When you meet someone new, you can usually tell if they’re authentic and down-to-earth.
And it’s these people who often have quite a charming and attractive presence—even if they’re not conventionally attractive.
You instantly want to befriend them. Or, at the very least, you’re not put off by their pretenses.
You feel safe with them and feel like you could be your true self, too.
And it’s them who are truly sincere, humble, and level-headed. Who wouldn’t be around them?
Who wouldn’t want to be like them? But how do they achieve it?
In this article, we’ll get a closer look at the 12 underrated traits of truly authentic people.
1) They stick to their vision
Authentic people have dreams, ambitions, and goals of their own. They are not swayed by what society thinks they should have.
Society tells us to want all sorts of things.
This amount of money…
That type of body…
This kind of career…
That kind of social life…
Authentic people, on the other hand, live their lives for themselves. Sure, sometimes their goals are similar to these socially sanctioned standards.
However, they have thought critically about this. They have reflected on whether they really want these things or just pursue them to impress other people.
And most of the times–they stick tp their own vision.
2) They walk the talk
Perhaps the biggest sign of authenticity? When they stick to their word.
Truly authentic people actually do the things they said they would! It’s crazy how highly we think of this trait when it should be the norm.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. If their actions don’t match their words, they lie or lack determination. Or maybe they simply lack the self-awareness to know what their capabilities and limits are.
Authentic people make it a point to stay true to their word.
By maintaining congruence between their thoughts, words, and actions, they are able to stay true to themselves and their values.
3) They take accountability for their actions
And a big part of walking the talk is taking accountability for their actions. They don’t stay silent and hide after they commit a mistake.
After all, being authentic doesn’t mean being perfect. No one is perfect—we all make mistakes.
Authentic people, however, own everything about themselves, including their mistakes.
They don’t turn away from any part of themselves, even the ugly ones.
They admit their wrongdoings, apologize sincerely, and do their best to make amends. Most importantly, they learn from them and strive to be better moving forward.
4) They’re grateful
As said above, being self-aware is a huge part of being authentic. In fact, it’s a prerequisite.
After all, how can you be yourself if you don’t even know yourself?
And, in turn, a massive part of being self-aware is knowing who you are…
- Your strengths and weaknesses;
- Your quirks and oddities;
- Your successes and failures—and emphasis on your successes!
…is the result of your life circumstances as much as it is your individual effort and personality.
This is why they are so humble. They’re not egotistical enough to delude themselves that they didn’t have a lot of help to get where they are now.
5) They have self-respect
This self-awareness also means that they understand how the world has been unfair in its own ways to them, too.
Thus, they don’t discount their hard work and perseverance. They take pride in overcoming the challenges in their own life.
Essentially, they respect themselves enough to give themselves their due credit, too.
And because they have a healthy sense of self-esteem, they won’t tolerate any sort of abuse or mistreatment from other people.
They value themselves and will uphold their boundaries (and do the same for other people!)
6) They don’t judge other people
And because they know how the world can be both amazing and unfair at the same time, they are not judgemental of other people.
After all, overly judgemental people tend to be hyperfocused on others. That’s why they are so aware of other people’s supposed flaws.
And because of that, they are also overly conscious of themselves and act in ways that they think will impress others.
Of course, this typically means that they are not being authentic.
Also, it’s important to note that with authenticity comes maturity—and with maturity comes the full acceptance of human imperfection.
They know that they’re not perfect, and neither are other people.
This is why the truly authentic people are such a blast to meet!
7) They’re consistent
If you’re not being yourself all the time, then you’re kind of not being yourself at all, are you?
Because authentic people prioritize their own values and beliefs, they very rarely act against them. And when they do, they’re always aware of it and strive to do better.
These people already know who they are and what they want—and how to get it.
They don’t waste time and energy being inconsistent or bouncing from one thing to another. No wonder that they’re typically quite successful at what they do.
8) They’re not egotistic
Authentic people have a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence. However, this doesn’t mean that they are egotistic.
A person with good self-esteem:
- Believes in themself;
- Are secure—or deals with their insecurities in a healthy way;
- Respects other people;
- Has a realistic view of themselves;
An egotistic person:
- Believes they’re perfect;
- Has unresolved insecurities, which they hide by acting arrogant;
- Thinks they’re better than other people;
- Overestimate themself;
There’s a big and noticeable difference, no?
9) They keep their promises
I’ve already said it above: truly authentic folks walk the talk.
Authentic people will never make a promise they can’t keep. After all, they’ll never say anything that they don’t mean.
Whether it’s as simple as texting you when they get home or promising to propose to you by the end of the year, you can rest assured that they’ll do it.
And in the rare case that they break that promise?
They’ll vehemently apologize and will do their absolute best to fulfill it in the future.
10) They don’t sugarcoat
Authentic people are 100% honest with themselves, so they will be the exact same to you.
They will not hesitate to tell you the truth, even if it hurts. They do not pretend to be another person, so they will not pretend that things aren’t the way they are, either.
They will give it to you straight. They won’t beat around the bush or euphemize things. They won’t be passive-aggressive or confront you indirectly.
Of course, while they are direct, mature people will still offer criticism objectively yet constructively. Only people who are judgemental or egotistic will try to tear you down with their words.
11) They don’t take themselves too seriously
While authentic people have high levels of self-awareness, they aren’t overly self-conscious.
Because they are confident in who they are—warts and all—they’re also able to poke fun at themselves. They don’t see a few jokes as insulting or threatening to their sense of self-worth.
They’re able to do this because the opinions of others actually matter very little to them.
All they really care about is meeting their own expectations. However, this is markedly different from constant self-deprecating humor, which, while potentially funny, is often a coping mechanism.
Authentic people keep their jokes light and don’t overstep their boundaries—whether it’s directed at themselves or other people.
12) They don’t steal the spotlight
An authentic person does not value external validation too highly. They will appreciate it and feel flattered, of course, but it will never be something they will directly seek.
Thus, you will never catch them trying to take credit for things they didn’t do. I’m pretty sure you’ve come across people:
- Taking credit for somebody else’s project;
- Pretending they made up a smart opinion they actually read somewhere else;
- Saying they came up with a funny joke that they actually stole from a famous comedian;
- Acting as if they didn’t need help for their achievements;
Authenticity always begets humility. Truly authentic people will never pretend to be someone else or “fake it till they make it,” as they say.
They don’t feel the need to present themselves better than they actually are. They’re already confident in their own personhood and are more than happy to be on their own self-improvement journey.
Did you notice the traits I mentioned above in other people? People you admire, perhaps? Or even in yourself?
You probably noticed at least a few. After all, it’s incredibly hard not to be yourself—even if you try to pretend to be someone else.
Your real personality will shine out of you in some ways inevitably.
This is why it’s unfortunate that the world often tells us to be different from who we truly are.
But as you can probably see, there are people who say, “I don’t agree with that!”
And they simply do what they want to live happier, more successful, and more fulfilled lives.
And while it’s hard because of all the social pressure to fit a certain mold, all it takes is a little bit of self-love and self-confidence to start living a more authentic life.