The popularity of Stoicism has been rapidly increasing through the years. Because of that, the question of “what is a Stoic person like” is being asked by people interested in philosophy. As someone affected positively by Stoicism, I will explain how Stoics behave and act in this blog post.
What is a stoic person like? Generally speaking, people see a Stoic person as not very emotional. Thus, their feelings seem difficult to read. However, the truth is, Stoics are people who react appropriately and do not overreact to emotions by putting virtues, logic, and wisdom above them. Thus, Stoics remain strong and resilient despite life’s unpredictability.
In this blog post, I will not explain Stoicism based only on my opinion. The general consensus is also important in defining Stoicism, and Stoics are defined as emotionless people for a reason. Lastly, I will also explain how Stoics act by providing 15 Stoic characteristics.
What is a Stoic person like?
People often view Stoics as emotionless people when you ask the general public.
This is because Stoicism has been tied with characters like Spock from Star Trek, who only uses logic when deciding.
While Stoics staying logical and rational on things is partly true, we need to understand that we are only scratching the bottom of the barrel.
The truth is, Stoics behave differently from the majority of people. That’s why they see Stoics as somewhat different who only acts on logic and doesn’t show any emotions.
However, Stoicism is more than that.
To explain, I should first answer how do Stoics behave.
How does a stoic person behave? A Stoic person behaves by acting on what they can control, which helps them focus on what’s important. Furthermore, since they don’t act on the things they can’t control, they remain calm and almost without emotion despite life’s adversaries. Because of this, they behave and accept what happens without any complaints.
By dissecting my explanation above, we would start to have a clearer view of what a Stoic person is like.
First, A Stoic person behaves by acting on things they can control.
As humans, we feel emotions. We cannot avoid feeling these emotions, and Stoics know that.
The Stoics call this the dichotomy of control in which everything that happens around us can be divided into things inside and outside our control.
Experiencing emotions is outside our control. Thus, Stoics aren’t emotionless people.
However, how do Stoics remain calm despite feeling these emotions? If they aren’t rejecting emotions, what are they doing differently than other people?
That is because while we can’t prevent emotions, we can react appropriately to them.
The Stoics believe that one of the things we can control are our present thoughts and actions.
Furthermore, since Stoics value wisdom, they avoid reacting too much to emotions.
The Stoics try to stay away from too much emotions that they gave a specific term to too much emotions, which they call “passion.”
So, the Stoics stay calm despite these emotions by preventing overreacting to emotions which they call passion.
They stay logical and can think properly no matter what life throws at them by remaining calm.
Also, they can behave and accept things without complaints because of how they react to emotions.
This is a short introduction to what a Stoic person is like.
In the next section, I will give specific characteristics of a Stoic to make things easier to explain and understand.
What are some characteristics of a Stoic?
Some characteristics of Stoics are having the virtue of wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance. Due to these virtues, a Stoic can control strong emotions and handle them with wisdom. Lastly, they understand the importance of only focusing on what they can control.
Here are some Stoic characteristics.
1. Stoics React to Emotions with Logic
Stoics react to emotions with logic. They understand that too much emotion can block their logical thinking.
Most of the time, emotions are why we overreact to things that we begin to regret later on.
For example, some people use shopping when they feel sad. However, if we think about it, there is no relation between shopping and feeling sad.
However, our emotion makes us go shopping because we think we need them.
Another example is anger. When some people are angry, they tend to lash out at people who aren’t involved with the incident. Most of the time, these are causes of regret.
The Stoics stay away from these by not letting emotions drive their actions. That’s why they stay logical and try to react appropriately to any situation.
They remain calm and handle things with wisdom.
2. Stoics Believe in Fate and Nature
The Stoics tend to believe in fate and nature, which helps them cope with the things they can’t control.
Earlier, I explained the dichotomy of control which talks about what we can and can’t control.
Trying to handle the things we can’t usually lead to unnecessary stress.
