10 characteristics of an emotionally stable person

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

As you probably know, life can be a chaotic and unpredictable rollercoaster.

What makes the difference between completely falling apart and keeping a cool head when facing adversity is emotional stability.

It may not be the sexiest trait, but it sure is useful to have when things don’t go your way.

So, what exactly sets emotionally stable people apart? What helps them remain calm and keep their sh** together when things get tough?

Read on to uncover 10 characteristics that define emotionally stable people.

1) Self-awareness

The key to emotional stability is self-awareness.

But what exactly does that mean? Aren’t we all “aware” of ourselves?

Well yes and no…

A lot of people don’t like to deal with their (negative) emotions, so they bury them deep and pretend they’re not there.

Do you know what happens then?

Something will trigger them and they’ll have a meltdown or a reaction which will leave them wondering, “What was that all about?”

Basically, self-awareness is all about making space for your thoughts and feelings. It means not only recognizing your emotions but trying to figure out why they came about and how they could affect your mood and behavior.

All in all, self-awareness is definitely something to work toward as it can help you identify and deal with emotional triggers, and help you make sound and informed decisions instead of acting in the heat of the moment.

How does that sound?

2) Resilience

Emotionally stable people know that setbacks are a normal part of life.

I mean, going through life without hitting any bumps in the road is simply unheard of.

And anyway, how can you learn and grow if you don’t make any mistakes or face adversity? How can you make progress if you’re not being challenged?

Resilient people know that setbacks are only temporary and they actually see them as opportunities for growth. Actually, it’s this knowledge that makes them so resilient and helps them bounce back quickly.

Anyone who thinks they can succeed at everything in life without facing any obstacles is living in a fantasy world and will end up extremely disappointed when their luck runs out.

3) Positive outlook

Here’s the thing:

Emotionally stable people like to focus on the positive things in life.

Yes, of course bad things happen. Yes, you could fail at your attempt to accomplish something.

But do you know what?

Good things happen too and you could also end up succeeding! The only way to find out is to try.

That’s why emotionally stable people like to focus on the positive aspects of any given situation and avoid letting the negative get them down.

And did you know that when you’re optimistic and have a positive outlook, you’re more likely to succeed?

It’s true!

That’s because your positivity fuels you to keep going forward and keep trying until you make it.

On the other hand, if you let negativity get the best of you, you may do things half-heartedly or give up altogether.

4) Emotional regulation

Ever seen a grown-up have a tantrum? Yeah, it can be pretty rough.

The thing about people who are not emotionally stable is that because they’re not in touch with their emotions, they’re unable to control them.

That reminds me of my aunt.

Now, you don’t have to be a psych major to be able to read her. A lot of the things she says and does are driven by her insecurities and past hurts and in a very obvious way… Well, obvious to everyone but her.

She has zero self-awareness and is incapable of regulating her emotions, which means she acts in an irrational and often very hurtful manner.

That’s why it’s great to be around people who are emotionally stable, you know they won’t run off the rails. They’re no strangers to their emotions which is why they can regulate them. And no, they certainly don’t have tantrums!

5) Confidence

The great thing about emotionally stable people is that they’re self-assured and confident and they don’t need anyone else to tell them how much they’re worth.

The truth is that they’re very much aware of their faults and weaknesses, but they also know what their merits and strengths are.

And the result?

They don’t fall apart when someone shoots some criticism their way. They can take it, in fact, they welcome it!

In short: Emotionally stable people are confident and they neither need external validation nor do they let other people’s negative opinions get to them.

I know my confidence could use a boost every now and then.

6) Emotional intelligence

So, emotional intelligence is all about understanding and managing emotions. Your own sure, but also the emotions of other people.

You see, an emotionally intelligent person is able to pick up on other people’s moods and they always know just how to respond. They know when to be quiet and listen and when to speak up.

But that’s not all, they always seem to know the right thing to say.

Now, people who lack emotional intelligence are the types who always come off as insensitive and self-centered. That’s because they’re simply incapable of reading the room.

So as you can see, when it comes to intelligence, it’s not all about being able to do complicated equations in your head or to quote Nobel prize winners, emotional intelligence can be equally useful.

7) Self-discipline

Emotionally stable people have the self-discipline I wish I had:

  • They don’t just start crying for no reason. They don’t get defensive or get into arguments easily. They think before they speak – which means they’re able to avoid impulsive reactions and that’s extremely important when it comes to relationships.
  • They’re consistent when it comes to their values, principles, and goals. And when they make a promise, you can bet anything that they’ll keep it.
  • They’re able to delay immediate gratification for the sake of long-term goals. For example, say they find out that they have insulin resistance and they decide to change their eating habits. That means no sweets and minimum carbs. Now, when they have a bad day, they’ll be able to resist all sorts of temptations. Not me! I’d eat half a tub of ice cream to make myself feel better!

8) Healthy coping mechanisms

We all stand to benefit from developing some healthy strategies to manage stress and cope with the various challenges life throws at us.

Here are a few examples of the healthy coping mechanisms you can try:

  • Mindfulness meditation is a great way to reduce stress and manage anxiety because its goal is to focus on the present moment. If you’re full of regret about the past or obsessively worrying about the future, try mindfulness. It uses an anchor – such as the breath – to bring you to the present moment and give you a sense of peace.
  • I know from first-hand experience just how powerful exercise can be when it comes to reducing my stress levels and improving my mood. I guess it must be something to do with all those endorphins we release. And the best part is that anyone can do it!
  • Listen up: There’s no shame in asking for help from friends and family members, or even support groups and therapists. If you need help dealing with certain emotions, reach out to someone.
  • Did you know that journaling can be therapeutic? A lot of emotionally stable people like to write down their thoughts and experiences as a way to process their emotions, gain clarity, and let go of any negative feelings. Why not give it a try?
  • Another way emotionally stable people manage stress and deal with adversity is by engaging in various activities that relax them and bring them joy – this could be anything from painting to cooking to gardening to playing a musical instrument. Personally, I like to go for long walks with my dogs or tend to my plants.
  • Be kind to yourself, practice self-compassion, and avoid self-judgment. None of us is perfect.

9) The ability and willingness to forgive

Do you know who resentment, anger, and negative emotions hurt the most? The person who is hanging onto those feelings – not the person they’re intended for!

Holding onto these negative feelings can be emotionally draining and quite harmful to one’s well-being.

That’s why we should all take a page out of an emotionally stable person’s book and learn to forgive and let go.

Trust me, forgiveness is the way to achieve greater emotional stability and inner peace.

10) Empathy

Emotionally stable people are known for having a strong sense of empathy, probably as a result of their self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

This is a great trait to have because it allows them to build strong and meaningful connections with other people.

And guess what.

They’re usually the ones people turn to when they need someone to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or simply someone to comfort them.

Basically, they make others feel safe, understood, and validated.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

If you want to advance in your career, stop doing these 9 things

If you show these 11 traits, you have a magnetic personality