The True Test of Character

Posted on June 22, 2010

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What do you value? What are your core values?

When we hear these questions, many of us state what we think will sound good to others. “I’m honest. I’m trustworthy. I’m dependable. I’m loyal. I’m a hard worker.”

But the true test of one’s character is not based on words. What you truly value can be quickly discerned by your actions.

“I have high self-esteem,” says the woman who continues to date the man who treats her like crap. “I’m a good friend,” states another, who was too busy to visit her sick friend in the hospital. “I believe my family should come before anything else,” says the woman who stays late at work every week and misses her kids’ soccer games.

The true test of one’s character comes from one’s actions. And it is absolutely necessary that you figure out what your core values are before you get seriously involved with anyone. The sharing of core values is essential to making a relationship work.

You’ve probably already heard that you should make a list of what you’re looking for in a potential partner. I see these all the time, lists of superficial traits and characteristics that a woman thinks will make her happy. Yes, a 6′ 2″ blond man with blue eyes who has a great sense of humor may seem like your dream man. But if he doesn’t share your values, you’ll have a difficult time being with him in the long run.

So take a deep and long look at yourself and your actions. They reflect your core values. If you’re not happy with what you find, you can always change. I may tell you that I’m very responsible with my time. But the truth is, a lot of times I’m late. Until I start consistently arriving to places on time, the truth is I’m not good with time management.

It’s important to take a good, realistic look at the men you’re dating. Watch their actions. These are what speak volumes about one’s character.  If he talks about how dependable he is, and then doesn’t call or show up when he says he will, he’s not dependable. If he tells you he’s a kind person, but is rude to the waitress, then he’s not really kind. If he says he’s a devoted father to his kids, but he doesn’t make time to see them, he’s not the loving father he wants you to think he is.

Emerson was right. What you and others do speaks much louder than what could ever be said.

Posted in: Relationships