How Charismatic Are You?

Okay, before I unveil this bit of triviality, which I got from Oprah Magazine (adapted from the forthcoming book: The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study), I feel compelled to tell you the magazine was a gift subscription, not that there’s anything wrong with subscribing to Oprah, I think she’s an amazing woman, her good works–especially in South Africa–and her insights rock.

It’s just that for the most part, it seems with most of the articles, I’ve been down that path, plus, I’m put off by the expensive clothes and beauty products advertised; they’re just not me.  But when it comes to these little psychological evaluations, sometimes, I just have to indulge.   This one surprised me.  Check it out.  I’ll tell you at the end what I learned about myself.

Okay, so rate ever number from 1–9: 1 being NOT AT ALL TRUE OF ME: 9 VERY TRUE OF ME.

1. When I hear great music, my body automatically starts moving to the beat.

2. I always try to wear fashionable clothes.

3. Everyone hears me when I laugh; it’s a jovial and buoyant sound.

4. I pay careful attention to details.

5. When I’m on the phone, my feelings and mood come across loud and clear.

6. I am always prepared.

7. Friends often tell me their problems and ask for advice.

8. I use a to-do list.

9. I try to work on something until it’s perfect.

10. People say I should be an actor.

11. I make plans and stick to them.

12. I sometimes forget to put food back in the refrigerator. (This is a weird one, Alzheimer thing?)

13. I am good at games like charades.

14. Strangers tend to think I’m much younger than I am.

15. At parties, I am often the center of attention.

16. When talking to close friends, I typically hug or touch them.


Add the numbers you selected for questions 1,3,5,7,10,13,15 and 16. Disregard the others; they are “filler” questions, designed to minimize subconscious bias in your responses. Your score indicates your level of charisma, or in psychological terms, how well you express yourself nonverbally. In my 25 years of research on the subject, I’ve found that the most alluring individuals can effortlessly communicate without words–through expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and other subtle signals.

0-37 Twenty-five percent of people score in this range. You are probably on the shy side. Maybe you were born socially cautious, or have learned to be circumspect because of abuse or ridicule you suffered in the past. Or you may simply not be interested in drawing attention, preferring to spend time alone.

38-49 Most people fall into this category. You are likely to be quite accomplished in your interactions, but your success is often due to intelligence and the social skills you’ve learned –not charm.  You may be good with nonverbal techniques (varying expressions, using gestures), but you don’t excel at all of them.

50-60 People at this level are magnetic. You are extroverted and a natural leader, though you tend to attract enemies, too, precisely because you stand out from the crowd. You may sometimes feel burdened by the attention and the responsibility of having followers.

61-72 You have a hard time going unnoticed. You are one of the lucky few (only 5 percent of people score above 60) with that uncanny ability light up a room. You probably have some experience as a performer, and are especially expressive and sensitive to others.

So, I tallied my score and then when my ex came to babysit the dogs, I asked him to take the test and then do mine–just so we have an objective viewpoint, I mean this guy lived with me for 25 years.

I scored 60 and he got 23.  Now, this is a man who is about as charismatic as they come, I mean in the way I think of charisma (magnetic charm), I mean he scored an 8 on #15.  That should tell you.  And as far as me being an being an extrovert or possessing magnetic charm, absolutely not.  I mean I love to dance and I’m enthusiastic as hell, but that’s it.  So, either these tests are full of shit, or maybe I’ve changed, maybe I’ve become more outgoing than I perceived myself to be.

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