Whether you’re a startup company, building a business, a network, or friendships, you always want to look for people who possess this quality.
That goes for you too, had you considered that?
Being considered genuine, means actual, real, sincere, honest. Genuine people are more or less the same on the inside as their behaviour is on the outside. Unfortunately, it's a tough quality to discern.
The problem is that all human interactions are relative. They’re all a function of how we perceive each other through our own subjective lenses.
Being genuine is also a rare quality. In a world full of materialism, fads, media hype, virtual personas, positive thinkers, and personal brands – where everyone wants what they don’t have, nobody's content to be who they are, and, more importantly, nobody’s willing to admit to any of that – it’s becoming an increasingly rare quality.
In order to identify genuine people and develop these qualities in ourselves, these are the typical behaviours of this rare breed.
They don’t seek attention. They don’t need constant reinforcement of their own ego. Where attention seekers have a hole that constantly needs to be filled, genuine people are already filled with self-confidence and self-awareness.
They’re not concerned with being liked. The need to be liked is born of insecurity and narcissism. It creates a need to manipulate your own and other’s emotions. Confident and authentic people are simply themselves. If you like them, fine. If not, that’s fine, too.
They can tell when others are full of it. Perhaps naïve folks can be easily fooled, but genuine people are not naïve. They’re grounded in reality and that gives them a baseline from which they can tell when things don’t add up. There’s a big difference.
They are comfortable in their own skin. When you have thought through what you think, what you feel, what’s important to you and why it’s important to you, that determines a certain sense of purpose and directive. We all have these behavioural traits -- we just don’t necessarily articulate them to ourselves. But if we look back on our behaviour and examine what we do, why we do it, what we think and why we think it, we can figure out the principles that are driving us.
People who have really looked within to understand why they think and act the way they do are clearer about the principles -- and purposes -- that drive their lives, thus making them proactive rather than reactive.
They do what they say and say what they mean. They don’t tend to overreach or exaggerate. They meet their commitments. And they don’t parse their words or sugarcoat the truth. If you need to hear it, they’ll tell you … even if it’s tough for them to say and for you to hear.
They don’t need a lot of stuff. When you’re comfortable with whom you are, you don’t need a lot of external stuff to be happy. You know where to find happiness – inside yourself, your loved ones, and your work. You find happiness in the simple things.
They’re not thin-skinned. They don’t take themselves too seriously so they don’t take offence when none is intended.
They’re not overly modest or boastful. Since they’re confident of their strengths, they don’t need to brag about them. Likewise, they don’t exhibit false modesty. Humility is a positive trait but it’s even better to just be straightforward.
They give and receive compliments openly. Because genuine people are comfortable with themselves, they have the ability to receive compliments when they are paid as they accept them as having no strings attached. Genuine people like to reinforce people when its merited, and that comes across when done in a pure way, when you’re simply delighted that somebody did well and you compliment them.
They’re consistent. You might describe genuine people as being grounded, solid, or substantial. Since they know themselves well and are in touch with their genuine emotions, they’re more or less predictable ... in a good way.
They practice what they preach. They’re not likely to advise people to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. After all, genuine people know they’re no better than anyone else so it’s not in their nature to be self-righteous.
All those seemingly different behaviours have the same thing at their core: self-awareness that’s consistent with reality. Genuine people see themselves as others would if they were objective observers. There’s not a lot of processing, manipulating, or controlling going on between what’s in their head and what people see and hear.
In summing up, once you get to know them, genuine people turn out to be more or less consistent with the way they initially hold themselves out to be. What you see is what you get.
It's sad that, in today's world, such a positive quality is at risk of becoming endangered. Not only is it harder to find in others, it's becoming harder to be genuine ourselves.