Has anyone ever told you you’re “too intense”?
Or if you took an intense personality quiz, what are the odds your score would confirm what others have suggested?
Maybe you already suspect as much, but you’re not sure exactly what it means to have an emotionally intense personality.
What you do know is you absolutely hate it when others tell you to “lighten up” or “calm down” or “chill.”
You don’t feel a need to conform to someone else’s idea of how you should be. Intense people feel deeply — both good and bad emotions. They are keenly aware of their internal world and often have a running mental dialogue with obsessive thought patterns.
- What is an intense personality?
- Is being intense a good thing?
- 29 Intense Personality Traits
- 1. You don’t take long to open up.
- 2. You wear your heart on your sleeve.
- 3. You’re sincere and unafraid to be yourself.
- 4. You prefer meaningful conversations.
- 5. You don’t waste time on small talk.
- 6. You don’t worry about what other people think of you.
- 7. You use intense language.
- 8. You always make eye contact.
- 9. You tend to be clingy with your closest relationships.
- 10. You have a tendency to be “moody.”
- 11. You’re a big believer in romance.
- 12. You ask “too many questions.”
- 13. You’re brutally honest.
- 14. You expect others to give as you give.
- 15. You can see through people.
- 16. You like consistency — or, rather, you expect it.
- 17. You don’t waste time trying to please people who don’t get you.
- 18. When you argue (or fight), you play to win.
- 19. You’re careful about whom you let into your life.
- 20. You hate ignorance and unexamined assumptions.
- 21. You love to learn and expand your mind.
- 22. You’re open-minded about new ideas and experiences.
- 23. You don’t need attention from others to enjoy yourself.
- 24. You bond easily with fictional characters.
- 25. You say exactly what you mean — and with conviction.
- 26. You’re a creative and complex thinker.
- 27. You’re a truth seeker.
- 28. You experience beauty intensely.
- 29. You are sensitive to spiritual things.
- How to be Less Intense When Necessary
What is an intense personality?
An emotionally intense person is one who feels so strongly and deeply they can’t hold it in or hide it. And they don’t see a point in even trying to.
These intense feelings can lead to them feeling out of control or completely overwhelmed by their emotions.
They’re driven by passion, and when they feel passionate about something, they give it their all.
They’re not shy about expressing their thoughts and feelings, even when others don’t share them or appreciate them.
Sure, they’ve heard that mellow people are easier to be around, but they don’t mind being over the top. Intense people are proud of their forceful personalities, even if it makes some people uncomfortable.
Even when those who don’t understand them make hurtful assumptions.
And what’s so bad about being a strong-willed personality, anyway?
It takes a strong will to reach the finish line when things get tough. Intense people don’t need or even want an easy path to success.
If it’s not worth blood, sweat, and drama, it’s not worth their time.
Is being intense a good thing?
Being emotionally intense can have its ups and downs, but for most, the positive aspects outweigh the negative.
Many people with intense emotions are highly gifted individuals with exceptional levels of empathy, intelligence, creativity, and imagination. They excel at interpersonal skills because of their compassion and depth of feeling.
Intense people experience the full range of human emotions at a profoundly deep level, allowing them a unique and sophisticated understanding of others. They are highly sensitive people who are complex, sensual, and passionate.
29 Intense Personality Traits
Intense personality types fit more than one MBTI (Myers Briggs type inventory) category. Some are more quietly intense while others are loud and proud of their passionate natures.
Both make the world better than it would be without them. That is the goal, after all.
And if you have an intense personality, you’ll probably recognize the following traits:
1. You don’t take long to open up.
When you meet someone willing to listen, it doesn’t take long for you to open up and show your full intensity. For some, this will be overwhelming. But this is how you find your tribe.
2. You wear your heart on your sleeve.
You don’t try to hide what you’re feeling. And if anyone asks how you feel, you don’t sugarcoat it for them. And you expect those who actually care about you to listen and at least try to understand.
3. You’re sincere and unafraid to be yourself.
You’re genuine and unafraid of people seeing you as you are. You have nothing to be ashamed of, anyway. And those who see what you’re like and can’t handle it are free to move on.
4. You prefer meaningful conversations.
You don’t see any value in having banal or pointless conversations, even for playful banter. Every conversation must be meaningful and satisfying, or you feel cheated of your time and attention.
5. You don’t waste time on small talk.
Small talk is a waste of time that would be better spent on meaningful conversations, passionate expression, or purposeful action. The intense person resents the very existence of small talk.
6. You don’t worry about what other people think of you.
Those who think you need to “chill” or “mellow out” aren’t your people. Their opinions of you don’t matter. You’ve learned to accept yourself as you are and not to sweat the uninformed opinions of those whose expectations you don’t meet.
7. You use intense language.
You use descriptive language to express your thoughts and feelings with others.
Word choice is important to you, and you feel the nuances in every syllable you speak. If one word doesn’t have the right connotation, you’ll find one that does.
8. You always make eye contact.
Just as your words are direct and expressive, so is your gaze. You make eye contact to fully engage the other person, as well as to engage yourself and pay close attention to every nuance of their reaction.
9. You tend to be clingy with your closest relationships.
You want to spend as much time as possible with your favorite people — even if you’re not always talking to them. Some would describe you as “clingy.” The way you see it, life is just better when your besties are near.
10. You have a tendency to be “moody.”
You’ve heard the word “moody” used to describe your behavior, and it annoys you. Maybe you’re just processing something. True, you might also be brooding over something. But “moody” is so reductive. It’s also probably true.
