A real life example might be that when a flight attendant asks this type of person whether they want pretzels or crackers, they ask if they can have both. If they can't, it's no problem. They just like to probe and see what they can get if they want more than what seems to be available to them. There's an audaciousness about them in that many people wouldn't do that, but this person still has morals and doesn't necessarily lie or steal to get what they want.

These are my opinions, but opportunism ("opportunistic") implies a lack of morals and evokes thoughts of graft. Self-indulgence ("self-indulgent") implies excess, and maybe gluttony. Immoderation ("immoderate") has a similarly "sinful" tone.

Taking another path, the best antonymic phrase I can think of for this concept is abnegation, but it also seems to have a moral connotation (this time positive) of sacrifice and self-denial. An example sentence might say that "one who abnegates denies themselves of things they could otherwise possess, whereas a ____ person seeks to get things they may not have otherwise had if they didn't probe for them."

Is there an adjective for this type of person with a more neutral "feel" and definition? I have tried looking at definitions and synonyms of the words mentioned above (and others) in Merriam-Webster and through Google.

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    The pretzels and crackers example makes me think of "eager" or "pragmatic" (or maybe even "eagerly pragmatic"). Maybe this can jog some ideas. – tb11 Apr 2 '20 at 13:17
  • I kinda like "audacious," which you used. "Bold" is another possibility, along with synonyms "brassy" and "cheeky." – rajah9 Apr 2 '20 at 13:52
  • It sounds as if the purpose of the words as you use them is to ascribe moral characteristics to each type. I cannot see how then you would use one for a neutral "feel". I find neither one to have innate moral value. – Elliot Apr 2 '20 at 14:29
  • open to everything. – Lambie May 2 '20 at 17:24
  • Optimistic..... – Greybeard Dec 28 '20 at 21:12

I have heard this type of person referred to as an "optimizer": someone who gets the most out of something.


The word assertive comes to mind, as does the (very American) proverb The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The kind of person that you're describing might also be called a go-getter, but that's probably more colloquial than you are looking for. Words such as (self-)confident and self-possessed capture something of the same underlying idea, even if they don't describe the specific behavior you mentioned as an example. Antonyms would include submissive, demure, and (of course) unassertive.

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