10 rules honest people follow to elevate their lives

We’ve been taught to be honest always since we were kids – tell your mom you accidentally broke her favorite vase or that you’d secretly eaten the chocolate bar in the fridge when you’re not supposed to.

But as we grow older, we struggle to keep this virtue. We face more serious situations and challenges, and we tend to be afraid of the graver consequences.

But no matter how “right” we think and feel dishonesty is on several occasions, living a life of honesty will bring us a sense of freedom, peace of mind, and contentment.

It helps us establish and maintain meaningful relationships, grow as individuals, and elevate our lives.

So if you’re at a crossroads between right and wrong, you might want to be reminded of how honest people strive to choose truth in all ways with these rules:

1) Stay True to Yourself Without Being Arrogant

For starters, honest people strive to stay true to themselves. This means that they know and accept who they are.

They’re secure about themselves, know their strengths and weaknesses, and don’t apologize for choosing to love themselves.

But staying true to yourself is different from being arrogant.

Honest people genuinely and confidently show others who they really are, but they are responsible for their actions and their effects on those around them.

They show their true selves without putting others down just to feel superior like arrogant and insecure people do.

And being confident doesn’t mean they think they’re perfect. It simply means they trust themselves to do hard things and accept and grow from mistakes.

2) Stick to the Principles You Believe In

Honest people have a firm set of principles to live by, and they stick to them no matter what.

They hold integrity in high regard, so they’re consistent with their words, thoughts, and actions.

Lying to others isn’t an option, much less cheating or stealing. They try to be fair always and don’t trample on others for their benefit.

Truthfulness matters the most to them, so they won’t do anything against their beliefs just for superficial and temporary gains.

A person who lives a life of integrity is also true to their word, no matter how difficult it is to keep promises.

I know how difficult it is to try to be a better and more honest person each day. This is especially if you encounter struggles that drive you to take the easy road and do things against your will.

But staying firm on your beliefs and choosing to do good will give you peace of mind without any regrets.

3) Don’t Lose Sight of Yourself in Trying to Impress Others

While honest people tend to be courteous and flexible depending on who they’re with, they don’t lose themselves only to impress other people.

They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not and tell made-up and exaggerated stories just to become admired by many.

Honest people want others to appreciate and accept them for who they are, just as they do for themselves and others.

They can blend in any crowd just fine because they know who they are.

I know it’s not easy to be confident in who you are and fit in sometimes because it’s an arduous process of making mistakes along the way and finding yourself.

The main lesson to learn here is even if you want to grow and evolve, don’t lose yourself in the process.

4) Never Take Credit for Other People’s Work

Honest people take pride in working hard with integrity, so they never take credit for other people’s work.

First, it’s similar to stealing, which is downright unacceptable for them.

Second, it’s unfair to the people who’ve shed blood and tears for their achievements.

Aside from this, getting praised for things they didn’t work hard for never sits well with honest people, whether it’s something illegal as copying others’ work or simply attributing a coworker’s success to themselves.

Genuine people celebrate the success of others, not undercut their hard work.

5) Value Others’ Trust in You

People living in honesty value their loved ones, so trust is important for them.

You can always expect them to tell you the truth because they know you trust them to connect with you.

Even if what they had to say seems uncomfortable or isn’t the answer you’re looking for, they will tell you with respect. 

Telling the truth isn’t always easy, but it’s the foundation of meaningful relationships.

6) Don’t Let Things Slide for the Sake of Avoiding Conflicts

Letting things slide to avoid conflict seems like the best thing to do sometimes.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it can also breed resentment and estrangement in relationships when your feelings are bottled up.

Honest people don’t always see conflicts as a bad thing because they know it’s one of the things every relationship must go through to grow and foster a stronger connection.

Honest people aren’t afraid to call out others respectfully because they want them to grow and learn.

I used to avoid conflicts with my partner. But when we had a big fight, we realized that our issues are more serious than they had seemed.

This is because of all the things I’d bottled up.

We could’ve fixed many of our problems on the get-go had we been honest with each other.

7) Be Straightforward Without Being Rude

There’s a fine line between being honest and tactless – other people tend to say offensive things under the guise of honesty without any responsibility for their words at all.

They comment on your insecurities and make you feel uncomfortable.

No one really wants to be around these types of people.

Genuine people speak their minds and verbalize how they feel without being mean or rude.

And while they can be a bit straightforward, genuine people still remain calm, respectful, and empathetic.

They are firm about principles but gentle with others, especially their loved ones.

This is because they come from a place of kindness and concern.

A troubled friend may need a reality check from you, but they also need a companion who can understand and support them.

The last thing you’d want is to say mean things that won’t really help.

8) Don’t Badmouth Other People Behind Their Backs

Honest people never badmouth people behind their backs and spread gossip, whether about a friend or someone they barely know.

More than this, genuine people value their loved ones and won’t intentionally hurt or betray them.

They privately discuss their issues directly with the person involved. So they won’t waste time engaging in petty talks where the person in question can’t even defend themselves.

What genuine people think of you isn’t based on rumors and baseless accusations they hear from others.

I know it can be entertaining to talk about other people, especially with others who share your sentiments.

Cliche as it may sound, it’s true that what you gush about other people tells more about your character than theirs.

Many will find it hard to trust you if you badmouth others, and you’ll really come off as insecure and two-faced.

9) Don’t Be Afraid to Admit Your Mistakes

Being honest is a daily struggle, and everyone is a work in progress.

Honest people know they aren’t perfect, so they humble themselves and admit their mistakes.

They come clean when they’ve messed up because they value relationships and others’ trust in them.

Honest people don’t blame others and make excuses for their actions.

They won’t resort to these behaviors to water down their mistakes, save a face, or avoid accountability.

They know they did something wrong, so they are fair and empathetic enough to realize the repercussions of their mistakes.

10) Be Responsible and Accountable for Your Mistakes

People living a life of honesty and integrity are responsible and accountable for their mistakes.

They try to make it up to those they’ve wronged and keep their promise of being better people.

They learn from their mistakes and try harder not to let them happen again.

Admitting the wrong things you did and owning up to them can be difficult but worth it.

These give you a chance to correct your mistakes and leave you and those you’ve wronged with peace of mind.

And while it can be painful, these are learning experiences everyone needs to grow.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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