What Small Things Say About True Person’sCharacter

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Why a spilled drink can be more revealing than a crisis

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Kristi writes about everything she finds interesting and helpful to share with people. She writes what you need, not what she just wants. She supports new talent. Use this link to receive an email ensuring Kristi’s latest stories come directly to your inbox.

When I was out to dinner with my family yesterday, something happened at the table next to us. The man was laughing and talking with his partner while they ate.

The waiter made a mistake and spilled a whole glass of water on the man’s clothes. His mood changed totally in an instant; he went from being calm to being angry and yelling at the clearly shaken waiter.

This situation got me thinking. We often judge people’s character during major crises — in grief, after a loss, or during a disaster.

Of course, these are important, but I believe it’s often the minor inconveniences that truly reveal who we are.

The strongest people I know have an unshakeable quality when little things go wrong. They adjust their plans without drama or anger.

A long line for their morning coffee?

No problem, they’ll use the time to catch up on emails.

Stuck in traffic? They’ll call ahead and let people know, then maybe enjoy a favorite podcast.

Did someone make a careless driving error? They give the other driver the benefit of the doubt and carry on.

It takes a surprising amount of strength to handle these minor, everyday annoyances with grace. Before we can expect to face major life challenges without breaking down, we must master the minor ones.

Unfortunately, many people today seem completely unable to cope when the slightest thing goes wrong. A slow server, a technical glitch, a miscommunication — these seemingly trivial events can trigger disproportionate outbursts.

If you want to be a stronger person, start with the small stuff. Learn to accept the occasional setbacks and delays of daily life.

This calmness will become your armor, and when bigger hurdles arise, you’ll be far more able to face them.

I hope this guy’s partner will open her eyes and reconsider the person she wants to be with forever.

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