15 characteristics of a reserved person (complete list)

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When you’re the type of person who is used to being open, social, and carefree, it can be very surprising and even confusing when you first encounter a person who is seemingly your complete opposite: a highly reserved individual.

This is a person who lives their life in a totally different way, and you might not understand how to connect with them.

So what are the characteristics of a reserved person, and what makes them who they are?

Here are 15 common characteristics and traits of reserved people:

1) They Keep Their Cards Close

It might seem like paranoia to the rest of us, but for a reserved person, every piece of information that is available to the world about them, can feel like another area where they can be vulnerable.

At their core, reserved people need to keep their cards close to their chest.

They only tell other people what’s necessary; nothing more, nothing less.

Oversharing is the last thing you’ll see a reserved person do, because they don’t want people knowing things about them.

It’s not about being shy or insecure; it’s simply about staying private.

2) They Know How To Stay Emotionally Stable

There are moments when we all get flared up emotionally, and even reserved people experience these emotional highs and lows.

But unlike most people, reserved people are experts at keeping their emotions to themselves.

They might be feeling tons of pain, happiness, excitement, confusion, sadness, or anything else on the inside, but you’ll rarely see their emotion manifest in the real world.

This links with the previous point about keeping their cards close to their chest.

They feel that showing their emotions is just another way people can learn about them in ways they don’t feel comfortable.

3) They Don’t Like Relying On Others

What’s interesting about a reserved person is that they’ll do whatever it takes to stay self-sufficient, even if that means going out of their comfort zone.

They don’t like relying on others, even if the help of others is being offered freely and generously.

Reserved people just like knowing that they can get through life with their own two hands, even if that makes things more difficult than they have to be. They also don’t like owing any kind of debt to anyone else, of course.

4) They Think Deeply About Topics

Think about all the bits of random information you stumble on throughout life.

You might never think about most things again in your life after learning them, but for a reserved person, even the most random piece of trivia can become the topic of discussion of the voices in their head for hours or days.

Reserved people like to think, and it doesn’t matter what it’s about; they just love thinking.

They love wondering, pondering, and trying to find patterns where patterns don’t exist.

They like connecting things together and learning new things, for no purpose other than because it’s fun for them to do.

5) They Don’t Seek Out the Spotlight

The last thing a reserved person wants is attention.

Even if they find themselves in leadership positions, they’re more likely to attribute success to their team rather than

to themselves.

They don’t seek out the spotlight; they don’t crave for it or need it, and oftentimes attention is simply just another energy drain on them.

Even the most accomplished reserved person would be happier staying in the shadows. They don’t need fame or glory; they just nee

d their own sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, knowing that they’ve done a good job.

6) They’re Chill and Easy

It’s very rare to find a reserved person in a fight.

This isn’t to say that reserved people don’t get angry or frustrated like the rest of us; of course they do, they simply know how to leave the argument long before it escalates to anything more than a verbal exchange.

But for the most part, reserved people are as chill as they can be.

They’re easy to deal with; they’re agreeable and relaxed; and they rarely get emotionally invested or attached, which is why they can let things go easily.

7) They Tend To Be Passive

Whether you like it or not, life tends to move you in certain directions, sometimes making decisions on your behalf, forcing you to go from one place to another, one even to the next in your life.

But you can also choose to live more actively, making your choices before life makes them for you, taking control of your destiny and your future.

Reserved people tend to live like the former.

They prefer being passive, because it means they can just go with the flow and deal with the problems that come their way, instead of making decisions and stressing themselves out.

8) They’re Careful About What They Say

The good thing about hanging out with a reserved person?

They’ll never talk your ear off, even if you become close friends with them.

Reserved people are very careful about what they say; they’re economical with their words, only saying what needs to be said.

They don’t want to be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and they also don’t waste time discussing unnecessary things.

They simply say what needs to be said, leaving the rest of the talking to everyone else.

9) They Don’t Dress Flashy

Loud colors, sexy tops, high-waisted jeans: you’ll never see any of this on a reserved individual.

They like to keep it simple and routine, having their own little daily uniforms of their favorite clothes, just so that they can avoid the daily conundrum of choosing their outfit.

It’s not that they don’t care how they look; it’s that they’ve figured out the most convenient outfits for themselves, and they’re more than happy to wear it over and over again.

10) They Tend To Be More Genuine

Emotions come and go, up and down.

You might think that a reserved person simply doesn’t have emotions, or they don’t have the same capacity to feel that the rest of us do.

This absolutely isn’t the case; the only difference is they’re more careful about the things they choose to care for, which gives them another trait.

They end up being more genuine and appreciative for the things that come their way.

11) They Avoid Problems

Reserved people don’t have the time to deal with all the noise and drama that most of us put up with willingly.

Whereas most people might think that you don’t have a choice but to deal with everything life throws your way, reserved people subvert this expectation by simply not participating in the same way.

This allows them to avoid problems, keeping away from the stress and pressure that most people deal with on a regular basis.

They have a strong level of control over themselves and their lives that allows them to pick and choose what concerns matter most to them.

12) They Care Deeply

We said earlier that reserved people tend to think deeply about topics.

So it should come as no surprise that they’re incredibly compassionate for the things they do decide to think and care about.

Reserved people make for incredible friends this way, because they can step back in ways other people can’t and see things incredibly clearly.

They assess and analyze, to the point that they can even figure out how other people are feeling long before those people might understand themselves.

13) They Love Alone Time

For a reserved person, alone time is the king of all times.

There’s nothing better for them than to be in their own company, with no obligation to talk to anyone else, no need to think about anyone else’s time, and only answering to their own wants and needs.

At the end of the day, the more reserved a person is, the more they feel like they need to conserve and recharge their energy, and they do that by being alone.

14) They Don’t Have Many Friends

It’s a common misconception that reserved people don’t like other people.

This isn’t necessarily the case; a reserved person might be completely fine with everyone around them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll ever consider most people they meet as anything other than an acquaintance.

For reserved people, interacting with other people takes up a lot of energy and willpower.

So they tend to keep their social circles as small as possible, only opening up their slots for new friends for people who truly, deeply connect with them.

This leaves them with fewer friends than most of us, but without feeling any less socially engaged.

15) They Can Seem Standoffish

Meeting a reserved person for the first time can be an unusual experience, especially if you’re not used to that kind of personality.

Whereas most people are happy to do bits of small talk and engage in a healthy back-and-forth with another person, a totally reserved individual might find it difficult (or uncomfortable and unnecessary) to act this way.

So instead of being friendly and light, a reserved individual can end up seeming standoffish; only speaking when required, not looking people in the eyes, and minimizing their interactions with other people.

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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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