How to get to know someone's true personality and character over texts

Short answer: You cannot get to know it completely. But you can get small, important hints that are enough to build an outline of the picture.

Long answer: A few important factors play a major role -

  1. How long are their texts and responses?
    If they are long, it means he/she is a passionate person and more likely introverted. If they are short and concise, it would mean he/she can be easily distracted, probably extroverted in nature - they'd prefer real-time conversations.
  2. Do they initiate the texts? How do they do it?
    It is imperative if they initiate a conversation or not. It shows if they are interested in communicating with you. If they initiate the conversation just as much as you do, it means they value you and the times you communicate. If they don't do it as often, they may not be as interested. But, this is merely a hint of it. They may be busy people or workaholics. But if the pattern of them not communicating is consistent, then you have your answer.
  3. How do they end a text conversation?
    If you have ended the chat with a good-bye or good night, it is a mutual disconnect. But if they escape midway or don't respond to a text for days or weeks after having read it, they may be people who can be easily distracted with limited attention spans. OR they have no interest in responding to a derogatory or incriminating message.
  4. How frequently do you interact on text?
    It is not how long the conversations are or how deep do you talk about life, or a TV show or some funny past experiences. It is how often do you do it. The more often, the more the person is invested (emotionally). The lesser... well, the answer is right there!

I tend to make a mental note of these few aspects when I'm communicating with a new person. It doesn't give you to complete picture but an outline of it. However, these can be very subjective to type of conversation you are having.

You can only get hints of it even if you are trained to anaylze everything.

Text is 7~8% of the total communication. The rest you need to meet in person. But texts can tell you if they can communicate online.

Here's how I used general texting style to give myself hints on who to meet to find out more, its not perfect, just my exp:

  1. Simple One liner: "Hi" casually trying, just shooting random bullets to many targets. Scattered attention, no strategy.
  2. Thoughtful one liner: "you sound like an interesting person." Someone who upped their social game to get more attention but still, scattered attention. No idea what else that person is giving attention to. But one liner is common in phone chats, this can not be the sole consideration factor.
  3. Long, dramatic essay in reference to you but they made a story out of it: This person thinks and likely overthink, very imaginative, but may not really be able to see you.
  4. A paragraph showing they have interest, and paid attention to what you shared. Good length, sounds like a sane person to meet.

Be sure to meet in public places and don't head off anywhere private.

You cannot. You might as well ask them to take a Buzzfeed quiz.

Even in talking face to face we manipulate ourselves to seem different than who we are, much more on text where no one can discern your tone or body language. We have emojis to compensate but I don't remember the last time I used an emoji unironically/sincerely.

Certain people will have quirks and mannerisms in the way they text, but it is much like handwriting - just what is most comfortable for the hand. It doesn't indicate much about who they are, just how they feel comfortable talking online.

When I text my friends I use a lot of weird emojis, slang and I type pretty fast that I can't be bothered to correct my typos - to the point the sentences are barely understandable. Yet on Quora I am more conscientious with my typing, more formal, as is suited for the platform. In real life, I'm a mix of both, but I generally don't speak at all. All of these are me, just different sides. i.e You cannot tell the whole of who a person is with just text alone.

Question: How do you get to know someone's true personality and character over texts?

You cannot. It's impossible because text messages aren't capable of revealing someone's true personality.

I'll go even further and say that text messages are a meaningless way to get to know someone's personality even superficially. Anyone can present themselves to someone else as all smiley faces, bunny rabbits, and hearts with text messages, but the real underlying personality may be the polar opposite of that.

If you'd really like to get to know someone, don't rely on text messages. Those are only short snippets of typically cliched words for the most part, signed with emojis that may not have any underlying reason apart from being decorative ways to sign a message.

If you're a typical teenager who communicates with people using text messages, try calling them and using your voice instead. Or, better yet, make plans to meet so you can really start to get to know each other "in real life". That's the only way to get to know someone's "true personality" and even meeting in person will take some time to really know them.

I've tried doing it. It isn't a valid method for getting to know anyone.

I've developed some friendships over text. But that's easy, because friendships are less intimate, and we generally give friends more leeway as far as character goes.

To really get to know someone, you have to be able to see them. Video call, skype, face time.... These methods can only give you a partial insight. Yes, you can read their body language and mannerisms. You can learn about the aspects of their personality that they want you to see.

To really get to know someone's character and personality, you must meet them in person. You need to watch how they interact with other people. You need to find out if they have respect for things in general. These are things you can't learn from text or video. You must meet them.

Meeting people has its own problems though. You might text, talk, skype, etc, and think you really know this person. But then you meet and find out they're very different than you expected. This is why it's never a good idea to meet in a secluded place, or at either of your homes. Don't get in their car. Don't let them get in your car.

I have a personal experience. I met a man named Tim in a chat. We exchanged emails and after a couple months, we decided to meet in person. I was kinda dumb. I let him pick me up from my work, and we were supposed to go out for dinner. I got into his car. He drove to a parking lot at a mall in order to talk to me. I noticed a few mannerisms that made me realize this man was not a nice man. He was too stubborn and he pouted in a creepy way. Then he started talking about taking me to the woods so he could tie me up. Inside, I completely freaked out. I was trapped in his car, and I was at his mercy. I remained calm though, and I started asking him personal questions, to get him to talk about himself, and so I could tell him more about me because I needed him to see me as a person, and not an object. After a while, he realized we didn't have time to get dinner because he had to get home to his kids. (!?) I played it off that I was sad and we would have to go on another date. After he brought me back to my car, I went home and blocked him from everything. I was lucky he wasn't a stalker, because he knew where I worked.

Bottom line: You can't tell by text alone.

Ask them meaningful questions. However best way to get to know someone is actual contact. Even if it's over the phone. Nothing beats real human interaction. Especially if you are having meaningful exchanges. We need to be better listeners. Ask a lot of questions. Deep questions. Not personal so to speak, but deep meaningful questions. Don't just ask how are you as a formality. Follow it up with "why do you feel this way?" and "why do you say that" and "how does that make you feel?" And do this because you sincerely want to know and are sincerely interested in a deep meaningful conversation. This will make you a better person. You will be more liked by others and more respected for being authentic and communicating powerfully. And your relationships will depend and the bonds will strengthen and then life will become rich and full because now you are living powerfully and connecting on a whole other level. That's what it's about.

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