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13 characteristics of self-realized people according to Abraham Maslow

13 characteristics of self-realized people according to Abraham Maslow

May 7, 2021

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist belonging to the humanist perspective, the "third force" in what refers to psychological currents, after psychoanalysis and behaviorism.

The focus of Humanistic Psychology focuses on the most positive aspects of the human experience and its development. The humanists consider the individual responsible for the results of his life , and they trust that, with the appropriate conditions, it will develop in a desirable direction, since all humans possess the potential necessary for optimal growth.

Humanistic psychologists believed that people are intrinsically good and resort to environmental causes to explain behaviors considered negative. However, according to Maslow, that all people have the power to be the engines of their own personal development does not mean that everyone does. Only some come to the decision of self-realization, with all the efforts and sacrifices that this entails. These will become self-realized people.


Self-realized people

Maslow believed that people develop through various levels towards their full potential. Although all people can reach the highest levels of self-realization, in practice there are a few who achieve the highest level of development. These are the so-called self-realized people, and Maslow estimated that less than 1% of the population was .

What is self-realization?

Self-realization, according to Maslow, consists in the full development of human potential. It is defined as "the continuous realization of potentials, capacities and talents, such as the fulfillment of a mission, destiny or vocation, as a full knowledge and acceptance of the intrinsic nature of the person, as an incessant tendency towards unity, integration and synergy. within the person. "


For him, psychological disorders would be nothing but denials of one's internal potential and attacks against the very nature of the individual.

Characteristics of self-realized people

From a series of observations and studies, Maslow identified a series of common characteristics of self-realized people

It is not innate traits that some people have inherited through the genes, but they are simply ways in which the process of conquering self-realization is expressed. These characteristics are the following:

1. Efficient perception of reality

Self-realized individuals perceive reality more clearly and objectively . Therefore, it is more unlikely that they are deceived, since they show ease in detecting the manipulation strategies of others and are able to judge people in a useful and adaptive way.


2. Acceptance

Self-realized people show a relatively high degree of self-acceptance, and this is reflected in their self-image and self-esteem. This characteristic of acceptance also extends to many other areas of life. Thus, self-realized individuals accept the bad and the good of life, having first identified what kind of situations are irremediable and can not be changed radically through the acts of the human being.

The self-realized people are aware that there are certain uncontrollable situations in life, and that is why they fit the losses better, elaborate the duels better, they adapt to the changes in their lives and have a lesser fear of death .

3. Spontaneity

By being in contact with your inner impulses and your subjective experience, self-realized people behave in a simple and natural way , without hiding behind a social mask or a false "me".

4. Focus on the problems

Self-realized people focus on problems outside of themselves , having a high level of social awareness, and do not hesitate to give up their ego to help others. They are usually sensitized and committed to various social causes and do not tolerate injustices.

5. Need for privacy

Enjoy the loneliness . They do not need to continuously enjoy external approval, and they think for themselves instead of letting others make decisions for them. Studies show that they can tolerate sensory deprivation more easily than others.

6. Autonomy

They are also independent, able to meet their own needs and fend for themselves without depending on others in excess. They make decisions without asking for the advice of others, trusting in their good judgment and taking responsibility for them.

7. Freshness in the assessment

Self-realized people show a sense of wonder and almost childlike admiration. Curious, they let life surprise them even in those contexts that others will perceive as banal and boring.

8. Summit experiences

Capable of having mystical experiences that Maslow defined as "states of unity where time tends to fade and the overwhelming feeling makes it seem that all needs are fulfilled."

Some of the sources that unleash peak experiences in the individual are love, art or erotic ecstasy .

9. Human relationship

They identify with human beings in general , and have a sense of relationship with the human race, without prejudice. In addition, they are able to create healthy love relationships, without attachment or dependency, only focusing on making the loved one grow.

10. Humility and respect

They are humble and can learn from many different people . They are democratic rather than authoritarian and do not insist on maintaining a status above others.

11. Ethics and values

They have strong ethical standards , although these are not conventional norms of good and evil, but own ideas that have been formed based on their own criteria and observation of the world.

12. Sense of humor

They have a great sense of humor that is not hostile, they do not laugh at the expense of other people. It is a more philosophical, existential sense of humor .

13. Creativity

It is present in all self-realized subjects. They are capable of generating genuine ideas and original solutions to problems .

Self-realization and basic needs

Maslow considered that every human being was capable of achieving his own self-realization having previously satisfied his basic needs, which he exposed in his famous hierarchy of needs (normally represented in the form of a pyramid).


Self Actualization - The Most Inspiring Self-Help Concept Of All Time (May 2021).


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