From the moment two people meet, they’re sizing each other up, looking for signs of qualities like honesty, intelligence, and altruism.
Whether it’s a date or a job interview, the small stuff matters — from the firmness of your handshake to how often you check your phone.
We checked out the Quora thread “What are the really small things that tell a lot about a person’s psychology and personality?” and the latest scientific research, and highlighted some of the most common behaviors people use to judge you.
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1. Your handshake
Several Quora users admitted that they judge people based on their handshake.
“Strong handshakes usually reflect a strong and confident character, whereas weak handshakes usually indicate a lack of confidence and are almost always a characteristic of people who would look for an easy way to do things,” writes Julian Parge.
Research backs up the idea that your handshake can reveal certain aspects of your personality. One study found that people with firm handshakes were more likely to be extroverted and emotionally expressive and less likely to be shy and neurotic.
2. Whether you show up on time
Late for a very important date? The person who’s waiting may be forming a negative impression of your personality.
“A proactive person will be there on time, because he is self-motivated, mentally organized, and values time whereas a procrastinator will be running here and there at the last hour,” says Humaira Siddiqui.
According to science, those who are chronically late aren’t necessarily inconsiderate people — but they’re probably more laid-back, “Type B” individuals.
3. How you treat restaurant staff
Multiple users said they pay close attention to how other people interact with waiters.
“I will never, EVER date a man who is rude to restaurant staff,” says Sati Marie Frost.
Even top executives say that you can learn a lot about someone based on the way he or she treats waiters, hotel maids, and security guards. Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera Bread, says that he once declined to give someone a job partly because she was nice to him but rude to someone cleaning the tables nearby.