How to Judge Someone’s Character

4 minute read

This question answered by Michael Baucom, George Cotsiki, Jill Uchiyama, Paul Denlinger and Sanjay Sabnani for Quora


Answer by Michael Baucom

The things they laugh at.

I had a coworker back in Sulphur who saved his laughter for things he genuinely thought were funny.

So if I said something funny and he laughed, I knew he was being real. If he didn’t think it was funny, he’d just look at me.

I liked that guy a lot.


Answer by Jill Uchiyama

I had a teacher who said it best.

You don’t know who someone is until you see them under pressure.

It is when we are under pressure that our true colors come out, when the ego’s ass is put to the fire and we become the gateway between our survival self and doing what is humane and expressing integrity.

If you think about it, it is really easy to be a nice person when there is no pressure in your life. It is easy to give money to those in need when you have it in your wallet. It is easy to smile when you’re already laughing. It is easy to dance when you are in love with someone or with life itself. You don’t mind donating money or doing extra favors when you have the time. Even arguing is ok when you are feeling fine otherwise.

But, put some pressure on the same person and you may be face to face with a demon.

It happens to all of us. And it’s humbling to see where we really are in relation to life.


Answer by George Cotsiki

There is a great Japanese proverb :

“When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.”

Apart from face to face interaction (to understand by their body language and eyes) this is an extremely revealing point about someone. People can hide very well their true character but they cannot escape the semiotics of their social circle.

In both my personal and business life this has been one rule that even though I have tried to ignore (due to my own biases), has come true time and time again.


Answer by Paul Denlinger

Their questions.

Questions reveal what they are focusing their attention on, and also what their blind spots are.


Answer by Sanjay Sabnani

Social media.

I learn more about people I have known my whole life long on Facebook than I have pieced together over the entire length of our relationship. When someone writes, it becomes relatively easy to see what their angle is. Are they an attention whore? Do they self promote? Do they reciprocate when people interact with them and their content? What are their photographs like? Are they all selfies? Do they hide their spouse and family from the world in order to appear ‘available’? Do they go out of their way to hide how they really look? Do they just play mindless games all day? Do they share popular content in order to get praised?

This does not work if they do not write online, or if they only use social media sparingly, but reading someone’s words is a way straight into their personality if you care to pay attention.

This question originally asked on Quora: What is the single most revealing thing about any person? See more:

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