skip to Main Content

What Are The 15 Observable Traits of Integrity?


Integrity is defined as – the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. 

Moreover, people of integrity display high moral uprightness, and truthfulness and have the quality of projecting an aura of safety around them.

In this post, I will first show you how to identify true integrity in others and then list and describe the the15 observable traits of integrity.

How To Identify True Integrity In Others

To begin with, people with integrity are looked upon as good leaders. 

And they achieve this by being strong and undivided in their opinions without being arrogant and dismissive of others.

Or, to put it another way, they never belittle another argument in order to raise their own.  

In this way, people who show a high degree of integrity are said to be of good character, honorable, noble, virtuous, and completely trustworthy.

So, from this brief list, we can see that integrity is not something you can own or buy from a shop.

Integrity comes from within and is a life choice; so true integrity cannot be faked or changed on a whim from day to day.

Another important point is that integrity is not something that is held only by the rich.

Or by those of us fortunate enough in society that go without want.

I strongly believe that you can find the most virtuous, upstanding, right-minded people of good character and high integrity at all levels of society.


When You Look at the picture above what do you see?

I see a poor Indian boy who has little chance of a bright future ahead of him.  He lives in extreme hardship every day and in a world where he has become invisible to most people.

However, he has not given up.

He thinks not of himself but of his sister and how he has to be strong for her. 

Furthermore, he treats her with love and respect for all that she does to help him, no matter how ineffectual that may be.  

Similarly, he instinctively trusts those who work with him. He also puts his faith in the people that surround him on the rubbish site as he, and they, claw out a meager living.

Occasionally, the opportunity to earn “a little extra” might come along from a stranger wanting a photo of this, his”meager existence.”

At this point, the boy’s integrity refuses to let him be jealous and resentful of the stranger.

Instead, he sees his own self-worth and smiles for the camera so that he can feed his sister.

This boy does not steal or beg, he does not complain, and he stays true to himself.

To me, this boy has the greatest levels of integrity, and yet do you think he even knows what integrity is? 

15 Observable Traits Of Integrity

As I mentioned earlier, you cannot fake integrity because integrity comes from within, and you have to live it.

It’s a lifestyle choice that influences every decision that you will ever make.

However, as a result, just like the boy on the rubbish tip, if you look close enough, you can observe it in those around you.

The observable traits that you need to look for are:

1. Honesty

A person showing true honesty will live this characteristic every day, both in word and deed being truthful, sincere, and free of deceit.

When interacting with this person, you will know that whatever they tell you will be the absolute truth from their perspective. 

As such, you will value their opinion, even if it’s not what you want to hear, and you will be sure that their view is unbiased.

Moreover, they will express their views openly, even though it may be harmful or uncomfortable for them.

For more please read; 27 Inspiring Truth And Honesty Quotes That Build Character

2. Living By A Code Of Sound Moral And Ethical Principles.

People with integrity think strongly about how their words and actions will impact other people, society as a whole, and the environment.

Consequently, people of true integrity govern all their behaviors around a set of positive values.

These values are drawn from their ethical and moral beliefs and these beliefs set their code of behavior; a line in the sand that they will not cross.

People with a strong code of ethical behavior will be incorruptible, objective, confident, honest, and professional in their interaction with others and will value truth above power.

They live every moment of every day by these values, beliefs, and ethics which makes them very principled people and extremely trustworthy.

For more please read; 27 Quotes That Shape Your Character, Ethics, And Moral Decision Making

3.  Being Authentic

Authentic people are highly prized in society. You can be assured that with authentic people, it’s a case of what you see is what you get. 

Furthermore, you can trust that others see and hear them as you do.

This is important as it remains true even when you are not present.

Authentic people never act like a chameleon, changing their views, actions, or opinions to suit the person standing in front of them.

Most noteworthy is their openness to debate and the possibility of expressing views that may make them unpopular with their audience.

A person showing true authenticity is true to themselves and others and will not sacrifice their values regardless of the pressure or situation.

They will just BE!

Traits of integrity – Authenticity

For more please read; Quotes About Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity, And Genuineness

4. Will take responsibility for their actions

In essence, this means putting all other considerations to one side and acting on their closely held morals and beliefs. 

This is true even when there is a social, personal, or financial cost to themselves.

People with true integrity will do this simply because it is the right thing to do. 

For more please read; 27 Inspiring Truth And Honesty Quotes That Build Character

5. Their word Is their bond

People with integrity will keep their word even at a great cost to themselves because they value the commitment of their word more than personal wealth.

