The 6 Fundamental Capricorn Traits, Explained


Born between late December and late January? Then that makes you a Capricorn. The Capricorn sign is represented by the Goat and is associated with Earth, Saturn, and the color brown. When most people think of Capricorns, they think of words such as "diligent," "success," and "practical." But there's much more to the Capricorn personality than this.

Here, we explain what a Capricorn is and what the most noteworthy Capricorn traits are. We also go over what Capricorns are like in relationships and offer both advice for Capricorns and tips on how to get along with a Capricorn.


What Is the Capricorn Sign in Astrology?

  • Dates: December 22 to January 19 or 20
  • Symbol: Goat (specifically, the mythological Sea-Goat)
  • Planet: Saturn
  • Element: Earth
  • Color: Brown

Capricorn is the 10th sign of the zodiac and is represented by the Goat. Those born under this sign are generally pragmatic, ambitious, and disciplined, although they can also be somewhat stoic and pessimistic.

Capricorns belong to the element Earth (as do Taurus and Virgo), which makes sense considering how grounded they are in reality when it comes to making their dreams happen.

Indeed, Capricorns look at everything as a task to be completed, making them an incredibly independent, hardworking type. They can accomplish whatever they set their minds to, regardless of the energy it requires, so long as they have a clear goal and a path for getting there.

This also means, however, that Capricorns can hold other people to incredibly high standards. Because the Capricorn is connected to Saturn, a symbol of restraint and restriction, the Capricorn personality can at times seem distant, emotionless, and overly analytical; therefore, it's important for Capricorns to occasionally relax and get in touch with their feelings through activities such as meditation.

Capricorns value tradition and are typically more conservative in terms of their personality and interests. This more traditional approach to the world is reflected in the classic style and character of the most common Capricorn birthstone, the garnet (January's birthstone). (If you're a December Capricorn, you can learn more about your birthstone, the blue topaz, here.)


Capricorn Personality: 6 Key Traits of the Goat

What kinds of positive and negative traits does the Capricorn personality have? On the good side, Capricorn is hardworking, ambitious, and responsible. Meanwhile, on the bad side, the Capricorn sign is pessimistic, work-obsessed, and stubborn.


body_capricorn_symbolThe symbol of Capricorn


Positive Capricorn Traits

Capricorns are devout rule followers and go-getters who will always do whatever it takes to fulfill their dreams. Here, we introduce the three best Capricorn characteristics.


#1: Hardworking

Capricorns are one of the most serious, diligent signs of the zodiac. They are persistent when it comes to specific tasks, such as work-related projects and school papers, and work hard to ensure they get the result they want (whether that's a promotion or an A+, for example). This trait is by far one of the best things about Capricorns: they never give up!

Even if they lack natural talent in something, they're bound to do well and fulfill their goals simply because of their can-do attitude. They're always willing to learn new skills if they think they'll help them achieve their goals.

In short, never underestimate the tenacity of a Capricorn!


#2: Ambitious

Capricorns are extremely ambitious people with lofty goals they're sure they can fulfill, as long as they continue to work hard and put in as much effort as possible. They're always driven to do better⁠—better than themselves and better than others⁠—and this force is what ultimately sustains them during those long, exhausting hours they dedicate to whatever it is they're trying to achieve.

Rewards are naturally expected once a Capricorn reaches the top, and these can come in any form, from money to job security to fame.

If you're looking for someone to partner with on a project, a Capricorn should definitely be one of your top choices!


#3: Responsible

As a result of their hardworking and ambitious attitudes, Capricorns are highly responsible types with a mature, pragmatic, and disciplined approach to following the rules, staying organized, and pursuing their goals.

They own up to their mistakes and quickly learn from them, allowing them to successfully use these hurdles to their advantage.

Capricorns are especially good at keeping track of important things, such as passwords and homework assignments, and are known for having a keen eye for interior design as well.


body_capricorn_goats_fightingYou don't want to butt heads with a Capricorn.


Negative Capricorn Traits

None of us is perfect⁠—and that goes for Capricorns, too. Here are three of the worst Capricorn characteristics.


#1: Pessimistic

Being practical and grounded isn't always a good thing, especially when it causes you to focus on all the negatives in life. Capricorns' strict, no-nonsense attitude can make them overlook the good in life, causing them to become dissatisfied and deeply unhappy.

When a Capricorn thinks too much about how things look rather than how things feel for them, they can get stuck in a cycle of negativity and mood swings.

Perfectionism is a problem for many Capricorns, as it regularly causes them to perceive failure as the ultimate disappointment. Should things not be perfect, Capricorns can become easily dejected and adopt a negative view of their futures, which undoubtedly affects the moods of those around them, too.


#2: Workaholic

Capricorns are admirably hardworking, but they also have the tendency to push themselves way too hard, often to the point of exhaustion. This obsession with success and perfection means Capricorns won't stop for anything⁠—not even some rest and relaxation!⁠—along the way to making their dreams a reality.

Being a workaholic puts a ton of stress and pressure on Capricorn and is one way the sign works against its biggest strength. Since Capricorns can be extremely hard on themselves, it's advisable that they take the occasional break to concentrate on their physical and emotional health.


#3: Stubborn

Capricorn thrives on ambition and diligence, but not everyone is like this, which can lead Capricorn to become stubborn and hold others to incredibly⁠—sometimes impossibly⁠—high standards.

Because Capricorns value tradition and have a strict way of thinking, they often struggle to open their minds and find it difficult to change their perspectives. They're just too focused on the practical and materialistic side of things to look beyond themselves.

