In a world where it’s hard to tell the real from the fake, spotting a truly genuine person can feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
But what if you had a handy guide to help you spot these real-deal folks?
In this article, I’m going to share some telltale signs that mark a truly authentic person.
These traits will help you pick out those precious, real gems among a crowd of fakes.
So, are you ready?
Let’s jump right in!
1. They’re Consistent
Authentic folks are the same person, no matter where they are or who they’re with.
That doesn’t mean they’re predictable or boring. Oh no, far from it! But it does mean that their values, beliefs, and behaviors don’t change with the wind.
Ever notice how some people will act one way with a certain group, and a completely different way with another? Not our authentic friends. They stay true to themselves, regardless of the situation.
At a party, in a meeting, at a family dinner – they’re reliably themselves, all the time.
Consistency might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually a big deal. It’s a sign of integrity and trustworthiness.
After all, if you’re the same person in every scenario, people know they can count on you to be you.
And in a world where so many things are uncertain, that kind of consistency is a refreshing change.
2. They Embrace Their Imperfections
Have you ever met someone who isn’t afraid to admit when they’ve messed up?
Someone who doesn’t try to hide their quirks or flaws but accepts them as part of who they are?
That’s an authentic person right there.
I remember an encounter I had with a colleague called Jane. Jane was leading an important presentation and accidentally showed an incorrect graph.
Instead of trying to brush it under the carpet or shifting blame, Jane acknowledged her mistake, laughed it off, and moved on.
She didn’t beat herself up or try to be perfect, she just accepted it as a momentary slip, a human error. It was refreshing and, honestly, made us respect her even more.
Authentic people understand that no one is perfect, and they don’t attempt to portray themselves as such.
Their “perfectly imperfect” nature is what makes them genuine and relatable.
Remember, perfection might seem admirable, but it’s our flaws that make us human, unique, and yes, authentic.
3. They’re Not Afraid to Show Vulnerability
Authenticity isn’t always about strength or having it all together; it’s often about the ability to be vulnerable.
It’s about being open with our emotions, our fears, our struggles.
Not for attention, not for sympathy, but for the pure, raw truth of our human experience.
Authentic people don’t wear masks. They don’t hide behind a facade of “everything’s fine” when it isn’t. They’re not afraid to say, “I’m struggling,” or “I don’t know,” or “I need help.”
It takes a lot of courage to be that open, to expose our soft underbellies in a world that often values a tough exterior.
But that’s just what authentic people do.
It’s important to remember, though, that vulnerability is not about oversharing or dumping every little issue on others.
It’s about honesty, connection, and realness.
It’s about giving others permission to be vulnerable too, by showing them that it’s okay to have struggles and not be okay sometimes.
After all, that’s part of being human, isn’t it?
So here’s to the brave, authentic souls who show us that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength.
4. They Know How to Listen
Hold on, you might be thinking, how does being a good listener make someone authentic? Isn’t authenticity about being true to yourself?
Sure it is, but here’s the twist: being true to yourself also means being in tune with others.
And nothing says “I’m present, I’m with you” like truly listening when someone else is speaking.
The world is full of chatter. It’s packed with people eager to share their thoughts, their opinions, their life stories.
But authentic people, they know the power of silence. They know that sometimes, the most valuable thing you can offer someone is not your words, but your attention.
They don’t just wait for their turn to speak, they actually hear and understand what is being said.
Being a good listener might not seem flashy. It might not grab the spotlight or turn heads. But it is a form of respect, of empathy, of genuine connection.
It’s a way of saying “I value you. I value your thoughts and feelings. I am here, and I am listening.”
And in a world where so many are eager to speak, those who truly listen stand out as authentically, beautifully real.
5. They Speak Their Mind
Our authenticity journey brings us now to a characteristic that’s quite straightforward: speaking one’s mind.
Authentic people have a knack for saying what they mean and meaning what they say.
This isn’t about being blunt or tactless; it’s about expressing their thoughts and feelings honestly, without sugar-coating or dodging.
You won’t find these folks murmuring a vague ‘maybe’ when they actually mean ‘no’. Nor will they nod along with something they disagree with just to keep the peace.
They know their worth, their beliefs, and aren’t afraid to voice them, even when their views swim against the current.
Speaking one’s mind requires courage, especially in a world that can sometimes pressure us into conformity.
But authentic individuals know that their voice matters. They understand that open communication is key to genuine relationships and self-respect.