Thus, the Stoics tend not to mind these things.
They do this by accepting the unpredictability of life.
The Stoics call this nature or fate where there will be times we’ll experience bad luck no matter how careful we are.
By accepting life’s unpredictability, a Stoic can remain calm and resilient despite the chaos around them.
Sometimes, the only thing we can do is accept. Trying to force our control over things we can’t only lead to frustrations, stress, and regrets.
3. Stoics are Resilient
Stoics are resilient because they accept that they can’t control everything.
They become more resilient to stress because of their acceptance and not minding the things they can’t control.
Furthermore, their focus shifts only on what they can control, such as improving their skills.
This makes them even more resilient in the future.
4. Stoics Focus on the Things they have Power Over
Stoicism helps us focus our attention on the things we can control. By doing this, we become better at taking matters into our hands.
Focusing on what we can control makes us feel empowered as we can finally see results.
Stressing over the things we have no control often leads to failure.
For example, in the digital age, some people do their best to get their friends’ best comments and reactions. But, unfortunately, that’s where some may begin to lie about their lives and only show the good sides.
However, Stoics understand that we can’t control others. Thus, they won’t rely on others for their happiness.
This is also why Stoicism is getting popular these days. Stoicism offers a solution to live a satisfying life even with many things not within our control.
5. Stoics Focus on What’s Important
Stoics focus on what’s important, and because of that, they see results.
When we find the things we can control, we begin to focus on the important things. The important things are the ones that drive results.
Rather than complaining about our jobs, we can develop our skills to get other job offers.
When I was preparing to become a lecturer, instead of staying away from the responsibility of learning, I began to read a lot of lectures and built my lessons plans.
Because of that, I became a lecturer are the age of 22.
Because Stoicism makes us rational in handling our problems, we begin to see what we can do to solve them. Instead of stressing about the problem, we begin finding the solution.
6. Stoics Prepares for the Worst-case Scenario
Stoics prepare for the worst-case scenario to help them stat resilient when problems arise. This makes them better at handling stress than others.
Now, we will begin to dig deeper into Stoicism.
Trying to meditate of think of the worst-case scenario usually helps us prepare for life’s challenges.
For example, when I began teaching, there was a trial in front of 150 students.
This may make them extremely nervous and not want to teach for many people.
I can’t blame them since this usually makes our emotions stir up, and our brain can come up with many excuses, such as the students can make fun of you and more.
However, upon careful analysis, I found that the worst thing that can happen if I fail the trial lecture is that I don’t get the job.
After realizing and being fine by it, I began to muster courage in preparing and trying something new.
Preparing for the worst-case scenario might sound weird to some since it may sound that the person is being too negative.
However, the truth is, by learning the worst-case scenario, we can prepare for the worst thing that can come.
By preparing for the worst, we can gather enough courage o handle the situation.
Meditating on the worst-case scenario is what the Stoics call “Premeditatio Malorum.”
Remember that the purpose of meditating on the worst-case scenario is not to be extremely negative in the situation.
Instead, its purpose is to make us resilient, especially on the things we don’t have control over.
7. Stoics are Brave in Sticking to their Virtue
The Stoics value virtues more than anything. To them, our conscience knows what’s good for us.
Virtues drive the Stoic’s action, and they are brave enough to stick with these virtues.
That’s why Stoics focus on being good to society. Virtues are what drive them to interact with their environment.
While this is good, people are different from each other. So, Stoics have a general set of values that they follow.
These are called the Stoic virtues. They do things according to these four virtues: courage, justice, wisdom, and temperance.
By being brave in sticking to their virtues, they are showing courage.
In the next sections, we will discuss the other virtues.
8. Stoics Act in Fairness
The Stoics value justice and being fair to all. This means fair dealing with everyone, no matter who they are.
However, Stoicism and justice are not as simple as that.
The Stoics call justice “Sympatheia,” which means that everyone is interdependent on one another. They call this the interconnectedness of this world.
