Of the 12 zodiac signs, there are four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Aquarius, a fixed air sign represented by three wavy lines or “The Water Bearer,” is one of the three air signs of the zodiac. If you’ve never done a deep dive into the Aquarius personality type, you might be surprised to learn this sign is perhaps the most unconventional of the entire zodiac. 

If you’re an Aquarius, you live by your own rules and have a solid, free-flowing logical thinking pattern, but you also have a wilder side that’s open to avant-garde, abstract ideas. Here’s an overview of the eclectic Aquarius personality type, traits and how this personality type compares to types from other personality theories.

Innovative Aquarians don’t go with the flow. They are the flow

As an air sign, easy, breezy movement is an excellent image to keep in mind when looking at how an Aquarius operates. If you’re an Aquarius, you don’t follow the current trends because you’re looking for new ways of thinking. As the lead innovator of the zodiac, Aquarius is constantly on the hunt for solutions to problems and thinks there’s always a better way to do something than the status quo. This extends to progressive thinking in societal issues. An Aquarius isn't afraid to point out what isn't working, but they'll also mention what is working.

If you’re an Aquarius personality type, you’re a humanitarian who cares about others

You might spot an Aquarius through their kind behavior. These zodiac types aren’t out for what people can give them. They only want love and support. It may come as a surprise, but Aquarians have a quiet, soft side and care deeply about people. However, they don’t show emotions often because they fear vulnerability. Instead, they rely on their intellectual side as a haven.  

Most Aquarius people imagine a better world for humanity and love charitable causes or organizations working to improve society. Because of this natural love for people, Aquarius is also interested in subjects like literature, history and anthropology.

Aquarians are eclectic and full of quirks

Innovative, out-of-the-box thinking makes Aquarius types creative thinkers. This unique perspective on life results in Aquarius types appearing slightly different from others. Eclectic and offbeat Aquarians embrace their uniqueness and find trends boring and predictable. 

However, their desire for individuality doesn't mean they’ll always wear unusual clothes (though it’s possible). More so, it points to how Aquarius people conduct themselves in relationships and public and what their routine looks like. They may be artists, for instance. Or for example, I have an Aquarius cousin who isn’t afraid to point out his unusual opinions on serious and trivial issues. His viewpoints are a quirky mix of logical and wacky, and he can be very convincing. 

Another example of quirky Aquarius behavior? My mother likes to tell stories about her old Aquarian friend who made a habit of moving movie theater seats by stepping over rows. Instead of walking down the aisle and around seats to relocate, he said it was “more fun” to hop over three rows of seating.

This brings me to another point — unpredictability.

Aquarius types are unpredictable

What fun is life if everything is predictable? That’s a question you might ask if you’re an Aquarius. These robust adventure-seekers get bored with the same routine and crave variety, leading them to explore new activities, hobbies and intellectual subjects. Aquarius is always willing to try something new, and their open-minded approach to life opens many doors for them to discover life’s richness.

On the other hand, Aquarius can be unpredictable when it comes to their emotions, which may cause problems in their relationships. They have a habit of releasing their feelings in one go via a release of anger and frustration. Their quick tempers might seem unpredictable to onlookers, but inside, the Aquarius has a whole pile of issues they’re dealing with. They don’t like to talk about their emotions if they don’t have to — which causes these mini (or mega) breakdowns.

Cerebral to the core: Aquarius tends to be intellectual on many levels

If you're an Aquarius, you’re an intelligent person who likes analytical and abstract thinking and logical problem-solving. Because they embrace abstract thought, they find unique solutions to complex problems. These cerebral types spend a lot of time inside their heads, thinking through issues or analyzing something they’ve learned. 

This inner thought can sometimes backfire on Aquarius types. Because they’re so focused on analytical aspects of situations, they may appear cold to more emotional types. Instead of being emotional, Aquarius types use more logic-based thinking and can hurt other people’s feelings when they are too blunt. 

Which of the 16 personality types is an Aquarius most likely to be?

When determining which of the 16-type personalities an Aquarius is most like, things can be a little bit complicated, especially considering the difference between zodiac signs and personality types. Some believe Aquarius is like the INFP, while others suggest INTP or even ENTP. But I believe Aquarius types are closest to INTPs. Why? For example, they both share a desire for independence and knowledge. They’re also both individualistic deep-thinkers with a flair for the unique and undiscovered. 

The INTP can appear distant from others because of their cerebral way of being, much like Aquarians. INTPs need time alone to consider things and reach a conclusion, so they’ll disappear on a dime when needed. 

Although Aquarius is a caring humanitarian, their unemotional approach doesn’t seem to make them quite the right fit for an INFP, in my opinion. But that also doesn’t mean an INFP Aquarius person doesn’t exist.

Which Enneagram type is an Aquarius most likely to be?

Because of their endless pursuit of knowledge, innovation and independence, the Aquarius matches up most with Enneagram Type 5, “The Investigator.” Type 5s put their intellectual goals ahead of relationships most of the time and may appear detached from loved ones, even if they care about them. Because they fear being overwhelmed by human needs (whether it’s their own needs or the needs of others), they distance themselves where they can and explore intellectual pursuits.

Remember, each person is an individual, and although you’re an Aquarius, you may not have the suggested 16-type personality above. There are always differences in individuals no theory can box in. But personality theories offer a guideline for how and why you behave the way you do — which can be powerful.

Wrapping it all up

Aquarius is an innovative zodiac sign emphasizing intelligent, out-of-the-box solutions and independence as a way of life. If you’re an Aquarius, you’re friendly and quirky, creative and original — and that’s how you like it. You might type as an INTP if you take the 16-type personality test or as a Type 5 on the Enneagram. But because everyone’s different, you might find you’re hard to pin down — how like you, Aquarius! 

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.