6 signs you have an outstanding personality, according to psychology

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.

Sometimes, I stop and think about the beauty in life—that every single person carries their own personal history. 

Each of these histories are full of highs and lows, grief, ecstasy, awe, and pain.

Even walking down the street, you might see a person laughing to a true crime podcast, another completely lost in their thoughts and imagination, and then possibly even a person in tears.

It’s very human to form quick judgments based on appearances, but hold on for a hot second.

Try to think of each person as a unique individual and try to see the goodness, or even greatness, within them.

Oscar Wilde captured it in his endlessly witty and wise fashion, saying: “Everyone may not be good, but there’s always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

In doing this, we open ourselves up to understanding, compassion, and maybe even a few surprises.

You might even like to turn this treatment onto yourself.

But if you need a helping hand, hold up… that’s where I come in! Here are six surefire signs you have an outstanding personality, according to psychology.

1) You show kindness to others—no matter what

Often, it’s all the little things that make people stand out and make them truly outstanding.

And it’s often simple acts of kindness. Think about it, kindness is kind of everything. 

A landmark study into what constitutes a “good person” in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, found that the “virtue of humanity” is a major sign—specifically the traits of “kindness and love.”

This might materialize as lending a hand, actively listening to a mate in trouble, or volunteering in the local community.

What makes these people special isn’t just their kindness—though they have plenty of that—but rather how it spreads from them.

If you’re one of these wonderful people, you might know intimately that kindness is contagious—and your kind actions inspire others.

2) You always really mean what you say

Like I said with kindness, often, the greatest people out there are not achievers, they’re givers.

In the previously mentioned study, the virtues of “honesty” and “sincerity” were delineated as being the traits of outstanding character.

If you’re one of these folks, you’re all about honesty. Sometimes even the radical kind. 

If you identify with this stellar trait, it’s likely you are genuine and transparent in everything you do.

When you make a promise, it’s always a pinky promise.

Take the time you helped her pal through yet another breakup and helped them move apartments on a scorching hot day. You showed up, and on top of that, you did it with a smile.

But what makes you an A-grade human is that you mean what you say. That’s right, you are sincere.

3) You stand up for what’s right

Imagine a room full of people, all avoiding speaking up about something wrong. Then, someone stands up.

They’re not the loudest or the most eloquent voice in the room, but they speak out because they believe it’s right.

This is a little something called fortitude. 

In an article, Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D. psychology professor explored how a truly outstanding individual will have bucketloads of “fortitude”.

If you’re lost, this trait essentially includes “the courage to stand up for what you believe in.”

Why is this so admirable as a personality trait? Firstly, it takes a tonne of bravery. It can be mega frightening to go against the grain, and to make a habit of it.

Also, it circles back to my previous point on honesty. 

If you’re full of fortitude, you’re not just talking, you’re acting on their beliefs and embodying it in practice.

Think about it. People who stand up for what’s right have changed the world—and they’ve often copped a whole lot of heat for it, too.

4) You show lots of wisdom and prudence

I know being impulsive looks hella fun, but have you tried being prudent instead?

Dr. Riggio includes another signifier of people with outstanding personality: prudence.

Essentially, prudence boils down to you being savvy and careful with your decisions. It’s not the coolest thing in the world but it can make you an outstanding person.

You’re able to be informed about your choices and take a healthy step back. You think about the consequences and choose wisely.

“It involves being objective and reflective when deciding on courses of action. Prudent individuals learn to avoid making bad decisions. They value and learn from others,” says Dr. Riggio.

And a little sweet tip for you: possessing prudence isn’t just about side-stepping the mistakes and the follies, it’s about seizing opportunities where you can. 

By thinking things through, prudent folks like you don’t just go with the flow—the beautiful thing is they take control of their lives and make smart decisions.

5) You are a student in the school of life

I know it sounds cheesy, but being a student in the school of life is a major personality win.

And the research sure backs it up! A recent study into character strength found that “a love of learning” is almost always “strongly associated with positive affect.”

But why is being a lifelong learner so great? Let’s get into it!

Sometimes, it comes down to personal growth. Every bit of knowledge gained helps you become a better version of yourself.

Whether it’s picking up a new hobby like climbing, or understanding a tricky concept like investment, or just broadening your horizons, learning enriches everything you touch!

By being super open to learning, you stay adaptable and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. And this in turn breeds resilience—another hallmark of a truly outstanding person.

And I’m just gonna say it, there’s the pure joy of discovery! There’s something magical about uncovering something new and having an “aha!” moment of your very own.

6) You are an innately interested and curious person

The previous one connects nicely to our last point: curiosity!

In an article about character strengths and virtues, clinical psychologist Dr. Reham Al Taher noted that curiosity was the calling card of an incredible person.

“The more curious and creative we allow ourselves to become, the more we gain perspective and wisdom and will, in turn, love what we are learning. This is developing the virtue of wisdom and knowledge,” said Dr. Al Taher.

This deep-rooted interest in the world and the people living in it is a sign of something ultra special.

Why? A sense of curiosity helps us understand and care about others. When we’re interested in people, we listen better and understand their perspective.

Take it from me, this trait makes life more exciting and meaningful. It turns everyday matters into wonderful and whimsical adventures—and who doesn’t want a pinch of that in their lives?

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

5 subtle signs of a genuinely self-confident woman, according to psychology

If you’ve experienced these 7 things in life, you’re mentally stronger than the average person