11 signs you’re a more genuine person than most, according to psychology

Authenticity will take you far in life. 

When you are true to yourself and true to others, it leads to respect and success in both your personal and professional life. 

So how genuine are you, really?

Psychology has some valuable answers and insights for us about how to measure the level of authenticity in an individual. 

Let’s dive in and take a look at the indicators that you operate at a far-above-average level of authenticity.

1) You open up about how you feel

You’re not afraid to be vulnerable and say how you feel. 

The people close to you know that you are an individual who’s willing to be forthright and transparent about your life. 

When you’re struggling, you admit it. When you’re on a winning streak you let others share in the joy. 

You don’t wear a mask, nor do you hide how you’re doing or downplay your dreams.

Bottom line: Genuine people bravely express vulnerability without feeling weak, sharing their dreams, fears, and weaknesses with honesty.

2) You practice active listening 

You actively listen to what others say, which means that you don’t only hear the words they speak but also what they mean. 

Body language and many elements of nonverbal communication also come into play as you truly hear somebody out. 

Whether or not you agree, you give somebody your ear in order to hear them out before jumping in or passing judgment. 

As psychologist Jeremy Sutton, Ph.D. writes:

“Listening goes beyond hearing and committing words to memory by becoming aware and sensitive to nonverbal communication, such as the speaker’s tone of voice, timing, speed of talking, body language, and context.”

Bottom line: Truly authentic individuals listen without judgment, welcoming diverse perspectives and experiences, which fosters strong relationships.

3) You’re able to respectfully disagree 

A dishonest and less genuine person finds disagreement very hard: they often find it almost impossible to differ from the majority opinion or know that somebody finds them wrong or objectionable. 

You, on the other hand, are able to respectfully disagree. 

You’ve experienced being the minority opinion or perspective or identity before, and it’s a part of who you are. You don’t feel the need for everyone to approve of you or see things your way. 

You are also able to listen to people you find wrong and ignorant without becoming belligerent but while still being clear that you consider them incorrect and mistaken.

Bottom line: Authentic people respect differing opinions without resorting to personal attacks, fostering open dialogue and mutual understanding.

4) You genuinely care about those in your life

You have real empathy for people close to you. 

While you’re not afraid to put yourself first when necessary, your concern and aid to others is very much genuine. 

You help because you want to, and you offer support and advice because you want to, not out of any role or obligation. 

Your genuine care for others isn’t an act at all, it’s just who you are. 

Bottom line: They genuinely care for others, showing empathy and kindness in various ways, not for show, but out of sincere concern.

5) You’re honest and transparent 

You tell the truth as much as possible, even about small matters. 

You know that small lines can quickly snowball into bigger untruths, and you’d prefer to be as above board as possible. 

In your relationships, work and every other area of your life, you’d much rather have some moments of awkwardness or tension (or even a missed deal or breakup) than lying to yourself or others about what’s going on or about how you feel. 

It’s better to just be honest from the start! 

“Research has shown that the act of telling the truth is linked to various psychological and social benefits,” notes psychology writer and self-help author Anubhav Shrivastava.

“For one, being honest can boost our sense of self-esteem and improve our mental health.”

Bottom line: Authentic individuals embrace truthfulness, maintaining transparency even when it’s challenging. This earns them trust and respect from others and (most importantly), secures their own self-respect.

6) You stick to your own moral code

You don’t play a part for appearances: you really are who you say. 

When nobody is watching, you still do your absolute best to adhere to the moral, spiritual, religious or ethical code you believe in. 

Even when it’s challenging in the short-term, you believe that consistency with your own values will have the largest long-term payoff. 

Plus, it lets you keep and strengthen your own self-respect to be consistent and true to yourself. 

Bottom line: They stay true to their principles and beliefs, refusing to compromise their integrity for societal expectations.

This relates to the next point… 

7) You know your own shortcomings 

simple traits of genuinely happy people according to psychology 11 signs you’re a more genuine person than most, according to psychology

You’re aware of where you fall short and you put in regular effort to improve. 

The main person you are competing with is yourself of yesterday, and you don’t have any illusions about your own talents or perfection. 

You know you have faults. You know you have strengths. And you try your best to keep working on yourself and having a realistic view of your own abilities and deficiencies. 

Bottom line: Authentic people recognize their imperfections and actively work on self-improvement, embracing life’s journey with humility.

8) You hold yourself to account 

You never try to dodge accountability or focus on who else is to blame. 

As much as it’s within your own sphere of influence, you hold yourself to account and try to own up for any mistakes or misunderstandings you’re involved in. 

By admitting where you messed up without excuses, you also take the wind out of the sails of people who may be trying to use your mistakes against you. 

“It cuts to the heart of the matter, reduces a cause of their anxiety or anger, lets you move on to other topics (including your own needs), takes the wind out of their sails if they’re lambasting you, and puts you in a stronger position to ask them to admit fault themselves,” explains psychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Bottom line: They own up to their mistakes without excuses, focusing on growth and improvement rather than blame.

9) You’re reliable and trustworthy 

If you say you’ll do something, you do your level best to come through. If for any reason circumstances change, you inform everyone involved as soon as possible. 

Your word is your bond, and others respect you for that and seek you out in your personal and professional life. 

They value you and can tell that you are an individual who cares about improving the world, starting with yourself. 

This orientation toward doing good rubs off on those around you. 

As Hanson writes:

“Giving over to good means relaxing into, opening to, being buoyed and guided by things like your own naturally good heart, the impulse to take the high road, love, compassion, vitality, courage, the longing for justice, and the wisdom and support of good friends.”

Bottom line: They prioritize reliability, keeping promises and delivering on commitments, earning a reputation for trustworthiness.

10) You pitch in to give your fair share

You seek out other genuine people to partner with and you’re a reliable individual. 

In both your business and personal life, you seek deep connections that will stand the test of time and go the distance. 

Whenever possible, you want to build bridges that will last and actually go somewhere. 

This means you also pitch in and do your fair share whenever you do agree to a joint venture: you’re the opposite of a freeloader! 

Bottom line: They seek partnerships with genuine individuals, valuing integrity and consistency over superficial connections.

11) You stand up to bullies and liars 

You don’t let bullies push you around, and you don’t let them mistreat others, either. 

When you meet with a liar, bully or manipulator, you stand your ground. 

You’re not out there looking for a fight, and it’s not about being “right” or even a “good person.” You just don’t like goons and bullies:

And when you’re faced with dishonesty and mistreatment, you put your foot down and do your best to build a better relationship and make your boundaries clear. 

Bottom line: Authentic people confront falsehoods with tact, standing up for truth and common sense when needed, fostering honesty in relationships.

The core of being a genuine person

The core of being a genuine person is being honest with yourself and others. 

It’s about recognizing your strengths and weaknesses in a realistic way, and finding a way to be accepting and caring of others. 

Being genuine doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means you care and you have a high level of integrity you want to uphold in your life. 

And you’re making progress every day. 

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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