5 Simple Characteristics That Will Help You Determine If A Person Is Worth Your Time

by Casey Cavanagh

Determining a person's true character can be a difficult feat. It’s easy to get along with someone initially, when everyone’s on his or her best behavior, but it's only after we’ve spent a considerable amount of time together that different sides of a personality begin to surface. Sometimes, our initial judgments fail us and we're left wondering what we ever saw in a person.

Whether it be a potential relationship or newly found friendship, sometimes we find ourselves so infatuated with another person, simply enjoying his or her company, that we fail to notice some warning signs.

 “I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.” — Maya Angelou

How They Treat Service People

This is not just about tipping. We are a struggling generation and sometimes, we can’t afford to be overly generous every time we’re out (although you should always leave at least between 15 and 20 percent). But, there is a courtesy that extends beyond our bank accounts: simply being polite. To all people. Do they remain composed when flustered? Do they go along with the jokes of the (overly) peppy and talkative barista’s jokes?

It’s important for us to realize the people we come in contact with also have their own agendas. Maybe they are having bad days, too. Maybe they aren’t in love with their jobs but need to be there to make ends meet. It’s not necessary to treat every person with whom you come in contact like your new best friend, but it is necessary to treat them with kindness and respect.

In the wise words of Malcolm Forbes, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

Their Reaction When Someone Hates Them

We’ve grown up in the “Mean Girls” era, so we’ve all experienced our fair share of uncanny and unwarranted behavior from those who surround us. Even those of us with the thickest of skin can feel burnt by insults and agitated by rumors, gossip and good ‘ole sh*t talking. But, we’ve been taught that the high road is always the best route, and for good reason.

If someone chooses to rise above, ignore or better yet, laugh off rude remarks, they are clearly people who know how to let go of the small, insignificant things in life. Of course, getting our feelings hurt is a part of life. You don’t want to be around someone who is completely indifferent to emotions. But retaliating or rebutting to ill-mannered, crude people not only shows a lack of self-confidence and maturity, but also perspective.

It’s a lesson we learn at a young age but one by which too few of us actually live: “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.”- Wayne Dyer

 Where They Put The Shopping Cart

This one might seem silly, but it can say a lot about whether or not a person is willing to take the extra 30 seconds to walk and put away the shopping cart in its designated area rather than leaving it in a perfectly good parking space for a (probably already aggravated and tired) employee to collect for the hundredth time that shift.

If someone is willing to go even a little bit out of his or her way and sacrifice a smidge of convenience just to maintain order and make someone else’s day a little easier, it shows a certain level of respect and selflessness.

It’s like my mother used to tell us when we would leave our dishes in the sink, by leaving them there, you are making a statement that your mess is not your problem and someone else is responsible for cleaning up after you. Call me dramatic, but I think this is a small yet sure way to determine how a person handles a number of situations. The type of people who leave their carts disposed in dangerous and inconvenient places are probably the same people who go through life believing that the world is designed to serve them — and those people are the worst.

What They Do With Compliments

Do they grimace or accept it with a smile? Most of us are not as confident as we would probably like to be, but when someone pays a compliment, it is usually more for the giver than the receiver. We’ve been raised in a society that makes its money from capitalizing on our insecurities, so modestly is something we've (for the most part) all learned. If someone is able to openly accept a compliment with gratitude, it reflects a level of self-confidence and maturity.

On the other hand, if a person denies, rejects or is flat-out unwilling to believe that a person may actually like a hair cut or scarf, it portrays some self-doubt. A person’s self-assurance may seem unrelated to his or her behavior, but the old saying about how a person treats you is a direct reflection of how he or she feels about themselves usually rings true. If a person is uncomfortable in his or her own skin, he or she will have a much more difficult time accepting and giving love.

Willingness To Detach From The Phone

I know, it’s 2014. Our iPhones and Androids have become staples in our everyday functioning. But, if a person cannot dismantle his or her phone long enough to make eye contact and hold a conversation with whomever is speaking, they’re not just products of our society’s technological advancements — they're rude.

We can turn up our noses at all the research warning against the negative impacts of smartphone reliance has on society, but we can’t negate a lesson our parents drilled into our heads for the past 10 or so years — that we’re being disrespectful. Sure, we "all" do it. We all sometimes rely on our Twitter feeds to avoid awkward conversations or and appear busier to safeguard ourselves from conversing with strangers.

But, there are certain situations in which excessive cellphone use is simply unacceptable, such as when you are speaking with anyone behind a counter, answering a question or speaking directly to someone (it doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, annoying coworker, or gas station attendant inquiring about the last time you had an oil change). Put down your phone. The same Instagram pictures will be there later. I promise.

Photo via Tumblr