Without us being aware of it, we’ve been saved many times in the past by people who we barely considered “heroes”.
They entered our lives at the right time and gave us just what we needed…but of course, they didn’t do it wearing a cape.
If you want to know if someone is a superhero in disguise, here are the personality traits you should look for:
1) They know suffering
Superheroes have become superheroes precisely because they’ve been through a lot. They experienced enough hardships and they’ve been shaped by these experiences.
Of course, it’s not to say that all those who suffered will turn out to be superheroes, but it’s a fact that no genuine superhero has lived a life free from suffering.
Suffering can make us see life differently—that no one should go through their troubles alone.
And so they try to be a blessing to others as much as they can. In doing so they become to others that one person they needed the most when they were at their lowest.
2) They’re compassionate
As I’ve said, not all people who have suffered will turn into heroes (in fact, many of them become villains because of their bitterness).
So what makes them different?
This is what sets apart the person who simply knows suffering to those who become superheroes.
Because of what they’ve gone through, they can easily relate to the struggle of others.
They know how painful it is to be broken-hearted, for example. So even if heartbreak seems like a petty problem for others, they will be there for a friend who’s suffering. They’ll offer words of encouragement, a listening ear, and a glass of wine to make their burden a little easier.
But even if it’s something that they haven’t experienced before, they can still understand and share the feelings of others because well, they’re truly compassionate.
3) They’re not full of themselves
They’re “in disguise” because they don’t want to flaunt how much of a good person they are. They don’t want to make grand “superhero” moves while they’re helping you. They’d rather do it as inconspicuously as possible.
Not only that, they truly believe that what they’re doing is no big deal!
Their main focus is you and how you can feel better, instead of them doing the actual deed of helping you. So when you thank them, they’d go “What?! Why? Noo, it’s NOTHING!”, and they really mean it.
They don’t feel too comfortable when people praise them or thank them like they’re gods. It makes them cringe!
They prefer to help as quietly as possible because they don’t do it to be praised, they do it to help. Period.
4) They’re highly observant
Being very observant is one of the greatest powers a superhero can have.
It lets them notice who’s coming in and out of the room, and figure out how you’re feeling based on the way you hold yourself.
And it’s because of this trait that they’re able to sense when you’re in need of something—whether it’s a car ride or just an open ear and a shoulder to cry on.
After all, if you don’t know what it is exactly that people need, how are you supposed to know what you ought to give?
This is why observant people are so good at offering aid—they pay close attention to people’s wants and needs, so they know how to do it right.
5) They’re nurturers
Superheroes in disguise are natural-born nurturers. They’re people who are known for being especially caring and empathetic since childhood. Some might even call them bleeding hearts for it.
They would take in and feed stray cats if they could, and will likely have adopted an animal or two at some point. They’re also there whenever their family members are sick and need help.
But they don’t need some kind of crisis just to be nurturing. They’d cuddle, give gifts, pay for dinner, or offer a ride on “regular” days too.
They want to make others feel cared for, especially if you’re someone close to their heart.
6) They don’t care if you’ll hate them
A genuine superhero is someone who is willing to give you a bit of tough love when you most need it.
They are the ones who’d tell you off when you do something clearly stupid like getting back together with an abusive ex, or loaning $5000 to someone who you know won’t pay you back.
They’d happily scold you—get mad even—just to save you from making a horrible decision.
Being a superhero isn’t always about looking like the good guy. Sometimes they will need to make tough decisions that you will hate in the moment, but will later appreciate.
So don’t hate on people who “slap” you in order to save you from yourself. As long as you know they’re the kind of person who truly cares for you, then you should probably see what they’re doing as an attempt to be a hero —and not a villain—in your life.
7) They don’t want people to feel pitied
Another reason that they prefer not to do the obvious “superhero” role is that they know what it feels like to get charity.
People who need help usually feel lost, scared, hopeless… and most of all, embarrassed.
And superheroes don’t want you to feel like this.
They don’t want you to feel like you’re a good-for-nothing leech who depends on hand-me-downs and the charity of others. They want your dignity and pride intact even in your lowest moments.
Superheroes are sensitive people. So when they offer their help, they try to be subtle about it so not to make you feel bad about yourself and your situation.
8) They hate it when people feel indebted to them
And it’s for that reason why they don’t make a big deal of the times when they’d go out and help others.
They might donate anonymously when they see a charity in need, for example. Or perhaps, when you’re sick or sad, they might have some food sent to your doorstep in secret.
They want to help without making the other person feel guilty or possibly changing their relationship dynamics with the people around them.
9) They have integrity
They won’t say “I will help you with your project” only to later say “Sorry, I can’t help you. I remember I have a date.”
They know that bailing out would greatly affect the other person—that if only they didn’t promise anything, they would have had a backup plan.
They’re not going to promise to do (or not do) something if they’re not sure they can keep their word. And once they promise something, nothing can stop them from fulfilling it—not a storm, not an annoying boss, not a clingy partner.
They know that when they commit to something, others would expect that they’d fulfill what they promised. And so, they’d do everything in their power to keep their word.
10) They feel like they have a responsibility for others
Let’s face it—most of us have become blind and desensitized to suffering. Most of us can shrug off or pretend not to be affected when we see other people suffer. We have our own worries to worry about, after all.
But that’s not how superheroes roll. Most of them have what we call, well…a superhero complex.
They see it as their duty to stand with and protect the least fortunate among us. They believe they can transform lives and make the world a better place.
For that reason, you will often see them joining rallies and strikes and boosting the voices of the marginalized. They will also offer whatever they have just to make the lives of their loved ones better.
Just a note: Unfortunately, superheroes tend to forget themselves in their pursuit to help others. If you know someone like this in person, please try not to take advantage of their nurturing nature, and protect them from those who leech on them.
Superheroes, simply put, want to help. But they can’t do it in the open all the time, because then they’ll have to deal with people who will take advantage of their generosity, and people who will hate feeling like they’re just being pitied.
But if you pay close attention to the way people around you act, you might just figure out who among us are secretly superheroes.
Sure, they might not be running along the rooftops with a big billowing cape behind them, but they nonetheless do their part in making people’s lives better.