How Can Integrity Deepen Your Relationships
Over time, people will find ways to test your integrity. You may not even be aware of these tests until they are done and noted. For example, when you’re in a conversation with someone, they may try to draw you into an argument or discussion about something that is clearly not important to them.
They may seem distracted as you talk, avoiding eye contact and seeming to listen less intently as you speak. If you notice any of this happening, it might be helpful to give more attention to what the other person was talking about before and after the conflict.
Was there a significant pause between speaking and being listened to? Did their tone change while discussing the same topic? All of these show that something wasn't quite right for them, which can make you feel bad.
When we're in relationships, protecting each other's back is important. Letting things fester and coming to a head is sometimes too easy. When you see signs that someone isn't fully invested in a relationship, chances are they have been investing in another one instead.
Be honest with your partner
Sometimes, in the midst of an argument, you may say something that makes your significant other feel hurt or invalidated.
This is usually not intentional, but it can have very serious consequences. If your loved one feels like they do not know who their own partner is, then what kind of trust they have in them breaks down.
If this happens during a romantic setting, things get even more complicated. You may both need to work through how to restore each other’s faith and respect.
However, if you are able to recognize when someone has made a mistake and try to put aside any past differences, I believe you will find that your relationships will be much stronger in the long run.
That is why it is so important to be authentic and true to yourself. When you lose confidence in yourself, you lose confidence in others.
When you tell the truth, you take responsibility for your actions, which helps establish trust. Being dishonest keeps you living in a constant state of fear and anxiety, which we all have enough of already.
Be honest with your family
Letting go of perfection can be hard for many, but it is important to work through changes in any group dynamics. When they ask you about why you stopped attending church, try to give them a reason that sounds good instead of saying something like, “The services were not meaningful.”
Instead say, "I feel called to express spirituality in other areas of my life at this time."
Your family may protest or question you, so be ready for this! Keep seeking out what things are working for you and stick to your beliefs.
Parents and siblings may likely worry when you talk about changing churches or pastors, but don't let this pressure get too high.
If possible, see if there is an open meeting being held by the pastor and his/her family to address the change. Or maybe there is already some chatter online or around town concerning their church.
By knowing ahead of time, you will have a way to defend yourself against accusations.
Be honest with your friends
Sometimes, you will come across as less friendly or trustworthy than you really are. You may conceal parts of yourself to preserve relationships that you think are important to you.
This is very common when people feel they have invested in someone else. They may keep things from them so that person doesn’t find out about problems they might be facing.
It can also happen if you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We sometimes put off telling someone something we know they would not like to hear because we do not want to upset them.
These are all examples of low integrity. It is not healthy for society nor individual relationships when individuals lack moral strength.
Low integrity can easily spread beyond just you and your close friends into wider circles. When this happens, it can negatively impact those around you.
If you notice signs of low integrity in others, try to address these issues directly rather than letting things fester under the surface.
When possible, bring these issues out into the open so that everyone can see how unachievable your goals are. This could help people avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Don’t assume things
Recent studies show that less than 10% of people are genuinely trustworthy. The other 90% act authentic, but are actually hiding something from you — either for personal gain or because they don’t like you.
If this sounds familiar, it should because it is a pretty accurate description of most people we meet every day.
We sometimes forget that not everyone shares our beliefs, values, and commitments. They may have different priorities and life goals than us.
They could be living out an inner conflict and struggle that we are oblivious to. Because we aren’t aware of these internal conflicts, we often think others must agree with us and share our own set of values.
When they don’t, we get annoyed and hurt. However, instead of resolving the difference of opinion and moving forward, what usually happens is we go away feeling bad about ourselves. We might even develop some self-destructive habits as a way to try to feel better.
We all need to be honest with people we love, especially when it comes to things like trust. If you expect someone to believe in you or rely on you, you have to be totally truthful about what you do and don’t want to succeed.
If you tell your friend that you can make their dreams come true, but only if they help you cheat on your spouse, then he/she will never truly feel comfortable being around you. Even more so, if you don’t let them know that part of your plan is going through a divorce, they might wonder whether or not you are completely trustworthy.
By telling little white lies here and there, you can still keep relationships strong, it’s just done slightly differently.
Consistency is one of the most important qualities in life. People will not trust you unless they believe that you can be counted on to do what you say you are going to do, and to keep your word.
Consistently good people are hard to come by, but those that exist have something about them that makes you feel safe. They seem like they would stay true to themselves and to you, and they show confidence in yourself and others.
This is an excellent way to develop trusting relationships. When someone knows that you will be there for them, it creates a feeling of safety and security.
It also encourages them to do the same for you, and to put in effort into showing their loyalty. Both parties know that person will be here for them when needed.
Integrity is a quality that grows over time. Being honest is always a great start, but staying committed to your words and actions takes work.
Keep proving yourself every day until people can rely on you.
When it comes to relationships, people have a tendency to get very idealistic.
They envision their perfect couple with yourself as the other person “happens” to exist first before you meet each other.
Or they may assume that once you are in a relationship, your friendship will always be strong and true.
Neither of these assumptions is necessarily wrong, but there is a chance that they could prove false if both parties don’t work together to maintain an atmosphere of integrity.
If one party does not agree to keep commitments or to treat the other person with respect, then the strength of the bond can easily weaken.
Alternatively, if someone feels like their partner doesn’t care about them, then what reason would they have to put effort into keeping the relationship going?
Integrity is something that grows over time, so it is important to be aware of how much energy it takes to maintain.
Be the best version of yourself
When you are spending time with people, they will notice your consistency and your commitment to them. They will also see how well you treat them like an equal, not an above-the-restaurant table member that they must impress.
Your friends and family members will admire your integrity and how you live your life. They will feel confident in you as someone who doesn’t lie around or exaggerate about what you say.
You will gain trust from others by being true to who you are and living according to your own moral code. This is something that many people need to learn about themselves.
Integrity isn’t just saying things that people want to hear – it’s staying consistent when you speak even if people don’t agree at first. It’s knowing where your priorities lay and sticking to them, no matter what.