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10 Signs of a Reserved Person (Why Reservedness Can Be Good)

by Madel

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Key points

  • Reserved individuals often manage emotions well and exude calmness.
  • They may take time to open up but form deep, meaningful connections.
  • Being reserved is associated with intentional interactions and thoughtful responses.

Ever met someone whose personality can be typically described as “reserved?” They’re usually less likely to initiate conversations or share personal information easily. They can take a lot of time to warm up to others and prefer to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves.

To some, the term “reserved” may seem like a bad thing, but it’s not a negative quality at all. In fact, being reserved can be an admirable trait. People who have a reserved nature tend to be introspective, thoughtful, and full of meaning.

Reserved people can be seen as an enigma, but there are some common signs that can help identify a reserved person. This article will discuss 10 qualities that can help you understand them deeper.

What it means to be a reserved person

It can be hard to figure out why some people are more reserved than others. After all, in a world where social media allows us to share every thought and feeling, being reserved is far from the norm. 

One main factor that can explain someone’s reserved quality is introversion.

In psychology, this refers to a personality trait characterized by a focus on one’s inner thoughts and feelings, rather than on external factors such as social interaction and stimulation. Introverts tend to prefer solitary activities, enjoy being alone, and find social interactions draining. In some ways, those who are highly introverted can also come off as reserved.

What does our data say?

When you think of a reserved person, does the image of a mindful person come up? Someone who doesn’t speak often, but always says something thoughtful? Being mindful is one o the many traits of reserved people, and it can help them deal with mental struggles better than others. We’ve interviewed 21 people who’ve learned to live with mental struggles by practicing a mindful lifestyle. Here’s what mindfulness helped them with:

Our most recent mindfulness interviews:

I’m Finding Luck After Trauma and Abuse Through MindfulnessHow Yoga Became My Lifeline in Navigating Depression and Building Self-LoveHow a Mindset Change Helped Me Break Free From Childhood Trauma and ToxicityFrom the C-Suites to the Streets and Back – Overcoming Addiction, Anxiety, Depression and PTSDTherapy Helped Me Overcome Depression and Better Cope With Chronic Health ConditionsFinding Relief From Chronic Pain and Depression With Energy Medicine & Indigenous MethodsHow I’m Navigating Lifelong Anxiety With Breathwork and Better BoundariesHow Therapy and Self-Care Helped Me Navigate Autism, Alcoholism, and Caregiver StressTherapy and Medication Helped Me Overcome Depression, Anxiety and Burnout From WorkMy Struggle With Burnout and Adaptation Disorder and How Yoga Helped Me Find Clarity

Another trait that can be associated with reservedness is “openness” which is one of the five dimensions of personality in the Five Factor Model of Personality. It refers to an individual’s degree of imagination, creativity, and willingness to experience new things. 

A low score in openness may explain why some people can be reserved. They usually have the tendency to: 

  • Take fewer risks.
  • Stick to routines.
  • Dislike change.
  • Be resistant to new ideas and experiences.
  • Value stability and practicality.

However, one important thing to note is that these traits exist on a spectrum and, therefore, should not be considered definitive or negative.

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10 signs of a reserved person

In order to get a clearer picture of what being reserved means, here are some signs you can be more aware of.

1. They exude calmness

Reserved people often have a low-key and easy-going demeanor. It may seem like they don’t get too bothered by anything at all.

Having a reserved person around you can actually be beneficial because they can create a calm atmosphere even in the most stressful situations!

Being calm comes with many other important benefits, which we’ve explained in this article.

2. They are comfortable in silence

For some of us, silence can be extremely awkward. But, for reserved people, it can provide comfort and an opportunity to be more attuned to their inner world.

When it comes to reserved people, the best way to break the silence is to allow them to express themselves in their own time and at their own pace.

3. They shy away from attention

It’s common to find that a reserved person is not one to seek the attention of others. Usually, they prefer to remain in the background rather than step into the spotlight. They may not be as outgoing or talkative as others and may even come off as shy.