11. You’re a big believer in romance.
You’re a sucker for an epic romance, and you want one of your own. Far better to have one epic love that lasts a few years at the most than to have a decades-long committed relationship that’s comfortable but devoid of passion.
12. You ask “too many questions.”
You ask a LOT of questions because you have a deep and overwhelming desire to understand things, ideas, and people to their core. You want the fullest possible picture. So, one question generally leads to ten more.
13. You’re brutally honest.
Mincing words just feels icky. You feel polluted when you’re not completely and even painfully honest. After all, you’d rather know the whole truth, even if it hurts. So you assume others want the same.
14. You expect others to give as you give.
Back to expectations, you expect those who care about you to give as you give — wholeheartedly and with passion. You’re all in, and you’d alienate the world to have your friend’s back. You expect the same of them.
15. You can see through people.
You have a built-in radar for the real motives behind someone’s “nice” behavior. And you have zero tolerance for fakery. You also tend to be hyper-sensitive to others’ attempts at manipulation, calling it out or shamelessly sabotaging their efforts.
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16. You like consistency — or, rather, you expect it.
A lack of consistency makes it difficult (if not impossible) to trust someone. If they can’t be consistent in their behavior to you, then they must be faking some of it. Authenticity as you see it manifests as consistency.
17. You don’t waste time trying to please people who don’t get you.
Those who expect you to “tone it down” 24-7 so they can be more comfortable around you aren’t going to accept you as you are, anyway. So, there’s zero payoff for appeasing them. And you have better uses for your energy.
18. When you argue (or fight), you play to win.
Your intensity doesn’t always manifest as aggression, but you don’t back down from a fight or an argument. And since you don’t engage in either without skillfully wielding the proper weapons, your opponents tend to lose (or resort to name-calling).
19. You’re careful about whom you let into your life.
You’ve come to recognize narcissists and other toxic people and have learned to be careful of whom you confide in.
Maybe once you were quick to let people in, but early experiences of betrayal or abuse have made you more cautious.
20. You hate ignorance and unexamined assumptions.
You have a particular aversion to willful ignorance in others. It appalls you when someone is content to remain ignorant. And when others make assumptions without knowing the facts, you feel a deep and instant outrage.
21. You love to learn and expand your mind.
One of your greatest delights is in learning more about things that matter to you. And when someone makes you aware of something you’ve overlooked, you will go overboard in your zeal to learn everything you can.
22. You’re open-minded about new ideas and experiences.
You’re hungry for new experiences that can teach you more about something that matters to you, even if they only help you identify your likes and dislikes. You resent anyone telling you what you should or shouldn’t be interested in.
23. You don’t need attention from others to enjoy yourself.
You’re fully capable of keeping yourself entertained without anyone else’s attention or admiration. Your intensity manifests as unusual focus on projects and activities that make you feel more fully yourself, whatever others may think.
24. You bond easily with fictional characters.
When a favorite character in a novel or movie dies, you grieve as heart-rendingly as you would for a friend. And you resent being told you shouldn’t feel as much because they’re “not real.” They’re real to you.
25. You say exactly what you mean — and with conviction.
Nothing comes out of your mouth that you don’t mean. You speak with conviction and without fear. No one has to agree with you, either. You believe 100% of what you’re saying and you say it with feeling.
26. You’re a creative and complex thinker.
Your powerful thought processes, intuition, and perceptions allow you to see things more quickly and clearly than most. And your heightened senses and emotions give you the ability to respond to people, situations and surroundings with a clarity that’s unique.
27. You’re a truth seeker.
You can’t be satisfied with pat answers or hypocrisy. You yearn to find the truth in all situations, even if it’s uncomfortable for you and those around you. You quickly find holes in arguments or positions and poke at them until they unravel. You are willing to tolerate painful realities that others might shy away from.
28. You experience beauty intensely.
You can be carried away by something beautiful to the point of feeling enraptured. Art, music, dance, nature, and other forms of beauty speak to you on a soul-level. Sometimes beauty can make you feel such intense emotions that you cry, or you’re moved to a state of ecstasy.
29. You are sensitive to spiritual things.
Because of your deep insights, complex inner life, and intuition, you are drawn to spiritual ideas and experiences. Your depth and giftedness makes you feel (and seem to others) like an old soul who is wise beyond your years.
How to be Less Intense When Necessary
Although you and others can see the beauty and positive qualities of your emotional intensity, there are times when you may want to dial it back — or you may need to due to the situation. At this point, you’re probably asking a few questions:
All valid questions. To answer the first one, intense personalities are rooted in the way your mind works and how you process what you’re feeling. It’s not a flaw in your make-up.
To answer the next two, you might be “extra” to those who are less intense. Your whole personality feels more aggressive to them — or at least noisier. And for some, your intensity can make it hard for them to feel relaxed around you.
On the flipside, folks who are “chill AF” aren’t really in the business of changing the world for the better.
The world needs more people who are on fire with ideas on how to make the world better and who have the passion and determination to learn more and take action.
That said, if your intensity is making it hard to be in a relationship, here are some tips on how to balance it:
Are you an intense personality?
Now that you’ve learned more about intense personality traits, how many of them resonated with you? Or how many reminded you of someone you know and love?
Intense personalities can be difficult to live with. They can also richly reward those who see past the difficult moments to the generous heart behind them.
If you’re an intense person, you probably have a small circle of people you trust and who love and accept you as you are. Few though they may be, they’re your tribe. And you’d do anything for them.
May your growing self-knowledge enrich and strengthen all your relationships.