Picture Illustration by Eric Olorunfemi
From interacting with different people over the years, I have discovered the reason some heartbreaks happen. See, there’s a tendency to fall for the charm, that oomph, the allure that makes a person so attractive and fun to be around. It’s that thing that makes us say, ‘there’s just something special about that person.’ Another word for it is charisma. It’s when a person has that special something that attracts people to them.
Most of the time, people with charisma need not exert too much effort to attract people to themselves. It’s a blessing, a gift. The problem comes when there’s no good character to back that gift up. As a result, being around that person may be entertaining, exciting, a total blast, but when it comes to the part of the relationship that truly matters, the person almost always disappoints. This covers all kinds of relationships, from work, to friends, to romantic relationships.
I believe that charisma is a gift from God. I also believe it should be laid on a foundation of good character so we don’t attract people just to hurt them. Charisma may attract the people, but it’s the old and tested, sometimes boring, elements of good character (like integrity, reliability, trustworthiness) that will keep the people with you. We must never assume that charisma makes up for bad character. It is true that we are not perfect and we must learn to give room for those imperfections. However, imperfection should also not be used as a license to be careless with the feelings of others.
I have interacted with people who possess both charisma and good character and find it refreshingly different from those who rely solely on charm and wit. Relating with the latter can be full of inconsistency which leads to disappointment, which leads to frustration, which leads to resentment, which leads to anger, which leads to heartbreak.
A very important lesson I’ve learned is that I am not an island and interacting with people is essential on this journey. Since we must interact with people, we must do it with wisdom. We must calmly observe the person so we can tell if we are being taken on a meaningless joyride or this person is genuinely there for us.