Even the smallest details can give you a big picture of your approach to life. During the day, we perform a lot of actions that we do not pay attention to - we take several sheets of paper instead of one in the toilet to wipe our hands, send a letter to a colleague, buy household chemicals, etc.
But these small and seemingly insignificant features can provide meaningful insight into your emotions, your personality traits, and how you feel about life in general. Below we tell you about one psychological study that revealed how everyday habits characterize a person.
Please be aware that none of the points below are the ultimate truth and that these general conclusions may not apply to you specifically. Rather, they serve as starting points for a more detailed study of their motives for action and the motives of others.
Your shopping habits will tell you about your attention to detail
Do you scrutinize the ingredients on each tube of toothpaste until you find one that suits your needs? Or do you quickly pick one, confident that you know how it works and that you need it?
A series of experiments conducted in 2012 showed that in the case of buyers of the first type, cognitive reflection is highly evaluated, that is, they analyze thoroughly and prefer to know a lot of details. Buyers of the second type are rated on indicators of low cognitive reflection, that is, they are not interested in a lot of details and prefer more general information.
These findings can be applied to different areas of life.
Which side of you hang up the toilet paper can tell you about your assertiveness.
Relationship specialist Gilda Carle interviewed 2, 000 men and women about how they hang toilet paper: farther away from themselves, the side to unwind, or closer to themselves. The same people filled out a questionnaire with questions regarding their assertiveness in relationships.
Gilda said that those who hang the paper, the unwinding side of which is closer to the person, as a rule, occupy a dominant position in the relationship. The second type of people is more submissive. Interestingly, some people noted an interesting fact. Wherever they are, they always outweigh the toilet paper in a way that suits them. This trait is also associated with dominant personality traits.
Your eating habits will tell you how you approach life.
Eating behavior experts say our eating habits can tell a lot about our personality. In particular, those who eat slowly tend to have control over their lives and know how to value it. Fast eaters tend to be ambitious, focused, open to new experiences, but often impatient.
Those who constantly try something new in food like to step out of their comfort zones, and picky eaters are more often neurotic in one area or another of their lives. Finally, those who like to divide foods on their plate (carrots to carrots, peas to peas) are detail-oriented and disciplined.
Your gait will show how vulnerable you are.
We tend to make a lot of assumptions about the people around us based on how they walk. For example, we believe that people with a so-called loose gait are extroverts and love to travel, while those with a mincing gait are more prone to neuroticism.
But these assumptions are wrong. Studies have shown that the only thing we can tell by gait is how vulnerable a person is. In one 2013 study, experts asked inmates to watch several videos of people walking. The inmates were asked to indicate those who were most vulnerable to becoming a victim.
The results showed that prisoners who scored higher on psychopathy were more likely to select people who had been victims in the past. When they were asked the reason for choosing this or that person, they said that first of all they paid attention to the person's gait, that it says a lot.
The way you speak will reveal your romantic feelings.
Psychologist James Pennebaker has spent years studying functional words in human speech (this, me, etc.). He found that the way people use these words can tell about the person's gender, age, mental health, and whether they have a romantic interest in the other person.
The psychologist and colleagues listened to tapes of quick dating between men and women and found that when couples used similar language styles, particularly when they used similar functional words, they were more likely to date each other.
According to psychologists, this does not happen because the couples are similar to each other, since those couples who are absolutely not alike went on dates. This is most likely due to the way we express our thoughts when we are interested in someone.
Your emails will tell you if you are an introvert or a narcissist
Take a closer look at the next email you receive, it may give you some idea of the sender's personality. Psychologists say extroverts are more likely to talk about things related to fun, like music or parties.
People with lower emotional intelligence tend to use negative emotional words in speech, for example, "depressed", "angry". It is not surprising that narcissists talk a lot about themselves, often using the words "I", "me", "mine" in speech.
Your punctuality will show you what type of person you are.
If your friend is always late, it doesn't necessarily mean that he is inattentive. One study found that those who are consistently late are very laid-back individuals.
Meanwhile, psychologist Linda Sapadin talks about four types of individuals who are always late. You do not necessarily belong to any one of them, as you can be a combination of all four.
The perfectionist will not leave the house until everything is in place. Crisis maker enjoys last-minute “race” to meet deadlines. The defender revolts against authority and social norms. The dreamer is too optimistic about the time it takes to complete a particular task.
Your nervous tics will tell you how perfectionist you are.
There is a reason some people experience body-oriented repetitive behaviors (nervous tics) such as pulling out hair, biting nails, or pinching the skin.
In one 2015 study, experts filmed people in different situations. The conditions were stressful, frustrating, relaxing, or boring. The results showed that those with higher perfectionism scores were more likely to experience tics, especially in stressful, frustrating, and boring environments.
It has been suggested that boredom is a trigger for a nervous habit among perfectionists because they supposedly feel better doing something instead of nothing.
Your phone addiction can show your emotional stability
Most of us check our phone while queuing at a store, while on public transport, and even while talking to friends.
Recent research has shown what it means to be busy with your phone all the time. So, in a 2015 study, people were asked to answer questions such as "Do I worry when my phone is out of sight?", "Do I spend more time on my phone than I need to?"
The results showed that emotional instability is a key predictor of cell phone addiction. Interestingly, the study concluded that introverts were less likely to be addicted to their phone.
The way you organize your mailbox can show how much you have control over everything.
The state of your mailbox can tell a lot about your personality. You may have not a single unread letter in your Inbox, or their number may go off the scale to thousands. Well, those who read an email immediately and later delete it have a high need for control and order in life.
Those who save emails, that is, read but don't delete, are most often perfectionists who believe that they will eventually return to those emails. Finally, those who do not read their emails for a long time and do not delete them are likely to feel overwhelmed. Alternatively, such people may be extraordinarily intelligent, since they recognize that reading such letters does not help them make significant progress.
How you take selfies can show how open you are to new experiences.
People make quite a few assumptions about your personality based on your selfies. In one 2015 study, Chinese university students viewed selfies on a Chinese microblogging site.
Most of the students believed that pursed lips were a sign of extroversion and openness, while frequent solitary selfies were a sign of neuroticism. But these judgments were usually wrong.
The students' only accurate observation was that positive emotions on selfies generally predicted a person's openness to new experiences.
Researchers also found that friendlier people are more likely to take pictures of themselves from below, more conscientious people are less likely to reveal their personal space in the background, open to new experiences are more likely to show positive emotions, and those who are prone to neuroticism are more likely to have a duck face on a selfie.