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10 Traits of Honest People (and Why Choosing Honesty Matters)

by Madel

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Have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation where lying is an option just to get out of it? Perhaps, your partner has asked you to run an errand that you completely forgot about. Or, you made a mistake at work which would instantly get you reprimanded.

In most scenarios like this, telling the truth and being accountable for our actions can be a tall order. But, as they say, honesty is the best policy if you don’t want to find yourself in further trouble or lose the respect of the people around you.

In this article, we will explore 10 traits of honest people and why choosing honesty is so important. If you want to attract honest people or cultivate honesty in your daily life, keep reading!

The truth behind dishonesty

It’s universal knowledge that being dishonest is a negative trait. So, why do we find ourselves inclined to do it?

Lies and deception are often associated with people who have personal agendas or hidden motives. They may have self-serving goals, so they try to manipulate a situation to their favor. Perhaps, they want to gain something or avoid the consequences of their bad behavior.

But dishonesty can also lure even the best of us. There’s a term called “prosocial lying” which is often done by people because they think that being dishonest would benefit others. The reasons behind it may include:

  • Protecting others from being hurt.
  • Averting someone’s stress or worry.
  • Covering up another person’s mistake.

Sometimes, we lie not because we mean to deceive someone, but in order to avoid conflict and protect the relationship that we have with them. However, most people can handle hard truths more than we think. 

In a study about honesty, scientists found that avoiding honesty is often a mistake. Humans may predict certain consequences that cause them to fear being honest. But, in reality, this mindset is often misguided and can actually keep us from having enjoyable conversations and meaningful relationships.

Why choosing honesty matters

It’s not always easy to have the courage to stay honest. In my relationships, I sometimes find myself being dishonest about how I feel especially when I’m going through difficult times. Instead of being open about my struggles or saying that I felt hurt, I try my best to act normal and say, “I’m doing really well!” or “I’ll be okay!”

I would have this anxious thought that they might just worry about me unnecessarily or not care about my feelings at all. So, why bother them?

Eventually, I learned that keeping my feelings to myself or lying about my difficulties will only make things worse for me. Most of the time, I find that other people are going through the same things as I do and they tend to be more understanding than I expected.

In the end, it made me realize that being real about my struggles makes me feel less alone and allows me to get the support I need from the people who truly care about me.

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Characteristics of honest people

If you want to enrich your relationships by being in the company of honest people, here are the traits that you need to spot:

1. They are straightforward

Honest people don’t like to beat behind the bush. They say what they mean, and mean what they say. Dramatics and exaggerations are not in their vocabulary as well. They speak the truth – nothing more, nothing less.

If you want to know if someone values honesty, the first sign you need to look for is how straightforward they are with their intentions. Choose the people who don’t play mind games with you!

2. They are transparent

Transparency is an important aspect of honesty. An honest person doesn’t hide things or try to deceive others. They are open books and always willing to show their truest selves.

To test someone’s transparency, be mindful of the truths that they’re willing to share with you. Even if it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient, honest people don’t withhold information especially if it has a potential effect on you.

3. They stay out of trouble

Those who are honest tend to stay out of trouble. Because they act with integrity, they don’t usually find themselves in conflict with the people they love or those with authority over them.

If you ever meet someone who has a record of being caught red-handed, then it might be a sign that they are bad news.

4. Their words and actions are consistent

An honest person stays true to their words and follows through with actions. They keep their promises and will never leave you hanging.

Being consistent is considered a green flag in relationships. You’ll know a person is worth keeping in your life when they match what they say with how they behave. Otherwise, they might just be leading you on!

5. They take responsibility

Honest people take responsibility for their actions and their mistakes. They don’t make excuses or blame others for their shortcomings.

Even when they know they will face the consequences, an honest person will own up to what they may have done wrong and be accountable enough to make up for it.

6. They are trustworthy

Honesty is the foundation on which trust is built. When someone is known for being honest, we can depend on their words, intentions, and commitment.

On the other hand, when someone is not honest with us, it damages the trust that we have in them. We may begin to question their reliability, integrity, and truthfulness, which can strain our relationship with them.

7. They value integrity

Honest people have a strong sense of integrity, which means that they are guided by a set of moral principles and values. They do what they believe is right, even if it means going against the norm.

Even behind closed doors, someone who is honest will always stand by truth and fairness. Despite challenges and temptations, they will never compromise their morals for personal gain.

8. They are respectable

Honesty is an admirable quality. By having integrity and building trust, honest people earn the respect of those around them. They exude the kind of credibility and authority that cannot be questioned.

If gaining respect from others matters to you, committing to your words and being consistent with your values should be your top priorities.

9. They are not afraid to be vulnerable

Being honest often requires us to be vulnerable. Those who are honest have the courage to let others discover their innermost selves.

When we are honest about our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we are revealing a part of ourselves to others, which can be uncomfortable and scary. However, this vulnerability can ultimately help us to build deeper connections with the people who matter most to us!

10. They live a peaceful life

Honesty can have a significant impact on our peace of mind. Those who always choose honesty don’t need to stress about the consequences of their wrongdoings. They don’t carry the burden that comes with deceit and guilt.

When we are honest with ourselves and others, we are not living a double life or presenting a false image of ourselves. Ultimately, this inner alignment can lead to peace of mind and a greater sense of fulfillment.

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Wrapping up

Being honest means that we have to speak our truths even in the face of temptation, hardship, and fear. We need to be mindful of how our words align with our actions and take ownership when we do make a mistake.

By practicing honesty in our own lives and valuing honesty in others, we can deepen our relationships, earn trust and respect, and live a more fulfilling life free of shame and guilt.

What does being honest mean to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Madel Asuncion AuthorLinkedIn Logo

Writer and advocate for young people’s mental health. Firm believer of validating one’s feelings, prioritizing the inner-self, and finding happiness in a plate of chicken curry.

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