17 Subtle Behaviors That Reveal a Lot About One’s True and Authentic Personality

People can sometimes have very loud personalities that make you think they’re a certain kind of person. However, beyond these, subtle behaviors and traits are the actual markers of one’s most genuine and authentic character and personality. Dive deep into our list and explore some behaviors and traits that will help you better understand the people you encounter daily!

How They Cope With Stress and Challenges

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When you’ve known someone enough, you’ve probably seen how they deal with their lows. After all, every person on this planet will encounter some stress or challenge as they move through life. The key to understanding them lies in observation. So, to better understand your friend, colleague, or partner, observe them when they’re going through a tough time. This is because, according to the National Institutes of Health, “Personality traits have often been highlighted to relate to how people cope with stressful events.”

How They React to Success, Failure, and Setbacks

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Success and failure lie on two ends of the same spectrum. When one succeeds, do they appear arrogant and boastful, or do they maintain humility and integrity? When one fails and experiences a setback, do they break down, wallow in self-pity, and become insecure, or do they stand up and try again? These things speak volumes about a person’s true personality and character, so it’s essential to be mindful of them when getting to know someone.

How They Respond to Criticism and Feedback

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Making mistakes and failing are hard enough pills to swallow. So, imagine having to face criticism and feedback from someone else! However, someone with a genuinely great character and personality will recognize the benefits of constructive criticism or feedback being given to them. Constructive criticism, after all, isn’t simply criticism; it’s a way for you to improve and be better.

How They Treat and Interact With Service Personnel

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If you want to truly get to know someone, pay attention to how they treat and interact with service personnel the next time you go out. After all, how they treat others who are supposed to “serve” them will serve as mirrors of their true personalities, their values, and their morals. Remember, how you treat others in a “powerless” position or those in service work says everything about who you are! No matter their position or job, they are still humans who deserve to be treated with respect.

How They Treat Others From a Different Socio-Economic Class

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How people treat others from different socio-economic classes also speaks volumes about their character, and it’s on the same spectrum as how they treat and interact with service personnel. If someone is in a lower socio-economic class, do they treat them politely, with respect, and as if they’re their equals, or do they feel as if they’re better than them? In the same way, do they get down on their knees trying to earn favor from those from a higher socio-economic class than them?

How Their Inner Personalities Are Magnified When They Reach the Top

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One of the biggest signs that someone is genuinely good is if they remain humble even after success or even after reaching the very top of their dreams. Sadly, some people seemingly change—in a bad way—overnight once they get a taste of success; studies, however, explain that no change happens—success only magnifies their true personalities. MindPerk explains, “Success doesn’t change you; it simply magnifies who you are. If you’re a generous person when you’re only modestly successful, then success makes you even more generous; if you’re a selfish person before success, then success makes you even more selfish.”

How They Treat Their Parents

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Our parents are our main teachers in the school of life, and while it’s normal to have a strained relationship with them every now and then, you must never forget that you must always treat them with love, respect, and dedication. How you treat your parents in the ups and downs of life speaks volumes about what kind of person you are. Women’s Worth Conference Group says, “The way we treat our family should be reflected through our attitude towards them. Yes, some have not been brought up from a good background, and I understand that, however, for those that have been brought up well, treat your family well; for those that haven’t, do the same if though the pain may still be in your heart.”

How Their Actions Match Their Words

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Saying you’ll do something or promising you’ll change your ways is easy. After all, these are all words. The best way to let your true personality shine is to match your actions with your words; if you say you’re this kind of person, act in a way aligned with that! Given this, if you’ve seen other people saying one thing and then acting another way, then they most likely can’t be trusted; they’re fake, unreliable, and dishonest with who they are.

How They Act When They Think No One Else Is Watching

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One’s true character will always show when the person thinks they have nothing to gain or to lose; this means that how you act when no one is watching reveals a lot about who you truly are as a person. People usually have a public image—the one they let others see; it’s a conscious effort to portray yourself a certain way, like a mask that hides your true identity. Conversely, there’s also your private self, which reflects the deepest, most authentic version of you. As John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

How They Take Accountability—or Not—for Their Actions

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Someone may appear bright, intelligent, funny, and compassionate on the outside. However, the true test of their character is if they know how to take responsibility or be accountable for their actions and mistakes. If they hide behind others or shift the blame to others, they communicate that they’re unreliable and untrustworthy people who are only good on the outside.

