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October 01, 2014

Characteristics of a Self-Actualizing Person

By Dr. Richard Boyum

Listed below are a series of 16 characteristics of a self-actualizing individual as described by Abraham Maslow. Self-actualizing here is defined as a person who is in the process of fulfilling their potential. After slowly and thoroughly reading each characteristic, rate yourself on the scale listed below that characteristic from 1 to 10. Your results will give you both a linear and intuitive representation of your strength and weaknesses in moving towards being a self-actualizing person. Spend some time focusing on why you are stronger in some characteristics than others. What is it that has given you a higher score? What might you do to make your score higher on any given characteristic. The highest total you can receive is 160 points. How close are you?

SCORE   

  1. The self-actualized person has more efficient perception of reality and more comfortable relations with it. He can accept the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and he can tell the difference.
  2. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  3. Acceptance of self, others, and nature. The self-actualizing person sees reality as it is and accepts responsibility for it. He is as objective as a subjective being can be in his perceptions.
  4. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  5. The self-actualizing person has spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness. In other words, this kind of person is not hung up on being as others think he should be. He is a person who is capable of doing what feels good and natural for himself simply because thatís how he feels. He does not try to hurt others, but he has respect for what is good himself.
  6. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  7. Problem Centering. The self-actualizing person is someone who is generally strongly focused on problems outside of himself. He is concerned with the problems of others and the problems of society, and is willing to work to try to alleviate those difficulties.
  8. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  9. The quality for detachment, the need for privacy. For all his social mindedness, the self-actualizing person has a need to be by himself or a need for solitude. He enjoys times for quiet reflection and doesnít always need people around him. He can be with the few people that he would be close to and not need to communicate with them. Their presence is sufficient in and of itself.
  10. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  11. Autonomy, independence of culture and environment. The self-actualizing person is capable of doing things for himself and making decisions on his own. He believes in who and what he is.
  12. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  13. Continued freshness or appreciation. The self-actualizing person experiences a joy in the simple and the natural. Sunsets are always beautiful and he seeks them out. He can still enjoy playing the games he played as a child and having fun in some of the same ways he did many years before.
  14. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  15. The mystic experience, the peak experience. Self-actualizing people usually have experiences in which they literally feel they are floating. They feel very much in tune or at one with the world around them, and almost feel as if they are, for a momentary period in time, part of a different reality.
  16. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  17. A feeling of togetherness. Self-actualizing people have a feeling for all of mankind. They are aware and sensitive to the people that are about them.
  18. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  19. Interpersonal relations. Self-actualizing people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relations than other adults. They are capable of fusion, greater love and more perfect identification that other people could consider possible. They generally tend to have relatively few friends, but those relationships are deep and very meaningful.
  20. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  21. The democratic character structures. Self-actualizing people tend to believe in the equal nature of human beings, that every individual has a right to say, and that each person has his strengths and each person has his weaknesses.
  22. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  23. Discriminating between means and ends, between good and evil. Self-actualizing people know the difference between means and ends and good and evil and do not twist them in a way that hurt themselves or others.
  24. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  25. Philosophical and unhostile sense of humor. Self-actualizing people tend to enjoy humor. They like to laugh and like to joke, but not at the expense of others. They are generally seen as good natured, even though they are capable of being very serious.
  26. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  27. Creativeness. Self-actualizing people are capable of being highly creative. Creativeness can be expressed in many dimensions by writing, speaking, playing, fantasies, or whatever, but self-actualizing do have moods of being creative. Maslow has said that a first-rate cook is better than a second-rate painter. Hence, creativeness can be expresses in many dimensions.
  28. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  29. Resistance to inculturation, the transcendence of any particular culture. Maslow feels that the individual is above his culture in some way, that he maintains a strong individuality and is not so absorbed that he cannot evaluate the culture objectively in such a way that he can make decisions about what is best for him and those he cares about .
  30. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

  31. The imperfections of self-actualizing people. Self-actualizing people are individuals who are aware of the fact that they are not perfect, that they are as human as the next person, and that there are constantly new things to learn and new ways to grow. The self-actualizing person, although comfortable with himself, never stops striving.
  32. 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10     ______

    TOTAL SCORE ______