What Your Favorite Color Says About Your Personality, According to Therapists
Red equals passion, but it can also signal anger. Find out what your favorite color means.
It's probably been years (or even decades) since someone has asked you what your favorite color is. But even if you no longer have a preferred crayon in the Crayola box, it's likely you gravitate toward certain hues when it comes to your home decor and clothes. As it turns out, your favorite color in adulthood can be directly tied to your personality traits. Keep reading to hear from therapists and color experts about this connection.
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Blue is the world's most popular color. Really—a 2015 study conducted by YouGov asked people across 10 countries on four continents what their favorite color was, and blue was number one in every location.
The universal appeal of this color is "most likely because of its association with the sky and water," explains Lisa Lawless, PhD, psychotherapist and CEO of Holistic Wisdom. In this regard, blue evokes feelings of relaxation and tranquility.
And people who gravitate toward those feelings are often empathetic, honest, reliable, and strong problem solvers, says Michele Goldman, psychologist and Hope for Depression Research Foundation media advisor.
Blue also signals that you're trustworthy. In fact, as Lawless notes, studies have shown that wearing blue makes you appear more trustworthy to others. This is also why businesses like banks tend to incorporate this color.
The shade of blue one favors, however, could add nuances to their personality type. "Light blues [are] connected to an easygoing and peaceful individual," says Lawless. "Sky blue tends to exude more free-spirited and optimistic associations, and turquoise is often associated with uniqueness and individuality, while cobalt blue conveys a vibrant and energetic personality."
One negative aspect of a blue-lover's personality is "that these folks can be overthinkers, self-critical, and struggle with feelings of insecurity," adds Goldman.
Like blue, green is connected to nature. In this case, the color is typically "associated with health and balance," says Lawless.
"People who prefer the color green tend to be productive, driven…highly intelligent, and perfectionistic," explains Goldman. She adds that their level-headedness is often calming for both themselves and others.
Of course, there are many shades of this color. Earthy, olive greens "tend to go hand in hand with people who are excellent mediators and who value balance and stability," shares Lawless. Emerald green is associated with confidence and ambition, while mint green is linked to kindness, optimism, and gentleness.
But let us not forget that the phrase "green with envy" came from somewhere. Goldman points out that the hardworking and analytical personalities of those who favor green can make them possessive, impatient, and materialistic.
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This is the color of royalty and for good reason. "Purple tends to be vibrant and powerful, a bold color with a bold personality," points out Goldman.
For this reason, those who prefer purple aren't afraid to be themselves and are often artistic, spiritual, and imaginative.
"Dark purples are associated with sophistication, introspection, and creativity," explains Lawless. "In comparison, lighter purples such as lavender and lilac are more associated with sensitivity, compassion, and a harmonious presence."
But the highly emotional and whimsical nature of these folks means they feel things deeply, "which can lead to moodiness and feelings of being misunderstood," cautions Goldman.
Lawless notes that pinkish purples tend to attract romantics, but this is even more true for people whose favorite color is pink itself. "Pink is often associated with femininity, tenderness, and compassion," she says.
"Light pinks are associated with a sweet, youthful, playful personality, while deeper rose pinks suggest elegance and romance," Lawless explains. "Hot pink suggests vibrance and energy and is often related to adventurous people, while those drawn to magenta are often creative, artistic, and unconventional."
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Bold, powerful, strong, passionate, extroverted—these are all adjectives used to describe people who love red.
"They are usually a force to be reckoned with and tend to be confident and ambitious," shares Lawless. "This is especially true for those who love bright red."
And that vivacious nature can affect attractiveness. As Best Life previously explained, separate studies concurred that wearing red can make a person appear more attractive.
But Goldman points out that all this recognition "can manifest in aggression…or attention-seeking behaviors."
To this point, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Personality found that "there was a relationship between a preference for the color red and hostile social decision making."
As for those who prefer rusty, earthy reds, they "tend to be more grounded and appreciate stability, tradition, and a sense of security," says Lawless.
People usually love or hate orange, and for those in the former group, you can expect them to be enthusiastic, engaging, and social.
"Individuals with this color personality might be more likely to be adventurous and daring, bold with their choices, approachable and friendly towards others," says Goldman.
However, she explains, "With adventure and spontaneity comes unpredictability and inconsistency." So, you may find that these people put their own needs before others and place judgment on those who aren't as carefree.
Lawless adds that brighter oranges are connected to "vibrant and cheerful confidence," while burnt oranges match with "a down-to-earth, reliable person who values stability." If someone prefers coral hues, they're likely creative and artistic.
"Yellow is a mentally stimulating color, and people who gravitate toward [it] tend to be imaginative, social, and enthusiastic," shares Lawless. It is, after all, the color of light and happiness.
"Those who love golden yellows tend to lean more toward wisdom, intelligence, and luxury, while pale yellows convey a sense of purity and a peaceful demeanor," Lawless adds.
And while Goldman agrees that yellow represents charisma, confidence, and a sense of humor, "People who lean towards yellow personalities are seen to struggle with anxiety and perfectionistic tendencies," she says. "They also might struggle with organization and lack discipline."