Personal integrity is a valuable quality.
And certain behaviors show that you are a person with high integrity.
Often, integrity is defined as having five attributes:
- Following a set of values
- Being honest
- Leading by example
- Helping others
- Taking responsibility
But there are other signs of a person with high integrity.
Let’s take a look at the behaviors and traits that show a person is true to themselves.
We all tell the occasional little white lie. Sometimes, a little dishonesty is permissible to keep people from getting upset or disturbed by things they can’t control.
But a person with great integrity will always tend toward telling the truth as far as possible.
Here’s why: people with integrity know that nine times out of ten, the truth is better than a lie – even a comforting one.
And they have too much respect for themselves and the people around them to live a false life.
Having integrity means being true to yourself, and you can’t do that very well if you’re not being honest.
This is one of the key signs of someone with high personal integrity.
After all, just about anyone can be a good person some of the time. But it takes real integrity and strength of character to continue to live by your values even when they are challenged.
For example, we may all agree that other people deserve respect and compassion. But when someone cuts you off in traffic or pushes in front of you in line, it’s easy to let those high ideals go straight out the window.
Having integrity means staying true to your beliefs, even in the worst circumstances. Maybe especially then.
It also means being reliable. Acting consistently means that people can trust you to do what you say you are going to do, and is a sure sign of integrity.
Do you show up for people when you say you will? Do you keep your promises? If so, you’re probably a person with great integrity. And your consistency is how you show that.
Which also means…
3) Keeping promises
I get it. Life happens. We can’t always keep the promises we make to other people, even when we have the best intentions.
On the other hand, a person with true integrity will do everything in their power to keep the promises they make.
A side effect of this is that people with high integrity are careful about what they promise to others. Breaking a promise is a serious matter for them, so they usually won’t promise something they are not sure they can deliver.
Do you treat promises to others like the sacred trust they are? Do you go to great lengths to make sure you will do what you have said you would, even when it causes you problems?
If so, you probably have a lot of integrity.
4) Accepting responsibility
You’ll never find a person of integrity shifting blame.
Instead, people with integrity accept responsibility for what happens in their life.
That doesn’t mean they blame themselves for things that aren’t their fault. Nor does it mean they let people walk all over them and blame them for their problems.
Instead, people with integrity admit when they are fault, without accepting undeserved blame from others.
And it goes even deeper than that.
It’s why you’ll rarely hear these people complaining about where they are in their careers or their personal life. They accept that the responsibility for changing anything they don’t like is on them.
Similar to the point above, a willingness to apologize is key to having personal integrity.
People who lack integrity are often unwilling to apologize. That’s because they think it makes them seem weak or puts them in an inferior position compared to others.
However, the opposite is true.
Apologizing when you’ve done something wrong is one of the key signs of an emotionally mature person. Anyone with integrity has no problem admitting when they are at fault.
And the best part?
People with true integrity use their mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. That’s why people who are willing to apologize rarely make the same mistake twice.
6) Displaying empathy toward others
Every child is taught that they should treat other people how they want to be treated. But people with true integrity actually practice this in their daily lives.
That’s because a person with integrity knows that they are no more and no less valuable than anybody else. They are capable of empathy, the practice of putting yourself in the position of another person and understanding how they feel.
People with integrity use empathy to make life easier for everyone around them.
If you feel deeply for others and do your best to understand where they are coming from, it’s probably because you have a lot of integrity yourself.
No one likes an arrogant person. And often, arrogance and boastfulness can be used as a shield to hide a person’s deepest insecurities.
If you have integrity, you don’t do that.
Instead, you admit your shortcomings, and you don’t brag about your achievements in life.
You stay humble because you understand that no matter what you’ve achieved in life, we don’t all get the same opportunities, and everything you have can be taken away in a moment.
This humility is a big part of what makes others appreciate your deep integrity.
8) Standing up for your principles
By now, you might be thinking that having integrity just means being nice. And in many ways, that’s true.
On the other hand, one of the key markers of having integrity is standing up for your principles.
You see, people with integrity are defined by their adherence to living by their values. That’s what makes them such authentic people.
It also means that their beliefs and values are firmly held, and they will be willing to defend them if necessary.
Having integrity doesn’t mean looking for arguments or trying to prove that you’re right all the time. But it does mean standing up for what you believe in.
A person with integrity is willing to listen to the viewpoints of others and correct their own views when they are wrong.
But they are also willing to stand up for what’s right and stick to their principles. That’s one of the clearest signs of a person of integrity.
As if that’s not enough, people with integrity tend to be some of the most authentic people you will ever meet.
That means they are true to themselves and uniquely themselves, no matter what.
Fake people change their habits and behavior to make people like them or to achieve some other goal.
On the other hand, people with integrity are the opposite of that.
Sticking to your values makes you an authentic person. So if you find that you are always yourself, no matter what the situation, and you refuse to change for anybody else, it may be a sign that you have great personal integrity.
10) Respecting others
So people with integrity aren’t afraid to get into a fight if they have to.
That doesn’t mean they look for one.
Having integrity means respecting yourself and sticking up for your own beliefs. It also means living authentically and in line with your own values and principles.
But at the same time, it also means respecting others.
After all, this isn’t just your story. Everybody else has their own principles and values, and they may be just as valid as yours.
If you have integrity, you understand that respecting others is just another version of respecting yourself.
So if you do your best to always show respect for other people, it may be a sign that you have a lot of integrity.
Integrity is valuable
People are naturally drawn to those with integrity. That’s because you always know where you stand with them.
People who are true to themselves and their values don’t change just to be popular or to fit in, meaning you know exactly what you’re going to get.
If you find yourself practicing these behaviors, it’s probably a sign that you have a lot of integrity. And in a world that sometimes seems to value the artificial, that’s a great thing to have.