5 hidden traits that reveal a person’s true nature

As you spend more time with someone, you gradually get to know them better.

But do you ever wonder if you’re really getting to know their true nature, or if they’re hiding behind a mask?

Some people try to come across a certain way, while on the inside they’re a totally different person.

If you’re wondering who you’re really dealing with, here are 5 traits that can help you reveal a person’s true nature. 

1) How they spend their money

Many people talk about caring about certain things. But what really reveals their true priorities and values is how they spend their most precious resources: time and money.

Money is a very telling thing, because we need it for practically everything, and we need to put in effort to get it.

On the other hand, time is often squandered on useless or thoughtless activities without a second thought. We don’t think as carefully about how we spend our time where we may analyze every purchase we make.

It can be hard to tell how someone spends their money, as it’s a rather personal thing, and you’re not always around them when they make a purchase.

But you can often get hints in what someone says. They may mention having gone to several restaurants over the week, or going on a weekend trip with friends.

Some things you can also notice, such as if they wear a new outfit every time you see them, or seem to always have the newest model of smartphone. 

2) When and why they reach out to you

Do you have a friend who only seems to call you up when they need something?

But then when you want to chat or you need support, they never seem to have time.

This is another trait that shows their true nature. In particular, this person doesn’t seem to value friendships for what they are, but rather for what they can get out of them. 

This doesn’t automatically mean they are terrible people, though. I had a friend in high school who was like this. She had a difficult family situation and was struggling to get through her classes.

I was a diligent student and consistently got good grades, so I helped her a lot to get her assignments done or prepare her for tests.

The thing is, I eventually realized she only came over or hung out with me when she needed my help, or a place to crash away from her family.

If I wanted to just spend time with her, she could never find any for me. But at the same time, I know this is due to her difficult family circumstances, and she just wasn’t able to give any more than she did. I don’t hold it against her. 

In fact, she reached out recently after years, telling me how much she appreciated my friendship in high school — and I’m sure she was being genuine. 

So keep in mind that there can be more hidden beneath the surface than you may realize. 

3) How quickly they get angry

One of my first jobs ever was working at a sushi restaurant. During my training, one of the first days on the job, I accidentally spilled soya sauce on a customer.

I felt completely horrible. He was clearly on a date with someone, and I accidentally spilled the sauce over his dress shirt. 

He had the complete right to get furious at me, or even demand the boss fire me or punish me somehow.

But he stayed completely calm, immediately accepted my profuse apologies, and even started to reassure me that it’s no big deal.

I remember this to this day, even though it was over a decade ago. Everybody can show kindness when they’re having a good day and things are going well.

But this man was still able to keep a cool head and be compassionate during a moment of great pressure and stress.

In my opinion, this is one of the best indicators of a person’s true nature. 

4) How they talk about other people

Naturally, people will usually be nice to you while they talk to you.

Here’s a trait that will reveal their true nature, and their real mindset towards others. Pay close attention to how they talk about other people.

Do they gossip about them, mock them, or criticize them behind their backs?

If yes, there’s a pretty good chance they’re doing the same to you when they’re with others.

People who are truly kind and care about building healthy relationships with others will spread positivity, and look for the good in others.

Because if you have nothing but bad things to say about someone, why do you continue to have them in your life in the first place?

It could be a sign that this person feeds on comparison, envy, and tries to put other people down in order to make themselves feel superior. 

But on the other hand, it could just be a bad habit that they don’t realize.

For example, one of my friends is a real chatterbox. This is something I appreciate about him, as I’m not always in a very talkative mood, and I prefer to listen instead.

What I noticed though, is that he seems to talk about other people A LOT. And not just anything — he tends to share personal things about their lives.

Now, I know my friend is not malicious by any means, and he’s extremely open about his own life too, sometimes maybe even too much. 

But it still helped me understand his true nature, as it made me realize he doesn’t place high value on privacy. Therefore, if I had something highly personal I didn’t want anyone else hearing about, my best bet would be keeping it to myself. 

5) How often they use their phone while they’re with you

A few years ago, I had a good friend who I loved to hang out with. I really appreciated her company, and I looked forward to spending time with her.

She said she loved hanging out with me too, but then everytime we did, she would spend half the night on her phone, texting other people.

This made me pretty upset — I mean, if you’d rather hang out with them, why did you meet up with me?

And what made it worse is that she would be super slow to reply to my own texts.

I realized later that she tended to text with guys she was flirting with, or considering going out with.

So this was an indicator of her true nature and priorities — she was much more focused on finding a partner, or perhaps having fun with guys, and didn’t appreciate developing strong friendships. 

Final thoughts

The next time you’re on a date, or spending time with your friends, see if one of these 5 traits can help you discover who they really are.

Not everyone can notice a person’s true nature, but if you learn how to do it, you’ll be able to choose your friendships much more wisely. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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