This means acting in fairness and justice, according to Stoics, is being good to society.
Since we are interconnected, we should do good for everyone.
Furthermore, this practice helps us be resilient in handling the things we can’t control.
This is done by looking at the bigger picture.
Sometimes, we feel like we carry the world’s problems, and it seems we can’t handle the situation.
However, upon using the interconnectedness of the world, we begin to understand how small our problems are.
Remember that everyone has problems, and since there are billions of people worldwide, your problem is just a tiny portion of the world’s problems.
Everyone has their battles, and Stoics know how to respect that.
By understanding that we all have problems, we become fair to everyone.
That’s why Stoics aren’t selfish. In fact, they are empathic because they know the world’s interconnectedness.
9. Stoics are Wise in their Judgments
Stoics become wise in their judgments by not letting passion hurt their rational thinking. By doing so, they can handle problems and look for things they can control.
While many people see Stoics as emotionless, the truth is, they are practicing wisdom as a virtue.
Instead of letting emotions do the work, they analyze the situation and come up with a plan to solve them.
Being wise with our judgments helps us solve the problem by knowing what we can control.
Instead of stressing and complaining, a wise person would find a way to solve the problem.
Instead of complaining about the past and letting emotions guide them, they take the problem rationally and find what they can do in the present to make their future better.
10. Stoics Practice Temperance
The Stoics understand the importance of moderation. Without moderation, we can only follow our instincts which breaks our rational thinking.
Stoics value the importance of moderation.
Sometimes, we begin to do things because of the lack of moderation.
For example, how many times have you viewed your phone today?
While we can’t remove all temptations around us, we can practice temperance and moderation.
However, moderation, according to Stoics, is more than that.
Moderation is also living below your means despite being rich to be grateful for what we have.
For example, Marcus Aurelius, a Stoic emperor, also tried to live in moderation, such as sleeping on a stone floor, not changing clothes, and refusing to drink from a cup.
The Stoics try to stay away from what we currently call hedonic adaptation.
They do this by practicing moderation.
Hedonic adaptation is getting used to what we have and not appreciating them.
For example, it is hard to appreciate eating 3 times a day except if we live in poverty.
Many of us also only appreciate our health when we become sick.
The Stoics try to prevent the hedonic treadmill by practicing moderation.
By being appreciative of the things we have, we begin to see life as a gift rather than a battle. This is also one of the reasons why Stoics tend to be happier than others.
11. Stoics are Unselfish in Giving
Stoics are unselfish in how they give to others. This means they give without expecting anything in return.
Some people tend only to give when they take something. The Stoic mentality is different from that.
Following the dichotomy of control, Stoics don’t expect anything from them since they can’t control other people.
That’s why they give things without expecting things in return. Likewise, they can help in charitable works without expecting thanks to the people they helped.
This makes them unselfish both by giving and loving others.
12. Stoics Love without Expecting things in Return
The Stoics believe that we can love others the same way we love our closest family members.
This is because they believe in the world’s interconnectedness.
What I want to imply here is that Stoics are capable of loving. Remember that love is an emotion, and Stoics accept emotions.
In fact, some notable Stoics like Seneca have written love letters to his wife.
The good thing about Stoicism is they love others without expecting others to love them back.
This comes back to not expecting anything in return. Since they can’t control the actions of others, they prefer not to think of getting their love back.
This is also proof that they’re unselfish.
If you’re interested in the concept of Stoicism and love, I made a blog post discussing this in detail. You can find the blog post here: Do Stoics believe in love?
13. Stoics Prefer Listening Rather than Talking
Stoics are usually quiet people since they understand that listening is better than talking. That’s why Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, always says that we have one tongue and two ears.
Speaking too much creates a lot of errors and can hamper our logical thinking. That’s why Stoics prefer listening rather than speaking.
Furthermore, talking fewer results in better conversations since people appreciate listening to their stories.
Lastly, listening forces us to have deeper conversations and in helping us learn from others.