People of high integrity would say that to break their word would be to break a bond of trust.

And for them, that would be unthinkable.

For more please read; 27 Integrity Quotes (What It Means To Have Integrity)

6. Selflessly Helping others in need

People of integrity are active in seeking the good in others and themselves.

Goodness that they do not withhold but eagerly and selflessly impart upon others, often being the absolute first to volunteer help or respond to a request.

In response to a request, they will show no discrimination or complaint about the task, the people involved or the personal toll it takes to achieve it.

Instead, they will be driven only by a sense of their positive action being for the good of humanity.

Society as a whole will benefit, and they will personally benefit from a connection to their own sense of self-worth. 

integrity man in thought
What price is a man’s worth?

For more please read; 27 Powerful U.S. Marine Quotes – Doing The Right Thing

 7. Being humble

A person with integrity will live their life by a strong moral and ethical compass and so will have few regrets to carry forward.

They will be at peace with themselves and will not see a need to brag or show arrogance about this to others.

As Mother Teresa once said;


Being humble is sometimes seen by others as being weak, insecure, or submissive.

However, a person with true integrity does not judge humility as an emotion but as a great strength of moral character.

For more please read; 27 Honesty Quotes That Make You Think

8. Trustworthiness

For a person of high integrity, the word “honesty” means that they will always tell you the truth regardless of the consequences.

This is true even if it’s not what you want to hear or is hard for them to say

To them being trustworthy also means that they will always be the guardian of your honesty.

By this, I mean that people with integrity will never betray confidence for personal or financial gain as it will wound their hearts too deeply.

Or to put it another way;

  Proverbs 11:14 (NIV)

For more please read; 27 Uplifting Quotes About Why Being Honest Is The Right Thing To Do

9. Treating strangers with trust and respect   

Most people would say that strangers need to earn their trust and respect.

However, a person of true integrity will freely give their trust and respect to others. This is true even at their first meeting.

This is because a person of integrity always looks for the good in others during the first meeting, firmly believing that a good person is deserving of respect and should not need to earn it first.

This is true of all the people they meet, and it’s not dependent on the status of the person or any other variables. 

For more please read; 27 Inspiring Ocean Quotes For Your Soul & Character

10. They believe in others

Once trust and respect have been given, it’s time for faith to take over.

Not the religious kind of faith but the all-trusting LEAP into the unknown, kind of faith kind.

People with integrity can show the utmost faith and confidence in others, even under difficult circumstances.

Integrity means that if you genuinely have faith in others, then they will not want to let you or themselves down.

For more please read; 77 Thought-Provoking Quotes About Ethical, Sustainable, And Fast Fashion

11. They value the investment that others make in them

Whether it be another’s time, money, or a personal thing gifted, a true person of integrity will always be respectful of their gifting it.

People of true integrity will do all that is in their power to use this investment wisely and then “pay it forward.”

For more please read; 27 Character Building Quotes On Integrity – Doing The Right Thing

12. Being able to admit they are wrong

Being humble enough not to shout about your accomplishments is not the same as being humble enough to admit that you’re wrong.

The first is only a measure of your work, and the second is personal, as it’s a measure of your character.

Admitting you are wrong shows that you are flawed and allows others to mock you, so it is often seen as a weakness.

Once again, however, a person of integrity sees things differently and recognizes it only as a character strength.

For a person of integrity, when they realize that they are in the wrong, they will view that as an opportunity to place the credit on the right person.

They will do this no matter what the personal cost and no matter how much time has passed. 

Being wrong might be seen as a flaw by some people. But to one with integrity, it is seen as a learning experience and a gifted opportunity to improve oneself. 

For more please read; 27 Quotes That Shape Your Character, Ethics, And Moral Decision Making

13. Keeping Negative Emotions Out Of Disagreements

People of integrity welcome debates but hate disagreements.

This is because a debate gives each party a place of safety in which to argue/debate with positivity and passion. 

In contrast, a disagreement is often fully charged with negative emotions and only seeks to harm the individuals involved.

True people of integrity would not think it necessary to start a conflict simply over a difference of opinion.

For more please read; 27 Funny Quotes About Being Honest That Will Brighten Your Day

14. Forgiveness

People with integrity know that perfection is just a dream, that we are all flawed, and we may all fail.

For this reason, people of integrity will always admit and recognize their own failures and apologize if found wanting.

This gives them the ability to recognize the flaws of others and that no individual is perfect.

