Sagittarians, our winter-born, free spirit friends! They're lucky, honest, and ever-so-slightly reckless. What's not to love?
If you're reading this right now, you're either a Sagittarius yourself or you're researching the traits of someone specific, like a friend, partner, or co-worker. Or maybe you're just curious? Whatever the reason you're reading up on Sagittarius characteristics, we're here to better help you understand this zodiac sign better.
In this article, we're going to break down everything you need to know about the traits of the Sagittarius sign, including:
- Answering the question, "What is a Sagittarius?"
- Giving you 5 key Sagittarius traits
- Discussing how Sagittariuses work in relationships
- Providing tips for how to get along with Sagittariuses, no matter your sign
There's a lot to cover, so let's get started!
The personality traits of a Sagittarius can be traced all the way back to the Greek myth of Chiron, who was a centaur.
What Is a Sagittarius?
First, let's start with the basics of this December zodiac sign! Sagittarius is a sign of the zodiac that represents people born between November 23rd and December 21st. (These are often referred to as the "Sagittarius dates.") In other words, Sagittariuses are our friends who were born around the winter holidays.
In astrology, the Sagittarius sign is represented by a centaur named Chiron holding a bow and arrow. It is also sometimes called the archer sign.
Who is Chiron, and why is he the symbol for the Sagittarius sign and the Sagittarius personality? Well, you'll need to understand something about the typical centaur personality for it to make sense. Centaurs were wild, drunken, highly sexual beings who behaved very, very badly. Centaurs represented the animal side of human nature (thus the half-horse, half-human appearance).
While that was true for most centaurs, Chiron was different. While Chiron was a centaur, he was also the offspring of the god Titan, who impregnated a nymph while taking the form of a horse. So, while he was physically identical to a centaur, he was actually a Titan/nymph hybrid who was raised by Apollo, the god of art, music, knowledge, and—you guessed it—archery! Due to Apollo's influence, Chiron grew up to be a kind and nurturing spirit with a knowledge that far transcend that of the lowly centaur.
Like Chiron, the Sagittarius personality is loyal, sophisticated, independent, and kind! They are unique, artistic, and have unerring judgment. You might even say their arrows tend to hit the mark!
The astrological sign for Sagittariuses is a bow and arrow, just like this one.
The 5 Key Sagittarius Traits
A Sagittarius personality is not like other zodiac signs' personalities. The combination of independence, intelligence, and compassion makes for a wonderful, caring personality type. But for every positive strength, there's also a weakness, so it's better to know what these weaknesses are so you can be a better Sagittarius and a better person.
To that end, let's break down the five key traits that make a Sagittarius a Sagittarius.
Independence is one of a Sagittarius's strongest traits. Think about poor Chiron, never quite fitting in with the centaurs, but also not fitting in with the gods. Naturally, he forged his own path, and that's what Sagittariuses are doing to this day, as they follow in Chiron's astrological...uh, hoofprints.
Sagittariuses have an independent streak like no other sign. Independence and the freedom to pursue what they want when they want is of the utmost importance to a Sagittarius. They are travelers, risk-takers, and have a great mind for business and sports! This means that Sagittariuses tend to be some of the most innovative people out there. Sagittariuses aren't afraid to blaze their own trails, even if that means going it alone.
As a result, good jobs for Sagittariuses include entrepreneurs, stock brokers, professors, and marketers. These are all jobs that allow a Sagittarius the space to do things their way, and the flexibility to let them approach their job from unique perspectives! Sagittariuses tend to be highly sought after team members, since they can be trusted to get things done while making their work bringing a fresh perspective to their work.
All this independence can sometimes translate to behavior that seems spontaneous to the point of random and a tendency to get bored easily. They can also rebel against those in authority, which can cause conflicts at work. Additionally, while Sagittariuses are great to have on a team, their independent streak can make it hard for people to build consensus. While Sagittariuses tend to be compassionate and not consciously mean, it's also not unusual for a Sagittarius to do their own thing...even if that wasn't exactly agreed upon by everyone else.
