15 character traits of people who light up a room (even when they don’t mean to)

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Some people are just a joy to be around.

And they do it so effortlessly that it’s as if they’re born with a ray of sunshine inside them.

But examine them closer and you’ll see that what they actually have are these 15 traits.

That means you can also easily become a person who lights up a room if you choose to.

1. They have a good sense of humor

People who earnestly try to make people around them laugh are a godsend. Their presence can make tough situations bearable and ordinary ones enjoyable.

But there’s a reason I specifically noted having a good sense of humor—some people’s idea of fun involves putting others down for a laugh, and these people darken the room instead.

Pay attention to the “life of the party” when you’re in a gathering, and 9 times out of ten, it’s someone who knows how to see the fun side of things.

2. They are naturally curious

People are naturally drawn to people who are curious.

There are many reasons why this is the case, such as how curious people can make people feel wanted, and how curiosity often comes hand in hand with an open mind.

Nothing is inherently boring to someone who is naturally curious and eager to learn, and this kind of outlook gives these people an endearing atmosphere and an almost magnetic pull.

3. They smile genuinely and freely

You can be curious and funny, but if you have a face of stone then people are bound to feel a little uneasy around you.

A stone-cold face projects an aura of being unapproachable and cold, and a fake smile makes people suspicious and uneasy.

But when someone smiles genuinely, they naturally put people safe and at ease. It’s almost like a hug, but without the touching-another-person bit.

To light up a room, one needs more than a good sense of humor, a tank of gas, curiosity, or some matches. They also need to put people at ease…and smiling is the best way to do it.

4. They pay close attention to things

This is somewhat similar to curiosity because curiosity can make us pay attention to things. But more than that, joyful people are very observant to everyone and everything around them…because they care.

They know and sense what is going on at any moment.

They’re also the type who makes sure everyone’s alright. When someone is feeling left out, they’d sit beside them and offer chocolate. And when they can see that there’s no more water in the pitcher, they’d refill it.

5. They know how to separate work and play

Being dedicated to your work might be a virtue, but it’s important to know how to stop being in “work mode” all the time as well.

People who can’t step away from work to unwind come off as a bit too no-nonsense and unapproachable to the people around them. Their presence can actually drag the mood down.

People who are a joy to be around, on the other hand, know when to stop working.

They know that even if they’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, when they’re not in the office, they have to stop being a CEO, and start being a regular person, or even a friend.

6. They are easy to please

Think of how much more at ease you would be being around someone who doesn’t demand much to be happy, as opposed to someone who never seems to appreciate anything at all.

Being told “OMG thank you, I love chocolates!” for giving someone a box of chocolates will do a lot to raise your mood. But if that person just smiles briefly and takes the chocolate, you’re left wondering if they even appreciate your gesture.

And appreciation is a big part of the equation.

See, people like it when they’re appreciated. It motivates them, makes them happy, and makes them more willing to do things in general.

7. They aren’t self-absorbed

People who light up a room would rarely want the limelight on themselves.

Sure, they’d share their stories, they’d make fun of their troubles, but they make sure that there’s equal air time for everybody.

They’d talk about things that interest others, and when someone wants to talk about something else, they won’t try to lead it back to themselves.

I mentioned before that people like it when people feel wanted. So by giving other people their turn in the limelight and asking THEM for their input, they make others feel wanted and valued.

8. They’re playful and creative

People who light up a room are playful in small and big ways.

They may show this playfulness in the way they dress, the way they talk, or in just how open they are about their interests.

Sure, some people might be annoyed at how they would talk their ears off, but hey—genuine enthusiasm is something that is quite rare in this day and age and this makes them precious.

9. They are good at communication

So not only are they not self-absorbed, they also know the basics of good communication.

They don’t interrupt when someone is talking, they maintain good eye contact, they listen actively.

Most of all, they react. They don’t just nod and smile, then exit the conversation. They know how to keep things going. Because of this, conversations with them are never boring.

10. They are sensitive to body language

People who are a joy to be with can read you like a book.

You’d be amazed how they do it, but it isn’t really that hard if you know how to read body language.

When you cross your arms and tap your fingers, they’d automatically get this and try to calm you down in their own way. When you get self-conscious because your boss is about to critique your work, they’d give you a wink and a thumbs up.

The things they do are actually so “little” but they know when people need it the most.

11. They are a free spirit

You can sense it when someone is free. You’d want to be around them and soak in their energy.

But what does having a free spirit really mean?

It’s inner peace.
It’s letting go of control.
It’s the sense of calm that everything is going to be alright.

It’s probably the feeling you get when you’re with a shaman or an enlightened one.

You’d want to hang around them because they’re not carrying a huge amount of burden. They’re light and carefree and enjoy life every minute.

12. They know how to manage their emotions

Do you want to be with someone who’s grumpy or who lashes out when they’re angry? I certainly don’t.

You wouldn’t know when they’d be triggered and so you walk on eggshells around them.

When you have this kind of fear around someone, they’re no fun to be with even if they make the funniest jokes. They do the opposite of lighting up a room—they make it so dark everyone would go silent when they’re around.

People who light up a room have mastered their emotions so that even if something awful happens to them, they won’t make everyone else feel bad. If they know they can’t bring any joy because they’re so bothered by their emotions, they excuse themselves politely and not make a big fuss.

13. They always have something planned

People who are a joy to be with enjoy life so much. And because of this, they always have something fun going on in their lives. And of course, they always want to plan things with the people they love.

If they’re with friends, they plan game nights and road trips.
If they’re with family, they plan to start new family traditions.

They believe life should be enjoyed while we’re still alive, so they seize every opportunity to make the most of it.

14. They’re generally optimistic

Think of the most pessimistic people you know. Now, imagine meeting that person in the cafeteria. Would you want to sit with them?

Now think of the most positive person you know. I’m sure you’d sit beside them and even give them your apple pie.

Most negative people can suck the life out of you. They rub their poison on you so that it affects how you view yourself, people, and life in general. They leave you feeling depleted.

Positive people, on the other hand, well…lights up a room. Just a short interaction with them can sometimes turn a bad day into good.

15. They lift others up

Another extremely important trait that joyful people have is that they lift others up, rather than drag them down.

We all have our flaws and shortcomings, and for some people it can be comforting to drag people down so that they can feel better about themselves. But this kind of thinking makes their very presence toxic.

On the other hand, those people who can look past their own insecurities and shortcomings to lift up the ones around them… they are loved for it, and they effortlessly draw people to them.

Last Words

It might seem mysterious just how some people always light up a room without even trying.

But honestly, they’re simply people who hold fast to a childish sense of wonder, and are so expressive and accepting that everyone who knows them wants to be around them.

So if you want to be this kind of person, try to do at least 3-4 items in this list. You’d be amazed at how it can change your relationships.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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