When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them the First Time - Maya Angelou

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them the First Time

This is one of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou.

It’s a lesson life has taught me and which I always share with others too because trusting your gut about people is one thing, but when they actually show and tell you who they are, believe them the first time!

Pay attention to what they say and how they behave, that’s how people show you who they are, and it can be very subtle, but it can also be very clear, so don’t brush things aside if you make note of something odd that was said.

Trusting your gut about people is important, but sometimes people are not that subtle with who they are and they blurt out something that feels a bit weird or ‘off’, so don’t ignore those things.

If someone tells you up front,..

“I’m a terrible partner/I suck at relationships”, “I drink too much”, “I don’t have a life”, “I always have to be right”, or “I’m an asshole/I can be a bitch”, “I’m always the bad guy” or something like that, — Believe them.

Or anything that exposes poor morals, like for example, “I’ll just say I never got it so they send me another one” or “just throw it on the floor, the cleaning lady will pick it up, it’s her job” etc, — Believe them.

Don’t disregard these disclosures, and if they are telling you a potential deal-breaker (which everybody should have), — Believe them! Consider it to be a “fair warning”.

Once people have told you, or showed you who they are and you don’t leave or stop engaging, they are free to be as bad as they warned you they would be, so trust the red flags.

Listen, watch, observe, and then make an aligned decision if someone is for you or not.

Remember this is YOUR life, you have to do what you love and be with people you vibe with.

Disengage and stop talking with them if you sense any ‘off-ness’ – Leave, and don’t second guess yourself.

Use the contrast you experienced in a positive way and remember that you have the right to protect your energy and to reject what is not in alignment with you.

Look at parts of yourself that you’ve compromised to maintain a superficial connection for example and make the decision to stop old patterns and no longer accept relationships that are not reciprocal.

They have shown you who they are and how they do relationships, and you want to feel that you can be yourself at all times/all the time with the people in your life.

If you see red flags or if you notice something ‘weird’ or off, – Don’t go there. Trust yourself and see it as your cue to exit.

And after you’ve made an aligned decision about someone who has showed you who they are, make sure you don’t fall into old patterns again where you lose yourself and you put other people above yourself.

We need to choose to be with people because we want to be with them, not for any other reason than that.

Live in Radical Alignment and Completely Unleashed as your True Self.

Stop being friendly (but not unfriendly either) with people who are showing aspects of themselves that are not aligning with your values or principles.

No more adapting to their personality, no more changing yourself for others!

Clarify what your criterias are for hanging out with people.

What is important to you, and what are your deal-breakers?


“My friends/people in my life are fun and inspiring to be with. They are loyal and supportive and we share the same values and morals. My friends are generally happy people who love themselves and life. They are solution-oriented, have a positive outlook, are forward-thinkers, and has a great attitude and mindset.”

The deal-breakers in this scenario would then be that if you don’t share similar values and mindset;

If they are complaining a lot for example, and have a victim-hood mentality, then that would be a deal-breaker for you, so make these things clear for yourself.

What do you want, and what don’t you want?

You have the right to choose what standards to live by, what’s okay/acceptable and what’s not.

When someone shows you who they really are, that needs to be taken seriously and be acted upon the first time instead of making excuses for them again and again and putting up with their behavior and ways of being.

Don’t go there, and don’t go back to someone that is out of alignment with you no matter how sorry they are and no matter how many times they apologizes, – Trust that ‘what you see is what you get’, for better or for worse.

Have clear deal-breakers in all kinds of relationships, whether the relationship is romantic, platonic, professional or whatever, especially if you’re highly emphatic and feel other people’s energy easily.

Here’s a truth that is hard to swallow, but if we justify and even dismiss someone’s behavior early on and we later on fall victim to it, it’s on us.

They showed us who they were, and we didn’t listen.

The same goes with the way they behave and talk about others.

If someone talks negatively about other people for example, is gossipy and such, you can rest assure that they are doing the same to you, they are talking behind your back too, no matter how much they pretend they’re not.

Whatever a person does to others, they’ll most probably do to you too.

Be discerning and wise when it comes to spending time around people that have already told you who they are.

They aren’t going to suddenly change or be someone other than what they’ve said. You’re not “special” to them, they won’t make an exception for you, and you can’t change them.

If you’re making excuses for someone or in some other way are justifying their behavior, they’re not for you. Don’t ignore the red flags.

When you look at someone for who they are and not who you want them to be, you can decide if it is aligned and a healthy or an unhealthy presence in your life.


“I am no longer available for this kind of energy. I want to be around people who have good energy, people that can see the positive in their painful experiences, and who have overcome their victim mentality. I want people in my life that can be happy and stay peaceful no matter what is going on in their life. This is not to say that I don’t have empathy or compassion for what people with a victim mentality are going through. It’s just that I can’t be down there with them. I’m not gonna give these people anything anymore, empowering them while giving my own energy away to them and letting theirs affect me negatively. No thank you. It doesn’t work for me, it’s not in alignment with me, so I am no longer available for it, it is no longer something I will engage in. From here on, I choose to..”

and then state what you are in for, what you are welcoming into your life, and accepting.

Don’t give anyone full access to your inner circle before they’ve been properly vetted. Look for integrity primarily; the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

People always show you who they are and what you mean to them, so trust it, trust what they show you and what you see and observe.

Become aware of what energy you surround yourself with

Value Yourself!

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“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.” — Maya Angelou

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