Some people don’t ever stop to think about how they are acting, while others, those people who have true integrity, take the time to reflect on their actions to learn from them and become a better person as a result.
Here are 7 signs of people who have true integrity.
1) They do what they say they’ll do
What does it mean to have integrity? It means that when you say you’ll do something, you actually do it.
This applies to the little things in life and also the bigger goals someone says they have.
If you want to identify the people with integrity in your life, don’t listen to what people say. Compare what they say with what they do.
2) Taking ownership for their actions
In all aspects of life, people who have real integrity are recognizing the impacts of their behavior and are adjusting it accordingly. That doesn’t mean they are bending to everyone’s will; in fact, it means the opposite. They just want to be the best version of themselves.
A good example of this is when parents who are overworked, underpaid, and suffering from sleep deprivation take the time to apologize to their small children when they fly off the handle.
It’s easy to take your frustration out on those you love the most, but people with real integrity realize when they’ve crossed the line and apologize to even the smallest people in their lives. They know it’s important to set the expectation that people take responsibility for themselves.
(Our best-selling eBook, Why Taking Responsibility is Key to Being the Best You, offers the tools and techniques you need to transform your life. Check it out here).
3) They’re genuine
There’s a special quality about people with integrity. This is that they’re genuine all the time.
They don’t give compliments for the sake of it or to manipulate you. They give compliments because it’s what they sincerely believe about you.
When someone with integrity asks how you are, they’re asking because they care about the answer.
You can trust in people with integrity for their sincerity.
3) They praise the accomplishments of others
People with true integrity will always talk up a coworker or colleague before themselves. They know that praise goes a long way to lift people up, and it helps them feel good about themselves as well.
Time is well spent when it’s spent building people up instead of breaking them down. People with true integrity also realize that they can learn from those around them and don’t assume they know everything.
4) They don’t need you to like them
It may surprise you to learn this, but people with integrity don’t need you to like them.
What?! Why would someone with integrity not need to be liked?
When you don’t care what people think of you, then you become free in your actions. You do things because you genuinely want to.
These people remove the filter of worrying about what people think and instead do things because it’s what they truly believe in.
You can trust people who don’t need to be liked. They’re doing things because they are full of integrity.
If you want to learn how to give up on needing to be liked by others, check out the free masterclass on relationships with the shaman Rudá Iandê.
5) They respect you for who you are
Just as someone with integrity doesn’t need to be liked, they also don’t feel the need to change anything about you.
They respect you for the person you are.
Everyone has a different experience of life. We come from different backgrounds and face unique challenges.
Someone with integrity will respect people for their differences. Just because they may have figured out some key aspects of life doesn’t mean they need you to go through the same lessons they’ve learned.
Live and let live, say people with integrity.
6) Authenticity is Everything to People with Integrity
Being authentic means you’re living your life in a genuine way. You’re not copying the way others behave just because it looks cool. You know who you are and you’re carving out a life that is truly unique to you.
It’s refreshing being around people who know how to live an authentic life.
When you have integrity, you know what makes you unique. You are pursuing something that is authentic to you.
The thing that makes your life authentic doesn’t need to be big and groundbreaking. You can still do things in similar ways to others.
But you have chosen this life for yourself. That’s what makes it authentic.
6) Keep it clean during an argument
You can always tell when someone has more integrity than you because they won’t diminish themselves to name-calling or finger pointing during an argument.
They are cool, calm, and can clearly articulate their feelings and thoughts in a way that doesn’t make other people feel bad about themselves.
Because they can take ownership of themselves (see sign #1), they are more likely to be good at winning an argument because they are focused on the solution and not the problems.
7) Road rage restraint
While road rage might feel good at the moment and help you blow off some steam, people who have real integrity can just sit and use the time to reflect, think about dinner, or do anything besides freak out on the highway.
Not only is road rage dangerous in a physical sense, but it can also hurt your mental awareness, and capacity to get on with your day because you’ll be so wound up from yelling and flipping the bird on the road.
People with real integrity know that the traffic will move or that stupid people can’t be taught how to drive, so they just let it go.
(To dive deep into techniques that help calm the mind and reduce overthinking, check out our no-nonsense guide to Buddhism and eastern philosophy here).
8) Putting others first
People with true integrity don’t put others first in a way that takes away from their sunshine, but they do put others first in a way that makes them know their time is valued.
For example, when a person with true integrity takes the stage to give a speech to colleagues or coworkers, they will apologize for keeping them waiting.
They recognize and acknowledge that people are busy and their time is valuable, so while they make every effort to get on stage as fast as possible, they will still acknowledge the time people have waited.
9) Asking to hear the other side of the story
People with true integrity will always give someone the benefit of the doubt when things are unclear. They never assume anything and understand that are always two – or more! – Sides to a story. They will take the time to ask questions and find out as much information before making any decisions about the information. This shows real character and is thought to be a sign of strength and integrity.
10) They volunteer
Even though our time on this planet is short, people with real integrity know that time is best spent in the service of others.
Whether that’s pouring soup at a local food bank or organizing the holiday concert at their children’s school, giving away their time is one of the best uses of their time they can think of, and we would agree.
11) They’re humble
It’s easy to spot people with integrity by looking out for those with humility.