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DawnM

Anyone on here a bad judge of character?

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Have you ever heard someone say they were a bad judge of character?

I am always in a bit of an eye roll mode when someone starts a conversation with, "Well,  I am a very good judge of character"  Don't all people feel they are good at judging character?  

Just had a person say it to me today and I was like, "Ok, whatever."

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Oh I’ve seen plenty of people who suck at it, just looking at their significant others 🤣

I’ve always had really good friends, however few at various points, and never dated any major losers or such, so I figure I’m a pretty good judge of character.  I try to assume the best of people’s intentions, but I’m also careful about who I get really close to. Lots of acquaintances, much tighter inner circle, and I avoid activities associated with dodger people, so I think that’s saved me a lot of drama over the years.

I have heard one or two women say something similar to being bad judge of character after they got free of an abuser.  It was the deep, plain reflection they had to do as part of moving past those destructive patterns and people, I think.  It’s rare outside of that though.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I‘m bad at listening to that little intuitive voice that warns me away.  And then I get hurt again by someone I thought was my friend.  I think I’m so desperate for friends and something of a social life that I choose to ignore my intuition.

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1 minute ago, Arctic Mama said:

Oh I’ve seen plenty of people who suck at it, just looking at their significant others 🤣

I’ve always had really good friends, however few at various points, and never dated any major losers or such, so I figure I’m a pretty good judge of character.  I try to assume the best of people’s intentions, but I’m also careful about who I get really close to. Lots of acquaintances, much tighter inner circle, and I avoid activities associated with dodger people, so I think that’s saved me a lot of drama over the years.

I have heard one or two women say something to that effect after they got free of an abuser.  It was the deep, plain reflection they had to do as part of moving past those destructive patterns and people, I think.  It’s rare outside of that though.

 

No, I mean, is there anyone who CLAIMS to be a bad judge of character themselves?

I just think everyone thinks they are the good judge of character.

I know plenty who aren't, but they wouldn't' admit it.  

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I suppose it could be the case that each person knows what they like in another person, so whoever they like has good character. And it turns out, they're always right!  A confirmation bias, I suppose. 

Personally, I thought I was a great judge of character until I found out that the person I knew best in this world had a huge, terrible secret for the decade+ that I knew him. Now I just don't trust anyone anymore. 

 

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Just now, DawnM said:

 

No, I mean, is there anyone who CLAIMS to be a bad judge of character themselves?

I just think everyone thinks they are the good judge of character.

I know plenty who aren't, but they wouldn't' admit it.  

Like I said, I think I’ve only heard it from a few women who came out of abusive situations.  I do think it’s rare for people to admit it outside of that.

big hugs, @Medicmom2.0

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Just now, Medicmom2.0 said:

I‘m bad at listening to that little intuitive voice that warns me away.  And then I get hurt again by someone I thought was my friend.  I think I’m so desperate for friends and something of a social life that I choose to ignore my intuition.

 

Awe, that doesn't make you a bad judge of character.  And, unfortunately, people do change (just see my thread on would you say something?)  That kid is now doing pot.  In the past he was my son's Sunday School buddy and would never have thought of doing pot or anything else.

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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

Like I said, I think I’ve only heard it from a few women who came out of abusive situations.  I do think it’s rare for people to admit it outside of that.

big hugs, @Medicmom2.0

 

But don't you think they would say the guys were not like that in the beginning?

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1 minute ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

I suppose it could be the case that each person knows what they like in another person, so whoever they like has good character. And it turns out, they're always right!  A confirmation bias, I suppose. 

Personally, I thought I was a great judge of character until I found out that the person I knew best in this world had a huge, terrible secret for the decade+ that I knew him. Now I just don't trust anyone anymore. 

 

😢

So sorry.  

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On 10/31/2019 at 12:52 PM, DawnM said:

 

But don't you think they would say the guys were not like that in the beginning?

 

Edited by Arctic Mama
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10 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I have heard one or two women say something similar to being bad judge of character after they got free of an abuser.  It was the deep, plain reflection they had to do as part of moving past those destructive patterns and people, I think.  It’s rare outside of that though.

 

This is pretty close to my situation, and as you can see above, that is exactly how I feel. Even though I know people like the one I described is a master manipulator and anyone could have fallen for it (as my therapist would say), it really makes you question if you know ANYTHING anymore. 

3 minutes ago, DawnM said:

😢

So sorry.  

 

Thanks!