14. Stoics Seize Every Opportunity to Show Love
Stoics love others without expecting love in return because they understand the need to seize every opportunity.
The Stoics believe in the impermanence of things which means everything has an ending.
That’s why to prevent any regrets; Stoics try to seize every opportunity they have to show their love to others.
This concept in Stoicism is called “Memento Mori.”
15. Stoics Improve Themselves Over Time
Stoicism is popular in the self-help industry because of its focus on personal development.
The truth is, improving yourself is one of the things we can do to widen the things we can control.
Furthermore, it is usually the only thing we can do on certain occasions.
There are instances where we can’t do anything to solve the problem, and the only thing we can do is improve ourselves to prevent the same problem from happening again.
For example, if we got fired, since it’s already over, we can get better so we can get a new job and prevent getting fired again.
The focus on putting matters into our hands makes Stoicism popular in the personal development world.
Not only is it effective in making us resilient, but it also promotes making ourselves for a better future.
What is a Stoic attitude?
The Stoic attitude is being calm and almost without emotion by being resilient to life’s unpredictability. Because of their ability to react appropriately to feelings and emotions, they have the ability to maintain emotional composure despite the chaos around them. That’s why Stoics are described as people who cultivated calm and indifference to external states.
I’ve broken down the Stoic characteristics into many parts so you can begin to understand what they’re like.
I hope you now have a complete understanding of how Stoics behave and why people see them as emotionless.
But as a recap, people see Stoics as emotionless because they try to react appropriately to emotions using logic and wisdom.
By reacting appropriately, they know which ones not to mind and which ones to focus on, causing them to handle the problems instead of complaining about them.
What’s next? I made a blog post about how Stoics interact with their friends and other people. I believe that blog post will give you a better idea of how Stoics behave, especially when around other people. Here is the link: Do Stoics care about others?
“Only the things I love.“
ongjason.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, I earn an affiliate commission.
If you’re following me, you’ll know that I believe it is essential to have some tools, whether it’s for personal development or lifestyle in general.
So, here are the things I love.
If you want to learn things for free, then I recommend you to watch my YouTube Channel. Click the Button Below to go straight into my Channel. 🙂
Okay, let me first explain my Channel.
I believe that I really can’t explain everything too well on my blog. That’s why I created a YouTube Channel so I can easily explain a lot of things. Plus, I believe that Video Sharing is the future.
The next thing is books. Books are, for me, one of the cheapest ways to get invaluable information. We can learn personal development, finance, career, relationships, and many more from books.
Here, I will be listing my favorite books in different categories.
- For Beginners – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Personal development has a lot of concepts and ideas to learn. Thus it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. Thus, I recommend this book since all the basic concepts of personal development are here(except finance, check what I recommended for that)
- Productivity – The One Thing by Gary Keller – This book teaches us the power of focusing on one thing which is the ultimate source of productivity. The concepts taught are what I am using to constantly publish YouTube videos while maintaining this website.
- Busy? – Make Time by Jack Knapp – This book teaches us how to make time for the things we love. The concept is really simple but I think that makes it a book worth reading.
- Health – Lifespan by Dr.Sinclair – This Book teaches about the latest scientific research on lifespan. In his book, he has shared numerous things he is doing to slow down his aging process. This can be as easy as eating less which he recommends.
- Finance – The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason – Perhaps one of the first books I’ve read about Finance, this book for me is the best if we are talking about learning basic finance such as basic saving and investing. The concepts are very simple but effective.
Take this advice as a grain of salt.
I don’t recommend buying Audiobooks one by one. I mean, audiobooks can be quickly finished by listening while working out or doing some mindless tasks.
So here is to save you some money. Just go for a monthly subscription to Audible. I believe that you will save a lot of money with that plus, they usually give freebies to anyone starting.
My Audiobook Recommendation will always be the same as my book recommendations, but I personally like The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. I like how she is so casual while reading her book.