The worst thing that you can do to a naturally reserved person is to make them the center of attention. So be careful with putting them on the spot or planning surprise parties with a big crowd!

4. They may seem conservative

Reserved people are often perceived as being conservative, as they tend to be cautious and careful in their behavior and interactions. However, being reserved does not necessarily indicate a person’s political or social views, and it’s important to avoid making assumptions based on limited information.

Once you spend the genuine effort to get to know them, you’ll find out where their interests, beliefs, and hearts truly lie.

5. They are deep thinkers

A reserved person is someone who is introspective and mindful of their environment. They may appear to be more aloof or unengaged, but they are usually taking in a lot more information than they let on.

Reserved people take the time to think before they speak, leading to more thoughtful and considered responses.

If you want to learn more, here’s our article with tips on how to talk less and listen more.

6. They take time to open up

Reserved people tend to observe more than they interact. As a result, they may also take longer to warm up to those around them and won’t open up until they feel comfortable.

Engaging with a reserved person can be difficult at first, as they may not be very vocal in conversations. It is important to remember that they are still listening, taking in the information, and formulating responses. Patience and sincerity are the keys to connecting with them!

7. They manage their emotions well

When it comes to managing their emotions, a reserved person tends to have a strong sense of self-control and an ability to reflect before reacting.

While some may think that being reserved means having zero emotions, this is far from the truth. Reserved individuals are often aware of their own feelings and those of others even when they don’t express them out loud.

This way, they are more likely to better handle their emotions than others.

8. They are intentional

A reserved person is someone who may not always be the loudest in the room, but they are the most intentional in their interactions. They take their time to really listen and understand what is being said, and they rarely offer a response without thought.

Reserved people will not give away their true thoughts easily. But when they do, what they share is genuine. For this reason, you might find that receiving advice from a reserved person is always so valuable!

9. They have tight-knit relationships

Some reserved people may prefer smaller social circles and closer relationships. They value quality over quantity which is why their connections are deeper and more meaningful.

If a reserved person considers you as a friend, then you probably made a real positive impact on them. Considering all the wonderful qualities that come with their reservedness, you’re lucky to have them in your corner!

10. They often surprise people

Just because someone is reserved in social situations doesn’t mean that they don’t have a lot to offer or that they’re not full of surprises. 

In fact, many reserved individuals have a rich inner life and are very thoughtful, creative, and imaginative. They may also have strong opinions and deep passions that they are not always quick to share.

When you get a more vivid picture of a reserved person, their true colors might just dazzle you!

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Wrapping up

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is unique and that these generalizations may not apply to all reserved individuals. Additionally, just because someone is reserved, it doesn’t mean they’re not friendly or approachable. 

Respect their boundaries and give them the space they need to feel comfortable in social interactions, and they’ll surely open up and become more engaged over time.

What are your thoughts on reserved people? Do you consider yourself one? Sound off in the comments below!

Madel Asuncion AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Writer and advocate for young people’s mental health. Firm believer of validating one’s feelings, prioritizing the inner-self, and finding happiness in a plate of chicken curry.

3 thoughts on “10 Signs of a Reserved Person (Why Reservedness Can Be Good)”

  1. This is a good generalization, as you put it. It’s appreciated that you immediately confronted that all reserved people are not conservative. If that were true every liberal woman with equal rights would be loud, which is far from true.
    I have learned that when this generalization is made though, nine times out of ten in my life another is using this assumption as a way to manipulate or neg to cross boundaries. The truth is, reserved people do think more before acting. But that also means if we do go crazy and let go we actually decided to. And that is real freedom.

    That said, if someone pushes our boundaries when we do decide to let go, we will be the same person to put them in their place, even legally if we have to.

    We aren’t interested in impressing anyone, we’re interested in legitimacy. And that goes for freedoms as well.

    Hand a reserved person a drinking game and they make back down because they know they can outdrink everyone there and don’t want to humiliate a friend or know their body doesn’t feel good two days later when they have a meeting. And some just don’t fucking want to.

    Either way, we know ourselves, we care more than most and we will only listen to our inner freedom to be ourselves.



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