 

 

Edited by OH_Homeschooler
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Just now, Arctic Mama said:

No.  They didn’t.  One is a family member of mine, and she straight up acknowledged she had low self esteem and a terrible time telling when a guy who was interested in her wasn’t good for her.  It was strings of poor choices there, even though she was extremely intelligent and pretty and otherwise seemed very confident.  She finally swore off those kids of guys and focused just on herself, then met a wonderful single dad neighbor of hers who had come out of a similar situation, too.  But after almost two decades of problems she pretty much flat out admitted she was bad at judging people in that way.  I don’t think there was much choice left by that point 😞 I don’t remember her ever saying they changed except one, and he went into the military and seemed to change because of the stress and deployments, which is understandable. 

 

Gotcha.  Interesting.  I stand corrected.  

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I'm a bad judge of character, particularly when people are very political/machiavellian.  I tend to take people at face value because, I think, I can't imagine investing that amount of effort in twisting issues.

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I'm a bad judge of character even after being burned too many times.  I always assume the best in people until I learn otherwise.  

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13 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

Awe, that doesn't make you a bad judge of character.  And, unfortunately, people do change (just see my thread on would you say something?)  That kid is now doing pot.  In the past he was my son's Sunday School buddy and would never have thought of doing pot or anything else.


There has been twice that I think the person in question truly started out “good” and turned into something else.  One was the best boss I’ve ever had and then began an affair.  He changed dramatically—we didn’t know about the affair, but the timelines really lined up later on.  That job is now one of my most painful memories.

All the other times, though, I had truly ignored the little warning voice inside.

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I used to give too much benefit of the doubt.  I have improved a lot over the years.  I would say I'm a fairly good judge of character, given that my suspicions usually prove correct.

I do have a friend who will insist she is the smartest judge of character there ever was.  And she is not, LOL.  But if it makes her happy to think so ....

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15 minutes ago, SKL said:

I used to give too much benefit of the doubt.  I have improved a lot over the years.  I would say I'm a fairly good judge of character, given that my suspicions usually prove correct.

I do have a friend who will insist she is the smartest judge of character there ever was.  And she is not, LOL.  But if it makes her happy to think so ....

😜

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52 minutes ago, Medicmom2.0 said:

I‘m bad at listening to that little intuitive voice that warns me away.  And then I get hurt again by someone I thought was my friend.  I think I’m so desperate for friends and something of a social life that I choose to ignore my intuition.

I’ve done that. 

One thing I can be really dense about is when someone is manipulating other’s view of them in a crafty way. I don’t do that; I am not a person with an ounce of artifice, so I usually assume others are representing themselves legitimately, too. I have become more skeptical of people in the past decade or so, but in my younger years I got caught on that several times. 

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most people (rightly) think they are a good judge of character most of the time...bc IMO, most people are decent people interacting with other decent people.

Going by my personal 80-20 rule...20% of people fall into varying catergories of AVOID AVOID AVOID ...jerks, a$$holes, users, manipulators, criminals,...etc. If you (general you) can catch these people out before they burn you, you're a good judge of character.

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Sometimes good-hearted people are quick to assume the same virtues in others; it's charitable, even though it can be inaccurate. I don't think those people should beat themselves up about expecting other people to also be nice. It also seems that manipulative people perceive how successful they're being and make plans accordingly either to follow up with someone or retreat--it's not a one-way street.

I'm a slow-to-warm-up type, so I have plenty of time to see red flags (but also fewer close connections than I otherwise would). I would say my judgment improved markedly after middle school. I can't think of any "I should've known better" relationships since then... but it may be that harmful people are seeing me (a cautious, perhaps opinionated  person) as likely to "catch" them, so they're avoiding me as well.

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

No, I mean, is there anyone who CLAIMS to be a bad judge of character themselves?

I just think everyone thinks they are the good judge of character.

I know plenty who aren't, but they wouldn't' admit it.  

 

I would say I am average. Most of the benefit I have in relationships is that I hang out in places where people tend to value good character, although there are definitely exceptions...  

I don't think I am that great a judge of character, but I had someone tell me early in life that having principles to live by made a big difference, and I think that sort of stuck with me.  Based on living that way, I never dated a jerk, and my first serious beau was a jewel--and therefore I knew I could be treated well so I came to expect it.  I married well, and while I have been hurt by friends (and have probably done my share of hurting friends), by and large, I would say I am very fortunate in this area of my life.  

I can totally see how things could have been very different without that helpful advice...and please know that I am not bragging or proud of any of this.  I am THANKFUL.  

