People are complicated. Trying to understand a person (trying to understand ourselves as well) can be harder than trying to crack the Da Vinci Code. People are always either in denial or unaware of certain aspects of their personality so it can be hard to determine a person’s personality based on what they tell you about themselves. But then again, you also run the risk of misunderstanding someone’s actions and intentions if you try to judge them based on the small amount of time you have spent with them or the small data you have collected on them without really knowing their full story.
As sure as there is death, there is no easy way to assess a person’s true character. However, there are a few tips and tricks that we can employ to help us gain insight into a person’s mind. If you observed keenly, you would notice that the people around us actually give us a lot of information about themselves without them realizing it and this is expressed in the little things that they do. All we have to do is observe keenly. Without further ado, here are 7 small things that can tell you a lot about what kind of person someone truly is. Number 7 will shock you!
1.Their body language
Our nonverbal cues… our posture, our facial expressions and even hand gestures make up a huge chunk of all communication. Body language can be a very powerful tool in understanding a person’s personality, attitudes and feelings. Some examples are as follows:
Smiling conveys happiness.
Crossed arms are a sign of defensiveness
Furrowed eyebrows denote confusion.
Biting your lip shows you’re either worried, anxious or even distressed.
Clenched fists indicate anger or frustration.
Fidgeting can mean boredom, impatience or deep thought.
Improving nonverbal communication skills and learning how to read someone’s body language can help understand what someone is saying without them saying a word.
2.The way they dress
Observing a person’s dressing style can let you in on so much about themselves.
Casual dressers are often laid-back and easygoing people, who value comfort over style and don’t care much for impressing others.
Colorful clothes and fun patterns wearers are usually creative and artistic types who want to express themselves through their fashion sense.
Women who wear floral prints and dresses convey femininity and grace.
Those who prefer to wear active wear and sporty clothes reveal confidence and dependability.
Formal attire wearers (like pantsuits, skirt suits and blazers) exude sophistication and assertiveness.
- Their taste in music
Our taste in music is an integral part of our personal identity. Each person is drawn to certain genres. Each person consumes music differently. Artists speak to us on an emotional level and more often than not, we connect with music that helps us better understand ourselves.
With this knowledge, we can tell what a person’s inner world is like by just glancing at their playlist.
For example, If you listen to mostly:
Jazz, soul and RnB, you tend to be sensitive, poetic, passionate and deep.
Acoustic and folk music, you are usually thoughtful, calm and warm.
Pop and dance music, you are upbeat, fun, outgoing and cheerful.
4. How they make eye contact
Always be mindful of a person’s eyes whenever you’re speaking to them. Eye contact is a good sign that someone is paying attention to you and are interested in what you are saying.
Breaking eye contact can mean that one is either nervous, uncomfortable or distracted.
People who are overly shy have trouble looking someone in the eye for long especially if they find that other person intimidating or attractive.
Rapid or excessive blinking conveys distress
Dilated pupils indicate desire
Squinted eyes show that the other person may be threatening or suspicious of you.
Someone who stares at you without blinking is just plain creepy. Run!
5. How they treat strangers
American author Dave Barry once said, “A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.” This is so true! The way you treat strangers, especially those of a lower social status or who have nothing to offer you, is very telling of your character.
When a person is being rude, disrespectful, or unpleasant to a stranger, it shows that they are superficial and over-privileged, that they are only charming or kind when they have something to gain from the other person. First featured in the book “Unwritten Rules of Management”, this is known as the “Waiter Rule” and it’s something you can use to gauge how caring, considerate, and empathetic a person truly is.
6. Their Social Media accounts
The way a person presents themselves online as well as their online profiles reveal a lot about their personality, traits, and interests, as well as the way they want to be seen.
A person’s social media presence shows how connected they want to be or not, while their privacy setting shows how much they’re comfortable sharing with people.
The pictures they post or share tell you a lot about what they like (whether it’s reading books, going out with friends to the club or restaurants, or working out) also the things they tweet about can give you a lot of insight into their likes, dislikes, and opinions.
- The shopping cart theory
The “Shopping Cart Theory” proposes that an individual’s moral character can be determined by whether they choose to return a shopping cart to its designated spot after use or whether they simply leave it wherever it suits them.
“The shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing”, a post on the theory states. “To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct, appropriate thing to do. To return the shopping cart is objectively right. There are no situations other than dire emergencies in which a person is not able to return their cart. Simultaneously, it is not illegal to abandon your shopping cart. Therefore the shopping cart presents itself as the apex example of whether a person will do what is right without being forced to do it.”
“The Shopping Cart is what determines whether a person is a good or bad member of society,” the theory concludes. Although at face value, The Shopping Cart Theory might come across as an extreme mode of judging one’s character, and it takes on a different meaning when you equate it with those who strictly follow social distancing measures for the safety and wellbeing of every member of society and those who are willing to toss the vulnerable aside.