18 Behaviors That reveal Someone’s True Personality

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By Jonathan Trent

Humans can be surprisingly easy to read. They regularly demonstrate certain behaviors that show off their true personalities, although some are easier to spot than others. Here are 18 examples of such behaviors that tell you who someone really is. 

Treatment of Server

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It’s common to gauge someone’s true personality on a first date not by the way they talk to you but by the way they treat the waiting staff. If someone treats staff as though they are not on an equal level, they should be avoided, as it’s a clear sign of arrogance.

Helping Strangers 

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Kindness and compassion are two of the most desirable traits in those who are willing to help someone they don’t know. As the Mental Health Foundation writes, we can benefit from the emotional upsides of being kind, meaning those who are willing to help out are more likely to be content.


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Generosity comes in two categories: first, there’s genuine generosity that comes from the heart, powered by empathy and kindness. Meanwhile, there’s performative generosity, where people will be outward about their actions, such as people who film themselves doing charitable actions. This is usually born out of insecurity and a desire for approval. 

The Company They Keep

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You can tell a lot about a person’s character by the company that they choose to keep. As humans, certain aspects of our character will be shaped by our friendship group, so if a person’s friends are kind and welcoming, the chances are the person in question will be too. 

Behavior Around Different People

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Humans naturally engage with different people in different ways, with most people’s core persona remaining the same. However, if someone adopts a vastly different personality around a different group of people, it underlines an aching desire to fit in, a trait born out of insecurity.

Response to Provocation

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How someone reacts in the heat of the moment when they are being provoked says a lot about their true character. Fighting fire with fire and reacting violently can suggest a lack of self-control while taking a moment to assess the situation, and reacting calmly shows restraint and self-assuredness. 

Ability to Take Criticism

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Nobody enjoys receiving criticism, but constructive criticism can go a long way toward helping you better yourself in a personal and professional sense. If someone avoids criticism at all costs, it’s a sign of extreme sensitivity, while if they instantly reject it, it’s a sign of stubbornness and potentially narcissism.

Ability to Take Praise

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While some may struggle to take criticism, some find it even tougher to accept praise, even if it’s rightly deserved. It may be a sign of low self-esteem and self-worth, but as Harvard Business Review suggests, people may also deflect praise to protect themselves from future failure or rejection.

Behavior Toward Friends 

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The way a person treats those who are closest to them says a lot about their true personality. If they are unafraid to gossip about a friend behind their back or downplay one of their friend’s achievements, they probably aren’t going to last long in the friendship group.

Calmness Under Pressure

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If someone takes control when their back is against the wall, it’s a surefire sign of responsibility and leadership skills. On the other hand, reacting with panic and blaming others for their situation denotes nothing but immaturity and self-preservation. We prefer the former!

Response to Failure

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A person’s ability to pick themselves back up after they have ‘failed’ at something says a lot about their character. If they see it as a learning opportunity, they likely possess a lot of integrity. However, if they either give up or stop blaming others, it shows a lack of resilience and maturity.

Tendency to Apologize

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Even if they didn’t hurt someone’s feelings intentionally, taking responsibility and apologizing for any upset caused is a sign of a person with empathy and a conscience. If someone fails to acknowledge their mistake or the way they have made someone else feel, it’s a telltale sign of narcissism. 


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A person’s hobbies say a lot about their personality; if they prefer physical endeavors such as partaking in sports or frequenting the gym, they are likely to be discipline-oriented. Meanwhile, if they prefer more creative pastimes, the National Library of Medicine finds that they will likely be more cognitively flexible and accurate when communicating.

Calling Out Their Friends

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A true sign of someone’s personality is how they react if one of their close friends behaves in a way that can be deemed problematic. Although difficult, stepping up and calling them out shows maturity and integrity, whereas staying quiet complicates the issue. 

Kindness Toward Animals

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Treating animals with kindness and love shows empathy and shows that the person is not interested in abusing the power they have over a vulnerable creature. If a person is willing to treat animals poorly, it raises questions about how they are willing to treat vulnerable people.

Response to “No”

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A respectful acknowledgment of somebody saying “no” and not following it up with over-persistence is a sign that someone can respect others. Refusing to take no for an answer is a blatant sign of disrespect for someone’s personal boundaries. Avoid people like that!

Social Media Posts

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People’s social media posts often contrast with their real lives, expressing pent-up insecurity and worry about how others perceive them. A study published by CBS News has stated that people who post a lot of selfies online are often seen as dislikeable by others, so don’t go overboard, or you’ll seem desperate!

Talking About Themselves

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Finally, there is a lot to learn about someone when they are talking about themselves. If someone is desperate to mention their good deeds or their proficiency in certain areas of life, they will likely be self-centered. Genuinely kind and sincere people will actually get quite shy when asked to talk about themselves!

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