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List of Positive Attitudes: Definition and Examples

List of Positive Attitudes: Definition and Examples

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Positive attitudes are about looking at life with optimism. People who have positive attitudes are compelling. Others enjoy being around them because they feel inspired and uplifted by their infectious approach to life.

Researchers have found that having a positive outlook on life can have a wide range of benefits, from boosting your well-being to increasing your chances for success. It can even help you form and maintain healthy relationships more easily.

A List of Positive Attitudes

If you want to start cultivating a more optimistic outlook, consider this list of positive attitudes for a little inspiration:

  1. Optimism
  2. Gratitude
  3. Resilience
  4. Kindness
  5. Courage
  6. Empathy
  7. Open-mindedness
  8. Patience
  9. Determination
  10. Generosity
  11. Acceptance
  12. Conscientiousness
  13. Forgiveness
  14. Humility
  15. Compassion
  16. Integrity
  17. Positivity
  18. Curiosity
  19. Flexibility
  20. Appreciation
  21. Self-discipline
  22. Confidence
  23. Creativity
  24. Positivity
  25. Authenticity
  26. Tolerance
  27. Loyalty
  28. Self-loving
  29. Altruistic
  30. Resourceful
  31. Mindful
  32. Humorous
  33. Adaptability
  34. Tenacity
  35. Respectful
  36. Gracious
  37. Fearless
  38. Diligence
  39. Sensitive
  40. Emotional

Defining Positive Attitudes

In order to understand what this list of positive attitudes means, we first need to learn a bit more about what we mean by attitude. Attitudes are often related to a person’s overall personality and are influenced by how people think, feel, and behave.

Psychologists define attitudes as beliefs, behaviors, and emotions that are directed toward people and events in the environment.

Researchers suggest that positive attitudes are an essential part of optimism, which can have a powerful impact on mental health and well-being. 

“A positive attitude towards oneself and life is related to optimism, which in turn is associated with a sense of self-confidence, better coping with stress, and stronger resilience,” explains researcher Marta Malinowska-Cieślik and her colleagues in an article appearing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Examples of Positive Attitudes

You can probably envision some times when you have encountered someone who had a positive attitude. They were probably pleasant to be around and helped you feel good about yourself. 

Some examples of positive attitudes in real-world situations include:

  • Showing gratitude when someone helps you
  • Being affectionate with someone you love
  • Being courageous even when you are nervous
  • Showing consideration for other people’s feelings
  • Listening to what others have to say
  • Acting excited about a project
  • Forgiving people for their mistakes
  • Having a friendly attitude as you interact with others
  • Approaching situations with an open mind
  • Being a positive influence on others
  • Trying new things even if you aren’t sure you’ll like them
  • Avoiding negativity
  • Being respectful of other people
  • Using kind words when speaking to others
  • Expressing empathy for other people
  • Engaging in prosocial behaviors designed to help others
  • Being cheerful and upbeat

What Causes Positive Attitudes?

As you explored the list of positive attitudes above, you might have wondered why some of these attitudes toward life emerge. Many factors shape the development of attitudes, including experience, social influences, and learning processes. 

Sometimes, we absorb these attitudes from absorbing others. In other cases, we learn them from direct experiences. At other times, they are shaped by the culture in which we live. 

Genetics and family history can also play a role in determining optimism. People who have certain big 5 personality traits, like being high in neuroticism and low in agreeableness, may have a more difficult time maintaining a positive attitude.

In one study looking at positive attitudes in teens, researchers found that the following factors accounted for about 25% differences in scores on a positive attitude measure:

  • Communication with family members
  • Academic achievements
  • Communication with peers
  • Neighborhood social capital
  • School-related stress
  • Physical activity
  • Eating breakfast

In general, positive health behaviors are linked to better scores on positive attitude measures. The study’s results suggest that having good relationships, being recognized for achievements, controlling stress levels, and caring for health can help people maintain a positive attitude.

No matter how they form, attitudes can have a major impact on how we behave and interact with others. Experiencing more qualities from this list of positive attitudes is associated with better mental health, greater subjective well-being, and even greater longevity. People with positive attitudes are generally happier, less susceptible to mental health problems, and live longer, healthier lives.

How to Develop Positive Attitudes

Sometimes, our attitudes don’t match up with our behavior, which can lead to feelings of incongruence or cognitive dissonance. This can result in psychological tension and distress.

When our attitudes and behavior are not aligned, we may look for ways to improve them. This can sometimes involve changing how we look at things, but it may also involve shifting our behavior to ensure that it aligns better with our beliefs and values.

So what are some things you can do to help foster a more positive attitude like some of the ones from the list above? Strategies that can help include:

  • Spend more time with positive people who help you feel happy and inspired.
  • Add humor and fun to your life by laughing and smiling more.
  • Engage in prosocial behavior to help improve the lives of others.
  • Observe other people who have positive attitudes and try to learn from them.
  • Practice showing gratitude for the good things in life.
  • Challenge negative thoughts and try to replace them with more positive, realistic ways of thinking.
  • Focus on finding solutions instead of dwelling on problems.
  • Don’t stress over things that you cannot control.
  • Set realistic goals and break them down into manageable steps.
  • Forgive yourself for mistakes and try to view them as learning opportunities.
  • Take care of yourself, including your physical and mental well-being.
  • Find the things that matter to you and pursue goals that give you a sense of purpose.

How to Show You Have a Positive Attitude

There are times when you might need to demonstrate a positive attitude. Employers often seek this quality in prospective employees. If you are in the dating pool, a potential partner might also want to see it during your initial interactions or first date.

Positive attitudes are often visible through your behavior, verbal communication, and non-verbal communication, but there are a few things you can do to help others get a more positive first impression.

  • Smile and make good eye contact to show confidence, warmth, and interest.
  • Display positive body language by sitting up straight, appearing approachable, and displaying open body language.
  • Avoid negative comments about people or experiences and instead focus on the positives.
  • Listen to what others have to say, express interest, and ask questions

By learning how to show your positive attitude, you’re more likely to leave people with a good first impression, whether you’re speaking in public, interviewing for a new job, or meeting up for a date.


Kato, K., Zweig, R., Schechter, C. B., Barzilai, N., & Atzmon, G. (2016). Positive attitude toward life, emotional expression, self-rated health, and depressive symptoms among centenarians and near-centenarians. Aging & Mental Health, 20(9), 930–939.

Malinowska-Cieślik, M., Mazur, J., Nałęcz, H., & Małkowska-Szkutnik, A. (2019). Social and behavioral predictors of adolescents’ positive attitude towards life and self. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(22), 4404.

Taherkhani, Z., Kaveh, M. H., Mani, A., Ghahremani, L., & Khademi, K. (2023). The effect of positive thinking on resilience and life satisfaction of older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 3478.