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When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them: The Importance of Trusting Actions Over Words in Relationships

When Someone Shows You Who They Are Believe Them When Someone Shows You Who They Are Believe Them

When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone’s actions or words don’t align with the image you had of them in your head? Perhaps you brushed it off, thinking it was just a one-time occurrence. But when the same behavior repeats itself, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the situation. As the famous quote goes, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” In this blog post, we’ll explore the meaning behind this quote and how it can help you navigate your relationships with others.

The Meaning Behind the Quote

This quote is often attributed to Maya Angelou, who wrote in her book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” The quote suggests that when people reveal their true nature through their actions, it’s important to take note of it and not make excuses for them. It means taking them at face value and recognizing that they are unlikely to change.

Why It’s Important to Believe Them

It’s easy to make excuses for people we care about or want to believe the best in. But ignoring red flags can lead to hurt, disappointment, and even danger. When we ignore someone’s behavior or make excuses for it, we’re essentially telling them that their actions are acceptable. This can lead to a cycle of behavior that becomes harder to break the longer it’s ignored.

For example, let’s say you’re in a relationship with someone who consistently cancels plans with you or doesn’t make time for you. You may make excuses for them, thinking they’re busy or stressed. But if this behavior continues, it’s likely that this person doesn’t prioritize you or value your time. If you continue to ignore these signs, it may lead to resentment and ultimately the end of the relationship.

How to Apply the Quote in Your Life

Believing someone when they show you who they are doesn’t mean you have to cut them out of your life. It means being aware of their behavior and making decisions based on that information. Here are some tips for applying the quote in your life:

Trust Your Gut

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Your intuition is a powerful tool, and it’s important to listen to it. If you’re getting a gut feeling that someone’s behavior isn’t aligned with their words, take note of it.

Look for Patterns

One-off instances of behavior can be brushed off as a bad day or a misunderstanding. But if you start to notice a pattern of behavior, it’s time to take note. Look for patterns in the way someone treats you or others, and evaluate whether it’s something you’re willing to accept.

Communicate Your Needs

If someone’s behavior is causing you discomfort or hurt, it’s important to communicate that to them. They may not be aware of the impact their actions are having on you. By having an open and honest conversation, you may be able to work together to improve the situation.

Set Boundaries

If someone’s behavior continues to be a problem despite your communication, it may be time to set boundaries. This could mean limiting your interactions with them or ending the relationship altogether. It’s important to prioritize your own well-being and happiness.

Recognize Your Own Behavior

It’s easy to focus on someone else’s behavior, but it’s important to also take a look at your own. Are you making excuses for someone because you want to believe the best in them? Are you setting clear boundaries and communicating your needs effectively? It’s important to recognize your own behavior and make changes if necessary.


“When someone shows you who they are, believe them” is a powerful quote that can help us navigate our relationships with others. By believing people’s actions, we can set realistic expectations for ourselves and avoid disappointment or hurt. We can also avoid enabling someone’s negative behavior by making excuses for them, allowing them to continue the cycle of negative behavior.

It’s important to remember that this quote is not a call to judge or dismiss people outright based on their actions. People can change and grow, and it’s important to be open to that possibility. However, it’s also important to recognize that change takes time and effort, and not everyone is willing or able to make that effort.

In conclusion, the quote “When someone shows you who they are, believe them” is a powerful reminder to pay attention to people’s actions and not make excuses for negative behavior. It’s important to trust our instincts, look for patterns, communicate our needs, set boundaries, and recognize our own behavior in our relationships with others. By doing so, we can build healthy, fulfilling relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

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