So, they speak their truth, gently but firmly, making the world a bit more honest and a lot more interesting.
6. They Celebrate Others
Authentic people aren’t just comfortable in their own skin, they also rejoice in the successes and talents of those around them.
I recall a friend of mine, Mark. Mark had a special knack for recognizing and celebrating the achievements of others.
Whether it was a co-worker’s promotion, a friend’s weight loss journey, or even a stranger’s act of kindness, Mark was there, cheering them on.
He didn’t see others’ successes as threats to his own worth; instead, he found joy in their joy.
This ability to genuinely celebrate others stems from a place of self-security.
Authentic individuals, like Mark, don’t feel the need to compare or compete because they’re content with who they are.
They understand that someone else’s light doesn’t diminish their own.
In fact, they know that by celebrating others, they’re not only making someone’s day a little brighter, they’re also spreading positivity and strengthening bonds.
And isn’t that a wonderful thing?
7. They’re Open to Growth
Being authentic doesn’t mean being static or stagnant. On the contrary, authentic people are always open to growth.
They embrace the journey of learning and are not afraid to step out of their comfort zones.
They’re the ones who see every mistake as an opportunity to improve, every failure as a stepping stone to success.
Being open to growth also means accepting feedback, even when it’s critical.
Authentic people know that feedback can help them see blind spots and grow in ways they may not have otherwise noticed.
It’s a humble acknowledgment that they don’t know it all, and that’s okay.
This trait is a powerful one because it shows that authenticity is not a destination, but a journey. A journey of learning, adapting, and growing.
8. They Have Strong Boundaries
We often think of authentic people as open books, sharing themselves freely with the world.
And while that’s often true, it doesn’t mean they let others walk all over them. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Authentic people understand their worth and they respect their own needs. They don’t allow the opinions, demands, or expectations of others to control their lives.
If something feels wrong to them, they’re not afraid to say ‘no’. If a situation or a person drains their energy, they know how to step back.
Boundaries are all about self-respect and self-preservation. They’re a way of saying “I value myself enough to protect my peace and well-being.”
They’re also a sign of mutual respect: by setting their own boundaries, authentic people acknowledge and respect the boundaries of others.
Remember, being authentic doesn’t mean pleasing everyone at the expense of yourself. It means being true to you, and that includes respecting your own limits.
So, cheers to the authentic folks who teach us that boundaries aren’t barriers, but bridges to self-respect and healthier relationships.
9. They Don’t Seek Validation From Others
We’ve all been there, right? Looking for that nod of approval, that pat on the back, that “like” on social media.
But here’s the raw truth: authentic people don’t rely on others to validate their worth.
They know that they don’t need the applause or approval of others to feel good about themselves.
Their sense of self-worth comes from within, from a deep understanding and acceptance of who they are, flaws and all.
They don’t change their behavior, their beliefs, or their appearance based on what they think others will approve of.
Now, this doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate compliments or positive feedback. Who doesn’t, right?
But they don’t depend on these for their self-esteem. They don’t let the opinion of others define them.
Let’s be honest, it’s exhausting trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations.
Authentic people understand this. They choose to be true to themselves, to trust their own judgment, to value their own opinion.
Because they know that at the end of the day, the approval that truly matters is their own.
10. They Live Their Values
You see, authentic people don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. They’re not just aware of their values, they live them out, consistently and passionately.
Values are more than just words or ideas for these individuals; they’re guiding principles. They shape decisions, drive actions, and give life meaning.
Whether it’s honesty, kindness, creativity, or perseverance, authentic people embody their values in their daily lives.
It’s one thing to say you believe in something, but it’s another thing entirely to act on it, especially when it’s challenging.
Authentic people don’t shy away from these challenges. They stand up for what they believe in, even when it’s inconvenient, even when no one is watching.
Living out one’s values isn’t always easy. It takes courage, integrity, and a good dose of resilience.
But for authentic individuals, there’s really no other way to live.
Because living in tune with their values is not just something they do, it’s who they are.
And that is the heart of authenticity.
So, there you have it! Those are the 10 key traits that define an authentic person. It’s not about being perfect, but being real. It’s about showing up as yourself, no matter the circumstances.
As we wrap up, remember, authenticity isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, an ever-evolving dance between self-discovery and self-expression.
So here’s to that journey, to the bold, brave act of being authentically, unapologetically you.
Because in a world full of copies, there’s nothing more refreshing, or more powerful, than being the real deal.