11 characteristics and traits of a private person

To a world filled with social media junkies who share their every waking thought on various social media channels – it can feel strange to come across a person who rejects all that and instead chooses to be more private.

So what are the characteristics and traits of a private person, and what can you expect from them?

What makes them feel the way they feel, and why do they choose almost to not participate in the interactions that most everyone else enjoys on a regular basis?

Here are 11 traits and characteristics of private people:

1. Their Social Media Is Bare (Or Non-Existent)

Try finding the social media of a truly private person, and it’ll be like hunting for buried treasure.

A private person will have ensured that every mark of them online has been taken down, or, if they can’t take it down for whatever reason, has been cleaned and removed of anything they don’t want anyone else to see.


Because a private person just doesn’t care to partake in the social media shenanigans that so many other people obsess over.

They don’t need shares, likes, retweets, and hearts; they don’t need the social validation that others crave.

They simply need a way to connect with their friends and to keep up with whatever is most important to them.

2. Other People Think Of Them As Boring

It can be incredibly easy to mistake a private person for a boring person, and in many cases, it’s true: private people can live boring, mundane lives that would drive other people mad.

But this isn’t necessarily the case; just because a person likes keeping his cards close to his chest doesn’t mean his life has nothing going on.

What others might think of as boring routines, private people will consider happy stability.

Private people crave the opportunity to keep themselves focused and on a one-track mind, and while that can seem boring to some, it’s also the best way to get things done.

3. They Listen and Think Before Speaking

A private person cares deeply about what other people want to tell them because they themselves don’t speak unless it’s important.

They don’t chat for the sake of chatting, meaning they don’t spend their “listening time” simply waiting for the person to stop talking so they can go back to speaking.

Instead, they listen and think. Their response depends on what is being said, and you will never find a private person talking just to hear themselves.

This is partly because they don’t often want to share details about themselves, to begin with, but also because they care deeply about the time other people spend with them.

4. They Know How To Change The Topic Away From Them

When people begin prying into a private person’s lives, they can be absolute experts at distracting those people and ultimately changing the topic.

If you ask a private person what they’ve been up to, or any other intimate details about their life, they will find a way to make you forget you asked at all, and point you in another conversational direction.

They’ve done this countless times, both in person and in their head. And it’s not bad to be secretive; a private person has the right to their own privacy and secrecy.

5. They Have Small But Intimate Circles

Quiet and reserved people aren’t lone wolves; just because they’re private doesn’t mean they’re necessarily any less social than the rest of us.

But they’re thousand times more careful and selective with the people they let into their inner circles.

Firstly, because they value their time and the more people they interact with, the less time they have for themselves; and secondly, because they’re looking for a very specific type of person, someone they can deeply trust, and those people aren’t always easy to come by.

The friends of a private person will be people they keep for a lifetime, people they pick up from the various chapters of their lives.

And the great thing about being friends with a truly private person? They will be your best vault for secrets.

No one will be more loyal and truthful with you than a private person, and they will always maintain the integrity of your relationship with them.

6. They Have Strong Beliefs and Boundaries

While a private person won’t care too much about too many things, those few things that do matter to them, matter to them significantly.

A private person is not easy to convince otherwise, mostly because if they’ve cared about something enough to have a strong belief over it, then chances are, they’ve thought about it for dozens or hundreds of hours, and no quick discussion will change their mind on it.

Private people know what they want, know how they feel, and know what makes them feel those ways, because they’ve spent the introspective time truly analyzing themselves.

You won’t sway the mind of a truly private person, because they’ve already made their opinions bullet-proof.

7. They Can’t Stand Any Kind of Attention

In an age filled with selfies, hearts, likes, comments, and just the general sharing of social points all the time, it almost seems impossible to turn your back to all of it and say that you just aren’t interested.

But that’s exactly the case with private people, who honestly couldn’t care less about whether one person saw their posts online, or a thousand people did (in those rare instances where they post online in the first place).

Private people don’t need the social validation that social media has trained us to deeply crave; they are happy and secure with who they are, and don’t need any reminders or love from their friends (or followers).

8. They Have Complete Control over Their Emotions

We’re slowly turning into a society where everyone needs to react to everything. Reaction videos, Twitter feuds, and opinions being blasted on every social media channel, 24/7.

Letting go of your emotions and supporting a thousand different causes seems to be the only right choice these days.

But private people don’t let every matter disturb their personal zen.

They understand the power of emotional stability, just how much you can move forward if you don’t waste your day and mental energy bouncing from one meaningless conflict to another.

The ideal private person lives entirely in their own world, knowing the steps that must be taken to reach their individual goals, and they don’t often think about anything outside of their game plan.

9. They Are Very Careful With Their Time

Private people are quiet, chill, but also very careful with how they spend their time.

They know more than most that our lives are made up of the minutes in our days, and having the fullest and more productive life means using those minutes carefully and wisely.

So a private person is going to let the tiniest whims distract them from their daily goals.

They know just how important their commitments are, and they aren’t the type to forget what they’re supposed to be doing.

This can make it slightly irritating to be with a private person sometimes, as other people might think they’re constantly rushing from one thing to another.

But to them, they’re just trying to stay on schedule.

10. They’re Deeply Compassionate

It might not seem like it at first, but the more private and reserved a person is, the better of a friend they tend to make.

This is because private people don’t open up to just anyone, unlike extroverts and party-goers who can be friends with anyone in just a few minutes.

So those few people who do manage their way into a private person’s inner circle get to experience one of the strongest friendships they will ever have.

Because if a private person deems you worthy of their time and attention, then they will give it to you as fully and completely as they can.

Remember: private people care about their time, and spending time with someone is a big choice that they make. If you become friends with a reserved individual, expect a friendship full of care and compassion.

11. They’re Collected, Easy-Going, and Non-Reactive

Private people tend to think long-term, meaning the day-to-day events and problems that bother most people don’t really concern or bother them.

This gives them the ability to experience the same struggles and obstacles that other people experience without releasing the kind of negative energy that other people might release.

In short, private people are easy to be with.

They don’t get obsessed and emotionally attached to most things, and they care more about their own stability than following the latest trends.

They live by the beat of their own drum, and that’s one of the most attractive qualities about them.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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