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Think about the things about yourself that you really like. Are you a hard worker? Loyal? Funny? All of these words are adjectives that you can use to describe your personality. These adjectives are a way for you to communicate things about yourself to somebody who doesn’t know you. 

When you include adjectives about personality in your writing, you are using fewer words to paint a picture for your reader. Even though you are using fewer words, you are using the words more effectively. This information is valuable when building characters, describing historical figures, and writing to make an impact. 

With the correct word choice, these personality adjectives will do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to your writing, that is why it is important to know what these words are and how to use them.

Adjective Overview

Before we dig into our list of personality adjectives, we need to first understand what an adjective actually is!

An adjective is a part of speech, plain and simple! More importantly, the purpose of adjective words is that they modify nouns or pronouns in a sentence. When writing, you should be using adjective words to make your writing more interesting. Here are a few examples of adjective words: beautiful, crazy, fluffy. 

Let’s take a look at an example of how using adjectives help us create awesome sentences!

  1. This is my cat.
  2. This is my fluffy, gentle, most caring, and loving cat!

    As you can see the second sentence is much more appealing for the reader, compared to the first sentence. 

Words to Describe Personality

There are many different kinds of adjectives, but the one that we are going to focus on are called attributive adjectives. Attributive adjectives are words that will expand on specific traits, qualities, and features.

Attributive adjectives modify more than just people, including observations, size/shape, age, color, origin, material, and qualifier adjectives. 

This means that they are not limited to describing just personality, but also things like fabric, vehicles, towns, and more (basically any noun).

 

When using adjectives to describe a person’s personality, you can use one of two types of words: positive or negative. 

When you use a positive adjective, you are creating a positive image of the character. Negative adjectives, on the other hand, spotlight the negative characteristics of a person (or character). These words are powerful in creating reader opinions, so choose the words wisely to communicate clearly. 

Positive Adjectives

Adaptable Courageous Giving Neat Self-confident
Adventurous Creative Good Nice Self-disciplined
Affable Decisive Gregarious Non-judgemental Sensible
Affectionate Dependable Hardworking Observant Sensitive
Agreeable Determined Helpful Optimistic Shy
Ambitious Diligent Hilarious Organized Silly
Amiable Diplomatic Honest Passionate Sincere
Amicable Discreet Humorous Patient Smart
Amusing Dynamic Imaginative Persistent Socialable
Artistic Easy-going Impartial Pioneering Straight-Forward
Brave Emotional Independent Philosophical Sympathetic
Bright Efficient Industrious Placid Talkative
Broad-minded Energetic Intelligent Plucky Thoughtful
Calm Enthusiastic Intellectual Polite Tidy
Careful Extroverted Intuitive Popular Tough
Charismatic Exuberant Inventive Powerful Trustworthy
Charming Fair-minded Joyful Practical Unassuming
Chatty Faithful Kind Pro-active Understanding
Cheerful Fearless Kooky Quick-witted Upbeat
Clever Forceful Laid-back Quiet Versatile
Communicative Frank Likable Rational Warmhearted
Compassionate Friendly Loving Reliable Wild
Conscientious Funny Loyal Reserved Wise
Considerate Generous Lucky Resourceful Witty
Convivial Gentle Modest Romantic

Negative Adjectives

Aggressive Cynical Impolite Nervous Sneaky
Aloof Deceitful Impulsive Obstinate Stubborn
Anxious Defensive Inconsiderate Overcritical Stupid
Arrogant Devious Indecisive Overemotional Sullen
Bad-Tempered Dim Indiscreet Patronizing Tactless
Belligerent Dishonest Inflexible Pig-headed Thoughtless
Big-Headed Domineering Intolerant Pessimistic Touchy
Boastful Egotistical Introverted Pompous Unlucky
Boring Finicky Irresponsible Possessive Unpredictable
Bossy Foolish Jealous Quick-tempered Unreliable
Callous Gussy Lazy Resentful Untidy
Careless Gullible Loud Rude Untrustworthy
Clingy Grumpy Mean Secretive Vague
Confrontational Hostile Moody Self-centered Vain
Cowardly Idle Narrowminded Selfish Vulgar
Cruel Impatient Nasty Silly Weak-willed

Note: Some of the adjectives on this list can be used interchangeably as a positive and a negative. For example, the word silly is usually considered a positive word. But, in specific contexts, being silly could be a negative thing (like in an operating room!). 

How to Use Personality Adjectives

If you want to add adjectives to your writing to describe somebody’s personality, there are a few things to consider:

  • Are you trying to create a positive or negative image of the person you are writing about? 
  • What are some of the things that stand out about this person? 
  • What pronouns are you trying to modify? 
  • Do we know this person, or are we speculating?

Let’s Practice

For example, pretend you are being asked to write a biography on the supreme court justice,  
 . Since you have never met her, you can’t speak directly to her personality. But you can research her and learn about her. A quick Google search tells us that she went to Ivy League colleges, has been an advocate for women’s rights since 1971, and has recently been diagnosed with cancer (and is still very active).

Even though we most likely don’t personally know her, we can still describe her. For example, she seems intelligent, driven, and passionate. She is an advocate and unapologetic about the things she is passionate about.

See how picking out specific words creates an image of who this woman is, without ever meeting her? 

The next time you are trying to define somebody’s personality, think about how your use of positive and negative adjectives paints a picture of somebody’s personality. 

Conclusion

Adding adjectives to describe personality is a guaranteed way to increase the quality of your writing. Here are a few things to remember as you dig into writing with adjectives describing personality:

  1. Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns, and while there are many different kinds of adjectives, personality falls into the attributive category.
  2. Positive adjectives are words that paint the person/character in a positive light. These words commonly convey the best qualities that a person has and make them more likable.
  3. Negative adjectives, on the other hand, are words that create a negative image of a person/character. These words generally focus on the parts of a personality that people are not proud of.
  4. Sometimes an adjective can be negative in some situations and a positive in others. When writing, it’s important to consider the situation when adding adjectives.
  5. When you add adjectives into your writing, consider if you are trying to create a positive or negative opinion of somebody’s personality. Then, research to learn about what stands out about them. Finally, you will use what you have learned to create an accurate profile of a person’s personality.

Are you stumped and looking for more help with your writing? ArgoPrep has an entire library filled with topics just like this one!

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