‘Cool’ is subjective. Like beauty, it’s often in the eye of the beholder.
This makes it hard to precisely define what makes someone cool.
But it is possible to say with some confidence what a cool person isn’t. There are plenty of behaviors and traits that are most definitely ‘uncool’ no matter how you look at them.
Here are some things that a cool person most definitely doesn’t do.
1. They don’t try to be cool.
It’s not a cool person’s aim to appear cool to others. Quite frankly, they don’t care if they are cool or not.
They are confident in themselves, comfortable in their own skin, and they don’t want to waste their time on something just because someone else has deemed it cool.
A cool person is effortlessly cool. In fact, as soon as a lot of effort goes into being cool, that coolness disappears. You can’t fake being cool.
2. They don’t follow trends blindly.
Cool people may be trendy. But that’s not always the case. They won’t blindly follow what’s ‘hot’ in terms of fashion or technology or where they hang out.
This isn’t to say that they won’t have fashionable clothes, the latest gadgets, or frequent a particular venue in town, but their reasons for doing so are very much their own.
They buy things that they like, whether they are on trend or not. They go to places that mesh with the kind of vibe they enjoy, not because some celebrity was seen there or because it’s the place other so-called cool people go.
Quite often, the genuinely cool people set the trends that others follow just by being their authentic selves.
3. They don’t spend time trying to impress other people.
A cool person doesn’t rely on external validation to feel good about themselves. Yes, they may appreciate the fact that others are drawn to them or consider them to be cool, but they don’t build their entire sense of self on that fact. It’s just a ‘nice thing to have.’
They don’t brag in an attempt to impress others, nor do they put others down to make themselves look better. They don’t crave approval from anyone.
In their mind, if you like them for who they are, great. And if you don’t, then that’s a YOU problem that they don’t concern themselves with.
4. They don’t paste their lives across social media.
Since cool people don’t feel the need to impress others, they are fairly quiet on the social media front.
They may be on the Gram, but it’s not too often that they post. And when they do post, it’s more likely to be things that they find interesting or funny rather than selfies or shots of their latest vacation.
Likes, shares, and followers don’t mean a lot to them. They certainly don’t refresh the app every 5 minutes to see how many more people have deemed their latest post worthy of attention.
5. They don’t force their cool onto others.
A cool person wouldn’t dream of trying to dictate what their friendship group did just because they are the cool one of the group. They certainly wouldn’t belittle or ignore the suggestions of others just to get their own way.
If a friend suggests a board game night, the cool person will likely agree enthusiastically rather than try to convince everyone that their idea of going to the latest interactive art exhibition is better.
They are open-minded too all suggestions and don’t feel the need to be the ringleader of the group.
6. They don’t exclude others.
While they don’t tolerate toxic behavior from others, they don’t exclude other people from something they or their tribe are doing.
If someone shows an interest and wants to get involved, the cool person will encourage them to join in. The more the merrier.
They accept and embrace the differences among people rather than seeing those things as threatening or as unknowns that ought to be shunned.
7. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
Cool people are a lot of fun to be around, and one of the main reasons is that they don’t much care what other people think of them. They are willing to put themselves out there and do something silly just for the pure joy of it.
They can also laugh at themselves if they goof up and this actually defuses any awkwardness that might otherwise be felt among those present.
Put simply, they can be themselves with a carefree attitude that makes them resilient to life’s ups and downs.
8. They don’t complain about their lives.
Some people can’t seem to stop finding things that are wrong or hard about their lives. Not cool people, though.
Yes, some cool people have faced great challenges or upheaval in their lives. Many will still have more than a few things on their plate. But they won’t feel the need to talk about those things all the goddam time.
They know that complaining about something over and over again does nothing to actually solve the problem.
A cool person is more likely to vent to a trusted friend or family member with the aim of finding solutions and lightening the emotional load. It’s a productive exercise rather than something that goes around in circles.
They certainly wouldn’t dream of telling everyone and anyone about their problems.
9. They don’t dominate conversations.
A cool person can have a healthy back-and-forth conversation that involves them listening to the other person as much as it does speaking.
They don’t try to talk over others to get their point across. They don’t seek to be right or prove their point. They want to hear other views and opinions, learn about them, and understand the person sharing them.
They ask questions and bring others into the conversation to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
10. They don’t gossip.
Other people’s business is theirs to share if they want to. A cool person wouldn’t dare breach someone’s trust by talking about them behind their back.
If they hear others spreading gossip, they either encourage them not to have that conversation without the relevant person present, or they simply walk away and don’t engage.
They would rather hear things from the horse’s mouth than get a third-party account that is likely full of exaggerations, inaccuracies, or missing details.
11. They don’t judge others.
A person’s choices, their background, their beliefs and opinions, their appearance. These aren’t things that you’ll find a cool person judging others on. They understand and value the fact that everyone is different, and that conformity is the enemy of diversity.
They may not always agree on the choices a person makes or the things they believe, but they don’t deem the other person to be wrong or inferior because of it.
They respect people’s differences and their right to be, think, or act however they see fit, so long as it does not harm anyone else.
12. They don’t place too much value on material possessions.
Cool people may own plenty of things—it’s hard not to. But they don’t see those things as overly important. They appreciate what something can do to make their life easier or more enjoyable, but they don’t fret that it might break or otherwise get taken from them.
If they do value a particular item, it’s likely for sentimental reasons and not because that thing is deemed to be of worth by others. And they value function over style most of the time.
Some may actively try to minimize how much stuff they own because they don’t see it as important.
13. They don’t stay in their comfort zone.
Because cool people have healthy amounts of self-esteem and self-confidence, they don’t confine themselves to their comfort zones. They are more than happy to try new things, even if those things are totally different and unfamiliar.
They feel able to take risks and put themselves out there in the knowledge that failing or making a mistake is not the end of the world but rather an experience like any other.
In the end, they’d rather reach out and touch more of what life has to offer, even if it involves some difficulty or discomfort, than remain safely wrapped up in a life that is devoid of flavor and variety.
14. They don’t take others for granted.
A cool person realizes that they are not an island. They exist in a complex web of connections, some close and others distant. But no matter how a person touches their world, they appreciate their presence in it.
This extends from closes friends and family all the way to the person who picks the beans that are used by the barista to make their morning coffee. They appreciate everyone in their own way.
15. They don’t think the world revolves around them.
Cool people know that they are nothing special. They don’t see themselves as being of greater worth or importance than anyone else.
They don’t feel the need to be the center of attention. They don’t think their needs come before those of others. They don’t get jealous when someone else succeeds or has good fortune.
Cool people are outward facing. They embrace the interconnectedness of society. They feel a sense of belonging to the world even though they know they are but one small part of it.