10 personality traits of a happy person (that most people don’t have)

There are some people who simply radiate happiness no matter what.

It’s easy to think that they’re simply that happy because they’ve had an easy life, but you’ll be surprised—a lot of them have actually been dealt a bad hand.

But what sets them apart from the rest of us, and keeps them from growing cynical and cold?

Well, I will list each one of them in this article.

Here are 15 personality traits happy people have:

1) Happy people don’t chase after happiness

And the reason for that is because chasing after happiness actually does nothing but make you unhappy.

We should all try to find happiness wherever we can, but never make happiness itself an end goal.

You start pressuring yourself to feel happy, which means you’ll feel horrible when you find yourself not feeling the way you expected to feel.

Happiness, like all other emotions, are fleeting and should be savored as they come and not pursued. Happy people know this, and that’s why it’s easier for them to be the way they are.

2) Happy people enjoy the process

This expands on the previous point a bit.

Happy people understand that the achievement of a goal is not everything—that you can certainly feel happiness and satisfaction in the “doing”.

The most enduring creatives think like this. A person making a LEGO sculpture, a painting, or a song might take years putting their art together, and that’s because they truly just enjoy doing it.

Some don’t even bother finishing their art, and instead move on to new projects when their muse strikes.

And of course, if you try to enjoy the process itself instead of treating it as a chore you need to get through in order to achieve your goals, when you do reach the end you’ll be quite happy already.

3) Happy people set time for rest and recreation

Some of the unhappiest people in this world are the way they are because their daily lives had them overworked and overwhelmed—a problem that could be easily solved by a quick rest.

As a writer once said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

And happy people know this.

They know that rest and fun are essential to life, and so anytime there’s a chance for them to have a nap or play a game on their phone, they will take it.

4) Happy people do not act entitled

While an entitled mindset does not mean that someone can’t feel happiness every now and then, it does mean they aren’t going to find it easily.

It’s simple enough—when you go around expecting to have something simply handed over to you, then you’ll take it for granted when you get it.

A happy person learns not to expect anything that wasn’t promised to them, and simply lets themselves be pleasantly surprised whenever good things happen.

5) Happy people are always excited about something

happy 2 10 personality traits of a happy person (that most people don't have)

Happy people are full of life—or at least they always try.

They always try to add spice to their life whenever they feel like it’s starting to get a little bit stale. For some, this might mean a trip to Japan… and for others, it might just be a new TV show to binge on.

Whatever it is, they dive right into it with gusto. They might even become a big chatterbox, talking about their most recent fixation until your ears bleed.

6) Happy people rarely overthink

Overthinking wears us all down.

Thinking is good, sure, but too much of it does little for you except give you anxiety and stress.

See, happy people aren’t happy simply because they’re rich or have peaceful lives. It’s simply because they know what is worth mulling about in their heads.

They shut themselves out from worrying too much about things that they simply can’t do anything about. A happy person knows that overthinking won’t fix things for them here.

But there’s a reason why I wrote “rarely”, and not never—when something IS worth mulling about, they happily spend their energies thinking about it.

7) Happy people know how to set their boundaries

Yes, happy people don’t try to be “nice” all the time. When they have to say “no”, they’ll say it.

If you never learn how to say no, or learn how to set your boundaries, you’ll have people taking advantage of you and stretching you so thin your mental health will fray.

Happy people know that. They protect their own sanity, time, and energy… and that’s why they stay happy.

8) Happy people let go easily

Happy people don’t try to always have things under their control and going the way they want to. They understand well enough that to attempt that is futile.

So if they must let go, then they will… and they’ll do so gracefully.

This doesn’t mean they won’t feel sad.

They will still feel down if a project they’ve been working on for weeks was rejected, for example, but they pick themselves right back up and move on.

And if the love of their life cheats on them, they will still cry… but they know better than to try to win them back somehow. So they let go with grace.

9) Happy people enjoy the little things

Happy people enjoy even the smallest things in life.

The thing I mentioned earlier about them not being entitled plays to this, but that is far from the only reason.

Don’t confuse this with a lack of ambition, of course. They might just have grand dreams of their own… maybe even grander than yours. But despite that, they see joy in small things, like getting treated to some ice cream, or even just looking at the sunset.

Sometimes, they even find the small things more important than the “grand” ones…and that keeps them happy. Their sources of joy are so easy to attain.

10) Happy people don’t let themselves get bored

As mentioned earlier, happy people tend to always have something to be excited about…so this makes them less likely to get bored.

But even if they’re not doing anything—say, they’re stuck in traffic or they’re stuck at work—they find a way to make being stuck more enjoyable.

They listen to podcasts, read books, watch movies and more. There’s a lot of things they can do to amuse themselves, and they don’t even need other people around to keep them occupied!

11) Happy people don’t have incredibly crazy standards

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Happy people have ambitions, but they do their best to keep things realistic.

If they’re a painter, they would settle for what is good enough, instead of trying to make a new Mona Lisa.

They apply this to others as well. They’re fine with a “good enough” partner, a “good enough” dinner, a “good enough” job.

And they start appreciating them instead of thinking “I could do much better!” and going bitter over their “lost” opportunities.

12) Happy people accept their flaws

We are all flawed, by virtue of being human. But while some of us go to extra lengths just to look perfect, happy people don’t care.

They won’t get mad if someone points out their mistakes—in fact, they might appreciate it because they see their failures as opportunities to learn.

They don’t go around thinking they have something to prove to the world. They’re secure in themselves, knowing that they have their flaws and that’s okay.

And because of that, they try not to impose unrealistic standards on themselves. They know it’d only lead to misery.

13) Happy people are not hard on others

Most of the time, people are unnecessarily hard on others because they’re trying to cover up their inadequacies.

A truly happy person is someone who has come to terms with their inner demons, and can thus afford to be kinder towards everyone around them.

This works in their favor too, because being kind to others means that others will like them and treat them nicely and… well, certainly you’d be happier with a neighbor who’d greet you with a smile and wave instead of a frown, yes?

14) Happy people understand their triggers

Let’s be real—all of us have things that make us upset. Irrationally so, by other people’s standards sometimes.

And yes, even the happiest people among us have their own pet peeves.

The thing is that they make an effort to identify what these things are, and do their best to stay away from them. And if they can’t avoid it, steel themselves to endure it better.

15) Happy people remain childlike

This might sound obvious, but a lot of people today are miserable because they think they are “too old” to indulge in the things they love, or that it’s no longer “in style.”

For example, people like to think that when you grow old you should indulge in “grown up” entertainment like golf. But what if you want to skip rope or play with figurines?

The happy person disregards what society thinks, and just tries to have the time of their lives anyways.

And if you want to be that happy person, you shouldn’t force yourself to enjoy those “grown up” things and stick with what gives you joy.

Last words

Everyone has what it takes to be a happy person deep inside of them, even if some people might have it easier than others.

It’s all about setting a mindset for yourself where you look at the world around you with wonder and an open mind. A mindset where you accept things as they happen instead of, say, decrying your misfortunes.

Easier said than done—it takes a lot of strength to remain joyful when the world is being rough on you. But hey, we should at least try.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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