How would you describe someone who doesn't worry about what other people think? Someone who has the confidence to think for themselves. It could be a quality or adjective. One word preferred


Maverick was popular in the last U.S. presidential election cycle, though the candidates to whom it was applied would probably not be called free spirited or nonconformist, which have whimsical and countercultural connotations respectively.

If individual always acts without external input, I'd call him or her a lone wolf.

If s/he simply can't be bothered with external input, nonchalant.

If s/he wants to strike down convention actively, iconoclastic.


Idiomatically, he "marches to his own beat."

Self-assured would also work in this context. Self-assured can have either either positive (he is confident) or negative (he is deluding himself) connotations.

  • I don't know if I've ever met "self-assured" with a negative connotation. – Marthaª Jan 10 '12 at 21:17

One cliche answer is free spirit, or simply spirited. In some contexts, perhaps irreverent.


Apathetic, nonchalant, indifferent, detached, disinterested, unconcerned, oblivious, "cool."

  • Some of these have negative connotation. – Marcus Adams Jan 10 '12 at 20:56
  • I would argue in context, all of these have negative connotations. – Affable Geek Jan 10 '12 at 21:08
  • Yeah, the only ones of these that could possibly have positive connotations are "nonchalant" and "cool", and the latter is (still) informal usage. – Marthaª Jan 10 '12 at 21:18

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