If you're a Sagittarius, keep an eye out for your tendency to subconsciously ignore people's ideas and opinions, since consensus is important to happy, healthy relationships.
Sagittariuses are great at understanding the emotions of the people around them (even when they're as obvious as this guy's).
#2: Emotional Intelligence
It's probably not surprising that "intelligence" and "independence" go hand-in-hand with this December sign! Sagittariuses tend to be highly emotionally intelligent, which allows them to connect with the people around them.
A Sagittarius is a searching and spiritual soul, with a tendency to become philosophical and, well, deep. One of the things that most attract people to Sagittariuses is their ability to see a bigger picture, and to be able to diagnose give advice for their friends' problems. Being best friends with a Sagittarius can be like having your own personal emotional counselor or life coach.
Because Sagittariuses are great at looking at a situation from all angles, they're also natural problem-solvers. People with Sagittariuses in our lives love them for always bringing their heads and their hearts to the table.
Because they are so emotionally and intellectually gifted, our Sagittariuses can easily get caught up in egotism if they're not careful. Whenever being able to understand multiple nuances and facets of an issue comes easily to you, it's easy to feel over-confident in your abilities, and thus fall into sloppiness and stubbornness. Remember: just because you can see the ins and outs of a problem doesn't mean you don't need help solving them. (That advice applies to a Sagittarius's own problems, too!)
Sagittariuses are also not known for their ability to take criticism. This is one of the biggest potential downsides to a Sagittarius personality: confidence can seem like arrogance if it's not backed up with attention to detail! Balanced Sagittarius personalities make sure to practice the art of humility, too.
One of the reasons that Sagittariuses tend to be amongst the most well-liked zodiac signs is because they balance intelligence and independence with a big dose of compassion. In other words, Sagittariuses tend to be smart and nice.
Perhaps related to their ability to intuitively understand issues larger than themselves is the Sagittarius characteristic for being deeply, soulfully compassionate. Because of their openness to new experiences and lack of strictures, Sagittariuses get along very well with diverse groups of people and are always willing to empathize with another person's experience. To this end, Sagittariuses tend to be brilliant conversationalists. Their warm, generous willingness to set people at ease comes from a genuine concern for other peoples' experiences and well-being.
In short: a Sagittarius at their best is a real sweetheart!
One of the Sagittarius traits that causes them the most heartbreak is their tendency to think that their natural kindness is shared by others, which leads them to sometimes get taken advantage of. Their willingness to believe in everyone's essential goodness means they don't always have the ability to judge if someone means them harm.
Especially compassionate Sagittariuses should embrace their better natures but be sure to keep an eye out for those who might take advantage of their intrinsic kindness. Better yet, surround yourself with other zodiac signs who can help you see when you might be in a bad situation!
A Sagittarius's motto is "Honesty is the best policy."
People who are born under the Sagittarius sign are often known for their honesty. They're the types of people hate lying and being lied to, which means they're incredibly trustworthy, too.
A Sagittarius's emotional intelligence, compassion, and independent streak means that they tend to find value in living their truth—which involves being honest with others and themselves. For many people, this translates to having high amounts of integrity, and expecting the same in return. The Sagittarius is one of the most honest of all the zodiac signs, and they don't have any interest in deception.
You will always get a straight answer from a Sagittarius, and if you confront them with something that is troubling you, no doubt they will tell you what you need to hear (even if it's not exactly what you want to hear). As a result, other people tend to see Sagittariuses as incredibly trustworthy.
Just as their confidence sometimes comes across as arrogant, a Sagittarius's honesty can come off tactless. The Sagittarius will always be focused on the bigger picture, the greater good, and if your feelings get in the way, that's not something that will concern them so much.
Those of more sensitive natures will always get their feelings hurt by a Sagittarius, because the truth is the truth, even if it stings a little. Remember the archery metaphor? Their arrows always hit the target, and sometimes that hurts! While Sagittariuses should always tell the truth, good Sagittariuses remember to balance that with compassion (which, luckily, is also in their nature).
