12 Stealthy Ways To Uncover Someone’s True Personality

You never really know someone like you think you do.

Last updated on Aug 13, 2023

group of friends how to know someone's true character Aline Viana Prado / Pexels via Canva

You can know someone for years and never really know them. Sometimes it takes a lot for someone to show their true colors; uncovering someone's true personality is not as easy as it seems. Because, when it comes down to it, our personalities are far more complex than what we show on the surface.

If you can be aware of someone's true colors earlier on, you can assess how and where that person fits into your life. The pain of knowing someone for years, only to find out that they aren't the person you want to surround yourself with is an awful feeling.


There are several ways to analyze whether the people around you are enriching you, or simply not worth your time. When you take the time to pay attention to someone's personality, you save yourself the trouble of wasting your time on someone who isn't good for you.

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So how do you find out someone's true colors? According to Rose D'Cruz on Quora, the answer is simple: Provoke them.

Says D'Cruz, "The Japanese believe that there are three sides of nature in a human. This line of thought probably comes from James Clavell's 1975 novel 'Shogun:' 'It's a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone, hidden only God knows where.'"

But aside from provoking someone, there are additional steps you can take to see who someone truly is.

12 Ways To Figure Out Someone’s True Character

1. See how they treat people around them.

Actions and behaviors towards others reveal more about a person's empathy, respect, and compassion than words alone ever could. Genuine kindness and consideration towards others often indicate a person's inherent values and integrity, reflecting their authentic self.


The saying goes that you can learn a lot about a person from the way they treat those who wait on them. So how do they treat servers? Their parents? Friends?

2. Argue with them.

Engaging in an argument with someone can also offer valuable glimpses into their true nature. How a person argues, whether they resort to respectful discussion or employ aggressive tactics, reflects their communication style and emotional intelligence.

Those who approach arguments with empathy and openness to differing viewpoints demonstrate maturity and willingness to learn, while those who resort to personal attacks or manipulation may reveal underlying insecurities or a lack of respect for others' perspectives. How someone navigates disagreements can unveil important aspects of their character and interpersonal skills.

3. Observe their relationship with their partner.

A person's behavior in a romantic relationship reflects their ability to communicate, compromise, and show empathy. Those who treat their partners with love, respect, and support demonstrate emotional maturity and a capacity for healthy connections.


On the other hand, patterns of manipulation, disrespect, or emotional abuse may indicate underlying issues or an inability to maintain a healthy partnership.

Observing how someone behaves with their partner offers clues about their values, emotional intelligence, and overall character.

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4. Say no.

Those who respond with grace and understanding to being told "no" show emotional maturity and respect for boundaries. However, those who react negatively or aggressively may struggle with handling rejection and might display a lack of emotional control.

A person's ability to accept "no" gracefully can demonstrate their resilience and capacity for healthy relationships, as it indicates their respect for others' autonomy and willingness to navigate difficult situations with composure.


5. Pull away and see how they react.

This is a great litmus test for someone's true nature. If they respond with concern, empathy, and a genuine effort to understand and reconnect, it may indicate a commitment to the relationship's well-being. But if they react with avoidance or manipulation, it might suggest an unwillingness to address issues openly.

How someone reacts to distance in a relationship can reveal their level of commitment, communication skills, and willingness to work through challenges.

6. Ask their opinions about the person they dislike and the reason why.

If they express their dislike with empathy, focusing on specific behaviors or actions rather than resorting to personal attacks, it means they are able to handle conflicts constructively. However, if they exhibit intense negativity or avoid rational explanations, it might suggest a tendency towards judgmental attitudes or unresolved personal issues.

The way in which someone expresses their feelings about others reveals their capacity for empathy and exposes their true nature.


7. See how your dog reacts to them.

Observing how your dog reacts to someone may also provide interesting clues about that person's character. Dogs are known for their ability to sense emotions and pick up on subtle cues from people.

If your dog responds positively to someone, wagging their tail, seeking attention, and seeming comfortable with them, it could indicate that the person emits positive energy and is likely kind-hearted.

If your dog shows signs of fear, aggression, or avoidance around that person, it might be an indication that the person's behavior or energy is unsettling to the animal.

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8. Observe how they gossip.

If someone engages in gossip frequently, it can be a revealing aspect of their character. Gossiping may indicate a lack of respect for privacy and boundaries. Additionally, habitual gossipers might have difficulty establishing trustworthy relationships, as others may become wary of sharing personal information with them.

Gossiping can also reflect a negative or toxic mindset, as it often involves focusing on the faults or misfortunes of others rather than uplifting and supporting them. Those who regularly engage in gossip might struggle with empathy and may not be capable of maintaining confidential or healthy relationships.

9. Pay attention to how generous they are.

How someone gives and shares, whether it's their time, resources, or kindness, speaks volumes about their empathy and selflessness. Generous individuals often display a strong sense of compassion, showing a genuine concern for the well-being of others.

Their willingness to help and support without expecting anything in return showcases a depth of character rooted in kindness and a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of those around them.


10. Think about whether or not they are reliable.

A reliable person is someone who consistently follows through on their commitments, keeps their promises, and can be counted on in various situations. Reliability showcases traits such as responsibility, integrity, and trustworthiness.

People who demonstrate reliability are more likely to prioritize their obligations, show up when needed, and be dependable in both personal and professional settings.

11. See how often they think before they speak.

Taking a moment to consider their words before speaking shows respect for others' feelings and an understanding of the potential impact of their speech. It also reflects a level of maturity, as individuals who think before speaking are more likely to engage in constructive dialogue and avoid impulsive or hurtful remarks.


This ultimately fosters healthier and more meaningful relationships with others.

12. Observe their reactions to other peoples' success.

Genuine happiness and support for others' achievements demonstrates a secure and confident individual who celebrates the accomplishments of those around them. Such a person likely possesses qualities like humility, empathy, and a lack of jealousy.

If someone reacts with envy, bitterness, or attempts to undermine others' success, it may indicate insecurity, a competitive mindset, or a lack of self-esteem. How a person handles other people's achievements shows their level of emotional maturity and ability to foster positive relationships with those in their social circle.

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Abby Jamison is a former Editorial Intern and contributor to YourTango, freelance writer, and digital copywriter. Her work has been featured in Book Riot, The Bradford Era, Unwritten, among others.