What These 7 Hygiene Habits Tell You About Someone's Personality
The routines people do every day say a lot about what's going on inside their mind. As many different types of personal hygiene there are, there are different personalities that go along with them.
Personal hygiene can say a lot about your personality since it can highlight what's important to you, and how you feel about yourself. "Our personal hygiene is both a learned behavior and a representation of how we feel about ourselves physically," Josh Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "The nature of how we go about hygiene speaks strongly to our very deep thoughts about who we are, what we are, and how we want to be portrayed to the world. In that way it is a strong description about personality style." How you choose to fit personal hygiene into your daily life can also show a bit of insight into your priorities, as well.
While neglecting personal hygiene can be symptomatic of a mental illness, and it's important to check in with a doctor if you feel unable to motivate yourself to do things like shower or brush your teeth, not all hygiene habits are signs of something more serious. Personality quirks can be just that, and not everyone approaches their routine the same way.
Here is what these seven hygiene habits can tell you about someone's personality, according to experts.
1. Carrying Back-Up Hygiene Products Everywhere
If someone you know carries "back up" hygiene products (like deodorant, oil wipes, and a comb) with them wherever they go, they may be providing you more insight into their personality than they realize.
"This group [might say] they are not comfortable in the world if they are not presentable at the highest levels," Dr. Klapow says. "They carry a supply of goods and products [with them]. They may never need it, but they don’t leave home without it. They feel safe when hygiene materials are at their fingertips." The simple act of always being prepared may indicate these traits.
2. Brushing After Every Meal
While it's important to brush twice (or more) a day, when someone carries a toothbrush and toothpaste with them to brush after every meal, even if they're traveling, there may be deeper personality traits at play.
"[People who do this] often are fearful or sensitive to comments about bad breath and may have had a bad experience with someone teasing them for having bad breath," Dr. Klapow says. "A strong mint and some gum will keep your breath relatively fresh between meals. For this group however, no brushing means not being able to go out in public." This little insecurity, whether or not it's grounded in reality, may be enough to dictate their daily habits.
3. Showering In The Morning No Matter What
Like a fresh cup of coffee, some find a morning shower absolutely necessary to take on the day. For those who shower in the morning, no matter what, this is likely indicative of their perspective on life.
"[Someone who showers every morning] is a person for whom a fresh start, being clean, and being freshly clean every day is a must," Dr. Klapow says. Whether they fear waking up dirty, or simply need this to feel awake, this routine shows that feeling their absolute best before leaving the house is a necessity.
4. A Super-Rigid Routine
For some, it's not what they do with their personal hygiene that indicates something about their personality, but how they do it. Those with an exceptionally rigid routine might even find their own personality intertwined with their hygiene habits.
"The person who has a routine that can not be altered regardless of where they are in the world, what time it is, or what materials they have around them is communicating that their morning (and evening) hygiene routines are a part of who they are," Dr. Klapow says. "It is more than brushing teeth, showering, applying makeup. They are communicating that they need to engage in these behaviors in a certain way to feel right in the world." While, for some, brushing teeth is just a task, for these people, it may be part of something that makes them feel whole.
5. Having No Routine
Just as a rigid routine can be a sign of a larger personality trait, having no routine may also say a lot about someone's personality. This opposite end of the spectrum shows a more carefree side of someone.
"A person who has no system of getting ready or personal hygiene habits [might] tend to run late and be very social," licensed professional counselor and founder of Parenting With Personality, Jami Kirkbride, tells Bustle. "Chances are good that they will care more about fashion and style and change clothes more than once when getting ready. They will not be driven by systems or organization, but more likely by fun and excitement." Just because someone has no routine doesn't mean they don't care about hygiene; they likely just have other things on their mind.
6. Prepping The Night Before
Someone who makes sure that their morning personal hygiene routine is completely prepped the night before may be hinting at a larger personality trait.
"A person who sets out clothes and health and beauty items that will be used the following morning as they get ready would generally care about order and productivity," Kirkbride says. "They like to feel well prepared and don't want anything to hamper their process of being effective and efficient. They will tend to be multi-taskers." Being ready for anything and having things well sorted may be especially important to people like this.
7. Taking Shortcuts In Your Routine
While some people find that a skincare routine should be multi-step, others find ways to cut corners. This can be a sign that they don't take things as seriously as others might.
"A person who takes short cuts in fixing hair, applying makeup, or oral hygiene is generally a laid back person," Kirkbride says. "Chances are high they value sleep and rest and took as much time to do that as possible, making their time short." Valuing rest and relaxation above complicated personal hygiene routines doesn't mean this type of person is any less clean that others; it simply indicates a different set of priorities.
Hygiene habits vary greatly from person to person. Little quirks and differences in routines that may go unnoticed, however, may actually provide insight into someone's personality type. Different needs for personal hygiene can shed light on different perspectives people have on themselves and the world around them.