What is the image that comes up in your mind when you hear the term “free spirit”?
A free bird or a broken kite. Or perhaps a wild horse galloping.
If you think of free-spirited people, in particular, you may be seeing a rebellious child or a willful old person with a clear mind of their own.
So, is that what free-spirited means? Having the freedom to do what you want to do and having a mind of your own?
What is a free-spirited person? Why do some people turn out to be free-spirited, while the rest are not? Is free-spiritedness considered a positive trait? How to identify a free-spirited person? How can you be a free spirit? How to remain a free spirit?
Questions like these keep flooding your mind when you think more about the topic. Read on to find out answers to some of these questions. Let’s begin with the free spirit definition.
What does it mean to be free-spirited?
“Free spirit” meaning is not something that can be given in a simple sentence. It is a confluence of various facets of the character of the person.
From the term “free spirit”, it is clearly implied that the soul of the person is free of bondages. Or a spirit free of limitations. Here, in this context, the bondages will relate to the rules and restrictions imposed by society. A free-spirited person is not bothered by what is considered right and wrong by others.
A free-spirited person is more likely to be spontaneous, unconventional, non-conforming, and happy to go where life takes them. They are calm, flexible, and chilled out. At times, you may even find contradictory traits in them, such as tough yet fragile or resolute yet sentimental. They can be strong and tender at once.
Free spirits are free spirits not because they want to rebel or create trouble. To them being free-spirited is how life should be lived, enjoying freedom and being spontaneous. They don’t want to be tied down or boxed in. They just prefer to listen to their inner voice rather than live by the rules set by society.
While some are born as free spirits, others develop this attitude later on.
20 Signs of a Free Spirit
Some free spirits are so obvious that it is easy to identify them just by their free-spirited nature. However, in others, it may not be so easy to discern. Look out for these signs to identify a free spirit.
1. Relaxed and nonchalant
They are not bothered by what others think of them or their actions or words. They do what they feel is right. This means they are unworried and carefree. They don’t feel compelled to follow the path set by society. To them, joy and peace of mind matter the most.
2. Trusting their instincts
They pay more attention to what their intuition is telling them than go by the societal regulations. They decide what is right and wrong and this may not conform with the rules others are following. Despite being looked upon as an aberration, they will continue to follow their guts. This usually helps them make quick decisions and avert disasters.
They like their own company even if they get along well with others. They can make independent decisions that are based on their beliefs and convictions. They typically long for some me-time now and then to regroup their thoughts and feel at peace with themselves. They often take the lonely path not because they want to but because they rarely find others willing to come with them.
4. Not succumbing to societal pressures
Society has framed its own rules about how a person should behave, interact with others, and live their lives. Every time a person strays from this norm, they will feel immense pressure to conform to this invisible set of rules. However, a free spirit is least bothered by the rules set by society and won’t allow the pressure to get to them.
As they do not need to conform to any rules and go where their heart leads them, they are more open to new ideas and thoughts. They are always willing to see the benefits of something before embracing it or writing it off. Their contacts, knowledge, and skills are always expanding because of this attitude.
6. Unconventional choice of clothing
Most free spirits consider their clothes as statements to the world. They like to bring out their personality, creativity, and ideas into what they wear. They often develop their own style instead of following some established one. It is rare to see a free-spirited woman/man wearing well-known brands like Gucci, Chanel, or Dior.
7. Real and genuine
It is hard to find any trace of fakeness or artificiality in a free spirit. By their very nature, they are not set out to please anyone or follow others. Whatever they do or say comes right from their heart. They may be right or wrong, but always natural and authentic.
8. Standing apart from the rest
As they are not interested in following others and want to chart their own paths, free spirits tend to stand out in the crowd. Be it their choice of clothing, hairstyle, fashion sense, or behavior, they follow what their inner voice tells them to do.
When you look at people in society, you may find that many of them are clones of each other. They say or do the same things, dress the same way, and think the same thoughts. All because this is what society wants from them. This is not true for a free spirit. They are unique and individualistic. They follow their instincts and live by their own rules.
10. Don’t care about being seen as a good person
Some of their choices may not meet with approval from the members of society. They may often get portrayed as a freak, an aberration, or even as a bad person. But they are least bothered by how they are viewed by others. As long as they are abiding by their own rules and happy in their lives, being seen as a bad person doesn’t bother them.
11. Bold and courageous
Fear is anathema to a free spirit – they don’t go well together. As they pay no heed to the rules set by society and follow their heart, they may end up facing resistance and ridicule. Others may be antagonistic towards them. Free spirits have enough courage and are bold enough to overcome all the negativity that society throws their way.
12. Uninhibited and candid
The basic nature of a free spirit is the feeling of freedom to do or say whatever they think is right. They won’t hold anything back for the sake of being right in the eyes of society. They are always at their candid best, open with their thoughts and views.
13. Paradoxical and contradictory
As free-spirited people do not live by any set of rules, their decisions are mostly spontaneous based on given circumstances. If you look at their behavior over time, they may seem to contradict themselves. This may not make sense to others, but for a free spirit, this is the essence of being a free spirit – not compelled to follow the same rules all their lives.
14. Non-judgmental and unbiased
They are neither out to please anyone nor want to follow societal rules. This makes them the most impartial of them all. They have no vested interests to project a certain image. As they expect others to be as independent thinking as themselves, they are not inclined to judge others for their faults and failures.
15. Love to explore new horizons
Free spirits make the best travelers. They like to know how societies in distant lands function. How much freedom do people there enjoy? How forgiving societies are? They have this innate curiosity to find answers to these kinds of questions. Their curiosity is boundless and they continue to travel to satisfy this side of theirs.
16. Always growing and evolving
As free-spirited people are not set in a certain mold and are flexible to try new paths and approaches, their life continues to develop and progress. They are always exploring ways to be a better version of themselves each day of their lives. This may not meet with the approval of others in society. But they consider themselves continuously evolving into a better person throughout their lives.
17. Never compare themselves with others
The word “compare” is not there in their dictionary. Neither do they find the need to compare nor feel comparison with others can be beneficial. They know that for a person like themselves with an independent spirit, comparison can only bring grief and harm. “Each to his/her own” or “Live and let live” form the basis of their mindset.
18. Intense and passionate
As they are open-minded and take to new ideas without a second thought, they chance upon new hobbies and passions in their lives, unlike others. They find so much excitement in everyday life. Their passion can get them through the worst phases in life without causing them much damage. While others feel bogged down by life’s worries, they seem to take the same worries as challenges and surmount them without breaking a sweat.
19. Offer unconditional love
Conditional love is given by people who want to use others for their gains or are interested in changing others to suit their purpose. Both don’t interest free-spirited people. Their life’s policy of “Live and let live” comes into play here. Neither will they bend to suit the whims of society or anyone in particular, nor do they expect or want the same from others. They give their love without riders or limits.
20. Grow old gracefully
Unlike others, they are not so worried about wrinkles or gray hair. They understand and accept growing older as an inevitable part of life. More likely than not they will view this change positively. As they age, they gain more wisdom and experience. They use all these to their advantage and embrace life as it comes.
Free spirits are people who choose to chart their own course and find new paths for others to follow. As there are no definite rules or limitations attached to the definition of a free spirit, it may take different meanings for different people.
But one thing is for sure – a free spirit is a trait to be cherished. And, we all have some traces of free spirit in us.