One of the first things that we realize in life is that all humans are unique from each other. In our values, our needs and our characteristics, there’s no-one else like you out there in the world.
This can be quite conflicting for some, as most of us wonder what really defines a person, and makes them unique from the crowd. What makes you special? We’re going to look at what the most unique characteristics that make us who we are.
Everyone sees the world differently. Our perspectives are shaped by our upbringing, personal experiences, and personal beliefs. Your outlook on the world isn a unique trait that differentiates you from others, and this makes us your personality.
My old philosophy teacher used to tell me that we are the sum of our experiences, and we all have a unique TOE (trail of experience) that shapes the way we see the world today.
Sometimes, you may go against the grain and agree with the minority opinion as opposed to the majority – this is fine, and actually, our perspective on the world is something that makes us unique.
Talents and Skills
People have different natural talents from birth, and some of us have developed skills that have been honed over time. Some people may excel in arts, while others may be more proficient in technical areas. These talents and skills add to the unique mix that makes up an individual.
And no matter what you think, you are undoubtedly skilled at something. Sure, you may not be Lebron James, but each of us had a finely tuned profile of skills and talents that are an essential part of who we are as a person.
Your Intelligence Type
The concept of multiple intelligence types was first proposed by psychologist Howard Gardner in his 1983 book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”.
According to Gardner, intelligence is not a single, unitary ability, but rather comes in multiple forms. He originally proposed seven types of intelligence, later adding two more. Here are the nine types:
1. Linguistic intelligence: This is characterized by proficiency in words, language, reading, writing, and telling stories. People with high linguistic intelligence are often good at remembering written and spoken information. They typically excel in writing, storytelling, journalism, and other language-related fields.
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the ability to develop equations and proofs, make calculations, and solve abstract problems. People with high logical-mathematical intelligence are good at reasoning, recognizing patterns, and logically analyzing problems. They tend to think conceptually about numbers, relationships, and patterns.
3. Spatial intelligence: This involves the potential to recognize and manipulate the patterns of wide spaces (such as those used by pilots and sailors) as well as smaller, more confined areas (such as those used by sculptors or architects). People with high spatial intelligence are usually very good at visualizing and mentally manipulating objects.
4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: This type of intelligence is characterized by a sense of timing, the ability to move one’s body in a coordinated way, and the capacity to handle objects skillfully. This type of intelligence is often seen in athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople.
5. Musical intelligence: This involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capability to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms.
6. Interpersonal intelligence: This is characterized by a capacity to understand the intentions, motivations, and desires of other people. People with high interpersonal intelligence can work effectively with others and are good at communication, empathy, and diplomacy.
7. Intrapersonal intelligence: This type of intelligence involves the capacity to understand oneself, to have an effective working model of oneself—including one’s own desires, fears, and capacities—and to use such information effectively in regulating one’s own life.
8. Naturalistic intelligence: This was added to Gardner’s list later and involves expertise in the recognition and classification of the numerous species—the flora and fauna—of his or her environment. This type of intelligence is often seen in scientists, naturalists, and environmentalists.
9. Existential intelligence: This was the ninth intelligence suggested by Gardner. It’s characterized by individuals who exhibit a proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities.
This influential theory has had a significant impact on education and our understanding, and ultimately, they help to define us from others.
What a person values and prioritizes in life is undoubtedly a unique aspect of their identity. This could be anything from putting family first above all else, through to feeling like an individualist and wishing to be treated as one.
Many of us have different beliefs to one another – and that’s okay. Our personal values, or core values, are an essential part of who we are. As the great Omar Little from The Wire once said, “A Man’s Got to Have a Code“. The code of ethics you follow is an integral part of your uniqueness as a person.
Passions and Interests
Something that’s often forgotten is the things a person is passionate about or interested in are also unique to them. One person might love music, while another might prefer sports or travel – we all relate to these different interests in our own way,
There’s also a difference between a passion and an interest. You may have an interest in sport, but are you truly passionate about it? What really makes you itch?
Finding this passion in life can help make us a unique individual, as well as having a more enjoyable life for the long term.
