Are you looking for the signs that allow you to recognize high quality men?
You have come to the right page.
By the end of it, you will know exactly what traits make a high quality man.
Traits of High Quality Men
This article is not a list pulled off the top of my head. But it leverages psychology to go to at the core of what makes a high quality men.
Each trait is a high level quality, skill or personality trait which cascades into a whole host of more positive traits.
1. Emotionally Intelligent
- Self awareness (one’s own emotions, drives, personality, passions)
- Self management (deferring pleasure, staying power, grit)
- Social awareness (other people’s emotions and social dynamics)
- Relationship management (building and managing positive relationships)[
Albeit some people even doubt the existence of a measurable “emotional intelligence”, we can all agree that the above traits do exist.
And they do vary among people.
High there is little arguing that the qualities that comprise emotional intelligence are one of the most important traits of a high quality man.
Self Awareness + Self Management
When you have self awareness you don’t go around asking “what’s my passion”. Because you know what your passions are.
And knowing what you want steps high quality men apart from the masses that follow what others want them to do.
Self management instead, without mincing words, is what differentiates the bums from the high achievers of this world.
Bums chase the immediate high of booze and drugs, without any regard for tomorrow (and for themselves).
High achievers improve themselves and work their way to the top by deferring pleasure and staying the course through tough times.
Social Awareness + Relationship Management
Social awareness is basically self awareness applied to social situations. And it allows high quality men to understand the social dynamics of the environments around them.
It forms the basis of charm, charisma and everything else related to social skills.
Relationship management leverages social awareness to build a network of friends and alliances. And also to keep a strong relationship with a romantic partner.
These are not innate traits by the way.
You can increase them with focus.
After all this website is nothing but a big exercise in the social side of emotional intelligence (social awareness and relationship management).
2. He has a Purpose
When a mans know what he wants and likes, if he is even a liiitle tiny bit driven, then he will develop a purpose.
Or, in the popular Simon Sinek’s words these days, has a WHY.
And when a man knows his WHY he moves through life with confidence and purpose. He displays the charismatic leadership qualities of those who seem to know their paths even when it’s dark and difficult.
It’s especially captivating for those who don’t know where they’re going.
A purpose is what differentiates the men spending their evening watching football and drinking beer from those who work to move ahead in life.
But Not Too Purpose-Driven
Albeit there is no upper limit that will make someone “too driven”, there are some major drawbacks to staunch single-mindedness.
The stereotype of the crazy genius with bad air and messy place is basically the tale of men with too single-minded drive.
And you can already see the limitations there.
Could you have a conversation with someone who lives and breathes for only, say, black holes research? Would such a man fare well in a crowd of socialites, at an art gallery or at a house warming party?
Exactly, he would be out of place and sticking out like a sore thumb.
Too driven people also often don’t make for good relationship partners (see Einstein), friends or even conversation partners.
To be a high quality man, you also need some balance.
3. Takes Care of Himself
The driven men with a purpose also look at themselves a bit as if they were machines.
They have the mindset that the more they take care of the machine, the farther they will go.
So they eat well, exercise, keep learning and invest on themselves.
These are high quality men because they are like high quality wine.
You meet them today and they’re good. You stick with them and tomorrow they’re very good. You stick with them until the day after tomorrow and they’re great.
… And Of People Around
Equally important, high quality men take responsibility for the people around themselves as well.
This is possibly the most important trait of leadership (Leaders Eat Last).
And for men, even more important than for high quality women, leadership qualities are a major determinant of overall quality.
4. He Is Vulnerable
Vulnerability is a high quality trait because it highlights the courage of being oneself. Including the flaws. And not many have that courage.
Indeed sometimes I have the feeling we humans are all in a race to whom can cover his flaws the best and fake the most.
Truly vulnerable men step out of the fakeness rat race and achieve a contagious inner peace.
Vulnerability also makes sure that:
- You get to know the real him: he’s not wearing any mask
- He’s not abusive: he doesn’t need to prove his masculinity to himself (and anyone else)
- He lies less: does not feel the need has to cover his shortcomings
I consider Lewis Howes, author of The Mask of Masculinity, to be a great example of a high quality man who also manages to fully embrace vulnerability.
