How to recognize a genuine spirit

When people want to say something nice about someone they admire, it’s pretty common to hear them say, “oh, she’s such a genuine person.” True authenticity may not be easy to measure on a scale, but it sure is recognizable – and powerful – when we encounter it in others. Here are some thoughts on recognizing a genuine spirit in yourself and others!

Ways To Know You’re Truly Genuine

You embrace vulnerability.

The psychological idea and societal construct of inner strength vary dramatically. Many cultures place great importance on maintaining defensive walls that hide or minimize personal weaknesses and imperfections, as a means of protecting oneself from harmful or unpleasant experiences. Science, on the other hand, supports using flexible coping mechanisms to face moments of discomfort — opening oneself up to fears and failures in an attempt to learn and grow from them, rather than shut them out altogether. And it takes an authentic person with a solid foundation of self-esteem to be able to accomplish the latter.

“The stronger your self-esteem, the more able you are to admit that you’re failing, to receive criticism, to be able to receive negative feedback without it making you crumble,” Winch says about the importance of maintaining such flexibility. “You can actually take on criticism, negative feedback, something not great about you, something that you don’t love about yourself, and it doesn’t really devastate you. It’s something you can admit, you can hope to work on or just take in, but it doesn’t affect your whole way of thinking about yourself.”

You share your true thoughts, beliefs and opinions with the world.

Authentic people not only take the time to ponder their perspective on life and the experiences that led them there, but they easily share this “true self” with others around them. This outward expression is consistently characterized as an extroverted behavior in authenticity research. However, in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality, Wake Forest University psychologist William Fleeson established that both genuine introverts and extroverts alike feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions and beliefs with the outside world.

“Authenticity is consistently associated with acting highly extraverted, even for those who characterize themselves as introverts,” said Fleeson in a statement. “Being flexible with who you are is okay. It is not denying or disrespecting who you are. People are often too rigid about how they are and stick with the comfortable and familiar. Adapting to a situation can make you more true to yourself in some circumstances.”

His research also revealed that being genuine consistently goes hand-in-hand with being emotionally stable and intellectual.

– via The Huffington Post

Everyone has qualities that come easily, and qualities they wish to cultivate in themselves. We all have room to grow in our authenticity – and it helps to recognize what you’re already doing well, and what you can benefit from practicing!

Hallmarks Of Genuine People

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.

In his late 70s, actor Leonard Nimoy said he was closer than ever to being as comfortable with himself as Spock appeared to be. Most of us struggle with that. As Henry David Thoreau observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

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.

– via Entrepreneur

Which hallmarks of authenticity make the most sense to you? Think about the most genuine people you know in your life. Do they bear some or all of these traits? Do you?

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