The sum of a person’s experiences builds who we are as a person, and the knowledge we’ve gathered throughout our lives contributes to our uniqueness. No two people have the exact same knowledge of a topic, because this is blended in with our perspective – I may know something to be different than what another human knows the exact same thing.
Because we all have different perspectives in our knowledge of something, this gives us a unique view on the topic. We all see things differently, but the truth is things become a lot clearer the more knowledge you gain.
The way a person expresses their creativity – whether it’s through painting, writing, cooking, or problem-solving, is a unique quality.
Creativity is interesting because it is so varied. Your creativity can be stretched through various artistic arts, from painting drawings to dancing and singing. You can then create other kinds of ideas such as developing effective systems, building a bookcase or designing an aesthetically beautiful landscape.
All people share their individual talents and creativity influenced by their perception of beauty, and what we consider beautiful is unique to us.
Personality is made up of so many different things, from our experiences that help guide the way we see things to our physical form, which shapes the way that others see us.
Your personality is undoubtedly unique to you, and is made up of countless characteristics such as introversion vs extroversion, optimism vs pessimism, minimalist vs maximalist, and many many more. When you consider these character traits to be on a spectrum – you may be completely optimistic, or just a little bit – you can see how this makes us a unique person, even if there are 7 billion others out there in the world.
Have you ever had a conversation with something and things just didn’t click? This is common, and it’s usually because two people have very different communication styles to one another.
Some people might be outspoken and direct, others might prefer to communicate in a more subtle or indirect way. Some people are better at verbal communication, while others are better at writing. Effective communication can be one of the most important skills that you can acquire in life, as it allows you to connect with other people – one of the most important parts of the human experience.
A person’s physical characteristics, from the color of their eyes to the sound of their laughter, also contribute to their uniqueness. Though you may not have much control over some of these features, they will still affect your life experiences and the way that people treat you.
Everybody is different physically. Whether because of our race, our facial features or even simply because of our hairstyle, it’s important to remember that our physical does contribute to how unique we are as people.
Attitude Towards Life
How a person reacts to challenges, successes, and failures, or their overall outlook on life, can be uniquely their own. How do you solve problems, and react to the toughest challenges? Whether in a work environment or in your personal life, the attitude we take to tackle the biggest obstacles often reveals who we are as people.
Trying to maintain a positive attitude isn’t always easy, but it’s important if you want to achieve goals and leave a good impact on others. It’s worth remembering that the things that make us a unique person are not always good.
Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
A person’s level of empathy and their emotional intelligence – how they recognize, understand, and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others – is another unique quality. In the same way that your attitude is important, how you interpret the attitude of others is largely down to your intrapersonal skills.
Being empathetic to another person’s situations isn’t always possible if we don’t know what they’ve experienced. However, the ability to tell whether a situation is awkward, and whether you should give advice or be quiet, is a good way to determine emotional intelligence.
Your Sense of Humor
Humor varies in its subjectivity. Much of what we find funny is all about personal experience – the British may find sarcasm funnier than Americans, depending on their own experiences and the people around them.
Individuals in big cities might find certain situations humorous and others in the suburbs don’t.Where you’re from, who your was raised by, and your nearest and dearest all define our sense of humor, which is a unique characteristic.
Cultural heritage can include everything from language and speech patterns through to your values and traditions. We all have different cultural backgrounds, and in an increasingly mixed population, people sometimes cling to the one’s they identify with the strongest.
This isn’t surprising, as the aspects we identify most strongly with are often things that have been with us since birth. The culture you come from is important, and it makes up much of who you are as a unique person.
Some things like genetics, height or even facial features can make a person special, but these characteristics are only skin deep. To truly know an individual, we need to look deeper to gain a better understanding of their true character.
There are many things that are debatable – the nature versus nurture debate is an ongoing science and sociological debate about whether or not we shape our personalities in life, and how much of who we are is innate at birth.
The truth is that personality is much more important than our physical characteristics, and this is what makes us unique from one another. No matter what happens, there will never be another person out there quite like you.