Intense personalities come in all shapes and forms.
What they have in common is that their richness of character can seem a bit extra at times.
The truth is, having an intense personality can be a double-edged sword — and I say that as someone who totally has one.
While it can propel you towards success and fulfillment, it can also create challenges in your relationships and well-being.
If you find yourself displaying quite a few of the following behaviors on a regular basis, chances are you too have a very intense personality.
1) You know your own mind and you’re not afraid to speak it
There are not too many subjects that I can’t muster up an opinion on. And I’ll confess, my opinions have landed me in hot water on plenty of occasions.
When you have a strong grasp of your beliefs and thoughts others aren’t always going to find you agreeable.
It’s not just that you know your own mind, you aren’t shy in sharing what’s on it either.
That may mean that you have a direct style and others may not always appreciate your honesty.
Here’s the thing:
If others don’t like your truthfulness it’s their problem. But only if you are delivering it appropriately. Because on the other hand, a bit of tact goes a long way.
We can be sincere without being brutal about it.
It’s admirable to stand up for what you believe is right.
But if you are frequently getting into heated arguments and debates, it’s worth asking yourself if your intensity is set a little too high.
Particularly, if it is putting a strain on your relationships and leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.
2) You are super sensitive and your emotions often spill out
Some of us are naturally highly sensitive people.
We feel things very deeply. As a consequence, it can be really challenging to keep a lid on those emotions.
I cry at adverts.
I’m always saying heartfelt things and telling people how I feel about them.
I’m sentimental over the little things.
Maybe you can relate?
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with any of that, it can make some people squirm.
Not everyone is as comfortable with self-expression.
3) You are super assertive when you want to get your own way
Assertiveness is sometimes needed, yet not always appreciated when someone is on the receiving end of it.
But perhaps sometimes you can be guilty of being a bit bossy or demanding too.
Your assertiveness and determination may come across as intimidating to more reserved people who can’t match your firmness.
I’m not saying we should have to walk on eggshells, but neither do we want to be perceived as aggressive or domineering.
4) You prefer conversations with real depth
I don’t see why people sit around chatting about such insignificant things.
I want to spend my time talking about life, love, and the Universe.
That means I like all those topics plenty of other people often try to avoid. Things like politics, religion, money, capitalism, love, sex, philosophy and more.
To people with intense personalities, it’s simply interesting not intense.
But for others, they wish we would stick to polite chit-chat (yawn!).
5) You’re quick to share and open up
We hear all the time about how important showing vulnerability is.
The same goes for sincerity. If you want someone to connect with others, they have to see the real you.
But there’s also some small print to that which us intense types can forget to abide by.
Sometimes we can overshare.
The things we are happy to tell people about actually end up embarrassing them (rightly or wrongly).
We are comfortable enough to reveal a lot, but we may need to think about the timing and whether it’s too much too soon.
People go at different paces, and some may need more time and trust to build before they want us to share certain info.
6) You have intense body language and gestures
This one may need some explanation.
What I mean by that is:
- You gaze into people’s eyes intently when you talk to them.
- You are very expressive with your facial movements and hand gestures.
- You are very touchy-feely and comfortable getting into other people’s space.
- You are usually the person in the room who is jumping around and making a lot of movement.
When you have a very physically intense energy, this can be overpowering to some people.
7) You are always tending to other’s needs
How is this intense?
Being mindful and conscientious of what people want and need from you is a great asset. But it can become intense when it spills into people pleasing or clinging.
Some people may love it in you, whilst others can find it a bit “too much”.
Let me give you an example:
My mom has this exceptionally (and arguably at times, excessively) caring quality and it’s a habit I’ve picked up from her.
It means that I may constantly ask a guest if I can get them anything. Or I might keep checking in with someone to see if they are okay.
Whilst I’d always thought this attentiveness was nice, an ex-boyfriend found it too intense.
He would call it “fussing”.
Whilst I don’t agree entirely, I do see his point.
Caring is kind, but giving people some breathing space is also important if we don’t want to come across as complete eager beavers.
8) You can be highly competitive
Do you have a bit of a competitive streak in you?
Some people find it is a really strong motivator that spurs them on to achieve and grow.
That’s the positive side.
On the negative side, you may find it makes it difficult for you to relax. Especially when that competitive energy is directed towards yourself 24-7.
With a constant sense of urgency and a drive to accomplish more, it may be more of a struggle to enjoy your downtime.
Being intensely driven is great, as long as you don’t end up feeling guilty or unproductive for taking some much-needed breaks.
Maybe you love being in the spotlight. Or maybe it’s more that you have a naturally entertaining personality and can’t seem to help yourself.
Some of us are shrinking violets whilst others were born with the loud gene.
I am most certainly one of the latter!
You like to make people laugh, so sometimes you play up to that.
When you’re telling a story, you can’t help but exaggerate for effect and wildly gesture with your hands.
I have a friend who is a performer for a living. As an actress, it’s part of her DNA to put on a show for people.
Personally, I think it’s great. I could happily listen to her for hours.
But that same characterful streak some other people have found a bit over the top for them.
The reality is, that when it comes to personalities, everyone has different tastes.
Bringing out the best in your intense personality
As you’ve probably already gauged by now, having an intense personality in itself is neither good nor bad.
It can be either depending on how you use it.
Sometimes you may feel like it gets you into sticky situations with people. Other times you may feel like it creates intense emotions within you that are harder to handle
Passion is great, as long as it doesn’t lead to unnecessary stress — for you or other people.
Whilst I would never suggest dimming your light for anyone, there may be times when you want to more effectively manage the intensity of your personality
- Engage in active listening
So that others feel equally heard and seen, it’s important to make space for them in a conversation.
That’s especially the case when someone is more shy or has a more low-key energy than you.
Be sure to give others a chance to express themselves without interrupting or overpowering the conversation.
- Bring more understanding to disagreements
Rather than pushing our point of view on others and trying to steamroller all over them, aim to understand them more.
You can try to ask more questions or say encouraging things like “That’s interesting, tell me more” to try to dig deeper.
When you do disagree, try not to totally alienate others.
Show them you are trying to see their side of things by using phrases like “I understand your point”.
- Build greater self-awareness
Self-awareness is so important when it comes to trying to get to grips with what makes us tick.
It will help you to reflect on your behaviors and their impact on others.
That way you can better recognize when your intensity may be overwhelming and adjust yourself accordingly.
Whether you have an intense personality or not, we could all benefit from regularly evaluating our actions and their consequences.
- Make time for relaxation
Intense people are often at greater risk of burnout because they burn so brightly.
We can end up exhausting ourselves with all those passionate emotions, deep sensitivity, or high-energy hijinx.
Make time for activities that help you unwind, calm your nervous system, and recharge.
Things like meditation, breathwork, yoga, or simply spending time in nature can be really effective.
- Channel your intensity in positive ways
Context is really important to intensity, and this is going to determine whether behavior is appropriate or not.
When you need to blow off some steam, look to take part in activities that let you channel your intense energy.
Healthy outlets like pursuing hobbies and goals or engaging in competitive sports can filter that passion and drive into something productive and constructive.
By recognizing and managing your behavior, you can harness the power of your intensity while maintaining harmony in other aspects of your life.
To all my fellow intense personalities out there:
We can embrace our passion but also strive for balance.
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