What Type Of Person Are You Inside, Beyond Your Appearance?

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
At some point in your life, you may have taken a "What kind of person am I?" quiz to learn more about your personality. These quizzes can be used for introspection and may shed insight into who you are and why you make certain choices.

For some people, it might seem that others only value physical appearance from the time you're in grade school to adulthood. Some looks may be more favored than others, and people often form preferences for hair and eye colors or the details in features. Due to societal pressure, ideas of what makes someone who they are may be increasingly tied to their weight, grooming habits, style, and genetics. 

Added to this perception is the pressure placed on individuals to appear attractive, well-groomed, and appropriately dressed. Research has shown that people perceived as attractive are more likely to get jobs, be paid higher wages, and receive perks like better terms on loans. However, some people may value what lies beyond looks. For those looking to understand the intricacies of personality, it may be helpful to look at how inner traits can relate to surface-level presentations, ways to build respect and love for yourself, and how to reduce physical judgments and perceptions. 

It can be difficult to project the attitude we want others to see

How does body language relate to personality?

Studies have looked at body kinetics, with some researchers interpreting hand gestures as signals of personality and temperament in people. For example, crossed arms can be a defensive position, and steeple chasing your fingers is a sign of superiority. Although some gestures may be habits, others can relate to how others see their surroundings and the people they talk to.

Performers and public speakers practice hand gestures to elicit a public response. In your daily life, you might notice yourself reading facial expressions or body language to understand the signals others send out. Although physical, these signs can showcase how someone feels in the moment or whether you're safe in a social situation. 

What makes someone charismatic? 

Although charisma may be attached to certain physical characteristics for some people, others may defy stereotypes about attractive appearances yet charge the air with confidence when they walk into the room. Charismatic people often illicit charm and influence the people around them. A few traits that may be considered valuable over physical appearance could include the following: 

  • Humor
  • Kindness
  • Selflessness
  • Friendliness
  • Openness
  • Confidence 

Body language can be a significant part of how one is perceived. Charismatic people may have confident body language, like a relaxed but healthy posture and openness with movement. These individuals may also laugh and smile more often, hoping to elicit a sense of calm in others. They may be considered friendly and passionate, expressive in their gestures, and optimistic in their views. 

Can you become more charismatic?  

Regardless of how often you practice in the mirror to maintain charisma with others, parts of your personality may come out that don't fit that narrative. Everyone is different, so what looks like charisma to one person may be different for another. To develop authenticity, looking at how you act when confident, calm, and social and how that might look with your unique traits can be helpful. 

If you often have negative thoughts, you may subconsciously make unhappy faces when speaking to others. Self-doubts and uncertainties can arise in habits like nail biting, hair twisting, and shrinking back in a crowd. These habits and the way you look at others can offer insights to others about your emotions and behaviors. Caring for yourself, learning to love who you are, and feeling confident in your experiences is one way to increase charisma naturally.  


Who am I beyond my appearance?

Socially, physical appearance has been considered so important that it is studied by experts searching for people to fill the roles of fashion design models, film characters, sales representatives, politics, and advertising. 

Some people instinctively classify certain body types or facial features as beautiful based on the symmetry of features, eye colors, mouth shape, and smile because these perceptions have been ingrained since early childhood. People instinctively trust certain features as trademark signs of leadership, potentially reinforced by the depictions of villains and heroes in comic books and films. 

However, a constant focus on appearances can have an adverse impact on how you perceive yourself and may lead to you ignoring strengths and talents. An emphasis on external looks and comparing yourself to others may keep you from determining your self-worth and finding out who you want to be. In asking yourself who you are beyond your appearance, you may deal with doubts that keep you from freely expressing your "true self." 

Who you are on the inside may not influence how you look, but it may impact your behavior. Negative behaviors can reflect negatively on how people see you, even if they find you attractive. Positive traits like kindness, patience, and understanding can be reflected in your body language, facial expressions, and voice. In addition, you may feel more love and appreciation for yourself through how you treat others.   

Support for personal growth and development

While certain positive characteristics may seem impossible to attain at once, working toward well-being and a positive personality each day may have a lasting impact on your ability to build self-confidence and discover what makes you, you. Mental health professionals are trained to help you find healthy ways to cope with life's challenges and learn to express your authentic self. For example, a subset of psychology called positive psychology focuses on enabling individuals to discover their strengths and build strategies to mentally and physically flourish.   

Whether you're living with a mental illness or want to talk to a professional to develop self-awareness and positive psychology strategies, therapy can be beneficial to building your strengths and increasing self-awareness. However, if you cannot make an appointment with a therapist in person due to cost, transportation limitations, or time constraints, online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp may be an option. 

Research proves virtual therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy. Studies have shown that online counseling is a highly effective tool for people experiencing a lack of emotional vitality or happiness. In a study published in Internet Interventions—a peer-reviewed scientific journal—researchers examined the effects of online motivational therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in people struggling with negative thinking patterns and poor motivation. Researchers found that online interventions incited positive changes, with participants reporting favorable outcomes after treatment. 

Through an online therapy platform, you can reach out to your licensed therapist at any time, not just during scheduled sessions. When you have a question or a concern to discuss, you can send a message, and your therapist can respond when available. In addition, online therapy may be more cost-effective for those seeking affordable services. 

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
It can be difficult to project the attitude we want others to see


With the extreme focus in contemporary society on appearance and social media, people can be pressured to appear conventionally attractive, confident, and charismatic. However, the depth of your beauty may not lie only on the surface. It can include unique talents, attributes, and the ability to spread love and kindness to those around you. 

You're not alone if you want to develop a more significant sense of authenticity, self-confidence, and self-love. A therapist may be a valuable resource as you learn more about who you are inside.

You are deserving of positive self-esteem
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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