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7 Crucial Things You Need To Be Honest About

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7 Crucial Things You Need To Be Honest About

Honesty is the best policy, right? But we’re all guilty of telling “little white lies” sometimes.

Regardless, there are certain things in life it’s important to be honest about.

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Here are 7 of them.

Your guilty pleasures.

Everyone has a guilty pleasure or two. Not everyone is honest about them though. I remember back when I was trying to quit smoking I would always tell people, “I only smoke on the weekends.” In reality, I was still puffing a few smokes every day‒I just didn’t want to admit it. So be forthcoming about your habits and vices and if you really want to change, make a commitment to do so.

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Your struggles.

The sooner you honestly assess the things you’re struggling with, the sooner you can find ways to make your life better. Whether you’re dealing with struggles with work, your family, your friends, or yourself, the first step is having the courage to ask for help. Then take action by talking to a friend or family member, reading an inspiring article or book, or writing down your thoughts in a journal. Find ways to be happier right now. They’re right in front of you if you look for them.

Your free time.

How do you spend your free time? Be honest. The average person in the USA spends an astonishing 34 hours a week watching TV. Even if you spend half that, TV is a huge time waster for most people. So is the Internet (unless you’re reading useful info like the articles on this website, of course). But there comes a time when you need to honestly assess how you spend your time so that you can find ways to be more productive and make the most of your short time here.

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Your health.

If you think eating junk food all day and not exercising is going to lead to a fulfilling life, guess again. Research shows that people who exercise are happier. And eating the right foods can help you lose weight, look better, and feel better about yourself. So why do we keep choosing to live lifestyles that don’t make our lives better in the long-run? Your health is one of the most important things to be honest about. Don’t take it for granted.

Your work.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony of working life. But the truth is, so many of us are living miserable lives because we keep working at jobs we hate. I know what you’re probably saying, “How am I supposed to pay my bills?” This is obviously a legitimate concern. But money doesn’t buy happiness. If you hate your job, start doing something you love on the side. Do some freelance writing. Teach music to underprivileged kids. Coach a sports team. Find work that fulfills you and start doing it now.

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Your family.

You can’t pick your family, which means you’re stuck with the one you have. However, that doesn’t mean you should accept ignorance, complacency, and excuses from your family members. If there’s something you don’t like about one of your family members, tell him or her. Be honest. Just do it in a constructive way and offer solutions to help. Ask yourself this: if there was something about you that drove a family member nuts, would you rather hear the honest truth or be lied to? For me, the truth hurts but I always expect people to be honest with me, because I feel I owe it to them to do the same.

Your habits.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is they focus too much on the expected outcome rather than changing the underlying behavior. In other words, if you want to accomplish a goal, don’t focus on the goal; instead, focus on creating the habits and routines that will help lead you to the goal. Ultimately it’s those seemingly automatic, habitual behaviors that turn negative behaviors into positive ones.

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And that’s the key to getting anything you want in life: be honest about what you want to change, then work on forming habits to help change it.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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