Honesty and integrity are two qualities that go hand in hand but are often overlooked. These virtues are now more important than ever as we live in a world where people play dirty to get ahead. If you want to stand out from the crowd and stay true to who you are, integrity is a must.
Honesty coupled with integrity is a powerful combination. Not only are they virtues and high vibrational values that make you happier and feel good about yourself, but they actually have a huge impact on many areas of your life. These qualities reflect well on you, but they also have a powerful positive influence on your romantic relationships, family life, social life, and professional life.
By cultivating honesty and integrity and making it a core part of who you are, you’ll find that your communication will become much better, you’ll build and maintain wholesome relationships, and show others that you are someone worth keeping around. This is why you should hold yourself to high standards and always be true to your word, yourself, and the people that you interact with.
When you get this down, you will see your relationships booming, because you will become a positive and powerful figure in other people’s lives. With that said, let’s look at how you can cultivate these virtues!
Difference between honesty and integrity
Even though honesty and integrity are both similar values which overlap in some aspects, there are some differences between them.
Integrity refers to your inner voice and intuition guiding you to do what’s right.
Honesty is your outer voice, and your ability to communicate your inner values to other people.
Someone who’s honest but not integral will tell the truth and be open with other people, but they could have negative agendas, and not necessarily strive to follow their higher values. They will tell people what they’ve done, or openly discuss whatever is brought to light, but it’s not going to impact their future actions or decisions.
When someone is integral but not honest, they will follow their higher values and strive to do the right thing, but they won’t be transparent about it.
They might still lie to people and cover up truths, which will hurt their relationships, but it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. This is why it’s essential to have both honesty and integrity, so that you’re well balanced inside and out.
What does it mean to be honest?
Honesty is your ability to be truthful, while also being transparent and open in your communication.
People who aren’t honest are generally not seen as trustworthy.
Others will tend to have a hard time opening themselves up to dishonest people, because there is no transparency within their communication.
Dishonesty tends to sabotage personal relationships, and displays deeper insecurities and faults with your character.
Therefore, it’s in your best interests to be honest with others, by being aware of your tendencies to lie, deceive and manipulate.
- Francesca works as a bartender and at times, has a drink behind the bar, which is against company policy.
After being questioned by management, even though it could have easily been denied, she decided to admit it, despite potentially losing her job over it.
- David has been casually dating a couple women for a short amount of time. One of the women, Mary, is starting to develop strong feelings for David, while he still isn’t sure, but is leaning more towards the other lady he’s seeing.
Instead of leading Mary on to maintain what he has, he decided to be upfront with her and tell her his situation.
He knows that this may hurt her, that he might lose her because of it, but he knows that being honest is the only chance of this situation not backfiring in the future, or hurting someone.
- Naomi has been struggling with depression. Typically, she’s the sort of person who keeps to herself and doesn’t like other people intervening in her life.
As she struggled more and more, she decided to be open with her friends and family, and seek help instead of keeping secrets from them.
Of course this was hard for her to do, but she knew that keeping secrets doesn’t help anyone.
What does it mean to be integral?
Being integral means that you hold your values and beliefs to high standards. It is to live by principals and morals, above everything else.
This means you won’t easily be shaken off them, and you’ll always take the sincere route over the quick path when trying to achieve your goals.
An integral person is someone who stays true to their values, such as being honest, even when it’s difficult. They will always do the right thing despite if other people are watching or not.
People who are integral tend to put others first, and don’t allow themselves to be negatively influenced or corrupted by other people, or outside forces.
Integral people have strong core values which supersedes any temptation. and helps ground them to their mission and purpose in life.
Examples of integral people
- John was sitting at a café when he noticed someone who accidentally forgot their pair of expensive sunglasses.
Despite being strapped for cash and needing a new pair of sunglasses himself, John chased down the person to return them, without expecting any sort of reward, just because he believed it was the right thing to do.
- Sarah is an environmentally conscious person. She does her best to leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible, and tries to promote environmental sustainability.
Upon being offered a lucrative position with a company that is not at all environmentally conscious, she decided to decline the offer because no amount of money will compromise her core values of helping create a green future.
- Steve got into an argument with his wife the other night. He reflected over the argument and realized he wasn’t completely right.
Even though he had some valid points, he apologized to his wife and admitted that he was wrong, instead of letting her feel defeated just to ‘win’ the argument.
How to be honest and integral in your personal relationships
Having honesty and Integrity in your relationships is critical if you want to build fulfilling connections with people – and make them last!.
Dishonesty leads to distrust.
There needs to be trust in your relationships, otherwise people will put up a wall, and prevent themselves from really connecting with you on a deeper level.
Without these two powerful qualities, relationships often fall apart, because there’s nothing holding them together. If you are dishonest with your partner, friends or family, this is going to bud tension.
Lies will eventually be caught out, and they will always come back to bite you in the butt. In a way you sabotage yourself, because you openly show others that you have something to hide.
When you are honest in your relationships with other people, this builds trust and respect. We all love honest friends because we know that there are no hidden agendas or secrets in the relationship.
It puts you at ease when people are transparent with you, and not just out for themselves. This is why it’s so important to make a habit of being open and sincere with people, because it sets the foundation for a healthy and functional relationship.
If you screw up and do something that might hurt your friend or partner, it’s always best to be upfront about it.
At the time, it might be uncomfortable, which is why people often hide their actions or feelings, and get caught into a web of lies. Honesty clears the air between people, and this leads to acceptance and forgiveness. We all make mistakes and screw up from time to time, but how you proceed with it and repair the trust is the true test of your character.
Therefore, make a habit of telling the truth and admitting your mistakes.
If you are in an argument with your loved one, admit where you have been wrong and apologize.
