"You have a strong personality" What does this mean?

Someone tells you that you have a strong personality. What does it mean? Another way of saying “you’re an asshole”? Is it an insult? Compliment? A little of both?

I’ve been told that. It wasn’t a complement. :slight_smile: I told the woman, “I resemble that remark”

I know people who have strong personalities and aren’t assholes.

They’re just really definite. When it’s their turn to express an opinion, it’s forceful and unquestioned. “This is how it is.” They’ll even listen politely to opposing opinions – and reject them. “Okay, I see how you might feel that way, but it’s completely wrong.” Often with, “…And here’s why.”

Decision-makers. Natural leaders. While everyone else is lowthering (Douglas Adams) about which restaurant we all want to go to, the strong personality says, “Well, enough of this: I’m going to Denny’s. Who wants a ride?”

The fact that a bunch of people will immediately move to follow them is a sign of the strength of their personality. These are people who imprint their will upon the world.

And, yeah, sure, some of them are assholes… But not all.

I can imagine quite a few scenarios where saying that to a woman would be just short of calling her a bitch.

I think sometimes in certain situations a strong personality can make a good leader; but usually when I’ve heard it used to describe people around me it is a polite way of saying obstinate and opinionated - the kind of people you just nod and halfheartedly agree with just to avoid getting into a pointless debate.

A strong personality is one that is resistant to outside forces. Different, outspoken, not afraid to ruffle feathers, not overly concerned with pleasing everyone. Not necessarily loud, but definitely not quiet. A staff meeting attended by multiple strong personalities will tend to have lively discussions, debates, and arguments. People are more likely to roll their eyes when someone with a strong personality speaks up or enters a room. But they are also likely to look to them for their opinion or advice and nominate them to serve on a committee.

Yes, to me it means the person is an asshole.

It could mean anything all the way from “you are bright and exuberant, a joy to be around” all the way to “you are an overbearing asshole.”

“It’s great when you and I agree but when we don’t you can be a real asshole.”

I’ve always understood it to be a term that implies that you have your own opinions, beliefs and desires, and you’re not overly concerned with others’ opinions of those things. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking for conflict, but rather that you’re not going to mute your beliefs, or change your opinions or moderate your desires based on what others think.

I tend to think of myself and my brother-in-law as opposites in this; neither of us is an asshole, but he’s very much a “pleaser”, and never really states much in the way of a strong opinion, desire or belief, in fear that he’ll upset someone or cause conflict.

I’m not an asshole either, although I veer a lot closer than he does. I’m not at all afraid to say what I think, believe or want. I do it with tact, but I’m not one to camouflage who I am or what I think/feel/want for other’s sake.

Generally speaking, “strong” personalities are the ones who don’t change or (more often) mute who they are and what they believe based on what others think. More or less what Monstro and Trinopus said.

I can attest, from personal experience, that dolphins have strong personalities.

I always thought it meant I needed a TicTac.

It’s the technical term for “bitch.”

As we’d say in the upper Midwest “he’s a nice fella, but a little bit of him goes a long way.”

…and if you just turn the XM station selector, They’re Gone…! :smiley:

Without reading the thread first:

It means somebody who always has a suggestion when you ask which restaurant to go to. It means somebody who backs up their opinions respectfully in an argument (if not respectfully, the word would be “asshole.”) It means a person who can not be relied upon to roll over quietly.

It means a person of whom you would never find yourself saying “Oh! I didn’t know you were at that party too?!”

Compliment. The insult version is “Asshole.” Bitch may occasionally apply, but often because a large segment of the population apply that to any woman who doesn’t fit the “roll over reliably” criteria.

Who, me? Nooooooooooo. NO no no no no no nooo . . . well, yes, actually.

OK, now I’m reading. LOL! And that’s a really strong sign there, a weak personality would be unlikely to express an opinion without checking what others have said, not if the information was right there available to them.

I think SPs work on the assumption that their ideas and input are valuable, and WPs wait to see if theirs holds water before sharing. SPs have an easier time admitting they are wrong, because they don’t equate that with any change in self-worth. WPs are more likely to share less next time if they don’t win the day (or turn out to be right) this time.

Using the term “Weak” as the opposite is not meant as an insult here - I just can’t think of a better term OtTOMH. It’s just a convenient term for the opposite of SP; no judgement.

I disagree with the part of Trin’s post that I bolded above. SPs express and back-up their opinions, usually in the hope that others will do the same. SPs enjoy debate because nothing about it is threatening to us. Assholes believe that no one else’s opinion holds a lick of value or intelligent thought.

SP Assholes are obviously assholes. There are also assholes of the WP variety, but their tactics are subtler, and on the surface may leave you confused as to who was the victim. WPAs really like to use SPs as camouflage.

People with strong personalities are decisive. I consider my wife to have a strong personality; when she makes a plan, she thinks it through, and if someone challenges her, she will justify her choices. When you’re in a situation where she has a super specific and well-thought idea, and you dont, this can come off as ‘bossy’ but the truth is she’s willing to entertain ideas that might be better than her. Generally though other people haven’t put as much thought and effort into the matter as she has so if they came up with a good alternate idea/counter argument it happens so far after the fact its no longer relevant. What also helps my wife a great deal is an extremely sharp memory and the ability to not only pick out minor details but remember them if its relevant later.

In most cases she has the most thorough well thought out idea at the time. By being able to be very specific she’s able to communicate her desires and ideas very well. If she had a weak personality, maybe she’d only have a vague idea of what she wanted, so when people disagreed or challenged it, she’d have a hard time defending her choices.

She has a close friend with a very similar personality to her, and its funny to see them interact because they both have the ‘best’ way of doing things, but they’re mature enough not to make it into some ego thumping match.

I think the good thing about interacting with people like this is that it encourages other people to be more specific with what they want. If you disagree, say why in very specific and concise terms.

It’s a stupid term for someone with a specific personality trait–intestinal fortitude or guts.

One doesn’t have to be mean to have guts. Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.

It all depends on context. If the comment was said right after you gave an exuberant speech with lots of gestures and emotion, it’s a compliment. If it was said after you bluntly shot down the other person’s idea, not so much.