This blog would coincide with a previous blog I wrote entitled ” A Life Without Problems: Character and Ability”, whereas I briefly defined the two terms, but for now, I would like to concentrate more on character.
The character of a person distinctly defines who they are. It is the image we build for ourselves based on our moral and ethical qualities. It is what determines how we are approached and why we are not approached by others. Unfortunately, we live in a world where imposters hide behind a fake wall of integrity, compassion, sympathy, and all other forms of “goodwill” for the sake of covering up their true identity. This, of course, is called “charm”, but that is something that only lasts for the moment. Character lasts a lifetime.
There are ways to test the character of a person, and with these tests, you may discover signs that are sometimes inadvertently overlooked when getting to know someone.
Test their response to:
How do they react to correction
How do they react to loss
How do they react to praise
How do they react to receiving a gift
Reaction to correction:
“You think I am wrong? You must be crazy!”
“You think I am wrong? You might be right!”
Note how both responses start the same but end entirely different based on the person’s own self-perception. The first response is a sign the person feels they are never wrong, and if anyone thinks they are, there must be something wrong with them. This is a sign this person is definitely hard to get along with. They want to be right all the time, even when they know they are wrong. Negotiating is obsolete for them, or just purely does not apply. They rarely apologize, and when they do, there is always some sort of condition to it, such as “I may be wrong, but you are (fill in the blank)”. If they do finally break down and admit they were wrong, they will try to turn the focus onto the millions of things they feel you did wrong regardless if it has anything to do with the situation at hand. They can never take full blame or responsibility for their own actions without somehow pinning part of their responsibility onto you, too.
Reaction to loss:
“I am so glad it did not happen to me!”
“I hope everyone is okay.”
Keep in mind the normal reaction to hearing about someone’s loss. Usually, the first words that come out are “I am sorry to hear that”, or “are you okay”, or some form of showing concern for the other person’s well-being. The first response shows a person who obviously only thinks about themselves, how they feel, and how the situation affects them. They show no sympathy or empathy because they have none. They cannot put themselves in other’s shoes because the only shoes they have an interest in is their own. Selfish people do not make good friends, partners, or lovers since they lack the compassion. People who lack compassion are most likely to lack remorse for their actions when they have hurt you.
Reaction to praise:
“It’s about time everyone sees how great I am!”
“I do not see what all the fuss over me is about.”
I am sorry, I have to say this… that first response is just too obvious. It almost makes you want to immediately take your praise back. I have literally heard people say this out loud and expected others to cheer them on in return. Arrogance is never pretty nor is it attractive. An arrogant person will always look down on you in spite of all the palpable reasons not to. They cannot wait for the opportunity to disrespect you in some way, shape or form because in doing so gives them a sense of power. However, do not mistake pride for arrogance. A person can be proud of their accomplishments, their achievements, and so forth without expressing their sense of superiority at someone else’s expense.
Reaction to receiving a gift:
“It’s about time I got this!”
“How did you know this is what I wanted!”
Please do not dismiss the first response as a joke. This person secretly believes they deserve some sort of special entitlement or recognition. They may feel everyone should be grateful just to have them in their presence the minute they step into the room. Never expect an arrogant person to be grateful for what you do for them. They will never appreciate it no matter how much, how soon, or how effective you are at doing it. They usually expect others to do for them what they do not want to make the effort to do for themselves. They live their life thinking the world owes them. They rarely give gifts, and when they do, it is arranged in such a way that the gift will benefit them more than it will the recipient.
So why do we overlook these signs?
Well, the best explanation I can come up with is that we get so lost in the moment of the initial impression, in the euphoria of it all, that we tend to lose sight of what is real and what is not. Our minds go astray and begin to drift off into the portrait of what appears to be wholesome, not realizing something very different is missing from the entire equation. The next thing we know, we become overwhelmed with an inexplicable puzzling feeling that something is just quite not right with the person, yet we still find ourselves magnetically drawn to the madness to find out what is really going on beneath the surface. By this time, we are too far gone to accept the probability that maybe this person is just not who they say they are. We have invested our precious time, our energy, and unfortunately for some, our money into someone with a bogus identity who does not deserve any of it. This is when we start to want to seek closure, only to find ourselves in a whirlwind of confusing dead-end trails.
I can tell you from my first-hand experience it is not worth getting too close to a person who has forged their image in order to gain your respect, attention, and trust. Once you have realized that person is not deemed worthy of any more of your time, energy and resources, it is best to just cut your losses and walk away. You will never get closure, and they will make sure of it. The longer you stick around to figure out the real identity, the longer it will take for you to restore your own sanity, correct the damages (if any), and begin to rebuild your life.
Look into the mirror. Take each response and say them out loud to yourself. If the first response in each test makes you feel uncomfortable, remember that feeling the next time someone makes you feel the same way and avoid that person before you end up regretting it. If you are comfortable with saying all of the first responses, check yourself. Something is not right within you…
© 2013 Learus Ohnine