Dawn--the part I quoted above reminded me of a funny thing I read a few years ago--most people rate themselves as expert or good drivers...  But that is not what I see all around me in rush hour, where *I* am the only good driver.  haha. It's an interesting human trait...it echoes Garrison Kiellor's description of Lake Wobegon: ...where all the men are strong, all the women are good looking, and all the children are above average.  :0)

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36 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

 

 

Dawn--the part I quoted above reminded me of a funny thing I read a few years ago--most people rate themselves as expert or good drivers...  But that is not what I see all around me in rush hour, where *I* am the only good driver.  haha. It's an interesting human trait...it echoes Garrison Kiellor's description of Lake Wobegon: ...where all the men are strong, all the women are good looking, and all the children are above average.  :0)

 

This is funny to me because I replied earlier that I am not a good judge of good character and  I would also say that I'm not a good driver!  I'm not terrible but I wouldn't say I'm good either.  

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4 hours ago, DawnM said:

No, I mean, is there anyone who CLAIMS to be a bad judge of character themselves?

Me. I don't consider myself a good judge of character.

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I thought I was until my friend of 30 years and now, my DD’s MIL, has changed into a person I’m having a hard time liking😢 I’m grieving for the lost of the person I thought I knew.

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I would say I’m not great at picking people.  I grew up in an environment where there was an underlying sense that people that believe like us are safe good people and people with different beliefs aren’t.  Obviously that impairs your judgment somewhat.  That said plenty of other people who grew up with me seem to be good people pickers so I don’t think it’s just that.  I do tend to look for the excuses, justifications etc behind other people’s actions and be very slow to write people off.  Dh on the other hand is really quick to assess and is frequently right (one of my friends husbands for example who ended up leaving her for someone at work when she had PND).  One of the people I respected growing up turned out to be abusing his grandkids and I had literally no idea.  It came as a major shock and made me doubt everyone for a while.

i also think I have the benefit of having a pretty sane normal nice family so I don’t tend to look for or expect crazy.

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2 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

My husband will admit that he is a bad judge of character.  Does that count?

What does that say about you?

lol... just kidding of course 

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I think if someone is a bad judge of character it's because they're ignoring flags.

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11 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I think if someone is a bad judge of character it's because they're ignoring flags.

I think some people are trained to see the flags differently. Instead of seeing red flag = danger, they see red flag = familiar/home/comfort/love

I am a fairly decent judge of character in some circumstances, dh is very good in other circumstances. Between us we can be sufficiently suspicious 😄

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I can't read people at all - so I guess that makes me a bad judge of character. Fortunately, I have been extremely lucky in that I haven't run into people who want to do me harm, but nope, can't read people at all.

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12 hours ago, DawnM said:

Have you ever heard someone say they were a bad judge of character?

I am always in a bit of an eye roll mode when someone starts a conversation with, "Well,  I am a very good judge of character"  Don't all people feel they are good at judging character?  

Just had a person say it to me today and I was like, "Ok, whatever."

I don't think I am that great. Either that or I am COMPLETELY oblivious to clues people give out.

More than once I have been very surprised by people's actions , reactions and general behaviour.

Also, I wish I had that "inner" voice / gut feeling / woman's intuition that everyone always say they have.

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I only see myself as a bad judge of character in comparison to my husband. He can see right through a person in 5 min flat. I’m always telling him he’s too judgey, then when the person shows their colors, dh gives me the I-told-you-so look. 

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10 hours ago, maize said:

What is character?

 

I think most people would assign a value judgment to the word character.  Are you reputable, generally kind, seeking to do good, appreciative, loving, trying to make the world a better place in some way, honest in your dealings with others, that sort of thing.  

Bad characteristics of a person would be dishonest, greedy, unforgiving, self seeking, and more.

I don't think this is a "you can't put a definition on it" sort of word, but feel free to disagree, I would love to see what you think it is or why you think there is no clear definition.

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11 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I think if someone is a bad judge of character it's because they're ignoring flags.

 

Which could be for a number of reasons I suppose.

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It's really hard for me to quickly perceive good character because it takes a while to know them well enough to really see. I've had times where I thought someone was honorable and turned out not to be later and times when someone seemed pretty cranky and suspicious but, given enough time, you could really see their honorable traits come through. For "me" it takes some time to really know and understand a person. This is why I have learned to keep my distance until I feel safe enough. I think those quick judgments of character are often inaccurate. Not always, but often. It is true that, at least for certain people, what you see on the surface is NOT what is underneath. Some people are experts at keeping what's underneath completely hidden from view.

Edited by Indigo Blue

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Can I be a bad judge of character by proxy? Generally, my gut has never failed me. I can't think of a time when my instinct said "stay away" or "avoid this person" where it was wrong. And left to myself, I will follow it. BUT if I trust someone else, and that someone then trusts another, I'm very likely to trust the other even if my gut says don't. That's happened more than I care to recall (though I've been doing much better in recent years!). 

