You may hear the word “integrity” describing someone, but does that really mean? Even if we can’t define it, we know it when we see it. We tend to trust and like people with integrity because they bring out the best in others. But don’t assume these people were born with natural magnetism and moral fiber. Integrity is a trait people have to develop, which means anyone can attain it if they try hard enough. Here are some important qualities to work on.
Authenticity and honesty
People with integrity are unapologetically themselves without bending to popular trends or opinions. They are comfortable with themselves, so they don’t feel the need to fake or hide their true feelings or desires. Additionally, they won’t shy away from the truth, even if it puts them into uncomfortable situations. They don’t over-exaggerate or steal ideas to make themselves seem better than others. Overall, honesty fosters trust, so it’s worth telling the truth instead of little white lies. 
Taking responsibility is another famous mark of integrity. It’s a step further than honesty, and it could be much more difficult. Accountability means owning up to one’s actions without making excuses or blaming others. Through this, people with integrity overcome their mistakes and continue to learn and grow. For example, parents may feel overwhelmed and snap at their kids or give them too harsh punishments. But it’s a sign of integrity for parents to apologize for their mistakes, and it teaches their children good behavior by example. 
Humility is an important aspect of integrity. If people struggle with authenticity or accountability, they should start by developing humility. People who are arrogant or insecure tend to exhibit many behaviors that are antithetical to integrity. For example, they’ll become defensive and resort to blaming others, making excuses, and lying when faced with opposition. At the same time, they’ll struggle to put aside their pride to apologize or take responsibility for their actions. Improving one’s self-esteem and learning how to put aside the ego creates a foundation for other positive characteristics associated with integrity. 
Emotional intelligence involves many key social skills. For instance, it includes empathy, which gives the ability to understand and sympathize with others. It also includes compassion and the openness to connect to people. Those with integrity don’t fake niceness; instead, they genuinely care about people. They don’t need to tell people how nice they are because their actions are enough proof of it. If you want to improve your own emotional intelligence, practice active listening by giving people your full attention when they talk. Don’t interrupt and validate their feelings before trying to give any advice.
Read: 7 Signs You’re A Highly Perceptive Person — And See The World Differently From Everyone Else
Self-awareness is also a fundamental trait of integrity. For one thing, people with true self-awareness are aware of their positive and negative characteristics. Therefore, they are more likely to take accountability when they do something wrong. Additionally, because they know their strengths and values, they won’t compromise them to try to appease others or get ahead. They make the time for introspection so they can continue to learn more about themselves.
Gratitude goes beyond saying thank you. For people with integrity, gratitude is part of how they see the world. It helps them appreciate the little things in life and feel appreciative toward people who help them, even if only in small ways. Gratitude fosters optimism, which can help them cherish the things and individuals in their lives, even during tough times.
Life doesn’t always go as planned. In fact, it usually doesn’t. But people with integrity can ride the waves without losing their drive. Because of their optimistic outlook, they can view curveballs as learning opportunities instead of setbacks. Their values and sense of self don’t change, but they can be flexible and adapt to different situations and challenges. They are rigid in their beliefs but not in their approach.
Respect for others
People with integrity treat others the way they want to be treated. They apologize, listen, thank, and forgive when the situation arises. This makes others respect them, and they respect people in return. One way to show compassion for others is to avoid gossiping behind their backs. People with integrity prefer to be upfront with their feelings, and they understand the power of speech and how it could help or harm. Instead, they give people the benefit of the doubt and hope others do the same for them. Even when they think someone is doing something wrong, they won’t rush to judge them or assume they had bad intentions.
How to Become a Person with Integrity
Don’t try to work on all of these traits at once. Rather, focus on a certain quality and make feasible commitments to improve. You might feel impatient, taking only small steps, but this method will help you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed and giving up.
For instance, if you decide to work on owning up to your mistakes, look for an area in life where you tend to make excuses or shift the blame. First, take accountability by admitting to yourself you were wrong, then slowly practice admitting it to others. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with self-reflection. Take some time to contemplate or journal about your actions and see if they align with your aspirations. If you’d like some ideas on what you should be aiming for, look for someone you look up to and reflect on the qualities that you’d like to replicate.
Keep Reading: 100+ Psychological Questions to Shed Light On Someone’s True Personality
- “People With True Integrity Have These 20 Important Qualities.” Bolde. Gail Stewart. November 2, 2023
- “7 Signs of People With Integrity.” Psychology Today. Seth Meyers Psy.D. April 6, 2015
- “Want Solid Relationships? Avoid People Who Fail This Integrity Test.” Inc. Wanda Thibodeaux. December 3, 2018