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Personality Analysis - Harry Styles

Harry is arguably the most complex of all the boys, so there are seemingly many contradictions in his personality until you look close enough to see the layers.

 Harry can be very confident. He has no problem interacting with people right away, and he has a way of rolling with the interviewers even at times when I find myself cringing of second hand embarrassment from the off-topic questions. He, on the other hand, manages to brush things off as jokes if he doesn’t want to discuss it or answer them with an ease that is admirable. There have been a few occasions which we have seen him show embarrassment and Louis seem to be one of the few people who can make him squirm (ex. all the Caroline Flack teasing). What helps him with this is the fact that, Harry seems not to care what general opinions of him are; he’ll go out to a gay bar, or do something extra goofy on the radio or in concerts with an attitude like “think what you want, I am me.” He also seems more than comfortable with going out on his own, or spending time by himself. This suggests not only a ease with getting along with anyone he meets, but a self assuredness that he can enjoy what he’s doing on his own - another sign of maturity.

In the same way, however, Harry can sometimes strike me as very insecure. He has a very visible outward confidence and he has an ability to charm people in both a friendly and flirty way and I don’t think he’s shy in the slightest. But, I think he has a lot of “am I good enough” moments. We see an example of that in The Documentary obviously when he is upset over getting unwarranted hate and criticism. But I see it in an almost daily setting in the way that in every interview when he’s talking he almost always looks to Louis as though he’s seeking confirmation that what he is saying is alright. He seems like he needs someone there telling him “yes you’re right, you’re ok”. So, because of that, I think that insecurity would make him need to be surrounded by affectionate people that can reaffirm the fact that he’s not going to be left alone and that he IS good enough. I think that’s part of why he gets along with Louis so well; Louis is very physically affectionate and also (as has been mentioned in magazine and interviews) Louis seems pretty verbal in his encouragements and in declaring his love for the people in his live. For example, I can remember reading in a magazine that Harry mentioned something about, “Louis says I love you more than my mom does.” That kind of affirming (whether you think it’s platonic or not) is something he would need and I think that’s why he gravitates to Louis in particular. The same applies with his friends from back home. I find it interesting that a majority of his friends are girls. I personally don’t think it has anything to do with the fact he can get girls or is a “ladies man,” I think it has more to do with the fact that girls are typically more openly affectionate with their friends, so they would offer more hugs and “I love you’s” and more deep and personal conversations, which is what he needs to feel connected and important and just needed. 

 I think one of the most interesting things about Harry is who his friends seem to be. If you look at whom he spends most of his time with it’s generally a much older crowd. He is very close with Lou Teasdale and her friends (Nick Grimshaw, her sister, her husband, Caroline Flack, etc.) It’s interesting because it says a lot about his maturity level that he is most comfortable being around people in that age group. This sort of lifestyle, living beyond his years and hanging with a crowd all in their late twenties or older and seemingly so natural at dealing with kids (Ex. Lux) I think this say a lot about his personality. He seems very ready to be an adult; especially in the emotional sense.

 In a lot of ways though Harry seems to be dominated by these emotions. I think Harry is very impulsive, he seems to have a tendency to act upon his initial emotional response. In multiple occasions we see him give in to sadness (documentary), jealousy (in getting almost moody when a certain member’s attention is off of him and onto someone else), awe (crying on stage), etc. Harry strikes me as someone who is not afraid to recognize his emotions and isn’t one to try to hide them or force them down. He’s easy to read; he wears his emotions on his sleeve clear and open for anyone who takes the time to notice them. I think he is also very empathetic, and while I think he is able to identify his own emotions I think he can also easily identify those emotions in other people. In the same way I think he responds really well to what people need in the moment, and it’s this ability, which I think is part of why people so easily grow fond of him. The strong ability to empathize is typical among people who are comfortable with children because they are able to respond to the child’s inability to vocalize what they need (and we all know how amazing he is with Lux). We also know this in stories Anne has told us when she says that he was always very attentive to her moods growing up, and making her meals or pouring her a bath when she had a particularly hard day. On a slightly negative side I think that his impulsive tendency to react to emotions can also get him into trouble, because I think he wouldn’t shy away from calling someone out when he was angry, or at least failing to disguise his anger, or upset etc. On another negative note, it can make him very vulnerable to conflict because sometimes he seems to lack the ability to understand why people don’t think the way he does and see things the way he does. Why isn’t everyone empathetic? Why doesn’t everyone look for the best in people? Etc.) 

