reject them.
A man who is self-possessed and makes the world bend to his will is seen as attractive. This trait is often viewed as confidence, but it is also a paradigmatic reality or a mode of viewing people and the world. Nice guys often take a “permissive’” approach to life, looking for acceptance rather than acquiring and maintaining power.
Charismatic people are about achieving power and seeing their mission come to fruition. They are inclined to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. They are preternaturally curious about human nature and use this knowledge to affect their end. They are Machiavellian in that they do what is best for the situation rather than adhering to moral imperatives. The charismatic individual can be both loved and hated by people and understand clearly why both groups feel a certain way about him. In some respect, he created the dichotomy---intentionally.
Does charisma help individuals skew personal preferences in their favor? Yes and no. Charisma is all about pulling out of people what already exists. Effective oratory, storytelling and developing interpersonal communication skills are tools used to fulfill certain needs within individuals. By being a student of human nature and using the tools mastered by charismatic personalities, you can achieve greater personal and professional success. Here are a few tips:
1. Assess your strengths and what has helped you achieve past success to discover personal and professional opportunities.
2. Assess whether a potential mate will be mutually beneficial.
3. Determine that you are the center of your universe and everything revolves around your worldview and choices.
4. Operate where you have the greatest potential for success. Find people who are comparable to you by making an objective assessment of who and what you are.
5. Be professional, not nice. In some venues, niceness can be seen as a sign of weakness.
6. Don’t act like attractive people are doing you a favor by acknowledging your existence. Set the stage, make the rules and lay the groundwork for what you want.
7. Like any bad deal or opportunity, don’t be afraid to walk away. Be vigilant over all your interests—emotionally, financially and psychologically.