9 behaviors that separate genuine people from everyone else

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It’s not hard to tell the difference between genuine people and the rest.

The distinction lies in their behavior. A person who is truly genuine doesn’t need to put on a show or hide behind a mask. Their actions speak louder than words, showcasing their authenticity.

Being genuine is all about being real, honest, and transparent with oneself and others. And those who’ve mastered this quality know there are specific behaviors that set them apart from the crowd.

Let’s dive into those behaviors that differentiate genuine people from everyone else.

1) Authenticity

The cornerstone of genuine people is authenticity.

Authentic individuals are not afraid to show their true selves. They are transparent and consistent in all circumstances – not just when it suits them. There’s no facade or pretense, just raw honesty.

Being authentic means acknowledging one’s strengths and weaknesses, and not being afraid to admit mistakes. It’s about living and speaking your truth, even if it’s not always comfortable.

Genuine people understand that nobody’s perfect. They accept themselves as they are and extend the same courtesy to others. They don’t feel the need to exaggerate or lie about their achievements or experiences.

So if you’re looking to identify a genuine person, look for authenticity in their actions and words. But remember, it’s about consistency.

Anyone can “put on” authenticity for a while, but genuine people live it every day.

2) Empathy

I remember a time when I was going through a rough patch. I was dealing with some personal issues and was generally feeling low. One of my friends, let’s call her Jane, noticed my subdued demeanor.

Rather than brushing it off or ignoring it, Jane made it a point to reach out. She didn’t try to offer solutions or dismiss my feelings. Instead, she listened and empathized. She shared that she had gone through similar experiences and reassured me that I wasn’t alone.

That’s the kind of behavior genuine people exhibit. They don’t shy away from emotional connections. They’re willing to step into your shoes, feel what you’re feeling, and provide comfort without judgment.

Empathy isn’t about fixing problems; it’s about understanding and validating feelings.

3) Humility

Genuine people are often characterized by their humility. They don’t need to boast about their accomplishments or talents; their actions speak for themselves.

Interestingly, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that individuals who possessed high levels of humility were more likely to help others than those who lacked this trait.

This is because humble individuals recognize that everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. They don’t feel the need to put others down to raise themselves up.

Instead, they appreciate the value in everyone and are more than willing to lend a hand when needed.

4) Consistency

They remain true to their principles and beliefs, regardless of the situation or the people they are interacting with.

Genuine individuals don’t change their stance or attitude based on who they are talking to. They don’t switch between different personas to please different crowds. Their words match their actions, and they deliver on their promises.

This consistency is not just about being reliable; it’s about maintaining integrity. Genuine people understand that trust is built over time through consistent behavior. They value this trust and strive to uphold it in every interaction.

In a world where inconsistency is often the norm, the consistency of genuine individuals truly sets them apart.

5) Appreciation for others

These individuals don’t just acknowledge others when they need something. They make it a habit to appreciate people for who they are and what they do.

Whether it’s a kind word or a simple thank you, genuine people know the importance of showing appreciation.

This behavior isn’t about flattery or manipulation; it’s about acknowledging the value that each person brings to the table.

Genuine people understand that everyone plays a unique role, and they make sure to express their appreciation for it.

By showing appreciation for others, they create a positive environment that encourages growth and connection.

6) Emotional intelligence

Genuine people have a high degree of emotional intelligence. This isn’t about being emotional; it’s about understanding and managing emotions, both their own and those of others.

I’ve seen firsthand how this trait can transform relationships and create deeper connections.

My grandfather was one of the most genuine people I ever knew. He had an uncanny ability to sense how others were feeling and could always find the right words to comfort, motivate, or inspire.

He would often tell me that understanding others’ emotions isn’t enough; one must also respond with kindness and compassion. He believed that a warm heart could soothe even the deepest pain.

His emotional intelligence made him a beacon of support for all who knew him. His genuine care for others touched many hearts and left lasting impressions.

7) Honesty

There was a time when I had made a mistake at work. A significant one. It would have been easy to brush it under the carpet or blame someone else, but I knew that wasn’t the right thing to do.

So, I owned up to it. I went to my boss, explained what had happened, and took responsibility for my actions. It was a difficult conversation, but it was also liberating. It reaffirmed my belief in honesty and its power to maintain integrity.

Genuine people value honesty and practice it in every aspect of their lives. They understand that honesty builds trust and strengthens relationships. More importantly, they know that being honest with oneself is the first step towards authenticity.

They may falter, as we all do, but at their core, they are committed to being truthful, no matter how hard it may be.

8) Open-mindedness

Genuine individuals don’t dismiss others’ opinions or experiences simply because they differ from their own. They listen, understand, and respect diverse viewpoints. They are not afraid to change their mind when presented with compelling evidence or arguments.

This openness doesn’t mean they’re indecisive or lack principles. Instead, it signifies their understanding that there’s always more to learn and that everyone has something valuable to offer.

Open-mindedness fosters understanding, empathy, and collaboration. It’s a trait that sets genuine people apart and enables them to build strong, diverse relationships.

9) Integrity

Genuine people hold themselves to high ethical standards. They stick to their principles, even in the face of adversity. They’re not swayed by convenience or personal gain.

Their word is their bond. When they make a commitment, they honour it. When they know something is wrong, they don’t participate or condone it.

Integrity isn’t about being perfect; it’s about being accountable and responsible for one’s actions. 

Genuine people live this truth every day, and it’s this commitment to integrity that truly sets them apart.

Final thoughts: It’s about being human

The behaviors that distinguish genuine people from everyone else are deeply intertwined with our innate human qualities.

One underlying factor could be the concept of ‘Ubuntu‘, a philosophy from Southern Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once defined it as “my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours”.

It emphasizes the interconnectedness of all humans and encourages us to treat others with compassion, empathy, and respect.

Whether it’s showing authenticity, practicing humility, or demonstrating integrity, genuine people embody the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’. They recognize the value and worth of every individual and understand that their humanity is tied to the humanity of others.

As we journey through life, these behaviors serve as valuable guideposts. They remind us that being human isn’t about perfection but about connection, understanding, and authenticity.

In essence, being genuine is about honoring our shared humanity. And perhaps, it’s this recognition that truly sets genuine people apart.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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