The last trait common to Sagittariuses is curiosity. People born under the Sagittarius zodiac sign tend to be full of questions. (Remember the kid who couldn't stop asking "why" in class? They were probably a Sagittarius.)
Like ancient archers, Sagittarius is a natural hunter, especially when it comes to knowledge. Thus, Sagittariuses are always on the lookout for new information.
There is a great overlap in being curious and being intelligent, and Sagittariuses are driven to build a storehouse of knowledge. So it's only natural that one of the most distinctive Sagittarius characteristics an insatiable curiosity. Sagittariuses tend to be the kinds of people who are happiest when they're having new experiences that allow them to add new data to their repository of knowledge. (That makes Sagittariuses great to have on your trivia team.)
A Sagittarius's inquisitiveness applies to all aspects of their life, including work experiences, life experiences, and interpersonal relationships. The Sagittarius is always focused on what new, unexpected events are on the horizon.
Being driven by seeking out the new also means a boredom with the old. A Sagittarius can be restless and sometimes has a tendency to abandon the tried and true in order to experience whatever's next. This means that while Sagittariuses tend to be great starters, they often leave things unfinished. Consequently, one of the Sagittarius characteristics is that they tend to have a million half-finished projects lying around.
Sagittariuses need to be particularly mindful of this in relationships (which we'll talk more about in a minute). Remember that old, dear friends are just as important as new ones! Try to resist following every shiny object, especially if that means hurting other people who care about you.
Sagittariuses in Relationships
We've already discussed many of the reasons that being in a relationship with a Sagittarius is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. But those same amazing Sagittarius traits can make relationships with Sagittariuses really frustrating, too.
Let's take a look at romantic, platonic, and professional relationships with Sagittariuses.
Romantic Relationships With a Sagittarius
A Sagiattarius's constant quest for new experiences translates to a reluctance to commit. This can be a good thing if you're, say, an Aries or Gemini, who likewise are likely to want to drift toward the new and get easily bored with the old. However, if you like a safe routine and predictability, the Sagittarius might be more of a challenge to find love with. Likewise, the Sagittarius's tendency towards painful honesty can lead to a lot of hurt feelings, especially for sensitive zodiac signs like Cancers or Pisces.
These are the caveats of loving a Sagittarius, but the upside is that a Sagittarius partner can be a confidant, co-conspirator, and therapist all at the same time—and all while constantly pushing their partners toward new and exciting things. As a result, life with a Sagittarius partner can be the most rewarding of any zodiac romance. So, if you're on the fence give it a shot! If you aren't compatible, the honest Sagittarius will let you know in a very short amount of time.
Platonic Relationships With a Sagittarius
Having a Sagittarius for a friend can be a lot of fun. But it can be challenging to have them as a best friend. Intimate friendship takes time to develop, and because a Sagittarius is always on the hunt for something new, they can tend to drift in and out of your life. It's not uncommon for a close Sagittarius friend to disappear for a long time, only to reappear when you most need them.
And that's the great thing about being friends with a Sagittarius: they will be there when you need them. Unlike strongly loyal signs, like Tauruses and Scorpios, Sagittariuses don't think about friendship as a constant thing. They can be your friend, even if they aren't around all the time! Because they are always genuine, empathetic, and on the hunt for connection, you can count on them to respond when you reach out for help.
Professional Relationships With a Sagittarius
In many ways, a professional relationship is much like a romantic relationship: it's built on openness, trust, and clear communication. These are all areas in which Sagittariuses excel. A Sagittarius can be an incredible coworker if you value insight, flexibility, and an insatiable desire to innovate. However, if you expect to work with someone who adheres to a predictable schedule and doesn't question your authority, the Sagittarius is going to drive you crazy!
