If you have a strong personality type, you are likely self-motivated.
You know what you want and do everything possible to achieve your goals.
Unfortunately, having a domineering personality can also rub some people the wrong way. A strong personality type may overpower others.
To enjoy the advantages of a strong personality without alienating those around you, explore the traits associated with strong personalities.
What Does it Mean to Have a Strong Personality?
People with domineering personality traits are often outgoing extroverts with a strong sense of self. They are frequently task-oriented and direct with their decisions and communication.
Strong personalities also come with a few drawbacks. People may find dominant individuals off-putting, due to their need to remain in control of situations.
No matter if you have more of a reserved personality or a loud, dominating personality, research suggests that you can modify your behavior. An international group of researchers established the Personality Change Consortium to review the impact of different personality types on life outcomes.
The researchers determined that your personality strongly influences your success in life, which gives you actionable targets for changes. After identifying your personality traits, you can actively try to change your behavior.
Is Having a Strong Personality a Bad Thing?
No, it’s not. But it isn’t always a good thing either. There are pros and cons to having this type of personality. Strong personality traits can run the gamut from hugely attractive to intensely offensive.
The positives of having this type of personality include:
- Leadership abilities
- High energy
The negatives include:
Let’s look more closely at the strong characteristics of this type of personality and how they can be used to your advantage if you happen to be one.
15 Strong Personality Traits of a Dominant Person
It is not always easy to self-diagnose your personality type. Depending on your self-image, you may see yourself as middle of the road while others view you as a dominant person.
To determine if you have a strong personality, pay attention to the following 15 characteristics, behaviors, and traits.
1. Direct Communicator
Dominant people tend to use direct communication. They keep their messages short and to the point, instead of elaborating on details. If you have a strong personality, you likely say what you mean and avoid adding unnecessary information to the conversation.
You may also get annoyed when others fail to provide direct responses. When people offer vague, or long-winded answers to a question, you may feel the need to interrupt them to encourage them to get to the point.
2. Highly Confident
Confidence is one of the most common personality traits of a domineering person. It takes confidence to lead others and enforce your agenda. If you struggle to speak up in a crowd or dislike being the primary decision-maker, you may not have a strong personality.
Self-confidence is your belief or trust in your abilities. Dominant people believe that they will succeed, even when facing additional challenges. Some might find your level of confidence off-putting or arrogant. Be sure you give others a chance to express themselves and make suggestions.
3. Quick Decision-Maker
Since dominant people know what they want and have confidence in their choices, they often exhibit quick decision-making skills. Instead of taking the time to thoroughly review every possibility, they move forward with their choices at full speed.
Quick decision-making sometimes comes with a cost. People with dominant personalities are more likely to gloss over fine details which may result in more errors or mistakes compared to those that use a cautious approach to decision-making.
People with strong personalities are usually more concerned with results compared to the processes used to achieve successful outcomes. This is a common trait of successful leaders, as it allows them to focus more on the big picture.
Results-oriented people may also look for shortcuts to achieve their goals quicker. They may also worry less about the impact of the processes they choose if they achieve the desired outcome.
For example, they may be so results-oriented that they offend or fail to acknowledge people who are part of the process of achieving the result.
5. Enjoys Taking Control
Those with strong personality traits have the confidence to take control of situations. In a team setting, a dominant person naturally gravitates toward a position of authority, giving orders to others and directing the project.
A desire to take control is a common trait for leaders. However, dominant personalities may struggle in roles that require constant supervision.
6. Faces Things Head-On
Along with taking control, headstrong individuals are not afraid to handle challenging tasks. They tend to face things head-on instead of spending more time researching the best solutions. When a person with a strong personality encounters a dilemma, they try to resolve the issue quickly.
Dominant people also prefer to handle things personally if they believe they are the best person for the task. For example, a leader with a dominant personality should have no problem disciplining subordinates for poor performance.
People with strong personalities are often self-motivated individuals. They have the drive and desire to achieve their goals. In some cases, dominant individuals may become too focused on their ambitions. This may lead to tunnel vision.
Becoming too focused on a goal makes it harder to detect issues that may impact the outcome. For example, focusing intensely on a goal may cause you to overlook potential problems with your strategy or process.
8. Comfortable Taking Risks
A strong personality gives you the confidence to take risks. As dominant people are also frequently results-oriented, they are less concerned with potential risks. When you trust your ability to accomplish difficult tasks, you are less afraid of failure.
Dominant people assume that they will succeed and do not dwell on past mistakes or failures. They tend to look ahead at the bigger picture and may take risks that others try to avoid.
Due to many of the traits discussed, people with strong personalities are often opinionated. They trust their instincts, stick to their morals, and are not afraid to express themselves. With a strong personality comes strong opinions.
Having a strong opinion on a topic can become an advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation. You often need a strong opinion when directing important business decisions. However, giving strong opinions during interpersonal interactions may create conflict.