How They Constantly Shift Every Conversation Back to Them

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Wanting to talk about ourselves and our experiences is normal. What isn’t, however, is if you constantly try to shift the conversation back to you—especially when you’re talking about something completely different. Psychologists refer to people who do this as conversational narcissists. Be warned, though, that conversational narcissism can ruin both the conversation itself and your relationship with other people!

How Respectful They Are of Others’ Time

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Respect goes both ways and if someone doesn’t respect your time, they don’t deserve your respect, either! If they’re always tardy and leaving you hanging, they communicate that your time is unimportant to them. An article explains, “When a person is punctual, others trust his remarks more and have a more favorable impression of him. They know he will always fulfill his word and will not cancel shared arrangements at the last minute, and everyone is pleased when he is treated with dignity and his time is valued.”

How They Talk About Others

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More often than not, talking or gossiping about others—especially in a bad light—can be harmful. When you or someone in your circle is always gossiping about others, you’d better watch out for negative personality traits that might be shining through. Gossiping, after all, is something closely associated with people who have low self-esteem, insecurity, lack of empathy, and narcissism.

How They Behave While on the Road

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Many things could go wrong while driving—someone might hit you, you might encounter a lot of traffic, or others can cut you off. These things can make for pretty heated situations that let your true self shine. Obnoxious and rude drivers usually display these qualities in other aspects of life, too, and they can be pretty easy to anger or annoy. On the flip side, patience and consideration on the road would most likely indicate a calmer, more organized personality in a person.

How Their Generosity and Empathy—or Lack Thereof—Shine Through

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Some people lack the empathy to put themselves in others’ shoes. However, sometimes, it’s just how they are; they’re not trying to be selfish! Other times, people can be empathetic but lack a generous heart and spirit that would actually push them to act on their empathy. No matter what, generosity and empathy are qualities that speak volumes about the kind of person you’re dealing with.

How They Communicate With Others and the Words They Use

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Our personality reflects our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and even attitudes. At times, our communication styles and words can influence or mirror our personalities and traits. For example, a publication from the Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology asserts, “Verbally aggressive people talk in angry and loud tones and appear authoritative. They are bad listeners, often involved in physical and verbal fights, and considered low on agreeableness.”

How They Dispose of Their Trash

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Little things can lead to big things; an example is how people dispose of their trash. For most, littering is a sign of someone having bad manners and a bad personality. Those who litter are usually viewed as persons with traits of mindlessness, lack of perceived severity of consequences, or even diffusion of responsibility, wherein they think other people, such as cleaners or janitors, should be responsible for their trash—not them.

Read More: 20 Common Traits Poorly Educated People Usually Have

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Poorly educated individuals may exhibit certain noticeable characteristics that set them apart from others. On the flip side, some may also compensate for their lack of education by pretending to be knowledgeable in certain areas. This behavior is often a way for poorly educated individuals to maintain their self-image and self-esteem.

20 Common Traits Poorly Educated People Usually Have

20 Behaviors and Traits That Are Dead Giveaways of Having Low Intelligence

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Speaking loudly, being overly confident, or even gossiping can all be signs of someone having low intelligence. However, by recognizing these markers, people can become more proactive in addressing their limitations and weaknesses, eventually improving their overall mental and emotional capacity. Read on and learn more about the top 20 dead giveaways of low intelligence!

20 Behaviors and Traits That Are Dead Giveaways of Having Low Intelligence

20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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Navigating a relationship without enough emotional support can feel like being caught in a storm without shelter. Constant feelings of isolation, misunderstanding, and loneliness indicate a loss of balance in the emotional aspect of your relationship. Thankfully, it’s not too late to get help because we’ve gathered the top 20 signs that can help you determine whether or not you’re receiving the emotional support you need for a healthy, thriving relationship.

20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.