7 Complex Person Traits (And What It Actually Means To Be 'Deep')

What Does It Mean To Be A Complex Person? 7 Traits To Look For

October 3, 2021 Updated October 4, 2021

complex-person (1)
Jonathan Knowles/Getty Images

Humans are complex, sure, but not everyone is a quote-unquote complex person. So, what does it mean? Unlike types like alpha personalities or the various enneagram categories, this type of personality lacks definable margins. A complex person might be described as someone who’s the epitome of “deep” (and who, by the way, also probably classifies themselves as “deep”). These are the big thinkers in the room. They’re the ones who stare off in the distance, pondering the nuances of every question — even “what do you want for dinner?” Maybe not entirely, but that’s not totally off the mark either. Complex people are curious, intelligent, and imaginative people who generally think outside of the box.

Renowned psychologist Carl Jung defined a personality complex as a fixation around a set of ideas. This means that a complex personality is simply one that features many facets or levels. That’s why your “what’s for dinner” question isn’t just about dinner — it’s about whether they want to cook or order takeout, what they really feel like eating, and more. According to writer Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, complex personalities are often associated with creativity. They not only adapt well to their environment, but they are also able to thrive through adversity. They see opportunities when most people might feel defeated. They’re able to see endless potential solutions to a problem, which, yes, can be somewhat annoying at times. But that’s what being a complex person is all about: They think differently than most.

If you know a deep person in your life, believe you might be one, or just want to unpack the meaning of a complex person, here’s what you need to know.

Complex Person Definition and Traits

A complex person definition varies, but here are some common traits of what it means to be a deep person.

1. They don’t answer simply.

Rarely will a complex person answer with a “yes” or “no” answer. Instead, they’ll typically respond in great detail. One caveat: If a complex person goes too much into their thoughts (which also happens), they might be so overwhelmed with different scenarios and solutions that they can’t answer you right away.

2. They’re analytical.

Big thinks are typically major analyzers. Nothing is simple or glossed over. They want to dig deep and consider all options and angles on everything and anything. Things are not black and white but always gray and grayer.

3. They can be worriers.

Because nothing is simple or taken at face value for a complex person, they can have difficulty being present and carefree. Their analytical mind jumps around to past and future situations, making them quite stressed and anxious. When you think about all possible scenarios, good and bad, it can be tricky to accept life as it comes.

4. They hate small talk.

Talking about the weather and the latest Netflix binge isn’t for a complex person. The banality of small talk rubs them the wrong way. They would rather dive deep into conversations with you or say nothing at all.

5. They are great listeners.

Complex people love learning about new people and their experiences, which makes them excellent listeners. Learning is like catnip for complex people! So, if they can sit back and soak in new ideas and concepts, they’re all ears.

6. They can focus really well.

Once a complex person is involved with their latest project, you’ve basically lost them. Being truly connected to something that jazzes them up is soul food for a complex person. They will shut out everything and anything that can interfere with the task at hand until they complete it — or until they’re satisfied.

7. They enjoy a challenge.

Most people will avoid challenges, but not complex people. They actually seek them out. They love to be challenged and will regularly push themselves to new heights to learn something or prove themselves. They constantly strive for more and do more because they aren’t easily satisfied (and become bored easily).