In "Blink: The power of thinking without thinking", Malcolm Gladwell shared a study where the personality of 80 students was assessed by those students’ closest friends versus complete strangers who only spent 15 minutes visiting their bedrooms. Turns out, the complete strangers were more accurate.
I you can visit someone’s home, even better. But anytime you get a ride from someone, it might tell you quite a bit about that person. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
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On the other hand, if you make an honest mistake and apologize, how do they respond?
Check how someone acts on social media versus reality.
Do they always need to put on a show, humblebrag, or showcase every “amazing” detail of their day—even though their life is ordinary? It can say a lot about how a person thinks, how they feel, and what motivates them.
The point of these checks isn’t to judge someone. It's simply to gauge someone's personality—in that moment—and see if it aligns with your values, your goals, and what's important to you.
We all make mistakes. But when you address it in a respectful, kind, and fair way, how do they respond?
We actually make a lot of commitments in daily life like:
If you notice a pattern where someone fails to follow through with any of their commitments—or regularly changes them—it can reveal someone who isn't reliable, doesn't hold themselves accountable for the things they say, or doesn’t value you all that much.
A common test is how people treat service staff at restaurants, cafes, etc...
The bigger picture is however, how people treat those who can do absolutely nothing for them or to them. (Waiters, on the other hand, can definitely do something to you.)
Strangers on the street. People selling flowers on the sidewalk. Janitors. People “below” their position at work. How does someone treat those people or talk about them?
Some people don't really have an established sense of self—who they are changes completely depending on who they talk to. And they only put on their “A-Game” when they’re around a person they like, they admire, or they want something from.
Learning how to better read someone else's body language can go a long way in helping you understand what someone is thinking.
We are all somehow inclined to want something in return when we give. However, the easiest thing you can do is learn to do things out of love, without expecting anything in return.
Next time you do someone a favor, do it without wanting anything back. Feel the joy of giving. If then you receive something in return, it will feel great; if not, it won’t be a big deal.
We think we should be improving certain parts of our personality, while certain character traits are to be left intact. This division of personality traits creates confusion and subconscious bias.
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