Identifying Integrity in Your Bae, Friends and Co-workers

A quality often missed but integral in all relationships

By Fred S.
Identifying Integrity in Your Bae, Friends and Co-workers

What is Integrity

The quality of being honest and straightforward is known as one’s integrity. It determines how strongly one holds onto his or her moral principles, and how much he cares about doing the right thing. A person with integrity will have little to no difference between his words, commitments, and actions. They’ll do what they promise, and give high importance to the truth in all situations. The accuracy of one’s actions and the genuineness in behavior translates into high integrity.

Integrity in relationships

Integrity is a personal quality, and different people practice different levels of integrity and fairness in their everyday dealings. Understandably, differing levels of integrity has a major impact on all relationships. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a professional one, or simply a friendship, integrity matters everywhere. Basically, it’s about doing the right things at the right moments. If the parties involved in a relationship are generally honest with each other, there wouldn’t be integrity issues.

While the umbrella of honesty widely covers the concept of integrity, many other small factors comprise this quality as well. It’s also about being kind and gentle with one another, accepting each other through different phases, and developing a sense of mutual admiration and respect. These are the aspects that form a strong foundation for stable and everlasting relationships.

Why It’s Important

Yes, telling a small lie every now and then just simplifies the situation and it doesn’t harm anybody. But, even in those little moments, the integrity gets compromised. Telling the truth even when you think it’ll harm you, no matter how big or small is what constitutes integrity. In a relationship, consistently practicing it builds and maintains a strong sense of trust between individuals.

Getting out of tricky situations with a white lie may be easy, but going through them with the truth and collaboration of each other will slowly strengthen your bond. You’ll reach a point where you don’t even feel the need to lie, ever. That’s how comfortable mutual integrity makes things.

You must always refuse to succumb to any social pressures and do only what your moral standing allows you to do. A person’s integrity urges him to be firm with his values and take a stand against unethical behavior. This is how people begin to trust you, and in the long-term, you’ll realize how invaluable that is.

How do you know the level of integrity in your social circle?

An individual’s character gets exposed to the moments that pressure him the most. The sad, fearful, shocking, and disappointing stages of one’s life shed light on who they truly are as a person. During times of happiness and contentment, people don’t feel the need to expose their true personalities. However, in times of need or emotional despair, they’re urged to break down and reveal themselves.

This means if you’re looking to find out the level of integrity someone has, you’ll have to look for it in emotionally challenging times. This may feel like a bit sadistic, but you don’t have to ‘hope’ for them to feel any of these negative emotions. As a naturally occurring cycle in life, they’re bound to go through tough times sooner or later. In their daily dealings, just become a bit more observant as to how they behave.

Check for their responses when someone pisses them off, or makes them sad, or triggers their anger. The way they deal with being broke, in need, hungry, angry, or hurt, will tell you if they’ve got integrity or not. As humans, our negative tendencies kick in when we’re not in a comfortable position. For instance, if they’re willing to be dishonest just to fulfill a strong need immediately, that’s usually an indicator that they’re low on integrity.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

When it comes to people you care about, you can tell if they’re genuine just by their actions. You do have to look at them through an unbiased lens though, as feelings of love and affection can urge you to overlook their shortcomings. Generally, people who fulfill their commitments, and have proven truthful many times are people with integrity. You can ask mutual friends about what they say about you behind your back, but this will only work if you trust the person you’re asking.

Tests to Find Out About Integrity Level

There are a few accurate qualities that you can check for in people to test if they’re genuine; we’ve listed a few key ones here. Test your relationships by looking for the presence of these qualities, which point towards a high integrity level in people who care about you.

1. They push you to love yourself more

People who genuinely love you will highlight your good qualities, and naturally overlook flaws. They’ll urge you to love yourself more, reassuring you that your insecurities aren’t as bad as you think.

2. They call you out when it’s your bad

People who value their integrity will never be yes-men, no matter how popular or powerful someone might be. A genuine person will be straight-up with you and let you know when it’s your fault. You may think it’s harsh, but that’s the type of people we should surround ourselves with.

3. Their presence is notable

Whenever you’re with them, you’ll find them giving you complete attention and awareness. True friends make their presence felt, and making you feel attended to is a priority for them. A good indicator of this is if they stash their phones when they’re with you, unless it’s to snap a selfie.

4. They listen

While not every genuine person is a good listener, real friends will know when you need to be heard. See how closely and attentively they listen to you when you talk about stuff that’s important to you. Generally, this is a good test of integrity as well.

5. They’re with us through hardships

Part of what makes friendships so special is being there for each other when needed. If they’re available to you when you genuinely need a helping hand and go out of their way to check up on you, they’re one of the real ones.

6. You’re a priority to them

Life is extra fast-paced these days, and it’s hard to ensure availability at all times. Marriage, kids, work, and chores, we’ve all got to deal with them. But, the ones that truly care about you will find the time – they just do.  

7. They make us want to be better

While they’ll make you love yourself, their overall persona just inspires you to be better. Their honesty has a direct impact on you and urges you to follow their moral footsteps. A relationship that nurtures such feelings is a keeper, and passes the tests of integrity!

What To Do if You Think Someone Has Low Integrity?

While integrity is a crucial personality trait to have for all of us, it’s not so common in people these days. Very few people practice it fully, where they make absolutely no compromises on truth and morality, no matter the cost. On the other hand, some people partially behave this way but tend to make little moves every now and then that highlights their incomplete integrity. At the bottom end though, are people with little to no sense of honesty and truthfulness, and just do what suits them the best at the moment.

It’s important to know one thing – almost everyone falls a bit short when it comes to being fully genuine. With people who have failed to display absolutely any honesty over the years, it’s best to not rely on them at all. Depending on where you find your social circle on this spectrum of integrity, it’s okay to reset your expectations and trust accordingly. The more you expect from disingenuous people in your social circle, the easier it is for their actions to hurt you.

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In simple words, integrity is the ability within us to act out the best version of ourselves. It may sound simple, but it’s super hard – especially in today’s world. Every day, we all morally fall short more times than we may think. Whether it be little white lies or full-blown manipulation, we’re all guilty of at least some part of it. In this article, we’ve discussed how you can find out if there’s a lack of integrity within the relationships that are most important to you. Hope this article helped you out, all the best!