17 Signs That Reveal a Person’s True Character

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By Darryl Henderson

As humans, we often accept a person at face value. However, sometimes there is more than meets the eye; in fact, there are subtle signs and behaviors that can offer us a glimpse into an individual’s authentic self, just like these 17 signs that reveal a person’s true character.

Body Language

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Body language, such as eye contact, posture, and gestures, can reveal a lot about someone. For example, someone who holds a steady gaze comes across as confident, whereas a person who slouches may seem insecure. There are many different types of body language, so look out for it to assess someone’s true character.

How They Treat Waitstaff

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How someone treats waitstaff shows a lot about their true character. If they criticize those in the service industry, make condescending remarks, or express anger toward them, it’s not a good look. Meanwhile, if they are kind, polite, and grateful for these interactions, it is a sign of a good person.

Reaction to Others’ Success

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Celebrating other people’s success is a huge indicator of the type of person someone is. Rejoicing in the accomplishments of others shows genuine support, while other people may be issuing backhanded compliments, which the Washington Post suggests is a form of envy regarding status. It’s not friendly at all!

Reaction to Adversity

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Challenges and difficult times can be the real test in revealing someone’s true character. Someone may either give up or exhibit explosive behavior, which tells us that they aren’t good under pressure. On the other hand, a good person will behave with grace in stressful situations, rising to the challenge admirably!

Empathy Towards Others

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A strong indicator of a good person is how they listen to others. If someone engages in active listening and displays compassion, they sound like a good friend. Meanwhile, if they’re unwilling to help and constantly veer the conversation back to themselves, do you really want to be around them?

Integrity in Small Matters

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Sprinkling dialogue with white lies can be a sign that someone does not have your best interests at heart, as they have no problem lying to you. However, if someone is always honest in their interactions and keeps their promises, you know that’s a friend that you can truly trust.

Handling Criticism

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Criticism can be hard for anyone to swallow. However, what separates many people from having a good or bad character is the way they respond to it. If someone accepts feedback wholeheartedly, they show a willingness to learn. Conversely, if someone dismisses criticism and lashes out, it reveals their true, hot-headed nature.

Treatment of Animals

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Animals are hailed all over the world as our faithful companions, and when someone has a good heart, they will exude kindness and gentleness towards these creatures. However, not everyone is kind to these cute creatures; some will act with aggression toward them, clearly indicating they are a cruel person. 

Generosity Towards Strangers

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Regularly engaging in random acts of kindness can make us feel good. It allows us to put other people’s needs above our own. However, some individuals solely act out of self-interest. These people are unwilling to help and will look the other way when someone is in crisis, which can reflect their true character.

Transparency in Relationships

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We are often the most vulnerable in our personal relationships; this is precisely why it’s important to communicate with others in an open manner without withholding information. Ultimately, it all comes down to honesty–if someone is honest and a good person, they won’t have anything to hide.

Handling Power

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When given leadership roles, different people handle this duty in various ways. A true person’s character is revealed if they practice fair leadership or, alternatively, abuse their authority. US News argues that leaders should always put other people first if they want to earn trust, something that a bad person will struggle with immensely. 

Reaction to Rejection

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Rejection often brings out a person’s true character, as it’s usually when they are feeling the most vulnerable. If a person does not accept rejection, they may become bitter and hold grudges against others. They’ll be unwilling to learn, dwelling on the situation without doing anything to make themselves do better.

Reaction to Change

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Due to its challenges, change and upheaval can bring out the worst in some people. Some put up a wall of resistance and block any change that comes their way. They’ll struggle to adapt to their new circumstances and may even exhibit pessimism towards change, making the situation harder for everyone. 

Consistency in Values

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While we all have positive and negative attributes, consistency in values is a vital indicator of our true character. Someone may come across as unreliable if their words do not match their actions, with the BBC pointing out that while their words may deceive, their actions will never lie.

Attitude Towards Differences

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Humans are always striving to embrace diversity and people from all walks of life. However, some individuals may take the opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction with other people and their appearance. They could even resist other types of people who don’t fit in with their ideals, making them intolerant and unpleasant to be around.

Accountability for Mistakes

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Forbes emphasizes the importance of accountability in creating a better culture; someone with virtue and integrity will take responsibility for their actions and express regret for any mistakes that they have made. However, a person’s negative character could shine through if they shift blame onto others, holding themselves back from apologizing sincerely. 

Reaction to Privilege

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Finally, in moments of privilege, some individuals exhibit humility and empathy, recognizing the disparities it creates. They use their privilege as a platform for advocacy, amplifying the voices of those marginalized. Sadly, this isn’t always the case; some react defensively, refusing to acknowledge their advantages and showcasing entitlement instead.