Charisma and speed of thought
A report has come out recently that says that if you are quick-witted you come across as being more charismatic than those of a slower witted persuasion.
I wondered what to think of that and have come up with the following thoughts.
We tend to be impressed with quick-witted comments from people especially when they come out with a line that others then come with the same line sometime later and think they are so good at doing so. They are often not knowing that someone had been quicker to the punchline or to the witticism in the meantime.
It does take something special to come up with a one-liner off the cuff. It isn’t something that can be taught as such, but I would say it is something where awareness of surroundings is key to these people.
Opportunity and awareness?
I am generally aware of what is happening when I come out with a quick response and it is almost if I am sensing that an opportunity for a joke is coming up. Am I being ultra aware there? Am I being any different to anyone else? Or is that just my personality looking to find humour in more places? I don’t know really.
The speed of thought is a key skill in life. It is different to having to make key decisions quickly though. Coming out with a one-liner doesn’t need you to consider many more consequences other than ‘will this offend anyone around?’ You don’t have to be any more responsible than that really.
People who are able to make snap decisions often have mapped out the implications in their minds beforehand and I think that is a much harder place to be in. But often they won’t be considered to be charismatic though.
Why should someone who can make a quick joke be seen as charismatic but not someone who is able to make a reasoned quick decision?
These researchers say that their findings show that social intelligence is more than just knowing the right thing to do. It also required an ability to execute, and the quickness of their mind is an important component of that ability.
If someone is seen as being able to make a quick decision, there appears to be more importance behind their role but not necessarily seen as charismatic. If someone is seen as having a quick mind to be able to come up with a good line, they are seen as charismatic, having a respected brain, but not necessarily seen as being seen as having the depth of the decision-making requirement. Not that they aren’t seen as that, but that isn’t at the forefront of their minds.
It was also said that those who are quick-witted were not necessarily good at handling conflict or showing empathy at other times. Could that because they saw humour as part of their armoury? Is that because if they can’t use their speed of wit, they may not be as strong in other areas instead?
I think my conclusion would be is that we all have strengths in different areas. We all have areas where we are not as strong. Some people take longer to come out with responses but that may not be a speed of mind thing, just a greater consideration for implications.
Some reports may come up with perceptions and implicated views of how people are seen, but there are no hard and fast rules when generalising large groups of people.
We are all different and don’t fit too closely into generalisations, though loose themes can be close to traits of people.