It's basically their way or the highway, a mentality that makes it understandably difficult for people to get along well with Capricorn.




Capricorn Characteristics in Love, Friendship, and Business

Capricorns might be overly practical and stubborn at times, but they're also devoted and loyal to those they love. Here's an overview of how Capricorn fares in different types of relationships.


Capricorn in Love

When it comes to romantic relationships, the Capricorn personality is an unusual combination of intensely devoted but lacking in emotion. They're a bit stiff and reserved, but that doesn't mean they can't be ideal partners.

Once you get to know a Capricorn on a deeper, more personal level, they'll likely stay committed to you for life. While it can take years to get them to open up emotionally, it's worth it for their loyalty, strength, and protectiveness.

Capricorns often treat their romantic relationships as they do their jobs: they believe hard work will ultimately spell out success⁠—for themselves, their partners, and the relationship as a whole. This practical approach can sometimes make the relationship feel clinical or unnatural, but it's just the way Capricorns best express their love and how much they value the relationship.


Capricorn in Family and Friendship

In family and friendship, Capricorn is a loyal and hardworking person whom you can always rely on to be there for you. Capricorns tend to feel strong connections to family traditions and their past, and generally look forward to birthdays, holidays, and communal dinners where they can bask in their memories with loved ones.

Outside family, Capricorns usually only have a few close friends but are reliable and will remain close to them for life, especially those whom they connect with on an honest, intellectual level.

Friends of the domineering Capricorn should avoid acting nosy and overbearing⁠—Capricorn is highly independent and as such needs to always be (or at least feel as though they are) in charge of their destiny.


Capricorn in Business

The diligent, meticulous, highly organized Capricorn shines in matters of business and work. Being success-driven, Capricorns do well in almost any type of job, so long as it affords them stability and the opportunity to succeed professionally (read: make a lot of money).

Capricorns do best when they're in charge of their work environment. As mentioned, this sign is known for pulling all-nighters and working until exhaustion, which can be both a good and a bad thing.

In addition, Capricorns are extremely detail-oriented and do well with positions that give them the ability to see long projects through to the end; this, in turn, gives Capricorn a satisfying feeling and tangible evidence of accomplishment.

With coworkers, Capricorns are friendly and polite and enjoy engaging in intelligent conversations. Above all, they value loyalty in their work associates.

Some examples of suitable jobs for Capricorns include the following:

  • Accountant
  • Banker
  • Business analyst
  • Business executive
  • Economist
  • Financial planner
  • Human Resources manager
  • Politician
  • Principal or teacher
  • Real estate agent


body_capricorn_zodiac_constellationCapricornus constellation


Advice for the Capricorn Sign

Even if you're a Capricorn, you likely don't have all the Capricorn traits described above. Therefore, what you'll need to do is figure out which Capricorn characteristics apply to you. You can then use this knowledge to improve your flaws and take advantage of your biggest strengths.

For example, maybe you consider yourself a hardworking person but notice you've been slacking on your homework lately. You can take control of your schedule again by making the most of your organizational skills: draw up a concrete plan for when you'll study and work on your assignments.

Or perhaps you're the ambitious type but don't have a clear goal yet in terms of what you want to do with your life. That's OK! Use this as an opportunity to explore some possible career paths. You could look into job shadowing, for instance, or do an internship to get a feel for areas and types of jobs you might be interested in.

Now, what about the negative Capricorn traits?

If you feel you've been overworking yourself lately, whether it's at work or school, take a step back to breathe. It might help to pencil in some time purely for relaxation or starting a hobby. You might also want to try meditation and deep-breathing exercises to ease any residual stress.

Feeling pessimistic and overly critical of the world or your life lately? Then consider coming up with a positive mantra you can tell yourself every morning, such as three things you're grateful for, excited about, or proud of yourself for doing.

You could also befriend one of the more optimistic signs, such as Aries or Leo, so that their positive energy can rub off on you a little.


How to Get Along With a Capricorn

Capricorns are generally friendly to those they meet, but it can take them a while to emerge from their shells, so you have to be patient. Once you've befriended a Capricorn, though, they will be a loyal companion who takes to heart what you say, even if they disagree with you.

One way you can get to know Capricorns is by offering to participate in a new activity together, such as a cooking class or a language group. Capricorns love learning new skills and typically won't say no to a challenge! This is also helpful to know if you want to ask a Capricorn out on a date.

Don't forget that Capricorns take great pride in family traditions and enjoy large, celebratory gatherings for holidays and birthdays, so these are perfect events at which you can really get to know a Capricorn.

If you work alongside a Capricorn, be sure to take their drive seriously—never tease them for their diligence; doing so will just make them even more stubborn (and possibly cause them to hold a grudge against you!).

At the same time, don't be afraid to remind them to take a step back, breathe, and just enjoy the moment⁠—it doesn't have to be about success and the future all the time.


What's Next?

Curious about if you'd be compatible with a Capricorn? Learn more about how Capricorns relate to other zodiac signs here.

While there's not an exact match, Capricorns often have very similar experiences and outlooks on life as do people with an Enneagram Type 6 personality. You can find out more about the Enneagram and whether you're an Enneagram Type 6 here.

Not a Capricorn? No problem. Check out our individual zodiac sign guides to learn what your sign means. Here are some quick links to our guides for Scorpio, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces, Gemini, Cancer, and Libra.

Got more questions about the zodiac as a whole? Our in-depth guide tells you everything there is to know about the history and meaning of the 12 zodiac signs.

Want to impress your friends with some cool and interesting facts? Then you'll love the 100+ fun facts we've collected here.


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About the Author
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Hannah Muniz

Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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