We naturally gravitate to those who have genuine personalities and avoid those who seem fake. It seems counterintuitive that we avoid people who try to portray themselves in a more flattering light since social media often asks us to do the same. However, most of us tend to perceive such people as being fake. So, why is it that we prefer people who do their own thing? The reason: we believe that someone who is truthful with themselves will be truthful to us. Frankness or earnestness is a quality that we all seek in friends, partners, employees, and co-workers.
What makes genuine people more interesting because we associate frankness with emotional strength, maturity, and resilience. We also appreciate their sense of individuality and their openness when communicating.
Sometimes trauma or mental health issues can prevent us from being our most authentic selves. But, being genuine is not an inherent quality but rather something that is something that requires practice.
So, how can you be your most authentic self in a world that lives by appearances and often pressures us to be perfect? Below are seven [five] habits that can help you be more authentic and self-assured.
- Speak your mind
Learning how to say what you mean with some sensibility and tact is an art form. Some people speak their minds but end up wounding others. This aspect of communication with others is an art form with multiple steps. First, you must figure out what you want, and second, how to vocalize it. These two steps are deceptively simple. But, to figure out what you want, you must learn to trust yourself.
Some circumstances may have caused you to lose your self-confidence. If that is the case, prove to yourself that you possess all the positive attributes you think you do not have. Keep your word, especially to yourself, and try to think positively about yourself. If you need further guidance, please reach out to a therapist.
- Don’t try to make others like you.
You will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine! Genuine people do not operate based on external expectations. They may take someone else’s expectations or opinions about them into consideration, but ultimately, they will act based on what feels authentic to them. To behave based on your convictions, genuine people spend time in self-reflection. They may explore and analyze their convictions, beliefs, ideals, and expectations to have a clearer vision of their future.
This process may not always be easy because our environment affects our beliefs. But, as you spend more time reflecting, you may realize that some of your beliefs do not align with those of people who are around you. Just make sure you are brave enough to support what you believe while being compassionate enough to allow others to have differing beliefs.
What helps us connect is not our ideological similarities but rather the empathy we have towards each other, regardless of belief.
- Do not run from failure.
Authenticity is usually associated with emotional resilience and strength. A part of being emotionally resilient is not seeing failure as a setback but seeing it as a step forward. It sounds odd–how is failure a good thing?
Many see failure as something negative. We take it to heart and think that it says something about who we are as a person. But, the fear of failure can sometimes keep you addicted to conventionality– the habits, places, and relationships that feel familiar to you even if they no longer have room in the life you are trying to build for yourself.
If you are confident and brave enough to see a failure, not as a testament of your worth, but as an opportunity for growth, you will find that some failures can teach you more about life and yourself than success.
- Embrace vulnerability and faults
An aspect that makes genuine people likable is that they embrace vulnerability. They do not get defensive when someone points out something that they did wrong. Instead, they acknowledge and embrace their faults. Embracing your faults and being vulnerable go hand-in-hand. Both humanize you and make you seem more approachable. But, learning to accept your flaws has its benefits. It allows you to set aside expectations and to live your life on your terms without having to feel bad for your choice or actions. It creates room for you to practice self-compassion.
The benefit of embracing vulnerability is that it allows you to embrace vulnerability in others.
- Forge your path.
As stated above, genuine people do not derive their sense of purpose from other people’s opinions. Their sense of purpose comes from an internal compass. Genuine people search for a way to pursue their passions and goals. Thus, making their path a bit more unconventional than most people’s.
- Try to be less judgmental.
One last habit of a genuine person is that they avoid passing judgment. This habit ties in with their ability to embrace vulnerability. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you are also allowing yourself to be more empathetic. As a result, you will find yourself being less judgmental.
If you want to become a more genuine person, for your sake and not for the sake of others, take some time for self-reflection. Figure out how you want to improve. And remember that the person who deserves your honesty is yourself. Please reach out for help if necessary.
Bradberry, T. (2018, January 3). 12 habits of genuine people. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/05/10/12-habits-of-genuine-people/?sh=3d6408f8461d.
Houlis, A.-M. (2020). 8 things people who are seen as authentic have in common (and why they do better at work). Jobs, Company Reviews, Career Advice and Community. https://fairygodboss.com/articles/habits-of-genuine-people.
Stillman, J. (2015, November 4). 5 habits of Genuinely authentic people. Inc.com. https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-habits-of-genuinely-authentic-people.html.
Winch, G. (2015, March 18). The 7 habits of truly genuine people. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201503/the-7-habits-truly-genuine-people.