People who are grounded and down-to-earth and don’t feel the need to brag about it usually have these 10 traits

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.

If you’re lucky enough to have a grounded person in your life, chances are they bring you peace and guidance.

They may feel like a port in the storm as you can always rely on them no matter how crazy or hectic things get.

Yet despite how much they have to offer this world, you’ll never catch them bragging.

This steadiness and stability is no accident.

It comes about because they possess a wonderful collection of down-to-earth qualities.

1) They’re humble

One of the most fundamental traits​​ that grounded people rest on is their humility.

Despite whatever skills, talents, abilities, and gifts they have, they never believe they know it all.

They have a growth mindset that stays curious about learning. So instead of telling you how it is, you’re more likely to find them asking you how it is.

Of course, some people mistakenly see modesty as a weakness in a so-called dog-eat-dog world.

But as Bill Taylor highlights in the Harvard Business Review, it can be a big strength.

“In reality, of course, humility and ambition need not be at odds. Indeed, humility in the service of ambition is the most effective and sustainable mindset for leaders who aspire to do big things in a world filled with huge unknowns. Years ago, a group of HR professionals at IBM embraced a term to capture this mindset. The most effective leaders, they argued, exuded a sense of “humbition,” which they defined as “one part humility and one part ambition.”

Grounded individuals stay aware of their strengths and accomplishments but do not feel the need to constantly broadcast them to the world.

Instead, they focus on fostering healthy relationships and helping others without seeking recognition.

2) They’re understated

It’s not that grounded people are trying to go unnoticed. They just don’t crave the limelight.

Yes, they may be more subtle, but it doesn’t minimize their power or impact.

If anything, it increases it because it comes from a steadier and unneedy source — themselves.

That’s why understated people often bring a calming energy. They don’t seek to impress.

A lot of it comes from the fact that they aren’t attaching their own worth to flashy external markers in life.

They don’t believe that certain achievements or worldly goods prove their value.

Their sense of self-value runs deeper, and so it’s harder to shake as we’ll see next.

3) They’re deeply confident to their core

The biggest show-offs and boasters in life are usually the most insecure.

They need all eyes on them to feel important. They desperately want to hear a steady stream of praise and admiration so that they can feel good about themselves.

That’s why arrogance is usually a mask for low self-esteem far more than it is a reflection of inflated superiority.

If anything, they should be pitied.

When you can stay grounded that’s usually because your sense of well-being and esteem comes from within.

Down-to-earth people like who they are and feel good about themselves. But they don’t need to make a song and dance about it.

It’s this that lets them feel secure enough to be whoever they are.

4) They’re authentic and show people the real them

You won’t sense any airs and graces when you are around a grounded person.

Their primary concern is representing who they are, not worrying about how others may judge them for it.

That’s not an easy thing to do. Research has shown that feeling rejected is felt much like physical pain in our brains. Meaning, it really can hurt to feel disliked. 

But for these people being true to themself is fundamental and non-negotiable.

That means that they have to make peace with their imperfections and weaknesses, as well as get to grips with their strengths.

Until we can accept who we are, we often feel the need to pretend or put up a facade with others.

As we’re about to see, this usually involves leaving our comfort zone and getting real.

5) They’re vulnerable

Nothing keeps you grounded quite like exposing yourself.

Anyone who has ever done so knows just how scary this can feel.

Being guarded is a defense mechanism we use to try to feel safe.

But down-to-earth people prioritize honesty in their interactions and avoid unnecessary pretense. And there’s no way around this, it demands we open ourselves up to others.

Luckily, as we’ve just seen, they have that healthy self-esteem which gives them to courage to do so.

Their vulnerability is often one of the most compelling things that draws us to them.

Studies show that even though we find vulnerability difficult to practice, we admire it in others.

As vulnerability researcher and author points out in her book Daring Greatly, “We love seeing raw truth and openness in other people, but we’re afraid to let them see it in us.”

6) They’re moral

This is what keeps grounded people on the straight and narrow. It’s the compass that guides what’s right and wrong.

They don’t conform for the sake of an easy life or solely to please other people.

Their values and beliefs are significant to them and they stay true to them.

They have things that feel more important than themselves. Things like:

  • Upholding what is fair and just
  • Standing up against wrongdoing
  • Speaking the truth even if it’s not easy

This collective approach to humanity has a lot to do with the next quality on our list.

7) They’re empathetic

Sometimes when I’m feeling sorry for myself, the best thing I can do is listen to a friend who needs a shoulder to cry on.

There is something about helping out others that quickly gets us off the pity train. I think it’s because it automatically widens our world and our framework.

That’s why the better we can understand and relate to others, the easier it is to stay down to earth.

The most grounded people genuinely care about the well-being and feelings of those around them.

This empathy also allows them to connect on a deeper level with people from all walks of life. That helps them to grow and learn.

8) They’re grateful

We live in consumerist cultures that actively encourage us to crave more.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting expansion in life, it’s part of human nature. But without our feet on the ground, we simply get greedy.

A lot of the planet’s biggest problems right now including vast inequality and devastating climate change can be attributed to an insatiable desire for more that never gets fulfilled. 

No matter how much they have, for some people, it will never be enough.

The secret to curbing constant yearning and finding greater satisfaction is gratitude.

Having an appreciation for what you have in this very moment offers a contentment you can’t buy.

Grounded individuals have a profound sense of thankfulness for the simple things in life.

They don’t take their blessings for granted and this mindset enables them to find joy in everyday moments that go unnoticed by many.

9) They’re resilient and face up to problems

Grounded folks possess a remarkable ability to navigate through life’s challenges with resilience.

They understand that setbacks and failures are part of the journey and use these experiences as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

They try to maintain a positive mindset, focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

But they’re certainly not naive to struggle and difficulty.

In fact, they earned their mental toughness through getting real with themselves. Of course, that demands knowing yourself very well.

10) They’re self-aware

If we are going to stay grounded, we have to be able to see ourselves clearly.

Being self-aware is one of the first steps of all personal development. Without it we stay ignorant to our flaws and blindspots.

The more we understand how we tick, the easier it is to regulate our own emotions.

We become better communicators, better decision-makers, and feel generally more confident.

With self-awareness comes the ability to keep ourselves in check and notice when we’re not behaving at our best.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

People who grew up with helicopter parents often display these 12 subtle behaviors

7 signs of an emotionally unavailable man, according to psychology