7 Rare Traits People With Integrity Practice

7 Rare Traits People With Integrity Practice
Photo by Ben Rosett / Unsplash

Integrity isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly important for real, lasting growth.

We all want it, but looking around us, there are few we would award the virtue to. Yeah, it’s that rare. Having integrity means that you are honest, ethical, and follow defined moral principles. It means living according to God’s design and respecting others with heightened respect.

Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Here are the 7 most common traits that a person with integrity shows:

1. Expressing gratitude for others

It’s the people around us that make life better.

Scuba diving, sports watching, and exercising are all fun and beneficial, but they are multiplied when done with someone else. But you will only keep good people around you by being good to them.

People don’t know what’s happening in your mind. I learned this best from my wife, who often has to pull words from me. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, but I often live under the false assumption that others know what I want. This morphs into me assuming others know I am grateful for them. They don’t. Even if they do, who doesn’t need to hear it from time to time?

This has become so important for me that I began tracking the daily task of extending my gratitude to someone in my circle. What about you?

2. Valuing honesty and openness

A person with integrity doesn’t run from difficult situations.

If they have a conflict with someone, they work towards a resolution. When someone hurts them, they discuss it and are quick to forgive. Honesty, particularly honesty with oneself, is what drives integrity.

I tend to overcommit myself. I’ll write a book, raise a young family, lead a church, begin a second master’s program, and coach middle school basketball all at the same time. Maybe not well, but I’ll do it. Honesty is uncomfortable, and I get really bad FOMO (fear of missing out).

Saying yes is easier, but saying no is better.

Saying no, even when you know you’ll later resent or regret having said yes, is much harder. But that’s what integrity takes from time to time.

3. Taking responsibility and accountability for your actions, good and bad

Taking responsibility is a cornerstone of personal growth.

It’s easy to bask in the glory of success, but true integrity shines brightest when we confront the sting of failure. Embracing integrity requires the courage to acknowledge missteps and the resilience to transform them into stepping stones towards a better self.

Proverbs 28:13 — Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Something special happens when we open ourselves up. Sure, we become vulnerable to people’s arrows flung our way, but the toxins also have air to breathe and leave. God has an abundance of mercy, and hopefully you’ve surrounded yourself with people who equally have mercy.

You will learn and grow, but you have to take ownership of your actions.

4. Respecting yourself and others, no matter who they are

Integrity isn’t just about making tough decisions or telling the truth. It’s about living your life in harmony with your values, respecting yourself and others, and helping those in need without compromising your well-being.

Even Jesus rarely gave people what they wanted. The rich young man, for example (Matthew 19:16–22, Mark 10:17–22, Luke 18:18). This guy gets everything right until Jesus asks him to give up all of his wealth. He can’t do it, and he goes away “sorrowful.” Jesus also set boundaries and went away to pray, to the point where people were looking for him.

You are going to come into contact with a wide variety of people, and integrity never says we have to agree with them, but we do have to respect them. Extend a helping hand to those in need, but don’t overextend yourself. Prioritize self-care, replenish your energy, and maintain your resilience to be a constant source of support.

5. Demonstrating reliability and trustworthiness

If trust is the single most valuable asset we have, the way to build it on an individual level is to practice being trustworthy.

Trust has three drivers: authenticity, logic, and empathy. When trust is lost, it can almost always be traced back to a breakdown in one of them. People want to know they are seeing the real you, that you genuinely care about them, and that you have what it takes to lead them in some capacity.

The reason trust is such a tricky thing is because it takes years to gain but mere moments to lose. Trust is fickle, but with it, you can move mountains in people’s lives. Being a reliable and trustworthy person is crucial to living with integrity.

6. Showing patience and flexibility, even when unexpected obstacles show up

Another word for patience and flexibility is resilience, and you will need a lot of it.

If you can have any guarantees in this life, it is that life will not go your way. There are too many variables for that to be the case. But while you can’t determine what happens, you can determine what you do about it.

Whatever happens, you might feel hopeless at first. That’s normal. However, a person with integrity will eventually see the challenge as another opportunity for growth. This is the shift in mindset that will set you apart in a world that lashes out or caves in when life doesn’t go your way.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Do you want to foster integrity?

  1. Respect others’ opinions and become an excellent listener.
  2. Address any conflict quickly and honestly.
  3. Model the behavior you desire in others.
  4. Work. Work hard.
  5. Report unethical behavior, especially your own.