The importance of honesty: 13 traits of honest people

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Honesty is fundamental to building trust and maintaining relationships.

Think about it: We all want to be surrounded by honest people – friends, family, colleagues, employees, mechanics, babysitters, repairmen, and of course politicians – because we know that we can trust them.

But how can you tell that someone is honest? It’s not exactly written on their foreheads.

In this article, we’ll look at why honesty is so important as well as the traits of an honest person.

Let’s get started:

So, why is honesty so important?

Well, for starters, because we know that we can trust honest people and because trust is the foundation of any healthy and successful relationship – personal or professional.

And guess what, honesty isn’t just about telling the truth. It’s also about being ethical, transparent, and accountable. That’s why it’s such a highly valued character trait.

Now, when it comes to personal relationships, honesty helps build a strong foundation for relationships that are based on mutual understanding, respect, support, and of course – trust.

It allows us to communicate openly and share our feelings and thoughts without fear of judgment from our partners, friends, and family.

When honesty is lacking in a relationship, it leads to mistrust, misunderstandings, and frequent fights. Eventually, this results in a dissolution of the relationship.

Ask yourself:

Certainly not.

When someone isn’t honest, it’s impossible to really get to know them and what’s in their hearts. You’ll constantly be questioning their motives and true feelings.

And when it comes to the professional world, honesty is definitely something employers look for.

They want to hire and promote people that they can trust and rely on. They need to know that the people working for them are accountable and have integrity.

All in all, honesty promotes trust and openness which are vital for creating strong connections with others.

Here are 13 traits of honest people

Now that we’ve seen why honesty is so important, let’s take a look at how to recognize an honest person.

1) They’re truthful

I know it’s a bit obvious but I had to mention it.

The thing about honest people is that sometimes, they’re truthful to a fault. They’re simply not programmed to lie.

In fact, the only time they don’t tell the truth is when they tell little “white” lies to spare people’s feelings.

You know the kind I mean – when your slightly overweight friend asks you if they look fat in a certain outfit and you say, “No, you look good” because they’d look the same no matter what they were wearing and telling them that they’re “fat” would just make them feel worse than they already do.

Here’s another thing:

Honest people tell the truth even when it’s difficult.

For example, they’ll speak out against discrimination or harassment at work, even when it could cause serious problems for them or get them fired. They’re willing to take the risk to stand up for what’s right.

2) They’re transparent

This is especially important when it comes to business dealings.

You must have heard the word “transparency” in relation to various companies and NGOs. That’s because for a lot of people, transparency has become synonymous with ethical.

It basically means that an organization shares information about its operations, decisions, and actions. This is essential for building trust with customers, employees, and shareholders.

People value transparency because they know what they’re getting themselves into and because they know that they won’t get any unpleasant surprises.

All in all, honest people are transparent in all aspects of their lives and you can be sure that they have nothing to hide.

3) They’re reliable

That means that when they say they’re going to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re going to deliver. They never make empty promises which is why they make amazing friends and partners.

Another great thing about honest people is that you can count on them to show up when they say they will.

They never make commitments they can’t keep so you never have to worry about them flaking out at the last minute – WHICH CAN BE SUPER ANNOYING!

4) They’re consistent

Reliability and consistency often go hand-in-hand.

When someone is consistent it means that they generally behave in the same way over time and that their actions are predictable, regardless of the circumstances.

Simply put, you know what you can expect from consistent people because they’re true to themselves.

5) They’re accountable

Here’s the deal: When an honest person makes a mistake, they own up to it, no matter the consequences.

They could mess up big time in their personal relationships or fu** up big time at work, but they won’t try to shift the blame or cover up the truth.

Honest people actually take responsibility for their actions, even if it means getting dumped or losing their job.

But that’s not all.

They also make damn sure that they do everything in their power to make up for their mistakes.

6) They’re authentic

Look, honest people are true to themselves. They don’t go around pretending to be someone they’re not just to impress other people.

They don’t follow fashion trends or try to hide their somewhat quirky personalities.

Being authentic means being honest about who you are and what you think, and if others can’t accept it, that’s their problem.

7) They’re ethical

You’ll find that a lot of honest people have a strong sense of ethics and a strong moral compass.

Let me explain:

Ethical behavior is based on a set of moral principles that govern how we behave. These principles usually include honesty, fairness and justice, respect, and responsibility.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Honest people know that their actions have consequences, that’s why they try to act in a way that aligns with these principles.

8) They’re respectful

  • They listen actively: Honest people pay attention to what is being said, ask questions, and sympathize.
  • They communicate clearly: Honest people are respectful of other people’s time, which is why they communicate in a clear and direct manner, to avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
  • They are trustworthy: Honest people keep their promises, follow through on commitments, and never betray confidences.
  • They are non-judgmental: Honest people accept others for who they are without trying to change them or impose their views on them. They try to understand other people, even when they don’t agree with their views and opinions.
  • They treat others with dignity: Honest people tend to treat others with dignity and respect, regardless of their background, status, color, sex, or beliefs. They always show consideration for other people’s feelings.

9) Self-aware

If you think about it, being self-aware essentially means being honest with oneself.

You see, it involves a lot of introspection which is why honest people are able to recognize their strengths, weaknesses, limitations, biases, and areas for improvement.

They’re in touch with their feelings and understand their motivation and desires, which allows them to make informed decisions that are crucial for their personal growth..

10) They’re humble

Which means that no matter how clever, successful, or rich they are, they never boast about their achievements.

What’s more, they don’t see themselves as perfect individuals and they’re constantly seeking ways to improve and grow.

They’re also very open to hearing other people’s feedback and getting constructive criticism.

11) They’re courageous

The great thing about honest people is that they don’t shy away from difficult conversations, even when they may lead to conflict.

And because of their strong moral compass, they’re not afraid to speak out against injustice. They believe in a fair and just world and are ready to fight for it.

So the next time you see a group of people marching for the rights of women, black people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, or a woman’s right to choose, know that most of them are honest people.

12) They don’t gossip

Of course they don’t.

Gossip is all about spreading rumors that may or may not be true. It’s not based on any facts and is often exaggerated and taken out of context.

It gets worse.

Gossip can be very hurtful and have serious consequences.

It’s neither respectful nor truthful. That’s why honest people want no part of it.

13) They’re trusting

Finally, the thing about people who can be trusted is that they’re very trusting themselves.

You see, because of their honest and open nature, it doesn’t occur to them that someone would want to deceive them or hurt them in some way. It’s not how they treat others, so why would they be treated that way?

It’s a naive way of thinking that has an almost childlike innocence.

How great would it be if we could all actually trust one another and not get hurt in the process?

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

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Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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