9 Ways I Know What Type of Person You Are
It’s not that hard. You are more transparent than you think. So am I. I like to think that I am able to hide my true self, but none of us can. It always comes out. We can’t live up to that best self we just word vomited into our new dating profile. Because people can see through us. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do it.
These aren’t all or nothing. They won’t pinpoint every human being based on one minor occurrence. But they also aren’t bullsh*t. If you really pay attention to how people act and what they do, you can tell the type of person they are even before you know them.
This is How I Know What Type Of Person You Are:
1. Do you let other drivers in?
Seriously, do you? Don’t bullsh*t yourself. If you are the type of driver who always speeds up and never wants to let someone in, even on a predetermined and viable merge, then I know the type of person you are.
You are selfish. You may also take the last piece of chicken off the group plate even though you’ve already had three and everyone else is on their first. This is you. You like to win. So you feel like you lost when you allow someone to get in front of you.
Me? I always let one person in. Always. When I am leaving in the car line at my daughter’s high school at the end of the day, I always let two to three cars in because the high school kids leaving have better things to do than I do.
But, when it’s a one to one merge, where one car goes and then another, and you try to be the second car in on my niceness — sorry, that makes me mad. Because that makes me know that you would never let me in. Because that’s the type of person you are.
2. Do you hold doors open for people?
Seriously, do you? Not throwing it open extra far so that the old lady might have time to slip in with her walker. I mean do you go out of your way to make sure you hold the door open for others? Or are you completely oblivious to the whole door holding thing? Either way, this lets me know the type of person you are.
If you don’t even know the answer, you are missing a lot in your life. You probably don’t pay attention to your partner as well as you think you do. You are probably missing the undercurrent of every conversation because your life revolves around what you are doing next and no one else.
Also, do you not thank people for holding the door for you? Because you don’t need them to. Yeah, you are fighting something else then or you are just mad. Because it’s a favor and although it doesn’t seem like a big thing when you have nothing in your hands, it’s still a courtesy that a stranger is doing for you.
Whenever I am sitting at Starbucks for more than ten minutes, I always see a parent with a stroller walking up to the door. I always hop up from my table and hold the door open for them. Because every time this happens, no one else is doing sh*t. It’s not easy to get a stroller through a door you have to open ahead of the stroller. Help them.
3. How do you talk to your kids? (Up high or down low?)
It’s the biggest indicator of engaged parenting out there, but no one seems to realize it. Because most of the time we are too worried about ourselves or what other people are thinking. Do you know what I mean when I say up high or down low?
When your kid is small the physical level that you talk to them at makes all the difference. If you talk to your two-year-old without bending down, they are not hearing you. You are not making “you are the best thing that ever happened to me” eye contact with your baby when you don’t bend down and look them in their eyes, from their height.
Do you wonder why your kid isn’t listening when you try to reprimand them while looking at your phone? You shouldn’t. Why should they listen to you when you won’t even look at them, much less get on their level. You may not like it, but how you talk to your kids tells me the type of person you are.
If you don’t believe me, try it. If you are used to talking from the top down to your children, the next time you need them to listen to you, try this.
Stop whatever you are doing that is less important.
Squat down so that your eyes are at the same level as their eyes.
Put your hands on their shoulders gently.
Make direct eye contact.
Talk to them in a calm voice.
4. How do you act when you are late?
Being late causes a lot of stress. But it’s usually self-imposed. If you are always late, it’s always your fault. And if you think everyone should get out of your way or let you go first when you are late, I know the type of person you are. You think the world revolves around you and not the other way around. P.S., everyone around you knows it. They just might not be telling you.
I was in line at the airport once and there was a serious backup at the Virgin America counter. There were three flights leaving within the hour so people were panicking. In an effort to try to help the rush, the employees started taking people out of turn depending on when their flight was leaving.
A guy behind me lurched up with his family because he was going to Washington D.C. The flight left at 8:37 a.m. I was on a flight back to Newark that left at 8:25 a.m. So I stepped forward and asked the employee why he was going ahead of me when my flight was before his and I was ahead of him in line.