I don’t think Harry likes to be in charge. I think it makes him feel closer to people if they are the ones demanding something of him, and him being able to give to this gives him the security in feeling that he has made them happy. In this way I believe this reflects once again to his ultimate desire to feel needed and wanted and why he admits to being attracted to confidence.  This manifests itself in the many instances where Louis will demand Harry to do something and he’ll either unthinkingly obey or protest but eventually give in to his friend’s instructions anyway. More specifically, evidence of this is shown in the lyric changes at concerts where even when Harry wasn’t enthusiastic about the choice of word change he would still end up singing those lyrics that Louis instructed. This slight submissiveness is symptomatic of someone who is looking for that approval to feel like the attention, and therefore affection, is directed at him.

 Harry is also smart. In a lot of ways I think he has an all-encompassing intelligence because not only has he shown an ability to succeed in school (think of the courses he was planning to pursue in college: law, criminology, etc.) but he also has this ability to be quick witted, especially in interviews. This would imply a more “street-smarts” sort of knowledge.

 His music choice also says a lot about him. Not only are his musical inspirations and favorite songs of a more sophisticated nature but his musical tastes also include very meaningful song lyrics. It especially is significant that his tattoos even acknowledge this understanding of the importance of the songs that he listens too. In order to place something permanently on your body, then it must be something that has meaning to him and we can extrapolate that by extension that means that he has found something personally meaningful in such songs. (His interests aren’t just because he likes them; everything he does, everything he likes and says and chooses to do has reason and meaning behind it. In other words, while he may have a volatile personality at times, he is not flippant with a lot of his decisions.)

 Harry is also a very kind person, to everyone in his life. He is extremely warm and loving to the boys, to his friends, to his family, and even to the fans. I could give you examples for pages and pages of how he has exhibited kindness and concern towards the people in his life, but I think it’s especially worthwhile to discuss the instances where he has acted lovingly towards his fans, especially under circumstances where he doesn’t have to be. At concerts we see him pointing out people in the audience getting squished or looking overheated.  In signings we have seen him not only offer fans a water bottle, but unscrew it himself before offering her the sip. He is attentive to not only the outspoken and cheeky fans, but the shy ones who otherwise might be overlooked were it not for his conscious effort to notice everyone. We see him consistently take the time to stop to take photos with fans, not only when at work but at home, and he does this without a complaint, even when others are criticizing those fans for intruding in his life.

 I think people need to start getting over the “womanizer” image that he has been labeled with by the media. There is a distinction between someone who gets with a lot of woman and someone who is LIKED by a lot of woman. In the past two years that we have been given access to his life we see absolutely no indication that he takes advantage of ANY Of the women in his life. Yes, he is very charming with females. Yes, he gets along with them easily. Yes, a TON of women would give their soul to get a chance to be on the receiving end of even a hug let alone a chance to be with him. However, from Harry’s end he is anything but womanizing. All we have seen of him he is considerate and respectful in every capacity to all the women he comes across. The fact that he has a lot of friends that are women does NOT mean it’s alright to label him as being involved with any of them, and despite the fact that rumors seem to swirl constantly about him being linked to them all, each time it has been disproved or proven that they are, in fact, in no way romantically linked. For this reason we have no reason to believe or even suspect that there is any truth to this dubbed title that the press have given him.

Lastly, I think it’s impossible to overlook the fact that Harry simply has that “it” factor.  There isn’t much to say on the topic, because it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what about him it is that draws people to him the way that he does. And yet it’s pretty hard to dispute the idea that Harry seems to be the crowd favorite and in a lot of ways I don’t think you can narrow it down to one or two characteristics. He’s Harry Styles - an incredibly famous person who is just good at being famous, whether he intends to be or not.

I want to make a point of mentioning that with all the tension between Larry shippers and non-Larry shippers there seems to be this taboo against mentioning them together. This analysis does, simply because regardless of what you believe or think you cannot overlook the fact that they are best friends, and your best friend says a lot about you as a person. 

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