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Just to add to this discussion Blinkist Apps free book of the day is about this - you might want to check it out only free today though 

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

 

I think most people would assign a value judgment to the word character.  Are you reputable, generally kind, seeking to do good, appreciative, loving, trying to make the world a better place in some way, honest in your dealings with others, that sort of thing.  

Bad characteristics of a person would be dishonest, greedy, unforgiving, self seeking, and more.

I don't think this is a "you can't put a definition on it" sort of word, but feel free to disagree, I would love to see what you think it is or why you think there is no clear definition.

I’m not maize but I know that she has talked in the past about executive function issues that get treated as character failings.  That may be why she’s asking for a clear definition up front.

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7 hours ago, sassenach said:

I only see myself as a bad judge of character in comparison to my husband. He can see right through a person in 5 min flat. I’m always telling him he’s too judgey, then when the person shows their colors, dh gives me the I-told-you-so look. 

This is me and my husband as well!

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I tend to think of myself as a pretty average judge of character, if I think about it.  I mean, I wouldn't say "I am a bad judge of character" but then, short of a very specific question and discussion such as this, I can't think of a situation where I would be inclined to say "I am a good judge of character" either.  

I think for me, I have learned that whenever my gut gets pinged about something....listen to it.  As someone posted about that 80/20 rule, I tend to think the same thing.  I will generally presume a person has positive intentions/will act in a positive manner, but if my radar is getting pinged, for whatever reason, even if I can't identify it, I have no problem categorizing the person in that negative 20%.  

I posted here about our neighbor in our old location who just mostly gave DH and I the creeps.  The neighbors on the other side of them obviously had nothing pinging our radar.  DH once said he really really wanted to talk to the other neighbors and warn them about the guy but I was like "So, what, we are going to go over there and say 'we have no proof of anything, but we think the neighbor, that you have lived next door to much longer than us, is creepy and weird and you should keep your kids away'." And of course, we couldn't do that.  And then turns out the guy was arrested for child molestation.  There is really nothing specific or sufficient enough that I can point to that flagged us that the guy was creepy and weird, and I also can't explain why he didn't raise a creepy and weird flag to the neighbors, who would let their 13 yr old DD hang out with him while she was in her bikini.  

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I'm a pretty good judge of character. Interestingly, I have had a few people where I saw the red flags and admitted it to myself, but I was willing to consciously risk it anyway. Because I had seen the flags, I wasn't terribly caught off guard when the person showed their true colors. But I have a weird way of sharing a lot with a person while still inwardly keeping a distance, if that makes any sense. Maybe that makes me insincere, I don't know, but I'm not sure it's terribly uncommon when one has moved around a lot. It's like I can put a lot out there--that may even be used against me--and how it is handled determines whether I inwardly give my friendship to the person.

I'm an okay driver. Pretty careful, but not very smooth and not very confident.

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FWIW the blinkist book summary said people actually only spot 54pc of lies and that artificial intelligence did better than judges in predicting who would reoffend on parole.  The reason suggested was that human society runs most efficiently on an assumption of honesty.  If everyone stops to check the change at the checkout it slows everything down too much.  While we may occasionally get caught out overall as a species we are better off not being too suspicious.
 

so I guess in a way that takes an element of victim blame out of abusive relationships.  Acknowledging that almost anyone could find themselves in that situation might help us be more supportive.

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I'm not great at it. I feel like my judgment got much better when I learned to listen to my intuition about people rather than letting guilt for judging people control me.  And also my ex had a personality disorder but he seemed heaven-sent the first 3 years I knew him.  At the time I was unaware of how many red flags a less naive person would have seen.  After I learned all about personality disorders I got much better at both boundaries and seeing red flags. I tend to think that people who had exposure to abuse but were able to get free of it are good at judging people.  People who are either naive, or who think abusive relationships are normal are terrible at it.  Anyway, now I try to educate my kids about personality disorders because I don't want them to be naive.

My DH is a much better judge of character than I am.  His mom is a piece of work, but his dad is normal and healthy (they are divorced).  DH has a better BS detector than anyone else I've ever met.  If he hadn't grown up with undiagnosed ADHD and had better grades I bet he'd be working for some place like the FBI right now rather than in engineering.  Sometimes he HATES a particular politician or public figure who doesn't seem all that bad to me.  They almost always end up involved in some huge scandal within a few years.  He's like a real life version of Gibbs (from NCIS).

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I can see character traits clearly.  

I can see where a person is strong in charity and dedication.  I can also see where that same person is short of temper.  But anticipating which of these attributes will tip the balance toward or away from a healthy relationship requires a forecasting skill I don't think any of us have... Some are simply more willing/able to risk it than others.  

I am risk averse, but that doesn't make me a great judge of character.  🙂 

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