11 traits of men with exceptional character and integrity

My mom drops this bombshell on me during dinner: “I’ve decided to become a nun.”

Apparently, she’s lost faith in the idea of finding a man with actual character and integrity these days.

Now, I’m not about to start a search party for these elusive good guys, but I do believe it’s crucial to acknowledge and honor the ones who do exist.

Fortunately, I know that these kinds of men still exist – and more importantly, what sets them apart.

Here are 11 traits of men with exceptional integrity and character. 

1) A Keen Sense Of Self-Awareness

Look, we all have our blind spots. It’s way too easy to overlook our flaws and keep chugging along, blissfully unaware of the damage we might be causing.

But the exceptional men I’m talking about? They don’t fall into that trap. Nope, they’re completely self-aware.

They don’t need anyone else to point out their mistakes because they’re already busy evaluating themselves.

That means they’re quick to adjust their expectations and behavior when the situation calls for it.

These guys rarely catch themselves off-guard, and they sure as hell won’t catch you off-guard either.

And the best part? Their self-awareness makes them fantastic people to hang out with.

You know what to expect from them because they’re consistent and reliable.

Honestly, I think everyone should strive to have this kind of self-awareness, not just the dudes with exceptional character and integrity.

2) A Rigid Personal Code

Men with exceptional integrity hold themselves to a higher standard, not because they feel pressure from society or because there’s something in it for them, but because they know it’s the right thing to do.

Maybe it’s a result of a good upbringing, or maybe it’s just inherent chivalry, who knows?

But one thing’s for sure: a man with exceptional character will always hold himself to his personal standards.

And let me tell you, these guys are some of the most reliable people around.

When they make a promise, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll follow through.

Their high standards mean that they don’t do anything half-hearted. Nope, they see things through to the end, no matter what.

It’s like they have their own personal code of conduct that they live by.

And that’s something to admire. After all, when you’re dealing with someone who has this level of integrity, you know you can count on them.

They don’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk, every single time.

3) Takes Responsibility For Their Actions

If there’s one thing that you can rely on from a man with exceptional character and integrity, it’s that they know that their actions have consequences – and they’re always going to take responsibility for them.

It’s easy to not care at all, and even easier to run away from things you don’t want to face, but these men aren’t those kinds of people at all.

These guys also understand that even the little things can have a big impact. They know that every action, no matter how small, can affect someone else.

That’s why they’ll often go out of their way to make sure that their impact is as positive as possible.

4) Considerate Of Others

Having exceptional character means you understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you. And let’s be honest, guys who get that are few and far between.

But the ones who do get it? They’re something special. They don’t consider others out of pity or obligation. No, they do it because they know there’s no harm in making someone’s life a little easier.

These guys understand that we’re all in this together and that we can all use a helping hand from time to time.

So they’re quick to lend that hand, without expecting anything in return

Being nice and considerate of other people is literally the least that they can do, so they make sure to always do it.

These men treat everyone fairly, regardless of social status or previous association, no matter the situation at hand.

5) Extremely Perceptive

With so many things competing for our attention these days, it’s often the default for people to just tune out the world to focus on their own thing.

Not so for these men. They stay present and aware of their surroundings, enabling them to act on situations others might miss.

They’re aware of their surroundings and have a knack for noticing the small but important things.

It’s not just about being observant though, they also have a genuine concern for others that comes naturally to them.

And the fact that they don’t even realize they’re doing it is what makes it even more appealing.

6) Able To Take Criticism Well

Exceptional character and integrity don’t mean someone is perfect: like the rest of us, these men are prone to making mistakes.

But it’s their reaction to their mistakes that set them apart.

Not only are they comfortable with being told that they’re wrong, but they take criticism without bitterness or anger toward the person delivering it.

They’re not being pushovers by any stretch of the word, but they do recognize that they’re not infallible.

In fact, in most situations they actually welcome the feedback, seeing it as a chance to genuinely improve themselves.

While I can’t say that there are a lot of points for improvement for these men, they don’t see themselves that way. To them, everyone can always improve, especially themselves.

7) Doesn’t Take Everything Seriously

These men take their integrity and character seriously, but that doesn’t mean they’re always uptight.

In fact, they’re some of the most easygoing people I know. They understand that life is too short to be serious all the time, and they’re not afraid to let loose and have some fun.

That’s what makes them so damn likable if you ask me. They’re calm and collected in tough situations, but they also know how to kick back and enjoy themselves.

They can be serious and focused when the occasion calls for it, but they’re also the first to suggest that we don’t always have to take ourselves so seriously.

And honestly, that’s a breath of fresh air in a world that can be so uptight sometimes.

8) They’re Natural Leaders

One thing I’ve noticed about exceptional men is that people tend to gravitate toward them, especially if they’re looking for someone to take charge.

And it’s not something that you can attribute just to charisma.

Rather, it’s a mixture of all the different character traits I talked about earlier, alongside a recognition that this is someone that has their act together.

And with so many things being unsure and on shaky ground these days, having someone who can naturally take charge and be good at it is a rare quality.

After all, real leadership demands a lot from a person: responsibility, the ability to observe situations, and an understanding of the people who will follow you.

All of these traits are something that these men have in spades, often making them the perfect leaders in any situation.

9) Flawless Manners And Conduct

Men with exceptional character and integrity don’t just wake up one day with those traits.

They’re often honed through years of experience and a lot of self-discipline, which makes them extremely experienced in navigating social situations and picking up on social cues.

As a result, these men always know how to act properly, almost with an unconscious kind of grace.

It’s something that I’ve noticed other people can pick up on, even if they can’t really identify it outright.

There’s something in all of us that makes us naturally notice and appreciate the most-behaved person in the room – the same as the one that makes us notice the people we want to avoid.

These men are classy, elegant, and well-behaved: perfect examples of how you should carry yourself.

10) Non-judgemental And Supportive

These men understand that not everything is about them, and this understanding extends to the people that they surround themselves with.

I always feel safe talking to them about almost anything, since I know that their impression of me won’t be colored that easily or that they’ll judge me without good reason.

Not jumping to conclusions about anyone (and supporting them in their own pursuits) is a rare quality that you can’t find in most people these days.

It’s always something that I’ve admired about these men since it’s so difficult for me to empathize and truly put myself in the shoes of other people, and there’s much to learn on how to do it from them.

11) Tactful With Their Words And Actions

I always believe in saying what’s on my mind – it’s a way of keeping true to myself and never pretending to be someone that I’m not.

But I’ve run into a few situations where saying what I’m thinking gets me into trouble, even if it’s the truth.

In these situations, I often think about the men I know who have exceptional character and quality, and I get reminded of how they do or say things that may matter more, rather than the message.

A man who has this quality knows that being tactful can be an effective way to get their message across, but it’s also the best way to make sure that the message is received well.

It’s too often that people just do or say things without being considerate of how the other person would receive it, and more often than not it causes a lot of friction in their relationships.

But these men know the value of being tactful, even with people they don’t know that well.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

12 body language tricks to be instantly likeable

Marriage and Divorce Statistics (2023): Surprising trends & findings