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How to Be a Good Judge of Character

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

In a digital age where we’re often more disconnected to others than we realize, an incredibly valuable tool to refine is being able to read people.

It can serve us substantially in our careers, our personal lives, and our out-and-about social interactions with others in helping us to develop more meaningful connections and to avoid shady or risky ones.

And although most of us actually think we’re pretty good judges of character already, studies show that we make our initial judgments of others in under 30 seconds!

Research conducted by psychologists Nicholas Epley and David Dunning also shows that the assessments we give others are far less accurate than we think they are.

So, to develop a more keen sense of awareness around others, read on!

Pay Attention to the Meanings You Make

One of the biggest obstacles that holds us back from being accurate in our perceptions of others is our human obsession with applying meanings.

For example, if I text a friend to check on her and she doesn’t text back for two days, I could make that mean something somewhat positive such as, “She must be really busy right now!”

Or I could jump to a negative conclusion like, “She must be mad at me!”

Either way, my perception of the situation is distorted the moment I slap a meaning on it.

So, if you catch yourself making a situation MEAN something that you’re not 100% certain of, take a step back and reassess what you actually know for sure before you get curious in your communication with them.

This allows the other person space to show up authentically rather than defensively, and it avoids unnecessary conflict.

I can’t tell you how many awkward encounters I’ve avoided by using this one little trick!

Focus on the How, Not the What

Alright, what in the Sam Hill do I mean by that?

The real secret to being a good judge of character (particularly in a compatibility sense) isn’t looking at what a person does.

It’s looking at HOW they do it.

Because the way we do one thing is the way we do almost everything.

In the example from earlier, let’s say my friend eventually texts back.

The “what” is that she responds. Then we look at HOW she responds.

Maybe her response is kind and considerate: “OMG I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you! I had XYZ going on and time got away from me. Thanks for checking on me – how have you been?

Or maybe it’s… not. “What’s up?

These are things to pay close attention to and to communicate about if you notice you’re starting to feel anxious!

Over time, interactions will paint a picture of who this person really is and if they’re compatible with you long term.

Raise Self Compassion

I saved the Ultimate Good Judge of Character Badge for last because it is my ABSOLUTE FAVEEE!!!!

If you find that you are suspicious by nature and you’re constantly rooting out red flags in others, you probably judge yourself really friggin harshly, too.

So, the best way for you to become insightful and accurate in your readings of other people is to get to work on your own personal critic.

Because however your critic talks to you is how it views other people when times get rough.

The kinder and more compassionate you become to yourself, the truer your view of others will be.

The results are sure to be magical!

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