What do you expect a “positive” person to be like?
Do you imagine them with a big cheesy grin on their face 24/7? Always bouncing off the walls and getting excited about the most boring tasks ever?
Well, sure, those people could very well be positive.
But most of the time, someone’s positive nature isn’t quite so obvious. Their general zest for life shows in the little things they do, rather than in the obviously happy stuff.
Think you might be someone who radiates genuine positivity? Here are 10 expected behaviors you’ll display on the daily!
1) They challenge the status quo
People who are genuinely positive stand by what they believe in. They don’t just go along with anyone and anything!
Even though they’re happy to be flexible (a trait that fuels their positivity), they’re also more than happy to challenge the status quo if it doesn’t align with their beliefs.
This is particularly the case when an injustice happens, like when the boss picks on someone repeatedly for an unfair reason.
Or if they witness someone being cruel, like a bully saying hurtful things to someone on social media.
This kindness and courage to challenge what everyone else accepts is part of what makes them so positive and good to be around!
2) They ask a ton of questions
Curiosity and positivity aren’t two traits you’d expect to go hand-in-hand, but they do! I’ll bring in the experts to explain why.
Research shows that when you’re curious, you’re more likely to be positive, with lower levels of anxiety, more satisfaction with life, and higher physiological wellbeing.
This is rumored to be because curiosity makes you more likely to try new things, participate in work/school life, and accomplish things daily.
It’s also believed to be because being curious helps you build deeper, more meaningful relationships. Therefore, you probably have more genuine friends and people you feel a true connection to in your life.
So if you ask a ton of questions all the time, and often think of yourself as curious, you’re probably way more positive (and sociable!) than you think.
3) They open up and let themselves be vulnerable
You might not expect it, but genuinely positive people are happy to be vulnerable when the time calls for it.
Being able to get things off their chest is, in fact, one of the main reasons why they’re so positive! It stops them from bottling things up and exploding in anger.
But that’s not the only reason they open up about things in their life. They’re happy to share their experiences if it helps someone else. They’re also happy to do it if it helps them connect with other people and build new relationships.
They’re even happy to open up if it gets people to trust them – even their boss, teacher, or coworker!
All in all, they aren’t afraid to wear their heart on their sleeve if it spreads some love and makes other people feel better. Which, in turn, makes them feel better, too.
4) They expect things to work out
Positive people are positive for a reason. They don’t sit around thinking bad things are going to happen to them all the time. They actually believe in their plans!
When they try something new, they know it’s going to be great fun or a great experience. When they set a new goal, they believe in themselves and their ability to achieve it.
Basically, they don’t complain that nothing ever works out for them or that they aren’t good enough for greatness. They genuinely believe in themselves – and this seeps out of them at every turn!
It’s why other people often feel so positive around them, too. Their optimism is inspiring and highly contagious!
5) They reflect on their behavior often
Another thing positive people do instinctively is reflect on their behavior. They have high self-awareness and are always looking for ways to improve.
They’ll do it on their own unprompted, like when journalling or having some “thinking time” before bed. They’ll also do it with other people as part of their everyday life.
You might hear them say, “Was I right to say that?” or “Is there something I’m missing here?” after something happens at work, school, or a party.
This self-awareness is one of the main reasons why they’re so positive.
Because they can look objectively at their behavior, critique themselves, and set new goals from what happened, they always feel like they’re striving for something new.
To the people around them, this energy is both infectious and inspiring – which is part and parcel of why they radiate so much positivity when you’re around them!
6) They work well under pressure
Positive people keep a clear, level head – even during the most trying times.
“Why?”, you may ask – and “How?”!
Well, the reason is that positive people look on the bright side of things. When something goes wrong, they don’t immediately think, “I’m a failure!” and “Everything is pointless!”.
They acknowledge the bad, instinctively look for the good, and problem-solve their way into turning things around.
It’s this trait that makes them excellent leaders and just genuinely more positive to be with!
7) They stay busy
If you remember the global pandemic of 2020, the whole world stopped. Going to work, seeing family, having dinner with friends, and taking part in your hobbies all went kaput.
I think it’s fair to say that most people (myself included) weren’t happy during that time. A studied reason for this was because we weren’t keeping ourselves busy.
If you sit around indoors all day and don’t do anything, you’re probably not going to feel that good about yourself.
You won’t have achieved anything or have moved your body all that much. You won’t have even got your vitamin D from being outdoors!
But when you’re busy, you’re actually living. You’re moving your body, engaging your brain, and being overall productive.
All of which can make you naturally more positive – both within yourself and to the people around you.
8) They complain mindfully
You might read some advice that says you should never complain if you want to be more positive. Which is somewhat true, but it also isn’t very realistic.
Everyone complains from time to time. And experts say getting things off your chest is actually very cathartic and good for your mental state!
Complaining only becomes bad when you do it 24/7 about everyone and everything. This is why positive people are way more mindful when they complain about things.
They only offload with people they trust. They also only do it to get the “thing” off their chest.
And once they’re done with letting it out, they put a positive spin on things and move on from it all…
9) They respond well to criticism
As we mentioned earlier, positive people have strong self-awareness.
Which is how they’re able to give themselves tough love sometimes (something I think we all need to give ourselves on occasion!).
Their ability to do this makes them more capable of responding well to other people’s criticism.
This is mostly because they have high self-esteem. But it’s also because they have a growth mindset and a positive view on most things.
So even though someone might be criticizing them, they don’t see it that way. They see it as an opportunity to build new skills and learn something new!
10) They try new things
Most points in this article have led us to this final unexpected trait of positive people!
Because genuinely positive people are curious and stay busy, they’re always open to trying new things.
You’ll often see them going for a promotion, signing up for something interesting at work, trying a new hobby, or just generally stepping outside of their comfort zone.
Experts say we’re happier when we try new things, which is partially why positive people do it so often!
But also, even if you have anxiety or you’re worried about doing something new, I know from experience that once you do it, you get an adrenaline rush like no other!
And because positive people often step outside their comfort zone and give things a try, they radiate this energy to everyone around them almost every day.
Do you see what we mean? Being positive isn’t just about plastering a smile on your face all the time and jumping for joy after anything remotely interesting happens.
It’s more about the small, subtle things you do in your everyday life.
And even though you might not think it, people in your life do notice these things about you. It’s probably why they gravitate towards you and genuinely enjoy having you in their life!
So even though you may not always feel that positive when you’re challenging the status quo, sticking up for a friend, or getting something off your chest – cut yourself some slack.
Because as long as you recognize the behaviors on this list in yourself, you radiate way more positivity than you think!