18 Signs You're A Polarizing Person (And People Don't Know Whether To Love Or Hate You)

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When you think of polarizing people, you likely think of those with personality traits like those of Donald Trump, Kanye West, or even Queen Elizabeth. Either people love them immensely or hate them so much it hurts.

Divisive people who don’t give a damn about the status quo have no problem causing an uproar, and this is what many of us imagine when thinking about polarizing people.

But those labeled as "polarizing" have much more to them than meets the eye. Whether you find them lovable or abrasive and annoying, what you see is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people who are polarizing.

What does it mean to have a polarizing personality?

A polarizing person is someone who might be the subject of great debate, with some people gravitating toward them, while repulsing others.

People are split on whether this person is a pariah or the best thing since sliced bread. It can be their beliefs, ideals, actions or behavior that either poisons or pleases other people.

And the feelings about polarizing people aren’t mild. They might have a cult-like following of fans who hang on their every word, or a group of activists who came together specifically to remove them from power.

In a personal setting, they might have family members, colleagues or people in their social circles who adore them, while others can’t stand the sight of them.

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Is being polarizing a good thing?

There are good things and bad things about being a polarizing person.

On one hand, you turn things upside down, generating new ideas and creating valuable change. On the other hand, you likely have no concept of “If it ain’t broke, then don’t try to fix it.” You might build undue stress where it shouldn't be by shaking things up.

Though polarizing people tend to be open and honest about their feelings, they can also come off as abrasive and unable to hear any voice other than their own.

18 Traits Of A Polarizing Person

1. You're divisive.

The biggest sign that you are polarizing is the division that you sew. You have a hard time gaining consensus because you fail to take all sides into account in order to make moves that most can approve of.

2. You're decisive.

You’re not one to go back and forth about a choice, and polarizing people are strong-minded and opinionated. You know exactly what you want so deciding is easy. Once you make your choice, nothing will change your mind.

3. Your priority is not popularity.

Polarizing people are fully aware that they are not everybody’s cup of tea. They believe in being themselves and speaking truth to power. In their minds, the people who can’t get on board are just not their people.

4. You're transparent.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a passive-aggressive polarizing person. Subtlety is not their strong suit. When it comes to speaking up or offering their opinion, right or wrong, you’ll never have to wonder.

5. You're unique.

If you are polarizing, you don’t mind going against the grain. You march to the beat of your own drum and are not influenced by trends or fads. You are most comfortable when being yourself and don’t feel the need to conform to please others.

6. You don’t care about norms.

You are not satisfied with the status quo. By no means are you looking to cause dissention or trouble, but you understand that there are things we must go through to get to a better place. You are more than willing to be a catalyst for change.

7. Your strengths and weaknesses are interchangeable.

Some personality traits might be seen as positive by certain groups of people, while others find them off-putting. You might be seen as bold and transparent in one circle, but abrasive and rude in another.

8. You're ambitious.

Polarizing people usually have big dreams and lofty goals. They go after them with reckless abandon, unconcerned about what other people think. Their vision is clear and they are determined to get to where they are going.

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9. You overstep boundaries.

If there is a line to be crossed, you will step right over it. Your polarizing personality can lead you to say inappropriate things to others or overshare. You are what some might consider a risk-taker, while others call you a habitual line-crosser.

10. You attract attention.

To many people, polarizing individuals are charming and attractive. They know how to work a room, primarily because they have no worries about looking bad. Sometimes that charisma is viewed as manipulative and conniving.

11. You're a little too opinionated.

Your ability to stick your nose everywhere it doesn’t belong makes you polarizing. Because of your strong opinions and belief in yourself, you think you are the most valuable commodity in the room and can’t wait to bless everyone with your words of wisdom.

12. You're very confident.

If anyone thinks they can knock you down a few rungs, they are sadly mistaken. Your sense of self-confidence comes from deep within and is not dependent on external sources. When you are not careful, this easily presents as self-centered.

13. You don’t go along to get along.

Polarizing men and women never follow the crowd. They make the rules and break them if they think it is a good idea to do so. Your ability to say no when you feel the need to can alienate you or cause you to lose favor, but your self-conviction wouldn’t have it any other way.

14. You get tense discussions started.

Polarizing people are known to get others arguing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there are times when things should certainly be hashed out. Your courage to speak your mind inspires others to do the same.

15. You have something special about you.

People are drawn to you. They can’t put their finger on it, but there is something about you that makes them hang on your every word. You have the influence to captivate and fascinate others who are willing to follow you to the ends of the earth.

16. You're a hard pill to swallow.

Your comments and questions can come off as hard or annoying. Some will see it as abrasive and others will marvel at your swagger. Your word can cut deeply, and there are times that you hurt other people inadvertently (or not so inadvertently), causing their disdain for you.

17. You can be manipulative.

Because you think you are the person that understands pretty much everything better than anyone else, you can be manipulative. You might lie to or gaslight people who disagree with you, and do the same thing to your followers just to get what you want.

18. You sometimes take advantage of your polarizing status.

When you know better, you should do better. Polarizing people are different from those who do something polarizing, regret it, and change for the better. They know they are divisive and will, from time to time, create chaos just because they can.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.