19 Cool Person Traits: Defining What Makes Someone Cool

Everybody has a different perception of what ‘cool’ is.

Depending on what your interests, passions, and priorities are, someone who you think is cool might be considered by others to be pretty weird or boring.

For you, the personification of cool might be a rock star, an actor, or a high-profile eco-warrior.

It might be someone you know in person, or it might be someone you follow on social media or see in the news.

It might be someone with a special, specific talent, or it might just be someone with certain type of personality who just oozes coolness.

So, the concept of cool is a hard one to define.

Remember those kids at school that everyone just knew were the ‘popular’ group? Could you ever put into words what it was about them that made them stand out from the rest?

As we grow, coolness moves away from just being ‘popular’ and takes on a whole other dimension, which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with having dozens of friends or dressing a certain way.

If you’re trying to get your head around the highly subjective concept of cool, then here’s a list of traits that genuinely cool people tend to share, no matter what their specific interests or talents are.

1. They don’t get jealous.

In general, cool people don’t envy others, the things they have, or the things they do.

Instead, it makes them happy when things go well for others and they don’t get jealous of them or resent them for it. 

They’re happy blazing their own trail so don’t feel the need to compare themselves to others.

They might fall victim to comparison-itis now and again, as we all do, but in general they’re happy with the way they’re living their life and don’t begrudge other people’s success.

2. They’re independent.

They’re happy to do things their own way rather than following the crowd.

They’re self-sufficient and capable, and don’t tend to depend on other people to do things for them.

3. They’re happy in their own company.

A cool person might have a big group of friends, but they might just have a few friends that they’re really close to.

Either way, they don’t need constant company. They’re quite happy spending time on their own and have no qualms about going to the cinema, eating out, or doing pretty much anything by themselves.

They’re not worried about what other people will think of them spending time on their own.

4. They’re comfortable with who they are.

There’s nothing less cool than someone trying to be something they’re not under the mistaken impression that it’ll go down well with others.

Cool people know who they are, have accepted that, and are happy with it. We’re all unique in our own ways, and people can tell when we’re fighting against our unique quirkiness rather than embracing it. 

Someone who’s cool doesn’t pretend to be something they’re not to impress others. They’re authentic and true to themselves in everything they do.

5. They are confident in their abilities.

What makes someone cool is that they aren’t overly arrogant and know they can’t do everything. But they also know what they are capable of and that they can trust themselves to get things done.

They don’t question or second guess themselves and they put their all into everything they do.

6. They stick to their principles.

Cool people have strong beliefs, and they live their lives accordingly. They don’t just talk the talk.

They actually make choices in their daily lives that reflect their principles.

They’re willing to stand up for their choices and their beliefs, even if that means going against the grain. 

7. They’re open-minded.

Just because they have strong beliefs doesn’t mean they aren’t open to changing their minds about things.

They’re always willing to learn and adapt, accept other points of view, and admit when they’ve been wrong about something.

They don’t reject other people outright just because they think differently to them, but respect that everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

8. They’re good at expressing themselves.

If asked for their opinion or when having a conversation, a cool person is articulate and good at expressing their thoughts and point of view.

But that doesn’t come at other people’s expense. They don’t talk over others or always dominate the conversation. They’re good, respectful conversationalists.

9. They’re adaptable and pragmatic.

They know how to roll with the punches and take life as it comes.

Rather than fighting things that happen unexpectedly, they accept them and focus on how they can adapt to any new situation they’re faced with.

10. They can forgive and forget.

Cool people know that holding grudges is totally pointless. After all, being angry with someone is hard work. Life is far easier, calmer, and more pleasant if we can let things go.

They know how to forgive people and move on, focusing on the future rather than ruminating on the past.

11. They’re good at making other people feel at ease.

They’re great at meeting new people and making them feel welcome.

They genuinely take an interest in the people they meet and make them feel included, whatever setting they’re in.

A huge part of coolness is being likeable, and there’s no faster way to make people like you than to put them at ease.

12. They don’t judge others.

Cool people aren’t in the business of judging others for their choices.

They understand that we all make mistakes and no one is perfect.

They don’t think badly of other people for their actions because they know they’re not infallible either.  

13. They mind their own business.

Cool people don’t tend to be gossips.

They don’t see the point of passing on titbits of juicy information about people they know or work with because they’ve generally got much more interesting things to focus on.

14. They don’t suffer fools.

They’re understanding and they don’t often gossip, but that doesn’t mean they’ll tolerate bad behavior.

They don’t have time for people that are cruel, thoughtless, or self-serving, and they can generally spot those qualities a mile off.  

15. They’re interested in the world.

They’re always interested in learning more about the world around them.

Maybe they’re a bookworm, maybe they’re a podcast-fiend, maybe they love museums or historic places, or maybe they just seem to absorb information.

Cool people are fascinated by the world we live in and always want to find out more about it.

16. They have interests.

Someone who’s genuinely cool tends to have a passion, or multiple passions. Something that they absolutely adore. Something that makes them light up when they talk about it.

Whether it’s something creative, something sporty, or something really niche and quirky, it makes them stand out from the crowd and genuinely brings them happiness.

17. They’re optimistic.

Cool people generally look on the bright side of life. They’re always upbeat and focus on the positives in any situation rather than dwelling on the negatives.

They’re a cheering presence to be around, and often make other people feel more optimistic too.

18. They have their own style.

Sure, they probably look good most of the time. But that’s mainly down to the confidence with which they wear their clothes rather than the actual clothes they wear.

They have their own distinctive style and aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd when it comes to their clothes. 

19. They live in the moment.

They know it’s not worth worrying about the past or the future, because all we actually have is the present moment. And they know how to enjoy that moment.

They throw themselves into everything they do and get the very most out of it.

Cool people live their life to the full in the here and now on their own terms, no matter what other people think.

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About Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.