In this way, they will not hold others to impossible standards and when another fails in some way, they will immediately recognize the importance of forgiveness.

Being calm and forgiving means that they can lift them up and support them, helping them to grow from the experience and be understanding and forgiving of others.

For more please read; 27 Uplifting Quotes About Why Being Honest Is The Right Thing To Do

15. Vocal in expressing credit to others

A person of integrity would never claim credit for more than was contributed by them.

They would, however, be very vocal to all audiences about the positive contributions of others.

Similarly, they will always be active and vocal in acknowledging the achievements of others, no matter how small.

Furthermore, they would never steal someone else’s thunder but would be more inclined to play down their own role in their achievements.

Man looking to the heavens for inspiration

For more please read; 27 Integrity Quotes (What It Means To Have Integrity)

Are you a person of integrity?

In today’s modern society doing what is right and good is not always easy, and it may seem as though you are alone in doing so but don’t give up. 

If you can see yourself in the list of the traits above, then you can stand up to the critics around you.

Moreover, if you can stay true to yourself, then you ARE a person of integrity.

People of integrity are highly prized and looked for, so stay true to your cause and inspire others to be as noble as you. Even one person of integrity can change society but together they can change the world.

Look to Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and Joan of Arc for your inspiration.

All these people were ordinary people.

However, their names are etched into our minds.

Is this because they all believed in something and showed the strength of true integrity in a resentful world? 

So what can you do today to make a difference? 

Think of what it is that inspires you and then go out and do it.

Don’t listen to those who will try to stop you. Listen to your heart, then fill your spirit with the integrity of your mind and soul.

There will always be doubters.

But that didn’t stop our heroes, so don’t let it stop you from living the life you want to.

Be your own hero and a hero of integrity for others. Start small, then pick up a cause that will inspire those around you.

You can go plastic-free, move to zero waste, or change your energy source from fossil fuels to clean renewable green energy.

All you have to do is believe.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once said;


Need to deep dive into integrity?  Here are 6 must-read books.

Click Here To Read The Reviews And Get The Latest Prices!

Some Final Thoughts To Summarize: The 15 Observable Traits of Integrity

The word integrity comes from the Latin integritas, meaning wholeness.
Common dictionary definitions of integrity would be:

  • A consistent pattern of lived behaviors demonstrates that one is living to a set of high socially accepted values considered to be of accepted moral worth within society.
  • Expressing public views and opinions of one’s own moral opinion even when it may be unpopular to the audience.
  • Always being truthful to oneself and others in actions and deeds as well as vocally.
  • Putting all other considerations to one side and acting on one’s morals and beliefs even when there is a social, personal, or financial cost to oneself to pay.
  • Keeping one’s word even at a cost to oneself.

Integrity and Authenticity

It is often said that a person who is described as having integrity is also an “authentic” person.

That is to say that they are true to themselves and others and do not involve themselves in social politics. Nor do they involve themselves in gossiping or telling lies to suit a given situation or to save embarrassment.

The fifteen traits listed here today are all behaviors of people with high integrity and to display them shows authenticity.

Such behaviors are valued in society and have both physical and mental benefits for the individual concerned.

Physical and mental benefits of Having Integrity And Being authentic

If someone is authentic and displays a high level of integrity, then they are said to know their own mind. They are largely free from the stresses and worries in modern-day society.

These people deal with social problems quickly and are not drawn to the darker side of social etiquette.

They are well-liked by others, sought after for their company, and encouraged to give their open and honest opinion.

These attributes mean that they are less anxious, have a positive mindset, and have a calmer composure.

In the physical sense, their blood pressure is lower, their heart rate is more even, their immune system is stronger, and they are less susceptible to major health problems.

Mentally they are more aware, quicker thinking, happier, and less prone to depression and mental disorders.

Authentic, virtuous people in society, displaying a high integrity factor, are highly prized by groups of people.

Recent research has shown that belonging to a group of like-minded individuals such as a choir or religious group can actually extend the average life expectancy by up to fourteen years.

In conclusion:

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Heraldic Rose – Wax Seal Crest Necklace in Latin – Do the right thing 


Handcrafted using the impression of a wax seal from the mid-19th century

If you liked The 15 Observable Traits of Integrity please check out my quotes posts on integrity as they make great talking points and will inspire some deep thinking!

A proud father of two boys, an amateur actor, and a green living enthusiast, Mark has been sharing hints, tips, and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019.

Back To Top