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How do I get to Know a Person's Character?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
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If you are trying to assess a person's character, make sure you do not rely heavily on factors that can be misleading. Instead, observe the individual's ability to tell the truth and to commit. Also, pay attention to his attitude, and whether it is positive or negative, try to distinguish how it impacts his life.

You can tell a lot about a person's character by observing how he treats other people. This includes both people he knows and people he does not know. It may be difficult to actually see how he treats different types of people if you only encounter him in a single environment, such as the workplace. It is often possible, however, to get some idea of his manner of interaction with different types of people through conversation with him.

Whether or not a person is honest says a lot about his character. The attitude a person has about honesty can also indicate what type of person he is. Observe the person's conversations and try to determine how often, if at all, he tells lies. To some degree the types of lies he may tell and his motives for doing so matter. It also counts whether or not he thinks truthfulness is an important quality even if he is dishonest.

The level of commitment a person displays indicates the type of character he has. The word “commitment” often causes people to instantly think of intimate relationships. Whether a person can choose one partner and respect the vows and agreements made between them is usually an indication of character. It is important, however, to remember that there are many other things in life that may require commitment and the level that is displayed in these instances also says a lot about a person.

A person's character is affected by his attitude. Some people generally have a negative outlook while others may try to be positive even in difficult situations. Attitude can affect many aspects of a person's life, including how hard he works, what he views as realistic, and his ability to be supportive of others.

When you are trying to assess someone's character remember that it consists of qualities and habits that form his identity. This means you need to be careful not to rely heavily on factors that can easily be misleading. This includes factors such as manner of dress or the actions of family members. While these things may provide some valid insight into a person's personality, they are often very weak indicators of a person's character when compared to other factors.

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Discussion Comments
By anon985265 — On Jan 14, 2015

I heard it said once that a person's character is based on how they act when they don't know anyone sees them. There's a lot to that. I had a boyfriend who used to leave the bathroom door cracked. I'd giggle when I'd see him in there, practicing smiles, etc. My sister used to do the same thing!

Both are very personable, and something wonderful about my 'ex' is that he was great at listening and consoling people who were hurting. And yes, he took it hard when we broke up. it wasn't a blame thing; we both were just going in too different of directions and rarely had time for each other (which happens a lot in your young 20's).

By amitarora — On Sep 20, 2012

@Brickback: I kind of disagree with your post. Not all people are strong when they face rejection. Some people are emotional and will take it personally and wallow in self pity. Why do they do that? It is because in their life, they don't accept that people they have helped and supported can do them wrong when they go down in life. If a person has been honest and committed to his friend or relationship, he will always get hurt when the other person does wrong when they are going down, or when they don't stand in their times of failure. Life is very strange. Sometimes you're up and down but a true friend, as mutsy said, always sticks by in the time of failure.

Everybody has different characters but some people are very emotional and they don't just accept the fact that a person who they supported all their life turns against them. They don't go into self-pity because of rejection, but out of depression, because they never expected their friends, whom they have helped with all honesty, to turn against them, or there is a major change of attitude.

But this self pity and depression lasts only for a short time. They recover from it and then start their fight with life again and are very adamant to achieve success again. They are hard working and make their depression and self pity their tool to achieve their aims. The depression actually becomes their motivation to fight back again. I would say these kinds of people have strong character.

The only problem with these kinds of people is that they don't normally easily forgive the people who turned against them or showed a dirty attitude or back-stabbed them.

By mutsy — On Feb 04, 2011

Crispety -I agree and sometimes I think that it is difficult for celebrities to judge the character of others because they surround themselves with people that will do what they say not showing their true character.

Sometimes when a celebrity loses his money and fame is when they can really judge the people around them.

The people that stick around the former celebrity after they lost everything were true friends all along. The people that left were only interested in the celebrity’s status and not the actual person behind the image.

By Crispety — On Feb 02, 2011

GreenWeaver- I agree and I think that people with true character are willing to do the work that the rest of the people are not willing to do.

They make the hard decisions because it is something that has to be done. For example, a parent with character might punish a child that was disrespectful by making them go to bed early even though the parent really wanted to stay up and watch a movie with their child.

Another weaker parent with less character might not punish the child at all and just dismiss the actions as the child just made a mistake. I think that people with character do what is right not what is easy.

By GreenWeaver — On Feb 01, 2011

BrickBack -I agree that adversity does build character and so does keeping your word. Keeping your word can set you apart from the rest because many people take this critical characteristic and downplay its importance.

If they have an appointment they might not show up because they got too busy or were not in the mood. Meanwhile the service provider offering the appointment has lost revenue as a result of the person not keeping their word of maintaining the appointment.

This is why many salons and even doctors' offices are now charging clients that do not cancel at least two days in advance.

By BrickBack — On Jan 30, 2011

I think that the best way to judge a person’s character is to see how they act when they face adversity.

This is a true measure of someone’s character. People with a rich character will rise to the occasion and do what they need to do to overcome the impending obstacles.

These people tend to have a can do attitude and are not affected by rejection. While we all face rejection a person with the a strong character will learn from the rejection rather than take it personally.

These people do not wallow in self pity and are usually very productive. Both of my sisters fall into this category.

One is an attorney and the other is a Vice President of a major cosmetics company. They proved that they had strong characters which enabled them to become highly successful in their chosen fields.

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