The key to having a successful working relationship with a Sagittarius is to harness their strengths and to value their input. Trust that a Sagittarius is going to think outside the box and see opportunities that may not be apparent to you. If you question them too much, the Sagittarius will push back and can become insolent. However, if you lean into their curiosity and drive, and allow them to think and work independently, they will reward that trust with honesty and loyalty.
If you're a Sagittarius in a work environment, it's important to remember that structure keeps an organization moving forward. It's not there to make you feel trapped! If you are feeling a bit claustrophobic in your role, try talking to your boss about how you can add more flexibility to your work. Oh, and remember: you actually have to finish what you start. It's a great idea to form relationships with people you trust who can hold you accountable and keep you on task.
If you're a Sagittarius, we have some tips for being the best you that you can be. Our advice will help make sure you're living your most amazing, most adventurous life!
Advice for Sagittariuses
This section is addressed directly to all the Sagittariuses who might be reading this. How does it feel to read all of your personality traits, your strengths and weaknesses, laid out so bare and open? If you were a Pisces or Cancer, you would probably answer, "I hate it!"
However, you are a Sagittarius personality and are one of the least melodramatic signs, so your answer is likely more along the lines of, "You might be right, but what can I learn from all this?"
One thing you can learn is that your freedom seems like unpredictability to the other signs, and you need to respect that another sign's desire for a comfort zone isn't necessarily an attempt to stifle you. Despite your Sagittarian ability to see a larger pattern, it may not be readily apparent to you that your consistent tendency to break routines is itself a routine, and one that seems threatening to those who value stability.
And on that note: people who are predictable aren't weak or silly! (Sagittariuses at their worst tend to be egotistical, remember?) Predictable people can provide an important counterpoint to your adventurous, wandering spirit. Having stalwart and steady people—like Capricorns and Virgos—in your life can help you keep your emotional and intellectual balance.
Like many scientifically-minded people, you, as a Sagittarius, can tend to think of things in the abstract. So your blunt honesty and restless spirit can cause real hurt among those who love you. It might suit you well to channel that compassion for others' feelings into a way of reigning in your wilder instincts so that you don't do unintentional harm. Your compassion helps balance your other, more alienating traits...so don't be afraid to lean into it.
Advice for Relating to Sagittariuses
This section is for all the other eleven signs of the zodiac who need advice about their relationship with a Sagittarius, whether romantic or otherwise.
First of all, relax! The great thing about a Sagittarius is that none of this is personal. They are going to be endlessly driven by their innate soul-searching and desire for authentic connection. If they seem bored with you or with their situation, it's just them being a typical Sagittarius. It's not necessarily a reflection on your worth, so just trust that they will always come around and be there when you need them.
Having said that, it's important that you embrace a Sagittarius's need for change. (Remember: one of the Sagittarius characteristics is that they love new ideas and experiences.) Try to add some flexibility into your own life, too. If you do, your Sagittarius partner or friend will take you on some of the most spectacular adventures you'll ever have. But if you're starting to feel worn out and exhausted, be sure you're honest about that. Sagittariuses want you to tell them the truth, and they'll respect you more for it.
Also keep in mind that a Sagittarius is not inconsiderate or "flaky." They can (and do!) empathize with your feelings, but they sometimes lose sight of how others feel in their quest for new adventures. A key to relating to a Sagittarius is to keep your approach fresh. Try new strategies to keep them interested, and don't assume that something that's worked in the past will remain the best approach!
Whether we're talking about a lover, friend, or employee, the advice is the same: a Sagittarius is always looking for the path they haven't taken, so your job is to keep providing them with fresh avenues to satiate their curious, adventurous spirit.
Does your sign mesh well with a Sagittarius? Learn more about Sagittarius compatibility here.
Another way to get to know people is through their Myers-Briggs profile. For example, are INFJs funny? Check out this article to find out.
Lastly, your zodiac sign can be a good way to learn more about yourself. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is key to being successful! For instance, check out this article on time management tips. Try a few strategies that might work best for a Sagittarius who's easily bored and loves new things. We bet you'll see an improvement!
Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.