If you did something that you shouldn’t have, admit your guilt, and do your best to fix the problem.
Even though it can be difficult, be upfront, tell the truth, and people will start to notice.
The importance of hoensty and integrity in the workplace
Honesty and Integrity are also critical in your professional life, as a workplace rolls smoothly when everyone holds these values.
As you probably know, communication in the workplace is essential to avoid friction with people, and to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Things get messy very quickly when people aren’t honest and integral, and this makes life much more difficult for everyone.
If you hide the truth or lie to cover up a mistake, this will always come back around, sooner or later. You will always be caught out, so take a more honorable approach instead, which is bound to help you much more in the long run.
It’s always best to be upfront, which creates space for a solution.
If you aren’t honest and upfront about how you feel and what’s going on, the problem is not just going to disappear. Solutions require open communication. It’s not always easy, you might feel vulnerable by addressing issues and things that you don’t particularly want to discuss, but it is necessary.
When you’re at the workplace, make an effort to be open to people, and to speak your truth.
If something’s bugging you, mention it in a calm and controlled manner, and make yourself heard.
If there is tension between other employees, raise the issue with them and work at coming to a conclusion.
Likewise, if you make a mistake, do not try to hide it. Admit it when you can, and come out clean. If you are confronted, don’t try to hide it. Be honest about what happened and why it happened, and then you can move forward with a clean slate, instead of carrying around this guilt.
Why you need to be honest and integral if you're a leader
Honesty and Integrity are some of the key characteristics which make a good leader.
Good leadership always involves being honest and open with people, even if it’s difficult, or knowing that the truth might hurt the people who follow you.
By being upfront with everyone and telling them the full truth of the situation, it helps to build trust and camaraderie amongst everyone who is on your side. By being honest, it also humanizes you, which makes it easier for others to connect with you, and to respect you.
Integrity is also critical in leadership. You need to have strongly refined goals and ambitions, and to hold your values very close. If people see you fold easily, or give up because something isn’t just handed to you, they will not see you as a true leader, and lose respect for you.
To be a true leader, you need to make sure that your word is as good as gold, and that you follow up on everything you say.
If you are integral to what you say by always giving your word and following through despite how difficult it is, people will see that you’re a man/woman of your word.
In saying that, don’t say things which aren’t true, or that you don’t absolutely intend to do.
Don’t lie to sway people’s beliefs, or to convince people to join your cause. Unfortunately, dishonesty and deceit often occur in leadership, and once found out, it always falls apart.
True leaders are transparent.
Openness, especially when it’s difficult, is respectable. You need to be respected as a leader, otherwise nobody will look up to you. If you want to be a real leader and earn people’s respect, you need to be a human to them. This means not to pretend that you always have everything under control. It’s to do your best, and be honest with people when there is an issue.
If you make a mistake, admit it. Show your team that you are integral, and that you can be trusted.
If there is an obstacle or block, be transparent, and let others in on the decision making process. Show everyone who follows you that you deserve their trust and respect, by being honest and integral.
These qualities are essential for good leadership, but if you want to get deeper into it, follow the link here to learn how.
How can you become a more honest and integral person?
By prioritizing your core values over any material assert, when the moment arises, instinctively you will know what feels right, and take that course of action.
To become more honest and integral in your daily life, refine your values and know what really matters to you, because any ‘thing’ you can get, won’t give you the same joy as sticking to your values and doing what’s right.
To be more honest, challenge yourself by going a day without speaking a single lie. As soon as you catch yourself doing it, or if you could not resist lying in particular circumstances, start again the next day. If you’re working on being honest with everyone, this is what matters.
When you catch yourself slipping a lie no matter how small, correct it and start again. Do this until you go through the whole day without making a single fib. Once you have done this, push for days, a week, weeks if possible. Lying can be addictive, so this habit can be difficult to beat.
Compete against yourself and go on without lying until you break the pattern.
It’s also important to recognize patterns of lying or deceit. You can learn more about recognizing these patterns in my article on the topic here.
Once you habituate the pattern of clean conversation, it becomes hard to lie.
Aside from building the habit of not lying, work on being more open with people, and mend your trust issues. This is what you want to aim for if you wish to become a great communicator.
Things to avoid and work towards to become more honest and integral in everyday life
|Things to do
|Things to avoid
|Tell the truth, even if it weakens your position or hurt you, or other people
|Lie to people to get ahead, or to benefit yourself
|Confront people about how you feel. If people are hurting you, bullying you, talk to them about it even though it might be daunting or uncomfortable.
|Tiptoe around people without letting them know your true feelings about an issue which affects the both of you.
|Don’t cheat on tests, exams, in your work, with a partner. Do things how they’re meant to be done, clean and sincere.
|Cheat as much as you can to excel as quickly as you can in life.
|Be confident and assertive in who you are, your behaviors and actions. If something isn’t working out for you, discuss it with people involved. Don’t try to hide it.
|Sneak around to avoid putting yourself in the spotlight or raising an issue.
|Accept the truth and your life situation for what it is.
|Cover up the truth. If nobody knows about it, it doesn’t really matter.
|Be selfless and aim to be there for other people, and help them get ahead in life.
|Be selfish and just aim to get ahead yourself in life, because you’re more important.
|Be open with people and communicate with them like adults. Share information with people that could potentially benefit them.
|Keep secrets and important information to yourself. After all, you had to figure it out yourself, why can’t they?
|Stay true to your values, despite if anyone notices or not.
|Do what you want when nobody is watching.
|Be authentic to yourself, even if it doesn’t jam with everyone.
|Put on a façade and pretend you’re someone you’re not, to help you get along with people.
|Admit your mistakes
|Pin the blame on someone else