Social Question

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What creates physical "presence"?

Asked by PandoraBoxx (18001points) January 11th, 2010

There are certain people who, when they walk into a room, they command attention. It has nothing to do with what they’re wearing, and often has nothing to do with physical beauty or attractiveness. When they are present, you can feel it, and all eyes are on them.

Do you have this quality or know someone who has it? Where does it come from?

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22 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It is a phenomenon that the Greeks called Charisma. I’m not sure how it’s explained. When someone has it, and you are in their presence, it is almost palpable. I have been around one or two very charismatic people, and it was almost like being under a spell.

Zen_Again's avatar

I dunno, but I got it.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Zen_Again, yes, you do, honey.

Owl's avatar

Excellent question. Two actors who had that kind of power were Marlon Brando and Richard Burton. I’ve read that when each was at the height of his powers and on stage, he could hold an entire audience spellbound just by sitting with his back to the audience. I’ve worked with people who had that kind of power. I’ve seen people in the movies (Orson Welles, for example). I even dare to say that a few times in my life, when I was just in the right mood and had the right people around me, I could do it a little. ‘It’s an amazing feeling, being able to hold people in the palm of your hand. I don’t know what the secret is other than some people are fearless in how they approach life.

dpworkin's avatar

Here is a sort of interesting quote from Wikipedia:

Psychology and sociology

The study, recognition, and development of charisma in individuals is of particular interest to sociologists/psychologists, popular (usually national) politicians, public speakers, actors, movie-stars/movie-producers, casting directors, pop-music stars, trainers/coaches targeting the upper-echelons of the business community (CEOs), and academics or others involved in leadership studies or leadership development, among others.[2] Media Scientists are studying the question of how you can stage charisma in radio and television.[3]
[edit] The dark side of charisma
Wiki letter w.svg This section requires expansion.

In some cases highly-extroverted and brutally controlling charismatic leaders have used their personal charisma in extremely destructive and damaging ways throughout human history, for example, Adolf Hitler and Jim Jones. Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito was said to be a “Charismarch” – “ruler staying in power by charisma”[citation needed].


augustlan's avatar

Natural confidence.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

In my younger days, I worked for an attorney who had such an electric presence that you could feel it when he walked into the office in the morning, without seeing him, or hearing him say a word. He was a difficult and demanding person, although our clients loved him. One of my daughters has an electrical presence. I can tell immediately if she’s in the house or not.

Facade's avatar

An inner glow and strength.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

An unusual demeanor – blunt honesty – confidence in oneself, eloquence, a genuine smile. Do I have it? I can, if necessary. I don’t, by choice, usually. For it to be effective, use sparingly.

wundayatta's avatar

Does such a thing actually exist? I’ve never seen it. I always thought it was one of those literary conventions used as part of characterization.

dpworkin's avatar

I have experienced it. It’s magnetic, and hypnotizing. Gary Busey had it, oddly enough. I once saw him sitting at a table in a restaurant in Chinatown in New York, looking scruffy and unremarkable, but the whole room full of people were riveted by him, and most of the patrons were Chinese!

Facade's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir How exactly would you turn something like this off?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Facade different clothing, slumped shoulders, change hair/put on glasses

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t think that works. Gary Busey looked like shit, and was slumped in a corner but the room still vibrated. And I didn’t know who he was until someone told me later, so it wasn’t a “starstruck” type of thing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@pdworkin there must be different ways to hold attention

dpworkin's avatar

I’m sure you are right. To me, though, this incident seemed inexplicable.

Facade's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Wouldn’t that be uncomfortable though?

MrsDufresne's avatar

My sister-in-law has this. She lights up everything around her. I think it comes from hearty DNA, self-confidence and a strong sense of adventure.

filmfann's avatar

The people I know who have it have oodles of self confidence, so it must be that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Facade shit, I do it for work every day
it’s not.

Zen_Again's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Thanks luv, but apparently I don’t got jack shit – not even one little lurvey. No-one noticed me in this thread.


stardust's avatar

I love charismatic people! I think it’s a mixture of self-confidence, a sense of adventure and a genuine love of life!

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