People with true integrity are hard to come by.
They possess all the qualities of what people would regard as not only a good person but an outstanding person. Someone who’s morally and ethically upright, and brave enough to stand for what they believe in, regardless of their circumstances.
And these people are rare gems. If you’re friends with one, consider yourself lucky! You have a true friend who will stick by you.
Better yet, if you are one, know that everyone around you is blessed to have you within their circle.
So how do you identify someone with integrity? Here are 12 traits they have.
People with integrity are responsible for their actions. They own up when they’re in the wrong, and apologize if they’ve hurt someone.
They don’t shift the blame on others, or try to avoid the consequences by running, or lying.
It takes a certain amount of courage to admit when you’re wrong because most people would rather hide. At least then, their reputation wouldn’t be tarnished and they can escape without humiliation. They can continue hiding their flaws.
Therefore, what sets these people apart, is their ability to see mistakes as opportunities to grow and learn.
Another trait that complements this, is…
Honesty forms the bedrock of their core beliefs; it guides their decision-making and influences their values, and their interaction with others.
They speak the truth, even when it’s difficult to hear, or inconvenient. Regardless of the consequences, people with integrity will always choose honesty over everything.
You’ll never catch them trying to deceive someone, or even using half-truths to convince another.
Moreover, their honesty also extends to their character. They don’t try to be someone else but stay true to who they are.
Therefore, another trait that people with integrity have, is authenticity. They don’t waste their time trying to be someone else. They take pride in who they are.
With the advent of social media, it’s so easy to don a mask and interact with the world. This may even extend to real life, where we put on different personas in hopes that the people we meet will like this version of us.
We may even go against what we believe in just to suit the preferences of a particular group.
But people with integrity are different.
They’d rather maintain their authenticity than please everyone else.
If you have an issue or challenge that needs solving, you can count on them.
They never go back on their promises. If they said they’ll help out, you know they’ll be there for you – no matter the situation.
People with integrity are dependable and committed to doing the things they say.
I once knew a friend who possessed this trait. He was always there for the people closest to him. One day, the neighborhood flooded due to torrential rains.
Our part of the street was covered with water, and everyone in my house was stuck.
Although he promised he’d come by to help, we were doubtful, since there was no other way to reach us except by boat.
To our surprise, he did come over, with a canoe! (Until now, we’re not sure where he got the canoe from.)
He brought us to his home, which was untouched by the flood, and invited us to stay until the water receded.
Friends like these are truly hard to come by, and if you know someone who possesses this trait, consider yourself blessed!
One of the best things about people with integrity is their humility. They don’t crave the spotlight or do things just to seek the approval of others.
You may even praise them or tell them how much of a good person they are, and they’ll simply brush these aside, or tell you that they’re ‘just doing what anyone would do’.
However, this doesn’t mean that they look down on themselves. They recognize their strengths and find ways to use this to benefit others. They’re also aware of their weaknesses and strive to become a better version of themselves each day.
6) They know when to apologize
Elton John once sang ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’, and how true is that statement!
We even find it hard to apologize to the people closest to us – those who most likely deserve this more than anyone else.
But people who are full of integrity know when to take the higher ground. They’re quick to apologize when they know they’ve wronged the other party. And they do it genuinely.
It’s easy to either shove the issue under the rug or just mumble a lackluster ‘sorry’ under your breath, but being able to admit that you’re in the wrong and apologize for your behavior, takes a lot of character.
Therefore, people who have integrity, are those who know when to apologize, and how to do it sincerely.
Individuals with integrity consider the feelings and perspectives of others. They treat everyone – regardless of who they are and where they come from – with kindness and respect.
Most people live as if they’re the center of the universe. As long as they benefit from a particular situation – even if it means taking advantage of someone else – they’d go along with it.
But people with integrity understand that there are more important things than themselves.
I’ll never forget a friend I met in university, Anne, who fully embodied this trait. She was paired up with another girl for a group project, and this student wasn’t pulling her weight.
She’d miss out on team meetings and barely did tasks assigned to her.
Yet throughout this ordeal, Anne never complained. She’d even offered to complete her part of the project, despite her busy schedule.
When I learned about this, I wanted to know why on earth she’d do that. Anne shared that her teammate had been struggling to make ends meet.
She was juggling a part-time job, family commitments, and school.
I didn’t know if I would have been so kind if I had been in Anne’s situation. Sure, I felt sorry for her groupmate, but it taught me the importance of empathy.
It taught me that sometimes, the world doesn’t revolve around me.
The next trait is self-reflection. Through regular introspection, people with integrity are able to pursue self-improvement. They are willing to make an honest assessment of themselves and where they stand. They then identify their shortcomings and work on them.
This is how they’re able to continuously improve day by day, and each time you meet them, they’re a much better version of themselves.
With the Internet, we’re inundated with information, opinions, and perspectives on literally everything, every second.
As a result, people’s views on things can change frequently, regardless of right or wrong. People’s views on what is right and wrong can change as well.
Those with integrity, however, hold fast to their morals and principles. They’re steadfast in what they believe in and will not allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of others.
Even when faced with challenges, or placed in situations where it’s so tempting to be swayed, they stick to their guns and remain unmoved.
Yet, although they remain true to what they believe in, individuals with integrity are willing to listen. They’re open to differing viewpoints and willing to engage in constructive conversations.
Before they form a new opinion, they consider feedback and the perspectives of others. Even if it’s an opinion they disagree with, they will take this in and perhaps, agree to disagree.
They believe that every story is worth listening to and they show their respect by listening.
Did you notice a consistent trait that runs throughout most of the traits I’ve mentioned above?
It takes guts to stand for what you believe in, be humble, and take responsibility for your actions.
People with integrity tackle challenges head-on. They don’t steer away from difficult conversations, but welcome them, and navigate these with poise.
Somehow, they’re able to muster up a great deal of courage to stick to their values and aren’t afraid to stand out when no one else is doing the same thing.
Have you met people who just love to give? We’re not just talking about money or gifts, but time and effort as well.
No matter how busy they are, they’re willing to set aside time to accommodate and be there for someone who’s in need.
The thing about them is they don’t expect anything in return. Yet, they’re always ready to offer something.
And the reason for this is that people with integrity value others more than themselves.
Integrity is a quality that everyone should strive for. Maybe then the world would be a much kinder place.
If you are someone with integrity, keep it up! In a world full of negativity, you’re like a light – and people will be drawn to you. Don’t let anyone extinguish this!
Keep spreading kindness and compassion. People will take notice, and eventually, may even start to emulate and follow in your footsteps.