It is very difficult to understand some people as their behavior may change under different circumstances; however, a person’s true character will always remain unchanged. The following ancient wisdom from China may help us to discern someone’s true character.
1. You will find out what a man is truly like when he becomes rich and powerful. If he is still modest, polite, and rule-observing, those qualities are a natural part of his character.
2. You will know a powerful man by the people he promotes. He will recommend people who reflect his characteristics.
3. You can gain an understanding of a rich man’s character by watching how he spends his money — is he frugal like before, how does he spend his money, where, or on whom?
4. Some people promise a lot, but deliver very little — what really matters is action.
5. You can discern a person’s character by his hobbies.
6. When you first meet someone, what he says or does or how he acts doesn’t mean a lot. When you have known him for a long time, you may find that his thoughts are far different from before. Look out, the greater the difference, the worse the character!
7. Some people are poor, or come from a poor family. Being poor should not reflect someone’s character; if he likes to take every opportunity to gain a little advantage that should be a cause for concern.
8. Some people have a lower social status which should not cause concern; whether he has dignity is more important. If he can maintain his dignity, he has a good character.
Translated research by Monica Song and Kathy McWilliams