Most strong personalities set high goals for themselves and feel driven to reach them. In fact, because they have a powerful personality, they can inspire others to help them reach their goals as their enthusiasm is magnetic.
However, they can also run over people in order to reach their goals and maintain their power. Their ambition for success in every endeavor is part of what makes them have such a tough personality that isn’t sensitive to the feelings of others.
11. Emotionally Self-Controlled
One of the strong traits of this personality is the ability to control emotions during stressful or challenging times. He or she is able to take a deep breath when the stakes are high and think logically and strategically without allowing emotions to undermine sound thinking.
To others, this ability to be emotionally contained may appear cold or unfeeling, but to a strong personality, it’s the only acceptable modus operandi for success. Emotions just blur your thinking.
Some strong personalities tend to dominate others, both in personal and professional settings. Because they are confident and self-assured, they may believe they know the best way to proceed or have the right answers to any problem. And they don’t hesitate to express themselves.
Being too dominating can be off-putting to others, especially those who don’t tend to speak up as often or feel less comfortable taking center stage. But being dominating also has its upside when a tough personality is needed to make a difficult decision or lead the way when the path forward isn’t clear.
Someone with a forceful personality feels so confident and clear about what to do or how to handle something that he or she doesn’t have much patience with others who aren’t on board.
Strong personalities don’t like to dilly-dally or massage a problem endlessly when to them the answer is so clear-cut and obvious. He or she may be dismissive of others and cut them off because a discussion feels like a waste of time.
14. Dislike for Small Talk
Who has time for chit chat about meaningless stuff when you could be changing the world? Strong personalities have little patience for small talk or vapid conversations.
You want substantial conversations that will further your goals and inspire ideas and action.
When things go wrong, you don’t wallow in self-pity or frustration. You get back in the saddle and figure out what to do. Your ability to separate your emotions from the situation at hand allows you to think clearly.
You don’t have a problem admitting you were wrong if you caused the situation, and you look for ways to learn from the setback.
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How to Have a Strong Personality Without Scaring People
Developing a stronger personality may help you get ahead in your career or relationships. However, a dominant personality can also be off-putting and create additional challenges. Use the following tips to develop a strong personality without scaring people:
Slow Your Pace
The first step to becoming less intimidating is to slow down. Match your pace to those around you to avoid overwhelming them with your drive and headstrong attitude.
You do not need to rush head-on into every task. When working with others, take the time to discuss the task and the processes that you will use to accomplish it.
While this may go against your results-oriented nature, collaborating on strategies and processes helps build a stronger connection with others.
Dominant people prefer short, direct conversations. If you constantly find yourself waiting for the other person to finish speaking, you may miss the full meaning of their message.
People also tend to notice when others are not listening which can create additional distance.
Instead of trying to cut people off mid-conversation, stop and listen. Actively listening to others is a sign of respect and goes a long way to making you more approachable.
If you have a hard personality, you may find it hard to express thanks when others help you out of a situation.
Without gratitude, others may assume that you do not appreciate the assistance. People may start to give you more space and avoid working with you due to your stand-offish attitude.
To avoid these problems, remember to show your gratitude. Smiling and giving thanks may make you a little less scary in other people’s eyes.
Your natural confidence and competitiveness may cause you to become boastful about your success.
As with gratitude, humility makes you more relatable and easier to get along with. Instead of boasting of your success, remain humble.
Not everyone shares your take-charge style or ability to be emotionally self-controlled. Recognize how you can wound or offend people when you aren’t aware of their feelings or brush them off because you disagree with their position.
Make a point of listening to others, even when you think you know best. Ask for their input, feedback, and opinions. Recognize and accept that others may respond emotionally to something that you approach analytically.
This kind of emotional intelligence does make you a stronger, more effective leader — even if it goes against your natural instincts.
How to Deal with a Strong Personality
Dealing with a person with a serious personality is not always easy, especially in the workplace or in relationships.
If you have a dominant co-worker, you may find it difficult to showcase your skills. In a relationship, a dominant partner may cause you to feel insecure or afraid to voice your opinions.
Here are a few tips for dealing with a strong personality:
- Use short and direct communication to get to the point
- Speak up when you want a dominant person to listen
- Do not allow dominant people to take credit for your work
- Establish clear, measurable goals when working on a project
Along with these suggestions, you should avoid taking things personally. Dominant people do not always realize how others interpret their words and actions. Understand that the other person may not have meant to offend you.
Making a Strong Personality Work for Everyone
People with strong personalities are highly-focused individuals with clear ambitions and lots of motivation. However, they also tend to have strong opinions and domineering attitudes that may create friction with others.
If you have a hard personality, try to slow down and actively listen to others. This makes you less scary and more relatable. When dealing with someone that has a strong personality, it helps to match their communication style. Speak concisely.
Use the tips discussed or seek the help of professionals to manage a strong personality. People can adapt their behavior, but it requires commitment.
Continue to work on your communication skills and pay attention to how others perceive your personality to create less friction at work or home.