He immediately told me to shut up and mind my own business. The employee was so flustered she kowtowed to the a**hole even though it made no sense. I wanted to knock this guy out or at the very least get in his face, but I looked at his wife, holding a baby, next to him and she got it. She knew I was right. And she knew that I knew the type of person she married and was stuck with. That was enough for me.
5. How do you treat servers?
I don’t know if you know this, but servers don’t make a lot of money in salary. They get very few benefits and rely on tips for extra income. They don’t cook your food, they just deliver it. So why the f*ck are you always yelling at them? When you yell at a server, I know the type of person you are.
I also know when you don’t thank them. When they bring your free bread and butter. When they refill your water seven times. When they get you an extra fork three times because your kid keeps throwing it off the table. And look at you, just sitting there thinking their job in life is to serve you.
I’m not sure why anyone would be rude to a server on a macro level, but on a micro level, you know they have control over your food, right? It’s not that hard to drop a booger or a spit globule into your chicken cacciatore on the way to your table.
How you treat a server is indicative of how you treat everyone in your life. When I see you belittle or not thank a server, I know your partner sitting across from you gets the same treatment. And they don’t like it either.
6. How do you admit that you were wrong?
I mean, do you ever do this? Are you ever wrong? If you think you aren’t, it’s even more obvious the kind of person you are. Because you are probably wrong more than most of us. But how do you admit that you are wrong, if you ever are?
Do you just say, “I was wrong,” and move into more diatribes about how it could have been phrased to you differently? Or do you accept the fact that you were wrong and apologize by acknowledging what you got wrong and why it was your fault, not ours?
It’s not about the apology, it’s about how you admit something. When you say words and gloss over the rest, you aren’t really admitting anything. We can tell when you are placating us and we don’t like it. It tells us the type of person you are. Which leads me to:
7. How do you say you are sorry?
This quote pretty much covers it, but I also wrote a story about why I don’t accept apologies. It’s all about how I can tell the type of person you are by how you try to apologize.
“People get so tied up with what people say. Sorry. I love you. But if they don’t act like that, what do those words mean? Nothing at all. Manipulative people use apologies and words to cover their actions. And somehow we fall for it.” - from my story, Why I Don’t Accept Apologies
8. How much do you read?
No, not how much you tell me you read. How much you actually read. I know you say you read a book a week, but putting a book in your Shopping List on Amazon isn’t actually reading a book. I can tell how much you want to learn by how much you read.
It doesn’t make you a bad person if you never read, but it does tell me that you aren’t thirsting for knowledge. Don’t tell me you are too busy to read. Wake up 30 minutes before anyone else. Hide during your lunch break. Anyone can find time to read.
If you read a lot of books, I know you are searching. Maybe it’s for your own personal growth. Maybe it’s for an escape from your humdrum life. Maybe it’s to learn how to be more assertive. But when you read a lot, it tells me that you are active. Not like running, your mind. You like to exercise your mind. You like to learn new things.
9. What you do when the sh*t hits the fan?
Do you hide because you are too scared to deal with the sh*t? Or do you wipe the sh*t off and figure out what to do in the face of this sh*tstorm? Again, not every indicator of the type of person you are means you are either good or bad.
If you hide, I know you lack confidence. And are scared of being the one to make a decision. And that scares me. Because people need you the most when the sh*t hits the fan. Yes, even you. They need you. Because it will hit the fan and when it does, everyone wants someone who can navigate that malodorous onslaught.
If you step up in the face of something terrible, it tells me you have the capability to lead. It tells me you have an inner confidence and that you are willing to give of yourself to help others. If you don’t step up it doesn’t mean you don’t help others, it means you lack the confidence to do it when the sh*t hits the fan. And that tells me the type of person you are.
You are more transparent than you think.
These little things can tell us a lot about you. They can tell us what you value. They can tell us who comes first. They can tell us what you want to be. But they can’t guarantee what you’ll be tomorrow.
So even if you are on the wrong side of some of these things today, maybe tomorrow you will let one person in. Or hold the door for the parent with two kids. Or get on your kid’s level for a change. Because as much as these things help me tell the type of person you are, I want you to be better. I want to be better. It’s what we should all want.