Your Character is Important to Others
by Ron Kurtus (revised 17 January 2012)
Your character is important to other people. They judge your character and decide if they want to deal with you. They decide whether your character is beneficial to them or is harmful to them.
Your attitudes toward doing work determines if they will ask you to do things for them, as well as if they will do you a favor. Your level of honesty determines whether they can trust you or believe you. If you are insulting or harmful determines whether they want to be around you or like you. Your attitude toward adhering to the laws of the group determines whether others want you in the group.
So, how important is character to other people? It is important in the degree that it affects the person. In business, it can be very important and measured in dollars. In personal life, it is more subtle, unless the person is nasty to you.
Questions you may have include:
- Why is your attitude toward work important to others?
- Why is your honesty important to people?
- How are your attitudes toward the laws of the group important?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Attitudes toward work
If you are going to do something with or for another person, he wants to know if you are dependable.
If you have a reputation of being lazy or careless in your work, others will make that initial assumption about your personal character traits. However, if they see you are a good worker and conscientious in what you do, they will change their perception and assume you have those positive character traits. The same is true if they see negative behavior.
On John's first day at work on the factory assembly line, he was paired with an older fellow, Emil. After a short time working, it was obvious to John that Emil was drunk.
This caused John to make a number of negative assumptions about Emil's personal character and work-ethic. After a few days working together, John's judgment about Emil proved correct.
Fortunately for John, after three weeks he was able to get transferred and have a new partner.
Others judge your personal character by your performance.
Attitudes toward others
Your attitudes toward other people are important to those people, because they indicate whether your behavior will be beneficial or harmful to them.
Being known as an honest person is important to others. They feel you are reliable and that they can trust you.
If you have a reputation of lying or not telling the truth, others will distrust you and perhaps not even want to deal with you.
Being unreliable means that you promised to do something or to be somewhere but then reneged on your promise. It is a form of dishonesty. If you have a reputation of being unreliable, others will know they cannot count on you and will hesitate to invite you or ask for your help.
Of course, if others know you cheat or steal, they will probably avoid you if possible.
Todd promised to help us, but he was unreliable and never showed up. Also, he does not seem to appreciate the help we have given him. The third thing is that he does careless work. These are all poor character traits.
Jeff promised to do things but did not follow through. He would also lie about things, such that we could never really trust him to give a straight answer.
On the other hand, Greg seems like a reliable, hard worker. I wouldn't hesitate in dealing with him.
Help or harm?
Being known as a helpful or enabling person is important to others.
If you are the type of person to insult or put down others, such people do not like such actions—even if they are done in jest.
Gloria and Jim overheard Linda and Katie bad-mouthing them as well as other people. Linda was known to spread lies about Gloria and others.
Jim was known to send out insulting e-mail, especially when he had been drinking.
Some salesmen seem dishonest.
Brian tries to act like he knows everything and is superior. In other words, he is putting you down.
OK, so these people have shown some poor character traits to me. Is it really important to me? At the very least, I know where they are coming from and will use caution in dealing with them.
Your reputation concerning how you treat other people precedes you. It can color the perception others have your social character once they must interact with you.
Sarah had said that Beth was often dishonest and would sometimes steal.
Because of this reputation, Carly was hesitant to invite Beth over. However, several others told Carly that Beth was actually very honest and that Sarah had a grudge against her, so she was spreading rumors about Beth.
The truth was that it was Sarah who had the poor social character traits of being dishonest and harmful to others.
If others see you being dishonest or harmful to others, they will judge your social character negatively. However, if you seem kind and straightforward, they will judge you in a positive sense. Typically, people expect positive type of behavior.
Attitudes toward rules
Your attitude toward the rules or laws of your various groups is important to members of those groups as to whether your behavior is beneficial or destructive to the cohesion of the group.
Cultural, religious, and family groups typically have a set of rules or laws its members are expected to follow. Usually, there is an overlap, where some groups have similar rules of behavior. Often these rules also concern personal and social behavior.
If you are a member of some group, it is assumed that you follow the rules. If members see you breaking the rules or code of the group, they will consider you as having poor adherence character and may even punish you or force you out of the group.
Jackson's family had been dedicated Democrats for years and had always voted the Party ticket. However, Jackson felt that the political views did not fit his philosophy, and he switched over to support the Republican Party.
Jackson's father was outraged, as was his uncle. They did not want to have anything to do with this "traitor" in their family.
Members of a group will judge others in their group according to how they observe the rules. The law-abiding person is considered good, while the person who breaks some rules is thought of as having poor character, being a bad person, or being a sinner.
Those outside the group are not considered to have as high of character as those inside the group. For example, a Muslim might accept that a Christian was an honest person, but he would still consider him as an infidel and of low character, with respect to his religion.
If you belonged to a tightly-knit cultural group and you adhered to their rules and traditions, others in the group would judge you as a person of high character.
Your character is important to other people, such that they decide whether it is beneficial to them or is harmful to them.
Your attitude toward doing work determines whether they want you do to things for them. Your level of honesty determines whether they can trust you or believe you. If you are insulting or harmful determines whether they want to be around you or like you. You character in following the rules of the group determine whether they want you in the group.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones
Resources and references
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Your Character is Important to Others