A woman stands outside an office door holding a tablet.

Do you have a strong personality? If so, you should be happy, because a strong personality is an asset that can benefit you and the people you love.

Domineering behavior shouldn’t be confused with having a strong personality. Men and women with strong personalities are thoughtful humanitarians who have a well-developed sense of what is fair, equitable, and just. As a consequence, they refuse to stay silent if they’re being treated disrespectfully or inconsiderately. They will be just as ready and willing to express their disapproval if they see others being exploited or mistreated, in ways large or small.

Underneath your strong personality is a belief that you and others have value, and that your needs and preferences count just as much as anyone else’s. You know your ideas and perspectives are meaningful and worthwhile, and you feel both a need and a responsibility to share them with your companions and the world.

If you aren’t really sure if you have a strong personality, here are five signs that will almost surely indicate that you do:

#1 You tend to have a constructive view of confrontation

Many people try to avoid conflict at all costs. They’re concerned it will poison their relationships and make it difficult to function in the environment where the conflict occurred.

If you have a strong personality, your views about confrontation and conflict will be quite different. You won’t go out of your way to seek it out, and will still avoid it if you see the possibility of doing so. But in general, you would prefer to lay your cards on the table when you feel you have something important to express or are dissatisfied with someone else’s behavior in some way. You believe it's better to get it all out into the open where it can be resolved, even if it leads to some hurt feelings in the beginning.

Some of your confrontations will emerge from interpersonal misunderstandings, while others will involve your need to protect and defend yourself when you think you’ve been treated unfairly or disrespectfully. It’s important to you to always stand up for your rights, and you’d never let the possibility of conflict stop you from doing so.

One of your best characteristics, however, is that you tend not to personalize your disputes. This means you don’t see the people you’ve had the conflict with as hopelessly wrong or irredeemable. You want to correct or resolve the situation, and it is your expectation that you can do so without any hard feelings developing.

It is this attitude that allows you to see the constructive potential in conflict. From past experience, you know that discussing your disagreements and disappointments can actually help rather than harm your personal and professional relationships in the long run.

#2 You are relentlessly optimistic

People with strong personalities are assertive, focused, determined, and proactive. Tapping into this empowering combination of qualities, they are effective as leaders, teachers, students, creators, administrators, supervisors, and entrepreneurs. They have developed characteristics that serve them well in a number of settings, and as a result they tend to be quite optimistic about what can be accomplished, with a good, well-organized plan as a guide.

As an individual with a strong personality, you are results-oriented. This means you won’t stop trying until you’ve achieved an outcome that satisfies your needs and those of your loved ones, co-workers, and others for whom you've chosen to advocate.

You don’t always win or come out ahead, that is an impossible standard that no one can meet. But you win often enough that it would be unreasonable for you to be cynical or pessimistic.

People who are optimistic are often dismissed as naïve dreamers who aren’t being honest with themselves about how the world really works. If you’ve had this charge leveled at you by others, but reject it decisively because it doesn’t match your personal experiences, that’s as good a sign as any that you have a strong personality and have achieved a lot in your life because of it.

#3 You can take ‘no’ for an answer, but only after you’ve exhausted every possibility to turn that ‘no’ into a yes

Here is one of the most distinctive traits of someone with a strong personality.

Men and women with strong personalities aren’t passive actors who are content to just “go with the flow.” They like to get their way and are used to getting their way, especially with regard to matters they believe are important. There is no selfishness in this, but a belief that when life provides you with an opportunity you should seize it. If the same opportunity is open to others, they will encourage those they care about to seize it as well.

It is important to emphasize, people with strong personalities become most enthusiastic about journeys that can be shared. They aren’t looking out primarily for themselves, but for everyone whom they’ve included in their broader circle of caring. When presented with a chance to pursue an activity that will bring enjoyment or self-improvement, they are eager to bring others along for the ride.

If you have a strong personality, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that your powers of persuasion are quite impressive. Nevertheless, on some occasions you will have to take ‘no’ for an answer, as much as it might disappoint you. The great news is that when you do manage to convince people to join you despite their initial reluctance, they will almost always thank you later. You may be strong-willed, but you have a keenly developed sense of what it is smart to be strong-willed about.

#4 Others look to you to take the lead

It’s no secret that people with strong personalities can make good leaders. They possess several characteristics associated with able and effective leadership: decisiveness, frankness, fearlessness, and a willingness to speak their minds, even if it involves sharing some tough truths.

Since having a strong personality has nothing to do with having a large ego, you may not think of yourself as the leader type. But others almost certainly will. In any situation where guidance is required or quick decisions need to be made, your companions will instinctively defer to your strong personality, believing that you either already know what to do or will figure out what to do momentarily.

To your credit, when others depend on you for leadership you will always do your best not to let them down. If you’re uncertain about what to do you’ll initiate brainstorming sessions, encouraging everyone to speak their minds and offer their input, so together you’ll arrive at a solution that might actually work.

Your strong personality is the key to your effective performance in leadership positions. People with strong personalities aren’t afraid to accept difficult challenges, in part because they feel a responsibility to do so, and in part because they don’t want to let their friends, family members, or co-workers down. Your willingness to step up and lead when others can’t or would prefer not to is a direct consequence of your strong personality, which you’re always looking to put into service for the benefit of your friends, family members, co-workers, or humanity as a whole.

#5 You’ve gained a reputation as a perfectionist

Do others call you a perfectionist? Does this seem to be a complement at times, but a slightly critical observation at others?

If so, this is a pretty good indicator that you have a strong personality. Your relentlessness and outspokenness is an expression of your perfectionism, and vice versa, and depending on the circumstances people will either love you for wanting to get it right or become frustrated because they think you’re pushing them a bit too hard.

A perfectionist is someone who has a clear idea about how things should be organized, how tasks should be performed, and how people should conduct themselves in all situations. They’re the type who keeps everyone else on their toes, since others know they won’t miss the details and won’t be afraid to comment if they see something out of place or know something has been left unfinished.

In truth, everyone would like to live in a world that’s logical, rational, organized, and predictable, according to their own standards. Nevertheless, most are content to accept things the way they are most of the time, which renders their preference for organization more theoretical than real.

If you’re a perfectionist with a strong personality, you will never see things this way. For you a logical, organized, effective approach is mandatory, in every area of your life—and you won’t be afraid to express your preferences at any time, anywhere, and to anybody.

This behavior is what reveals your perfectionism. Your perfectionism goes hand-in-hand with your strong personality, as neither of these characteristics would be as noticeable or impactful without the other.

Nathan Falde
Nathan Falde has been working as a freelance writer for the past six years. His ghostwritten work and bylined articles have appeared in numerous online outlets, and in 2014-2015 he acted as co-creator for a series of eBooks on the personality types. An INFJ and a native of Wisconsin, Nathan currently lives in Bogota, Colombia with his wife Martha and their son Nicholas.