The guy is warm, welcoming and he always gives off the vibe of a man who is just being himself, comfortable being himself, with little or no social masks.
He fully opens up, doesn’t try to sound cooler, doesn’t even try to stand straight to look better:
5. Strength of Conviction
The high quality man has solid beliefs that allows him to be confident in his opinions. Even when they are unpopular.
And he has a solid grasp of what’s fair and unfair, which are is also a strong leadership quality.
Especially in times of uncertainty, we always look up to people with inner conviction.
They are our rock in the hurricane.
Strength of conviction doesn’t mean of course he will disparage different opinions.
But it does mean that he will not be swayed by fads and changing environments.
6. Stand Up For What’s Fair
High quality men know what’s fair and not fair, what they will take and what they will not take.
And they use that knowledge to set proper boundaries.
Indeed the high quality man is not a too nice guy afraid of standing him up for himself. And when someone crosses those boundaries, he will let them know he’s not cool with it and that he has to enforce those boundaries.
He will do the same with higher ups, because he doesn’t take gratuitous disrespect just because someone has a different title than his.
In short, the high quality man:
- Sets boundaries and enforces them
- Doesn’t allow gratuitous disrespect
- Puts his partner in her place if she’s out of order
- Does not allow a boss to disrespect him
- Defends the people around if they’re attacked for no reason
7. Secure Attachment
Some men mistakenly think that being alone or “not needing anyone” is what strong men do.
But attachment theory says that people are more confident and in control of their lives when they have a strong intimate relationship.
And secure men, contrary to anxious and avoidants, are comfortable with intimacy. They’re not afraid of requesting it, talking about it and giving it to their partners.
Secure types also tend to be more honest, plays less games and be more direct and straightforward in their communication.
A secure style, overall, is a strong indicator of a well adjusted psyche and strong emotional profile. And that’s why it’s another keystone trait of high quality men.
This scene from The Notebook is an example of a secure man during an emotional argument (secure men have arguments and can get emotional of course just like everyone else):
What makes him secure?
He is not afraid of showing his feelings. He talks straight, and doesn’t play games. He’s also not afraid of admitting that it will be painful.
And yet, he also shows a strong inner psychological balance by not going too crazy and by knowing that, deep down, he will eventually be OK (ie. “I lost you once, I think I can do it again“).
8. Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck in her seminal psychological research outlines two different mindsets and approaches people have to skills and talent:
- Fixed mindset
- Growth mindset
Fixed Mindset people believe their qualities are set at birth and carved in stone.
You are who you are, and there isn’t much you can do about it.
People with a fixed mindset shy away from challenges because losing means “they’re bad” and that would hurt their ego.
They are highly outcome dependent. And when they fail, they make a lot of excuses both to themselves and to the world because they feel the need to “cover up” their lack.
It’s difficult having open discussions and honest feedback with fixed mindset men because they are always guarded and take things very personally.
Growth Mindset people believe their can learn and grow.
They seek learning and growth opportunities because failing does not define them. To the contrary, failing is the only way they can improve.
Men with a growth mindset move forward in their life, are open to feedback and criticism and are generally happier and more pleasant people to be around.
9. Internal Locus of Control
The locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they have -or don’t have- control over their life.
The locus of control determines whether you feel like the man at the helm of your life or like a castaway in a rudderless life boat.
These are the two types of locus of control:
- Internal locus of control
- External locus of control
Internal locus of control means you believe you are in control of your life.
External locus of control means you believe life events determine the course of your life and you don’t have control over them.
Brian Tracey says that people with an external locus of control feel helpless, are sadder, get angry more easily, and are more prone to depression.
On the other hand, people with an internal locus of control are confident, energetic and optimistic. They even tend to be healthier!
Men with an internal locus have a high tendency of being high quality men.
This is how extreme internal locus of control looks like:
Everything is your fault
Balance & High Quality Men
You could take almost any single trait on this list and, when you take them to the extreme, they would become a drawback.
Strength of conviction to the extreme means fanatic;
standing up for everything that’s fair means being a pain in the ass who doesn’t let anything slide;
and taking care of oneself to the extreme crosses into narcissism.
Indeed, like Benazir says in The Tao of Dating, balance is another sign of high quality men.