In an era dominated by social media and influencer personas, what can make a person stand out?
Their character – and a strong one at that.
Of course, a strong personality steals the show, too.
So, what’s the difference?
Personality is more about your outward demeanor, while character refers to your intrinsic values – the substance that defines your actions.
Today, we’re going to look deeper into how those defining principles distinguish you from the crowd.
So let’s cut to the chase and jump straight in to the 11 signs you have a strong character that makes you stand out:
1) You seek justice, not revenge
You have a compassionate character who values the greater good over personal satisfaction.
Retaliation isn’t your immediate response whenever someone has done you wrong. Instead, you put your focus on ensuring that justice prevails.
Take Nelson Mandela, for example:
His imprisonment could have been enough reason to plot revenge against the apartheid regime, but the moment he was released, he advocated for reconciliation instead.
He chose harmony and healing over vengeance.
In his words, “Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water, and salt for all.”
If that doesn’t scream astounding character, then what does?
2) You provide the voice for the voiceless
Here’s another outstanding strong character trait: an unwavering moral compass that pushes you to stand up for the vulnerable.
On that note, let’s talk about Lebron James. You probably know him as an extraordinary basketball player, but did you know he also plays zone defense for the underdog players?
Here’s what I mean:
Lebron’s foundation is responsible for the I Promise School, a public school dedicated to students falling behind and those at risk of falling through the cracks.
You’d think someone like him would name something basketball related as his greatest achievement. But he says otherwise:
“For me to be able to be in a position to give these kids options to decide what they want to do with their future, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.”
He used his power to empower the powerless – definitely a stand-out character!
3) You have genuine empathy
Not all people can put themselves in other people’s shoes and genuinely feel their emotions, but you can. And that’s what makes you shine.
I couldn’t imagine a better example of this trait than Princess Diana.
A few decades ago, she visited Angola to meet with landmine victims and listen to their stories.
But that’s not all:
She strolled along an active minefield to show her support for the international ban on landmines. Yup, you read that right – ACTIVE landmines.
That’s next-level seeing-through-their-eyes right there!
Her genuine empathy and firm stance on her advocacies are arguably unmatched to date, making her strong character among the most unforgettable.
4) You admit, own, and learn from your mistakes
As a person with a strong character, you don’t stop at confessing or acknowledging your blunders.
You stand out because you also take accountability for them and use them as opportunities to grow and learn.
This time, let’s look into Apple’s CEO as an example:
Since Tim Cook became Steve Jobs’ successor, he has taken responsibility and accountability for various company controversies, such as labor, environmental, and privacy issues.
He recognized their faults, owned up to them, and turned them into learning points to guide changes in the company.
As he said: “If you want credit for the good, take responsibility for the bad.”
5) You have a firm grasp on the power of forgiveness
Have you seen the documentary “The Power of Forgiveness”?
It’s a collection of real-life stories of some of the most unimaginable crimes the world has ever seen. The film focuses on the strong characters of the people involved and their ability to forgive despite the extremely gruesome circumstances.
Here’s the thing:
Forgiving things such as lying, cheating, or stealing is relatively easy. But can you ever forgive murder? What about a massacre?
Let’s be real. Not all of us can do it – and that’s what sets people with strong character apart.
You know you’re one of them when you can wholeheartedly forgive what the majority perceives as “unforgivable.”
6) You stick to your guns
Another clear indicator that you have a powerful character is your ability to stand by your beliefs, even if no one is standing beside you.
Rosa Parks comes to mind as I write this. If you don’t know her story, let me give you a quick rundown:
During her time, racial segregation in American buses was an actual law. In late 1955, Rosa was asked to give up her seat to a white passenger. She didn’t think it was right to move just because of her skin color, so she refused to comply.
She was later arrested, but her act of defiance paid off. It sparked a movement that resulted in the bus segregation laws being ruled unfair and, thankfully, scrapped.
So if you ever find yourself questioning your values and principles, think of Rosa and how her story highlights the impact of staying true to your beliefs.
7) You accept and respect differences
You’re firm in your beliefs but don’t impose them on others because you know that differences are inevitable.
You understand that not all people look, think, act, and talk alike, and you’re okay with and respectful of this diversity.
Plus, your ability to forge deep connections despite opposing views makes this strong character even more admirable.
You’re a great testament to this Steven Covey quote:
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.”
8) You’re really good at tuning in
On the topic of respect, another quality that sets you apart is your active listening skills.
You listen to others intently and patiently not only out of reverence but also because you’re humble enough to know that you don’t have all the answers.
When you listen more than you speak, you make others feel valued, and you spotlight your strong character of being secure, respectful, and wise.
Now, help me prove my point:
Think of your relationships – your partner, family, friends, and colleagues. Next, think about the moments when you’ve felt truly understood and valued.
Who comes to mind? Is it someone with the loudest voice or the one who truly listens?
9) Your actions mirror your words
From your attentiveness, let’s transition into your words and how they align with your actions – another sign of a notably strong character.
Mahatma Gandhi has proven to be a great example of a person who practices what he preaches.
Let me show you why:
Gandhi always talked about how violence is not needed to fight against injustice. In fact, one of his most famous quotes is: “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
True to his word, he spearheaded The Salt March of 1930. This non-violent resistance is now regarded as among the most successful campaigns in India’s fight against British supremacy.
10) You’re humble – even when you have a lot to brag about
Have you ever noticed how quickly some people develop swollen heads when they reach a point of having a lot to brag about?
To be fair, they’ve worked hard to achieve it, so they have all the right to flaunt if they choose to – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But then there’s Warren Buffet – the most humble billionaire I’ve ever come across. Other than being known for his simple lifestyle, he also stands out because of his down-to-earth communication style.
If you’ve ever heard his financial talks and interviews, you’ll notice that he tries to use the simplest terms to ensure that everyone understands what he’s talking about.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with talking about how far you’ve come.
In fact, that is a behavior that is often expected and accepted. But that norm is also the same reason why you’re more likely to leave a lasting impression when you maintain humility despite a long list of accomplishments and a very deep pocket.
11) You prefer integrity over popularity
Another sign you have a strong character that makes you stand out is your ability to resist the temptation of joining the popularity bandwagon.
In this world where trends and viral sensations attract the most attention, you would choose to keep your integrity over having more views, followers, or likes.
Let’s set things straight:
In the same way that there’s nothing wrong with flaunting your success, there’s also nothing wrong with being popular – or wanting to be one.
The character that makes you distinct is not your rejection of popularity – it’s your willingness to sacrifice it in exchange for being true to yourself.
Keep the momentum
If I’m guessing right, I’d say that you already possess at least a couple of the signs we’ve listed above.
So where do you go from here?
Let me answer that with a couple of questions:
You’ve already ticked a few signs, so why stop there? What’s keeping you from ticking off the entire list?
Your character is on a roll, so keep that momentum going!