In today’s video, I’m going to share my number one tip for anyone trying to assess anyone’s character.

Zachary Stockill: A lot of people who come to me are interested in assessing their partner’s character, values, and who they really are deep down. And often this is inspired by someone finding out some things that they don’t necessarily like about their partner’s past.

It’s so important and I’m continuously amazed by how many people overlook this central truth about life on how to judge who someone really is.

A lot of people reach out to me and they share their struggles and challenges assessing their partner’s character. They feel like they found out something about their partner that doesn’t square with the previous image they had of their partner in their head, which by the way is often almost always particularly among retroactive jealousy suffers.

A lot of these people are reaching out because they want to get a handle on their partner’s true nature. Because they found out something surprising that makes them question their partner’s character.

In every single relationship in life, if you really want to know who someone is, pay very little attention to what they say, watch what they do.

Every single time I’ve overlooked this advice, it’s come back to haunt me. Every single time I didn’t think of this advice, this came back to hurt me.

Another cliche, talk is cheap, right? If someone’s telling you about who they are, but their actions are not exactly squaring with what they’re telling you to believe their actions over their words every single time.

I’ll give you a perfect example. If your wife is telling you, “You’re attractive. I’m into you and you’re sexy and etc.” She’s telling you all this, but you haven’t had sex in two months, believe her actions over her words.

If your boyfriend says that he loves relationships and he’s a good guy and he just wants to treat people well. And all the women in his life have been great and etc, etc. But maybe he’s cheated on his past three out of four girlfriends believe his actions in the past over what he tells you about his past.

It is very easy nowadays, to present a talk and presented it as fact when there’s nothing really to back it up.

Look at all the idiots on Instagram saying that they’re these hustlers. They’re living this rich lifestyle, and meanwhile, they’re living in their parents’ basement, they’re broke as a joke.

Look at all these modern-day coaches on YouTube who actually have zero experience, tools, testimonials, no knows who they are, but they can build up a massive following overnight. Calling himself a coach when there’s nothing really to back it up.

Again, don’t believe what they say watch what they do.

If you’re trying to assess your partner’s character, whether it’s their character in the present or their character in the past, look at what they’ve done and pay very little attention to what they say.

I follow up with people who message me and later, they say,” Oh no, I really want to overcome retroactive jealousy.” But still, they’re harassing their partner about their past. They haven’t taken action on any of my suggestions, and they’re still spinning their wheels in the mud in the exact same position they were a few months previously. They said they had certain goals. And, they wanted to do something, but none of their actions back that up. And I’ve learned painfully over the years to always believe their behavior, trust their actions more than their words.

A related tip. A lot of people rush their relationships in the modern age. They move way too quickly in relationships. They’re getting engage, have a baby, and all of a sudden they’re spending every waking moment together, neglecting their friendships, hobbies, life outside of the relationship.

I learned the hard way that you can’t rush relationships.

To really get a handle on who someone is, watch their behavior over an extended period of time. Don’t judge them based on one decision they made in the past or in the present. Judge them based on who they’ve been over many months or years.

Another great reason for retroactive jealousy sufferers is to slow down the courting process, take things slow. Give people time to show you their true character and they will and above all, trust their behavior over their words.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.