My Top 30 Descriptive Words

As a Certified Transformational Coach and DISC Personality Trainer, I often use many carefully chosen power words during training and coaching but its important to use descriptive words when understanding individuals’.   l often ask the question, what 5 words best describe your personality. This isn’t to make anyone feel uncomfortable but to see how they perceive themselves and to highlight their strengths and skills.

Below is a list of 30 top descriptive words to help describe someone’s personality but before you can define who you are, you must first understand some examples of personality traits. These can be determined by our actions, attitudes and behaviours. To help you discover your own personal traits ask yourself the following questions:

  • How would I describe myself?
  • What’s my biggest accomplishment?
  • What’s my biggest dream?
  • What’s my biggest fear?

Now you have answered the above questions when asked what 5 words best describe you from the list below you may find it that much easier.


Capable of fitting a particular situation or use

People who are adaptable can overcome change easily.


Willing to undertake new and daring enterprises

People who are adventurous seek out the fun in life. They love to try something new–sometimes an act that others would find scary. Adventurous people love to travel and try new foods at a restaurant.


Having or displaying warmth or affection

If you like to snuggle up next to someone, then you are affectionate.


Having a strong desire for success or achievement

Ambitious people try to get ahead in life–they look for opportunities to better their life. For the most part, this has a positive feeling, but in some people, ambition is too strong, and they hurt people along the way to get what they want.


Diffusing warmth and friendliness

Amiable people are affable. They are kind, warm and friendly.


Showing or having sympathy for another’s suffering

Someone who is compassionate feels a strong sense of sadness when they see others who are suffering. A compassionate person always tries to do something to help ease the suffering. You would find a compassionate person helping in a homeless shelter.


Showing concern for the rights and feelings of others

A considerate person looks out for other people. They often allow someone else to have the last piece of pie or they hold the door open for another person.


Able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching

A courageous person is brave. They are the type of person to run into a burning building. They are also likely to get involved to stop a bullying situation.


Characterized by courtesy and gracious good manners

Courteous people say, “Please,” “Thank you” and “No, thanks.” Their manners are present because they are nice toward other people.


Characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out tasks

Diligent people work hard until a job is done. They take great care in doing things right. They don’t give up.


Showing ready comprehension of others’ states

Someone who is empathetic is able to understand people better because they see things from the other person’s perspective.

When it comes to working with children it is important to be empathetic. My daughters might be upset for a ridiculous reason, but I can only help them if I understand why they truly feel as they do.


Unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings

An exuberant person is full of joy and has a lot of energy to show it.


Characterized by directness in manner or speech

Someone who is frank “tells it like it is.” It might not be pretty, but they will tell you straight.


Willing to give and share unstintingly

A generous person shares what they have willingly. It might be a cupcake or their time–either way, they’re happy to share.


Temperamentally seeking and enjoying the company of others

Gregarious people are fun to be around and they like being around other people. They are the “life of the party.”


Free from undue bias or preconceived opinions

Impartial people are fair. They are able to remain neutral before forming an opinion. Lawyers like to have impartial people on juries so that they can fairly weight the evidence.


Obtained through instinctive knowledge

An intuitive person operates by instinct. They sort of have a special feel for a situation. The best basketball players are intuitive when it comes to finding the open teammate.

A lot of teaching is intuitive–the best teachers just know how to present things so that kids understand. (Related words: intuition and intuitively).


Marked by independence and creativity in thought or action

Since the band’s drummer did not show up for the concert, they got inventive–they asked members of the audience to come up and clap and play tambourines.

Inventive people are able to find creative, ingenious solutions to problems. They might be able to repair a car with a paper clip.

One of my favourite quotes is by Benjamin Franklin: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In other words, when there is a strong need, an invention to fill that need usually occurs.


Having or expressing strong emotions

Passionate people have a real love for something in their life. They embrace this or many activities with a strong feeling. What are you passionate about?


Stubbornly unyielding

Persistent people never give up. Even when the odds are stacked against them, the work tirelessly until the goal is achieved.


Meeting trouble with level-headed detachment

People who are philosophical often wonder, “In the grand scheme of things, is it worth it?” Philosophical people tend to look at the larger picture of life and stay above trivial situations.


Guided by experience and observation rather than theory

People who are practical look at things is a reasonable, level-headed way. They are likely to take a coat with them in case it is cold–they know they can take it off if it is too hot–they’re just practical.


Having its source in or being guided by the intellect

Rational people are practical. They make rational decisions based on their logical reasoning about a situation. They don’t base decisions on emotions.


Worthy of trust

Someone who is reliable is trustworthy and dependable. You can “count on” a reliable person.


Adroit or imaginative

A resourceful person uses creativity and the things around them to tackle a problem. They see solutions (sometimes obvious ones) that others don’t see.


Able to feel or perceive

A sensible person is a clear thinking, reasonable person.


Open and genuine; not deceitful

A sincere person is honest in their feelings toward others. (Antonym: insincerely).


Expressing compassion or friendly fellow feelings

You are sympathetic when you feel sorry for someone else. You send a sympathy card when a friend loses a loved one because you want her to know that you feel sorry for her loss.

Their loss upsets you because you are sympathetic.


Not arrogant

An unassuming person is awesome but does not go around bragging about it. In fact, she might not even know that she’s so awesome. A girl might be a great artist but is unassuming about her skill.


Combining clever conception and facetious expression

Someone who is witty combines humour with intelligence. A witty observation is funny but also sophisticated. You need to be smart to understand a witty person’s jokes.

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