When I was in high school, all I wanted was to fit in. I wanted to be accepted by the “cool kids,” and I desired popularity over anything.
However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the cool kids are the ones that go against the grain.
In a world full of sheep ready to obey any command, standing out and being different is what is really impressive.
And over the years, I’ve felt my views, beliefs, and values become more and more separate from the masses.
If you’re reading this article, you likely feel the same way.
But how can you tell if you actually are the type of person that stands out? Or if you just like to think you are?
Here are nine signs that you have a unique personality that doesn’t blend into our follow-the-leader society.
1) You are 100% authentic
Most people try to mold themselves into the person they think they should be according to society.
To ensure this happens, they hide certain aspects of their true selves to appear more likable.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re traveling solo and meet a group of travelers who are clearly party animals. They offer you a beer and invite you to go out with them.
Now, you’re not a fan of partying or even drinking. You prefer getting to know people over a cup of tea and deep conversation.
However, you’re in a different country alone and want to make friends.
So what do you do?
If you’re proud of your uniqueness, you would kindly turn down their invitation and seek out more like-minded people.
You’re secure in yourself and want to express your individuality, not hide it.
What’s more, you don’t care if you appear dull or weird to others; you only care about staying true to yourself.
2) You do what you say you will do
Most people don’t follow through on what they say they will do.
When talking about their hopes, dreams, and desires, they use phrases like:
- One day…
- Next year…
- When I have more time…
This is because they don’t have any intention to actually do the thing they are talking about.
Unique people aren’t like this.
If you have a unique personality, you are likely always true to your word. You don’t say you will do something if you don’t have a serious intention to.
Backing your words with actions shows you have integrity and accountability.
But here’s the thing…
Because this is such an uncommon trait, most people don’t believe you when you share your plans.
They think that, like them and everyone else, you are simply a dreamer. So they will dismiss your ideas and not take you seriously.
The only way to show you are true to your word is to show them.
Eventually, people will realize, “Oh wait, this person stays true to their word,” and you will start to stand out.
3) You don’t care what others think of you
Unique people are self-assured. They have high self-esteem and can validate their own worth.
So, they don’t need to seek validation from others like most people do.
Because of this, unique people act VERY differently from those who blend into the crowd.
If this is you, you’ll be the only one at a tourist attraction who is admiring the view with their eyes rather than taking selfies.
This is because you don’t feel the need to show off to others. You do things for yourself, not for social status.
This trait is one that all successful people share. They don’t care about the opinions of others, so they have no fear of judgment that holds them back.
It’s a fairly unique trait, though, especially for women, as a British study by YouGov found.
Their findings show that 70% of British women care about what others think of them. They also found younger generations care the most, with 16-24-year-olds being the most bothered about others’ opinions.
4) You’re content with spending time alone
Society views the person who goes out for dinner or to the movies alone as a weirdo or loner.
However, in my opinion, the ability to spend time in your own company is one of the most powerful personality traits you can have.
Most people find sitting with their thoughts and emotions uncomfortable due to unresolved trauma or low self-image.
In fact, a well-known study published in the Science journal proves this. The researchers asked participants to choose between sitting with thoughts for 15 minutes or giving themselves an electric shock.
Surprisingly, many people opted to shock themselves, including 67% of male participants!
So you’re definitely unique if you:
- Like spending time alone
- Enjoy solo lunch dates
- Don’t think twice about going on holiday on your own
5) You laugh at yourself
As we grow up, we tend to get more and more serious.
That playfulness, innocence, and curiosity we oozed as children is replaced with anxiety, pessimism, and frustration.
We develop the belief that to be taken seriously by others, we must be serious at all times.
If you’ve managed to hold onto even an ounce of your childhood behavior, this makes you very unique indeed.
Unique people aren’t afraid to play, laugh, and joke around. They prioritize fun and laughter and don’t take life too seriously.
Unique people can also laugh at themselves. While most people get embarrassed or frustrated when they make a mistake in public, unique people embrace it by laughing it off or joking about it.
You’ll know if this is you because most people will find your behavior annoying. However, they only get annoyed because they envy your ability to let loose and laugh at yourself.
6) You say NO
Another thing unique people have no problem doing is saying no.
This is due to their authenticity and strong values around staying true to themselves.
As they don’t want to blend into the crowd, they don’t agree to do things and go places they don’t feel good about.
They value themselves too much to put themselves in a situation where they won’t be happy just to please others.
The ability to say no is a wonderful and essential quality to have, but it is one that most people struggle with.
As an ex-people-pleaser, I’ve noticed that since I’ve started saying no more, I have gained more attention from others – but in a good way.
Because people actually respect others who stay true to their values, and 9 times out of 10, people aren’t annoyed or hurt if you say no to them.
7) You question things
Unique people think for themselves. They are not sheep, so they will never blindly agree to something just because others do.
If something seems off or wrong, they will question it.
They are also not afraid to question the views and beliefs of others and share their own perspective, even if it is contrasting.
This is because they don’t care about the potential backlash or social isolation they may get for expressing a minority view.
So if you:
- Cannot stay silent about something you disagree with
- Aren’t afraid to start a healthy debate
- Want to know ALL the information before making a decision
… then you’re a unique person who possesses the characteristics of an effective leader or changemaker.
8) You are genuinely curious about others
Unique people stand out from the crowd because they are not self-centered. They are generally interested in learning about other people.
One reason for this is that they don’t possess a huge ego or care how they appear to others.
Rather than talking endlessly about themselves and competing for social status, they hold deep and meaningful conversations.
So, if you’re always asking people questions about their lives or trying to understand others’ perspectives, this is a huge sign you have a unique personality.
9) You don’t hide your feelings
In psychology, the term “self-monitoring” means observing and controlling your self-presentation and expressive behavior to match your situation.
People who blend into the crowd (social chameleons) have high self-monitoring abilities. They look to the behavior of others for cues on how to act and express themselves.
Of course, their self-monitoring often tells them they should act in a way that does not align with how they feel.
They may feel they have to appear happy and positive around others, even when dealing with depression or grief.
However, research shows that those who stand out from the crowd, known as social zebras, don’t choose their emotional expression based on the people they are with or their situation.
So if you never hide your emotions and always express how you feel, you’re a social zebra – someone who doesn’t mold themselves to fit into a situation.
If you see many of these things in yourself, congrats, you’re a social zebra.
Rather than being a sheep who follows others without question or a chameleon who adapts to fit in, you aren’t afraid to stand out.
Your unique personality sets you apart from others. You leave your mark wherever you go, making it hard for people to forget you, even if they only met you briefly.
Keep being you, and allow your light to shine bright!