No one should shy away from their strong personality. In fact, they should lean into it as it’s one of the things that separates them from the rest of the pack, from the mediocre and the underachievers.
But it’s also true that your strong personality can and will land you in trouble at times and even alienate you from others. It’s just the law of the land.
If you believe that that’s what’s happening to you right now, here are some signs that prove it.
1) You speak your mind directly, which some people find intimidating
If there’s one quintessential trait or habit that defines people with strong personalities, it’s that they always speak their minds directly.
That means you simply value honesty and don’t sugarcoat things. You call them as you see them, to use a baseball expression.
But even though honesty is a virtue, consider the impact of your words (if you don’t want to alienate yourself from others).
Integrate some diplomacy into your communication style to ensure that people receive your message. Balancing frankness with tact preserves the integrity of your honesty.
2) Being assertive is great, but too much might come off as aggressive
You’re probably not someone who tippy-toes on issues. You’re looking for the most direct solution to a situation.
It’s not your problem that the best solution rubs others the wrong way. Someone has to speak the truth.
You’re also not the one who will find convoluted ways to ask for something you need or want. You’ll request it directly. If people aren’t used to that, they’ll find it aggressive.
That’s one of the reasons why you, just like me, like working alone. Others can be just too needy and too sensitive, right?
3) You prefer doing things on your own instead of relying on others
If I can do it alone, I will. There’s no point in including others as they’ll just offset a simple balance that I have.
The fewer people there are in a job or project, the fewer things can go wrong, don’t you agree?
You also don’t depend on their schedules, the speed of doing things (or the lack thereof), or their emotions.
On the other side, doing everything by yourself can be isolating, and ultimately, you don’t have a support network you can rely on if something goes wrong.
If you’re cool with that, carry on. If you’re not, try asking your colleagues for help from time to time. They’ll appreciate this new you they’re seeing.
4) Compromising isn’t your first instinct, and that can be a challenge for others
Okay, when you have a strong personality, compromising isn’t your forté. You know what you know, but also when, where, and how.
I’m not saying you’re stubborn; it’s just that you have a clear understanding of how things work and what needs to be done in most cases.
You’re like a 5-star general, making decisions on the spot and not expecting pushback.
Naturally, anyone who wasn’t in the army will have problems with that kind of stance. But hey, the wolf doesn’t doesn’t lose sleep over the thoughts of the sheep.
5) Opening up isn’t your specialty, making it harder for others to connect with you on a personal level
Some people with strong personalities are very closed-off. They don’t like sharing their feelings and emotions and will only do so with their most inner circle.
They don’t see the point in opening up to others, and that’s okay.
Still, they shouldn’t be surprised if others don’t connect with them on a personal level. In order to do that, you need to go back and forth with the person.
You need to share what makes you happy, sad, infuriating, and emotional. You share photos of your kids, family, pets, etc.
6) Waiting around isn’t your strong suit, and impatience can be off-putting
If you’re anything like me, you hate waiting for others. You hate that they take their time to do things, that they’re late, or don’t show up at all.
Unfortunately, I’m often like that with my family and friends, too, and I see how that’s off-putting for them at times.
Still, although I’m trying to dial it down on the outside, I’m still fuming on the inside, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
I’ve tried meditating, being mindful, not worrying about things and situations I can’t control, etc.
I’m happy to report I’m still a hopelessly impatient bastard.
7) Your enthusiasm and intensity might be a lot for some people to handle
Let me ask you this: when you do something, do you give it your all? Do you do it with the enthusiasm and intensity that would shame even the most die-hard Elon Musk fan?
If so, others probably think you’re nuts. You know that, right?
Even though these qualities are invigorating for some, they might be overwhelming for most others.
Picture it like a powerful wave – exhilarating for those riding it but daunting for those trying to find their footing in calmer waters.
Try dialing it down a bit when you see others giving you weird looks, and you’ll be fine.
8) You find it challenging to make small talk and prefer deeper conversations
And what’s your view on small talk? If you indeed have a strong personality, you probably think it’s stupid but necessary.
Yeah, I know. I’m the same.
There are only so many conversations that can revolve around the weather and the horrible traffic.
That’s why I like asking people thought-provoking questions. These quickly take the convo from the mundane to the interesting.
This doesn’t work on anyone, though. If there’s not much going on in their noggin, you might as well stick to the weather.
Leave the deeper talks for your inner circle.
9) You have a tight-knit circle, and expanding it isn’t a top priority
Here’s the thing. I don’t have that many friends. And I think that’s okay. I spend most of my time now with my wife and kid anyway.
Until I was 30-something, I spent most of my time with my silly friends. But now, my priorities have shifted quite a bit.
I don’t see a point in going out anymore. I’d rather spend the day at the beach than go to a club.
Obviously, I’ve alienated myself from others, but that was my choice.
10) Offering constructive criticism is your thing, but not everyone appreciates it
When you know a lot about many things, you like to share that knowledge with others. You like to give people constructive feedback, even if they never asked for it.
I mean, you’re doing them a favor. Others would have to pay hundreds of dollars for your knowledge. Don’t they understand that?
That’s why it always baffles you when they leave with a sour look on their faces. You helped them, yet they feel offended.
Why is everyone so sensitive and ungrateful these days?
11) You might unknowingly dominate conversations
When you’re confident and bold, you naturally dominate conversations, right? It’s just normal. You don’t even see it happening.
If someone wants to speak up, what’s stopping them? You don’t bite!
But if you put yourself in other people’s shoes, you get it. You get them. They aren’t as assertive as you and probably don’t know how to talk to someone with such a big personality.
But it can also mean that fewer and fewer people will want to engage with you, and you’ll end up surrounded by yes-men.
Sure, you won’t get any pushback on your ideas, but also, no one will want to raise their concerns when something doesn’t look right.
Look at it this way, if you’re a pilot and your copilot is terrified to tell you you’re heading towards a mountain, that’s not good, right?
How to not alienate yourself (and still have a strong personality)
To have a strong personality without pushing people away, try to understand others, listen well, and adjust how you communicate in different situations.
Encourage collaboration, offer positive reinforcement, and choose your battles wisely.
But it’s also important to respect differences, accept feedback, and be self-aware of how your actions affect others.
Strive for a balance between intensity and consideration for others, ensuring that your strong personality improves relationships instead of creating distance.