Over the last couple of years, I’ve written numerous articles and posts on difficult people, personalities and relationships: Everything from Manipulative Marys to Bullies in the workplace to people who break boundaries to toxic relationships. Let’s face it: In life, we come across all kinds! As humans, we often focus on those who are negative or toxic leaving it difficult to appreciate those who are positive and healthy. Seeking out individuals with healthy, positive traits, however, may naturally help us to stay clear (or at least clearer) of those who are toxic, who zap our energy or who make us feel badly. Further, the more we can surround ourselves with those who are positive and healthy, the more we may model those positive behaviors.
If you really think about it, once in awhile you come across a person who knocks you off your socks…legitimately. Maybe they have the best outlook on life, maybe they are really wealthy but you would never know it, maybe they make you feel special. There is a good chance that many of these people possess a few, if not all of the traits mentioned below. (Although I could probably list a dozen characteristics, I thought I’d list those that seem to be the rarest or most difficult to find in others.)
- Selflessness: In a world where many people don’t have the time or the interest in others, selflessness is a quality that seems to be less and less common. People can be selfless in the time they give, the ability to listen, their level of patience and the love that they give. Those who are giving and generous in nature have the power to make others feel loved, appreciated and special. While those who are self-absorbed tend to do the exact opposite.
- Tolerance: Those people who are tolerant make us feel comfortable with who we are and special as individuals. All of us are different, and many of us have quirks and idiosyncrasies. After all, these differences make the world go round. Having the ability to accept people for who they are and not expect them to be who we want them to be is important in life, happiness and in the health of our relationships.
- Genuineness: Having the ability to be real, authentic and honest is unique in a world where we put so much emphasis on the superficial. Feeling comfortable in one’s skin and being true to one’s self is one of the most beautiful traits one can possess. To have a REAL relationship with someone requires honesty…it requires hearing and giving input or feedback that may not always be popular…it means having the strength to tell it like it is and to not be afraid to face the consequences for doing so…it means loving people for who they really are…deep down…and not for what they appear to be.
- Sensitivity: So often we are focused on what is important to ourselves that we can forget about those around us. Those who are sensitive are often thoughtful, appreciative and loving, in a way that makes you feel understood, valued and respected. Often, sensitive people are also self-aware, making them mindful of how they impact others with what they do and say.
- Integrity: Call me cynical, but I think this characteristic is especially difficult to find. In a time when people will do things that are underhanded to make an extra buck (Bernie Madoff…can you hear me?), expose their personal lives to the public so they can be famous (balloon boy’s dad and any other reality TV mongers) and do what feels good in the moment without necessarily thinking of the consequences (Tiger Woods), integrity is a characteristic that is especially unique today.
- Humility: Whether someone is super-smart, extremely talented or drop-dead gorgeous, there is something extra special about them if they don’t come across as though they know it all the time. Humility in those that possess extraordinary traits make others feel special too.
Oh boy the list could go on! What characteristics do you admire in others? Are there any that you want to cultivate?