Integrity is one of the most character-defining attributes a person can have.
It defines who you are and what you stand up for, and whether or not you can brave through conflict and hardship while sticking to your guns.
People with integrity all share a certain set of traits. These 13 shared traits include:
Individuals with integrity never truly understand the worth within them.
They are humble, never thinking they live up to the standards society sets for them.
They do not brag and do not show off what they have, because they are always striving to become better.
Goodness is a common trait amongst those with integrity. They find joy in enriching the lives of those around them, even if it means sacrificing the happiness in their own lives for a while.
There is no better identifier for integrity than authenticity. Authentic people show you their true selves; they do not live under a set of lies or any masks. They stick to what they believe in, no matter what.
You can’t have integrity without honesty. People with integrity do not believe they need to lie, because they take pride in the truths that surround them.
They know the life they want to lead, and that life includes one filled with honesty and truthfulness, not deception.
A common sign of integrity is trustworthiness. You can always rely on these people to have a word as strong as stone.
Integrity prevents people from letting others down, from betraying and from lying, because they respect those around them and themselves.
6) They Give Credit
When you meet someone with true integrity, you can be certain that they will never try to steal your credit or take what you made and call it their own.
They understand the value of hard work and dedication, and know the importance of giving credit where credit is due.
7) They Value Your Time
So many people see no problem with being late, whether it comes to meetings or projects. But being late is a form of disrespect, and only those with true integrity can see that.
Instead, they stick to deadlines, schedules, and arranged set-ups, because they would never dare to waste anyone’s time.
8) They Don’t Argue Rudely
Rudeness is becoming an unfortunate part of society, especially in the online world. We shout at each other and call each other name’s, and allow irrational emotional reactions to define the way we interact with the world.
But people with true integrity avoid these situations. They know how to disagree in a civil manner; they even know when it’s better to just walk away.
9) They Give Second Chances
Oftentimes, we see someone make a mistake and our first impulse is to blame them, get mad at them, and call them out.
But individuals with high levels of integrity resist this impulse. Instead, they know how valuable it is to give others the benefit of the doubt.
Don’t assume the worst from everyone; if you suspect someone of lying or cheating but they claim otherwise, then find it in your heart to give them that second chance.
10) They Are Emotionally Intuitive
Most people live as if they are the only important person in the world, not caring for the well-being of others, physical or emotional.
But when you have true integrity, you are more attuned with the world and those around you. You do not live in your own little bubble, but allow yourself to be a part of everyone else’s.
When you notice that someone is experiencing something troubling, you do your best to actively assist them with their situation. This is true integrity.
You may not admit it, but you probably suffer from the inability to apologize.
For some of us, it’s a matter of foolish pride taking precedence over rationality: even though we know it would be better to apologize, we never let ourselves say those two simple words—“I’m sorry”—simply because we don’t want to “lose”.
But true integrity can see past the vanity of losing and winning, and prefers instead to create peace instead of tension. If this requires being the bigger man and apologizing first, then so be it.
To a person with true integrity, nothing is more crucial than their word and their bond.
Those with true integrity use accountability as the defining element in whether they can trust another person, or even trust themselves.
Nothing about an individual with integrity is dishonest, untruthful, or a white lie. They believe that being genuine is the best way to interact with others and the world around them. They would bleed for their values and the truths that define them.
14) They Apologize When They’ve Gone Too Far
You’ll see this most often in parents who are trying to find the balance between encouraging their children and pushing them to do more.
Often, parents cross a line that leaves children feeling like they aren’t good enough. When parents catch themselves going over the edge, or yelling about something that really didn’t require that kind of response, a person of integrity will apologize and accept responsibility for their actions.
Not only does this teach children about emotional vulnerability, but it shows them that it is okay to say you are sorry, even if it makes you seem less powerful.
These are all important lessons for everyone to learn and when you come across someone who has a great deal of integrity, you can expect them to exhibit these self-less behaviours.
15) They Ensure The Team Gets The Credit
You’ll see this most often at work: if your boss is a person or integrity, he or she will ensure that you and the rest of your team get the credit you deserve.
If your co-worker or colleague has a great deal of integrity, you’ll find them giving props where they are due and ensuring that others know what role you or other workers had in the success of a project or account.
When someone has integrity, they don’t need to steal the thunder or others. It’s so easy to just let the accolades roll in when you are the head of the team, but to go out of your way to ensure those that deserve recognition get it, is a true sign of integrity.
16) They Don’t Name Call
You’ll come across this behaviour in a bad relationship. Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. Just know that anyone who resorts to name calling as a form of communication is not a person of integrity.
If you’ve done this yourself, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about how you can improve that aspect of your personality. It’s not a great way to handle things, and you’ve likely felt the sting of shame afterwards.
In general, it is a safe bet to assume that people want to treat each other with respect, but when push comes to shove, it’s all too easy to start pointing fingers and calling people mean or rude names because they broke your heart.
It’s a hard place to be in when someone is treating you like that, but know that these people – whoever they are to you – are not people of integrity.
17) They Have Patience
You’ll see this lack of control on the road with aggressive drivers who don’t have the wherewithal to relax and enjoy the ride.
People who lack integrity are more likely to take their anger and issues out on those around them and what better place to do this than on the highways around the world?
It’s so easy to honk your horn aggressively and not take any responsibility for how you’re feeling in the moment.
People of integrity know better and will patiently wait for the light to turn green, the car to turn, or the construction worker to get out of the way.
Pay attention to how people treat others and that is usually a good indicator of how much integrity someone has.
18) They Apologize
Whether you are waiting for the keynote speaker to arrive or the waiter to take your drink order, if the person has integrity, they’ll be sure to apologize for being late.
That’s because people who have a good deal of integrity know how precious time is and how important it is for people to show up on time – for themselves and for others. There’s no need to be rude about it or frustrated that you are running late.
If someone simply says they are sorry, believe them and move on from it. That shows integrity on your part as well.
The good news is that integrity can be developed over time. It is not something that you are simply born with and there is a limited amount to go around.
If you want to start showing up as a better person in the world, all you have to do is try. The same goes for other people.
So if you aren’t sure if someone has integrity, pay attention to how they are showing up in the world.
If they are dropping balls, hogging all the attention, taking the credit, and ignoring the fact that they showed up late, they probably don’t have integrity.
A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit
In 2018, the third year of Hack Spirit, I poured thousands of hours and considerable resources into creating these articles. It's a labor of love and remains free thanks to your patronage. If you found any value in these articles, please consider supporting what I do with a donation. Your support is what helps me to continue creating more Hack Spirits articles. To make a donation, click the "donate" button below and choose between a single donation or monthly.
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