there are three ways to know someone's true nature- b'keeso, b'koso and b'kasso- in one's pocket (how they spend) when they drink and when they are angry. i have one more way. when one is startled.
recently one of my co- workers was in a room. lets call her allison. allison is catholic. another co-worker, lets call her cindy, is jewish and russian. cindy walks into the room allison is in. allison did not notice that cindy walked into the room. suddenly allison yells at her for startling her and calls her and f-ing jew. the funny thing about it is usually cindy is teased for being russian and not at all for being jewish. in fact her jewishness never comes up as she is just a two day a year jew. this is why allison's comment was so odd. then again was it really so odd? perhaps on a subconscious level allison really does think of cindy more as being jewish than as russian even though she never expresses it verbally. after this event allison was very embarrassed. although this was what came out her mouth she never meant to verbalize it. i know allison and she would not strike anyone as someone who would call someone a f-ing jew or refer to any one's religion when she speaks to them. apparently it is on her mind on some level. cindy wasn't offended because she believes that allison only called her an f-ing jew because she was startled. i agree . i also think that on some level allison is thinking of cindy as a jew more than she is thinking of her as russian.
for me the incident with allison and cindy re- affirmed my belief that just people knowing you are frum makes them think of everything you do as something a frum person would do and not just something a person would do. it doesn't matter how outwardly frum one appears or whether one is charedi or whether one is modern orthodox liberal. everyone knows you're shomer shabbos and they aren't forgetting it.
though i am far from perfect i try to internalize this adage and behave my best because i know this is the truth.