Our personalities have so many interesting facets, including positives, negatives, quirks, and everything in between. But this is especially true when you take
personality traits based on the Chinese Zodiac sign into account, and look further into what stands out — and which traits may be considered shocking or interesting — for each sign.
Here's how it works: "General Chinese astrology defines people through their year of birth,"
Laurent Langlais, an international consultant who specializes in Chinese astrology and Feng Shui, tells Bustle. "There are 12 animal signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. There are also five Elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal) and so five different types of Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, etc."
It can become quite complex, but the takeaway is that everyone has a sign, and everyone has
personality traits that go right along with it. While they don't perfectly describe everyone — and there are tons of variations within each sign — Dogs often have a lot in common, as do Rats, and Goats, and so on.
Each sign has plenty of positive personality traits, but each one can have a few
traits that seem a bit unique — and sometimes even surprising. "Each sign has some strong personality traits that will be common to people born under the same sign," Langlais says. "Some are noble qualities and some can seem odd, especially to other signs." Depending on your sign, others might rub you the wrong way, shock you with their interests, or surprise you with the things they say. Here are a few of the quirkiest traits for each sign, according to Langlais, as well as how to balance them out — if you'd like to do so.
Rats are highly intelligent people, and "tend to
plan way ahead for their careers and projects," Langlais says. They know how to get things done, and are resourceful — just like real rats.
But when it comes to personality traits that may put others off, that's often found in their taste-level regarding movies and music. "They can be total nerds, have [tastes] in obscure experimental music or horror movies, or be fascinated by nightlife and society’s underbelly," Langlais says. "They dig into what most people are afraid of." Which is amazing, but may seem different to other people.
Rats should embrace their unique side, and feel free to like what they like. "The Rat is typically a sign that is misjudged but whom you’ll treasure as the cleverest friend," Langlsais says. "It is simply a matter of finding how to employ their ... tastes into a useful way."
The Ox is someone you can count on, no matter what. They're also highly methodical, and are great at figuring out the best ways to get things done. As Langlais says, "As a parent or as a lover, the Ox is organized and caring."
But if an Ox is going to make others uncomfortable, it's going to be due to their eccentric collections. "While they are methodical," they like to collect things in excess says Langlais. "If you move in with an Ox, you might soon find yourself overwhelmed by collections of obscure things."
They often have a hard time letting things go, and like to hold onto their collections — just in case. "If you have a similar mentality [you can deal with it]. For example if you are a Rooster or Snake, you’ll be fine," Langlais says. "Otherwise they will drive you to the edge quickly. To help, you better let them have their own space and set rules for the common rooms. Their peculiar way can be put in good use when it comes to recycling, redesigning or refurbishing, and you could make an Ox very happy if you give them an [antique] shop to manage."
Tigers are "admired for being strong, ambitious, [and] fearless," Langlais says. But much like the animal, Langlais says tigers can come off as aggressive. While Tigers are wonderfully assertive, and know how to reach their goals and get what they want, they often take others by surprise by coming off as a bit much. And that's something they should definitely keep in mind — especially if they're been having problems at work, or in their relationships.
Tigers can use this trait to their advantage, however. Langlais says they do well in careers such as marketing or sales, where they can get things done. "The Tigers are overachievers," he says. "Once you see the nobility in their behavior, you can teach them the other ways to get what they want and benefit their own without having to 'eat everyone' along the way."
Rabbits are super fun to be around. They're spontaneous, creative, and love being outside in nature. "They are the friends we always want to play with as a kid; the ones who took us on endless adventures where their imagination ruled," Langlais says.
But, as you likely know, Rabbits are often associated with fertility. And as a result, can have pretty intense relationships. They're also very into sex, which is obviously a great thing, but might take their partners by surprise.
"Before you fall in love with a Rabbit, make sure you know what they like in bed and that you are compatible in this department," Langlais says. "It is however possible to help the ever-active Rabbits by showing them that their creativity is stronger than their libido, and by bringing them in contact with nature," to help them feel more balanced.
Out of all the signs, the Dragon is obviously the most majestic and mythical. "It is admired in the Chinese zodiac, and was associated with the Emperor and his nobility," Langlais says. "It is actually the only sign of the zodiac that is not a 'real' animal." And that can make Dragon signs seem almost mythical, themselves.
They make great gurus, and are able to lead people efficiently, Langlais says. But they can also shock their followers by being tyrannical at times. (Think along the lines of an excellent boss, who sometimes abuses their power.)
For Dragons to balance out this tendency, it's important that they be aware of it. "The way to prevent this is to show them, nicely, their own contradictions and how the world is always more gray than black or white," Langlais says. "If you can nuance the Dragons and teach them the wisdom of moderation, you’ll transform them into a useful leaders and find great allies." And, of course, Dragons can do this for themselves, too.
