In the words of Stephen Covey, “Our character is basically a composite of our habits." No two people have the exact same personality, and more often then not, it’s the tiny habits that we form in the course of our life that make us different from those around us. Now, all of us possess many habits, good and bad, and most of them happen subconsciously. We don’t usually give it much thought, but in reality our habitual behaviour is what ultimately makes up our personality. So, what links our personality and the habits we form? We can define personality as “the outer appearance and behaviour of a person.” For this reason, we can be sure our collection of habits forms a large chunk of our personality. Here’s what nine of your day-to-day habits reveal about whom you are as a person without you even realising.
1. Walking Style
According to body language expert Patti Wood, the way you walk reveals a lot about who you are. If your weight is usually forward and your stride is quick, you are extremely productive and highly logical. People admire you for that, but you may come off a bit cold and competitive. If you walk with your chest forward, shoulders back, and your head held high (common in a lot of politicians and celebrities), you are fun, charismatic, and socially adept, though you may tend to hog the spotlight. If your weight is over your legs, not forward or back, you’re more interested in people than in tasks, and more focused on your personal life than your career. Lastly, if you’re light on your toes when you walk and your eyes are glued to the floor, you’re most likely introverted and polite.
2. Your Handshake
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that your handshake could alter people’s impressions of you. In the experiment, judges were trained to assess eight characteristics of a handshake: completeness of grip, temperature, dryness, strength, duration, vigor, texture, and eye contact. The results? Participants with firmer handshakes described themselves as more emotionally expressive, extroverted, and positive than others. Those with looser grips were more shy and neurotic
3. Your Eating Habits
Food related habits could also reveal an individual’s personality and behavioural tendencies. Slow eaters tend to be more confident and level headed, while fast eaters are often ambitious, goal-oriented, and bad-tempered. Adventurous eating habits indicate that you are a risk-taker and tend to be pushy or nosey. Picky eaters have a tendency to be detailed, anxious and neurotic. Isolationists (those who like to eat one thing at a time) can be careful, stubborn and detail oriented.
4. Your Email Style
Text mining studies have found that there is a strong co-relation between our email personas and real life personalities. It seems that narcissists will generally use words such as “I,” “me,” and “mine” frequently. Extroverts tend to be more casual and talk about fun-related things, like music and parties. And it’s not only what you say; it’s how you say it. An absence of typos is a sign of someone’s conscientiousness, perfectionism, and potential obsessions, whereas poor grammar indicates lower levels of IQ and academic intelligence. Interestingly, long emails reflect energy and thoroughness, but also some degree of neediness.
5. The Way You Roll Toilet Paper
Yep, you read that right. Therapist Gilda Carle, PhD, claims that she can learn about your personality through your preference on this matter. She surveyed 2,000 men and women about whether they hang their toilet paper in the overhand or underhand position. She also asked her volunteers to fill out questionnaires that would probe how assertive they were (on a scale of 1 to 10) in their relationships. Dr. Carle’s results suggest that those who prefer the overhand method are more dominant, while the ‘underhanders’ tend to be more submissive.
6. You Phone Time
According to a 2015 study, scientists have noted a strong correlation between a person’s ‘addiction’ to their cell phone and emotional stability. Participants in the study were asked to evaluate many statements like “I spend more time than I should on my cell phone,” and “I get agitated when my cell phone is not in sight”, on a scale of 1-10. The results clearly indicated that people who are addicted to their phones tend to be more likely to be anxious and emotionally volatile.
7. Nervous Ticks
If you bite your nails or pick at your skin, you might be showing what scientists call “body-focused repetitive behaviors.” A study published by the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry analyzed people’s personalities and found that ticks tend to emerge when people find themselves in situations that were extremely frustrating, relaxing or boring. People who compulsively tugged on their hair or bit their nails tended toward perfectionism, and their actions are a result of trying to soothe boredom, irritation, and dissatisfaction. Because it feels better to do something instead of nothing, repetitive behavior proves comforting.
8. Your Punctuality
A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality suggests that timeliness is an accurate assessment of positive character traits. In the study, researchers asked participants to complete a personality assessment at home and come to the laboratory for a group experiment. By analysing the participants’ time of arrival, they found punctual people were more conscientious and agreeable; being early was connected to neuroticism, and those who are chronically late tended to be more laid-back.
9. Your Handwriting
People who write large, for example, are people-oriented and attention seeking, whereas those with small handwriting are introverted and are capable of acute concentration. Writing with a slight right slant means you’re friendly and impulsive; a left slant means you’re reserved and individualistic. No slant suggests you’re logical and pragmatic. Lastly, handwriting with heavy pressure indicates you have strong emotions and are quick to react, but a light pressure implies an easiness and ability to move from place to place.