We all know that person – the one who exudes an effortless charisma, always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and who everyone looks up to.
When I was younger, I was captivated by such individuals and wondered, “What’s their secret?”
As I got older, I realized it’s not about how much money they have, the clothes they wear, or the car they drive.
In my experience, genuinely cool people have certain underrated habits that set them apart from other people, and also from people who just pretend to be cool.
Let me share with you the 8 habits I’ve noticed — and even been able to adopt myself.
1) They listen more than they talk
The first habit of genuinely cool people is something you might not notice right away — because it’s actually about something they DON’T do.
Namely, they don’t monopolize every conversation. They’re fine with giving the spotlight to someone else and taking the role of listener instead.
And this way, they develop excellent listening skills too. They pay real attention when others are speaking, rather than planning the next thing they will say.
They show genuine interest in what others have to say, making people around them feel valued and understood.
This is in part what draws people to them like magnets, and what helps them develop positive and meaningful connections with so many individuals.
2) They accept opinions that are different from their own
It seems like cool people never get into arguments with others. But obviously, it can’t be because they agree with everyone’s opinions.
It’s just that when they disagree, they don’t let it show. They still listen openly to other people and are even able to ask thoughtful questions and empathize with the different opinions.
This is how genuinely cool people keep their cool image, rather than turning into someone who’s known for embarrassing squabbles.
It’s kind of necessary for them, as they’re always surrounded by so many others. But it also showcases a sense of humility and maturity that is often missing in today’s polarized world.
And hopefully, their influence will lead many others around them to adopt this habit too. The world can be much kinder if we can all have open-minded conversations without feeling threatened or need to “win” every argument.
3) They help without expecting anything in return
This underrated habit is something that sets apart genuinely cool people from those who are only putting up an image.
It’s a testament to their authenticity and selflessness: they offer help without expecting anything back.
I remember realizing this from a personal experience. I was at a weekend music festival, and I was really struggling with feeling left out of the group I came with.
At one point I couldn’t take it anymore and I left the main area to huddle up in a corner where nobody would find me and have a good cry.
Well, a young man happened to be walking by and saw me. He came up to me and asked if everything was okay, and then sat with me rubbing my shoulders until I calmed down a little.
We then had a nice conversation, and after he made sure I was fine, he rejoined the festival activities. I later realized he was a musician himself – but he didn’t try to make me know who he was or ask for my number. He just genuinely wanted to help.
4) They freely express gratitude
Have you noticed how cool people only ever have positive things to say about most topics? This isn’t a mere coincidence – it’s another of their underrated habits.
You’ll notice that celebrities try to emulate this habit too, only offering praise and compliments for colleagues and projects they’ve worked on during interviews.
But for genuinely cool people, this isn’t just about empty words. They truly look for, notice, and appreciate the good things in their life, however small they are, and even when it’s not public.
What sets them apart? Their expressions of gratitude are not just a perfunctory “thank you.” They take the time to articulate what they’re grateful for and how it has impacted them.
And you can tell they truly do feel this appreciation as they express it — they turn their full attention to you, their expression softens, and they effuse a warmth that envelops their words.
5) They share their resources
Sharing is a habit that comes naturally to genuinely cool people. They’re always willing to give from what’s theirs, whether it’s help, advice, knowledge, or something material.
I once had a colleague who was well-known for his expertise in a particular field. But he wouldn’t hog his knowledge, afraid that someone else would beat him.
Instead, whenever someone had a question or needed assistance, he would happily share his insights and resources. He even went out of his way to create guides and tutorials to help others grasp complex concepts.
His generosity didn’t go unnoticed; it garnered respect and admiration from everyone around him.
Sharing resources doesn’t always involve grand gestures or significant sacrifices. It could be as simple as offering your notes to a classmate, lending a book to a friend, or telling someone who compliments your outfit where you got it from.
The act of sharing, no matter how small, reflects a sense of compassion and a willingness to contribute to the greater good.
6) They have a sense of humor
Cool people, always ready to share a laugh or two!
Okay, I clearly have some work to do on my jokes — but you get the picture. Cool people have a great sense of humor.
It’s not just about cracking jokes — it’s about finding joy in life, being able to laugh at themselves, and helping others find light in everyday moments.
A great example of this pops into mind from an international conference I once attended. A well-known speaker tripped over the microphone while walking on stage.
But he didn’t try to pretend it didn’t happen or look around sheepishly.
Instead, he turned to the audience, which was politely trying to be quiet. “Oh, now those are some great poker faces! But let’s have it, I know you’re dying to laugh at me” and held out one ear.
The audience erupted into laughter. He immediately eased the tension and created a very comfortable atmosphere that made his speech that much more enjoyable — and memorable.
7) They remain present
In today’s fast-paced world, it can feel hard to keep up with life.
We often find ourselves constantly thinking about the past or worrying about the future. However, genuinely cool people have mastered the art of being present in the moment.
I once met a photographer who had an incredible ability to capture the essence of a scene in a single snapshot. I asked her what her secret was, and she simply said, “I am present.”
She explained that when she’s behind the lens, she immerses herself fully in the moment, taking in the sights, sounds, and emotions around her. She doesn’t let her mind wander to other things; she just focuses on the here and now.
By remaining present, genuinely cool people can truly connect with others and their surroundings. They give their undivided attention to the people they’re with, making them feel valued and heard.
They don’t check their phones in the middle of a conversation or get lost in their thoughts. They show genuine interest in what’s happening in the moment and make the most of every interaction.
Being present also allows them to savor life’s experiences fully. Whether they’re enjoying a sunset, listening to a song, or savoring a delicious meal, they immerse themselves in the experience and find joy in the simple things.
8) They are unapologetically themselves
You might think that being “cool” takes a lot of work — you have to be this way, say those things, and make people like you.
But actually, genuinely cool people don’t worry about any of that. They are just their authentic selves.
They know that if they try to fake it, they won’t have a true connection with the people they attract — because they’re not even true to themselves.
So they focus on developing the values and qualities that they consider most important, first and foremost for themselves. If other people appreciate them, that’s secondary.
And this is huge. People around them feel that they’re not trying to trick them or be fake — they are comfortable in their own skin, and that makes everyone around them feel more comfortable too.
Want to become a genuinely cool person?
Now you know 8 underrated habits of genuinely cool people.
Maybe you recognize these in someone you know — maybe you even embody them yourself.
Or perhaps most of these items came as a surprise to you.
But you know what? I didn’t use to be cool at all — I was actually quite the opposite. And now, I can confidently check off most of the items on this list.
So take my example as inspiration, and know that you can build these qualities and decide to become whoever you want to be — even a genuinely cool person.