Snakes are always reinventing themselves, and are all about finding new possibilities and adventures in life. They're also the healer sign, have a "great power to help others," Langlais says, and can be quite successful when it comes to reaching they're goals.
But they can also be cunning. "Their determination and shape-shifting abilities can turn them into scheming politicians, at every level of their life," Langlais says. They might put others off when they discover how far they are willing to go to get what they want.
But not all snakes use their skills in a negative way. They can put their intelligence to great use in the service of others, for example, and often make wonderful doctors, scientists, healers, and inspired musicians, Langlais says. "Once they occupy their mind in such way, they are less likely to devise plans for themselves, and it’s a win-win situation."
Horses are impressive folks. "They are bold and beautiful, have great charisma, and can go far in life," Langlais says. "Like the Tiger, the Horse is often admired and people look for their company." They're often found surrounded by admirers at parties, and are quick to make friends.
The thing is, Horses can be a bit unpredictable — just like horses are in real life. So while they
draw others in with their charisma, they can also just as quickly push them away.
"The Horse is willing to kick you out and make a lot of noise when angry, going from pony to wild stallion in two minutes," Langlais says. "It is not easy to fight with a Horse, and they can sometimes use ... spiteful words, and then go back to normal like nothing happened, which is equally puzzling."
So to get along with a Horse, be ready for these quick mood shifts. And for all the Horses out there, being aware of this tendency can go a long way in helping you balance it out. Be your passionate, fiery self, but know when to rein it back in.
Goats make great friends, and are incredibly creative and resourceful. "They're also fun to be around and have their own type of wisdom," Langlais says. But sometimes, they can get ahead of themselves, and take this "wisdom" a little too far.
When that happens, they tend to rub others the wrong way, and may even struggle to fit into certain environments. Langlais says their natural, "hippie" lifestyle can make it hard for them to fit into a corporate lifestyle, for example.
But that doesn't mean Goats can't adjust their ways, and learn to adapt to situations when necessary. And the cool thing is that, once they do, they often bring people over to their nature-loving side, which Langlais says is "a good trade off."
Monkies are the most fun, of all the signs. They're clever, funny, and full of energy, Langlais says. "Like the Rabbit, they'll take you on an adventure," and they're always down to play fun jokes on their friends and family.
But this can be difficult for some, since it's often hard to tell when a Monkey is joking. And they can also get themselves into trouble. "A Monkey that is not taught strong moral principles early on can also become cunning and be attracted to illegal activities: a trait they share with the Rat or Snake," Langlais says.
When hanging out with a Monkey, it's important to take everything they say with a grain of salt. And, to let them know that some jokes an ideas just won't fly. As Langlais says, "It is important to give them moral boundaries when they cross the line."
Roosters love to be admired. "A Rooster can often be very efficient as the spokesperson of a business, or in charge of public relations," Langlais says. "They have great tastes and sense of aesthetic." So others are drawn to them, and often find them incredibly interesting.
But they might get full of themselves, and turn others off. "They can then become cocky, arrogant, and even egomaniacal," Langlais says. "You don’t want to live or work with one of those, since their ego is everything to them." Friends and partners of Roosters may, as a result, feel like they can't get through to them.
And yet, as with all signs, even the most Rooster-y rooster can be balanced out. By giving them responsibilities, and encouraging them to help others, Roosters can be taught humility. "The more they do it, the more likely they are to forget about their own persona and become more modest along the way."
It makes sense that dogs are loyal and dedicated to the people they care about — just like real dogs. They make great employees and solid friends, Langlais says, and they're "the type of people anyone can count on."
And yet, they can be a bit of a disappointment, at times, due to surprising bouts of zero motivation. "If they don’t find their motivation early on, they can procrastinate and be totally stuck in their own evolution," Langlais says, which can come as a shock to their friends, family, and partners.
For dogs who feel like they're letting their loved ones down, this trait can often be balanced out by appealing to their loyal side. "While you can’t always help them to find their own motivation, they can snap out of bad habits for the people they love and care about."
Pigs are dependable, creative folks. "They are really smart, and typically are the people you'd want to be stranded with on a desert island," Langlais says. They're innovative 99 percent of the time.
But during that other one percent, they can really drop the ball. They might struggle with boundaries, for example, or with self-control. And all of that can rub others the wrong way.
For pigs, it'll be important to balance out these tendencies, so as not to let others down. "The way to help is to give them strong boundaries and not bargain on those rules," Langlais says. "Pigs might have different standards and habits, but they hate social isolation and are good listeners and so it’s usually easy to coach them."
Which just goes to show that, whatever our personalities may be like, it's always positive to balance out the negatives with a few positives. If a sign wants to adjust their more shocking or negative traits, they most certainly can.