Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Authentic people: 10 characteristics that make them special

woman with umbrella

I like vibrant people that don’t need to be pushed or told to do things, but knows what to do and do it.

People who cultivate their dreams, until those dreams take over their own reality.

I like people with the ability to assume the consequences of their actions, people who risk the certain for the uncertain to go toward their dream.

I like people who thank the new day, the good things that exist in life, who lives each time giving the best of themselves, always grateful to be alive.

I like people able to criticize constructively and looking directly to my eyes, but without denigrating or hurting me. I like sincere and honest people, capable of opposing with reasonable arguments to anybodys’ decisions.

I like people with principles, which are not ashamed to admit they were wrong or didn’t know something. People who, by accepting their mistakes, make a genuine effort not to repet them again.

I like people who think and meditate internally. People who don’t judge or let others judge them.

I like people with personality.

This is an excerpt from Mario Benedetti. I simply say that I like authentic people. Those persons who are not afraid to show as they are.

Authentic people are those who, while not a paragon of virtue, decide to be consistent with what they think and feel. In fact, it is curious because probably all agree that cheating is not a good counselor, but many of us don’t hesitate to lie or hide their emotions when considered "necessary".

In today's society, where people spend hours caring their image on social networks, authenticity is a rare gift. However, we are attracted by this feature. In fact, in a very interesting study developed by the University of Wales Bangor, they asked a group of people to be authentic, while others had to pretend. Then all of them were introduced to strangers, to keep a conversation with them. Psychologists monitorized responses from both partners and realized that we tend to respond more quickly to genuine smiles, perhaps because we assume them as a value that should be rewarded. Instead, we react more slowly and with less enthusiasm to feigned smiles.

What distinguishes authentic people from the rest?

1. They have a strong self-esteem. A study conducted at the University of Manchester, found that athentic people have high self-esteem, but not too high to fall into narcissistic and arrogant attitudes. These people rather have, consistent, solid self-esteem that allows them to be more relaxed and not constantly on defensive. These people manage to be authentic because they worry less when exposed to others, they feel good about themselves and know the opinions of others are just that, mere opinions.

2. Embrace vulnerability. Our culture encourages us to maintain raised the drawbridges and to minimize or hide the mistakes and imperfections, to protect us from others. It is a culture that rejects the vulnerability. However, Psychology teaches us that opening ourselves to fear or recognizing our weaknesses allows us to grow. Therefore, authentic people embrace vulnerability and are able to show it, they are not afraid to fail or make mistakes because they know that each experience involves a lesson.

3. They share their thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Authentic people don’t have many problems when it comes to express what they feel or think. In fact, a study conducted at Wake Forest University, revealed that when people are authentic, whether they have a tendency to extroversion as if they are withdrawn, they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and emotions. In addition, this study also appreciated that the most authentic people were also emotionally more stable.

3. Give and receive compliments. Authentic people have no trouble to make a compliment, and don’t hide behind false modesty when they receive one. They are aware that compliments must flow in two directions and are able to withdraw from the stress that is usually associated with the expectations of the others. These people don’t lose themselves in speculations. If you think someone deserves a compliment, give it to him/her. If you receive one, don’t look for an hidden purpose. For authentic persons compliments are a mere statement of facts to make others feel good.

5. They are excellent listeners. Although we tend to identify the authenticity with extroversion, the fact is that authentic people do not usually attract the attention but are excellent listeners. These are normally people who pay attention to conversations, because they are genuinely interested in others and want to know them well. By the way they relate to others from their deeper "self", they also try to connect with the essence of the others.

6. Are guided by their inner voice. One of the key aspects of authenticity is to feel good about yourself. These people spend a lot of time diving inside themselves, they known themselves well, they know what their values ​​are and what they want to fight for. Their security cause that they’re not influenced by the environment, they know what they want and go for it. When they have to decide, instead of looking around to see what others have done, look inside themselves to find the answer. They are proactive people, not reactive.

7. They’re not scared by failure. Most people follow conventional roads, those marked by the society, simply because they are afraid of failure, because they know that those roads have been tested by others and are relatively safe. The authentic persons, on the contrary, aren’t afraid to risk. The idea of ​​failure doesn’t scare them enough to hinder their dreams. They are aware that mistakes are part of the way and lead to learning.

8. They don’t try to convince anybody. One of the most interesting characteristics of authentic people is that, even though they know what they want and are very sure of their point of view, they don’t intend to convince their interlocutor. In a conversation, these persons usually introduce their ideas or feelings, they have not intention to emotionally manipulate or change the opinion of others. Authentic people are not intrusive, they respect the space of others and their ideas.

9. They take their responsibility. Authentic people are not perfect, and sometimes can be wrong or even hurt others. However, what differentiates them from the rest is that they assume the responsibility for their opinions, actions and feelings. These people assume their mistakes and try to fix them, they don’t hide behind excuses.

10. They don’t judge the others. Authentic people often have a rich inner world, so they are more geared toward their self than outward. On the other hand, having an internal locus of control also make them to be less prone to criticize others. These persons are more tolerant and opened to diversity, they understand human complexity and are not easily influenced by others’ expectations. As a result, they tend to have less problems in their relationships.

Heerey, E. A. & Crossley, H. M. (2013) Predictive and Reactive Mechanisms in Smile Reciprocity. Psychological Science; 24(8): 1446-1455.
Fleeson, W. & Wilt, J. (2010) The Relevance of Big Five Trait Content in Behavior to Subjective Authenticity: Do High Levels of Within-Person Behavioral Variability Undermine or Enable Authenticity Achievement?Journal of Personality; 78(4): 1353-1382.
Wood, A. M. (2008) The Authentic Personality: A Theoretical and Empirical Conceptualization and the Development of the Authenticity Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology; 55(3): 385–399.


Keep feeding your neurons

Authentic people: 10 characteristics that make them special
4/ 5

Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

See Comments
Hide Comments

Before writing a comment read these rules:
-Don't write offensive messages or for advertising purposes.
-Be short, don't write long messages.
-Stick to the argument of the post.
-Don't write in capital letters, it would be as if you were shouting.
-The comment will not be published immediately because it will be moderated, have a little patience.
All comments that do not meet these basic requirements will be eliminated. This is not a personal decision but rather seeks to preserve the style of the blog.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Show EmoticonsHide Emoticons