1. They take responsibility for how they respond to things and people (rather than trying to change those things and people).
2. They don’t assume they are better than average, their politics are more informed than most, or their opinions are more factual than others.
3. They are conscious of the fact that how they speak says more about them than what they say – so they speak with precision and intent.
4. They acknowledge and accept other people’s feelings – even if they don’t understand them, agree with them, or feel they would respond a different way.
5. They practice common courtesies, such as holding doors, or not speaking during movies, or not wearing too much cologne to the office.
6. They give strong handshakes, look people in the eye, and address them by name.
7. They don’t start conversations about politics and religion with the intent to prove themselves right, only to better understand another perspective.
8. They don’t start conversations about politics and religion when and where it is inappropriate: for example, at a family party where nobody else has an interest in engaging in the discussion.
9. They don’t insult other people in order to make themselves feel better.
10. They can practice general objectivity, or are able to recognize that someone else’s intelligence doesn’t make them less smart, or someone’s attractiveness doesn’t make them less appealing, etc.
11. They are kind to people who don’t necessarily deserve it. They know it is not their job to determine who is worthy of kindness, but rather, to show it regardless.
12. They don’t assume to know how other people perceive them, but they also try to remain conscious of social cues to ensure they aren’t being ignorant of other people’s needs or comfort.
13. They don’t overshare, or speak to others with the intention of getting a response from them (they say things to create a large expression of sympathy, admiration, and so on).
14. They accept critical feedback as crucial information they will need to learn and grow, not a condemnation of their ability or character.
15. They see discomfort as an opportunity to grow.
16. They are confident in their strengths while also being aware of their weaknesses. They don’t only focus on one or the other.
17. They have their own opinions, but never excessively decided ones. People who are overly-aggressive about their political stance, for example, are that way because their understanding of it is one-dimensional (so the answer seems obvious, therefore, infuriating).
18. They are responsive, not reactive.
19. They don’t bond over mutual hatred, gossip or ill-will.
20. They don’t expect to feel “good” all of the time, therefore, they don’t extrapolate the meaning of a bad mood or a bad day.
21. They are highly introspective. They evaluate their feelings, are hungry to grow personally, and know that understanding themselves is the key to understanding others.