Ino was a considerably more popular and self-confident girl than Sakura when they met at the Ninja Academy. She convinced Sakura that hiding the size of her forehead was pointless, and gave her a ribbon to draw attention elsewhere, suggesting that Sakura had great potential, but had yet to reach it. She helped Sakura gain her confidence. When Sakura became attracted to Sasuke, and found out that Ino was attracted to him as well, Sakura ended their friendship hurting Ino in the process so she could compete with Ino for his affection. Ino later made friends with Sakura again during the Chunin Exams, but they are still considered rivals by many.
Ino is somewhat superficial, constantly thinking about boys and hoping that dieting to lose weight will make her more attractive to them. Ino can also be very confident, kind, and outspoken, not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes suggests that Chōji should lose weight. She is attracted to Sasuke, but her reasons for that attraction, apart from Sasuke being a popular student and the best in his class, are unknown. She is described as cheerful. In her team, Ino tends to boss the others around, though she clearly cares for them, as shown by her relief when Choji survived near fatal injuries. Shikamaru, despite thinking of most girls as "troublesome", typically offers no resistance, being unwilling to deal with how she reacts if she is unable to have her way. Asuma recognized the control she has over the others, and, while dying, told her to look after Choji and Shikamaru, and ensure that they didn't get into trouble.