15 Habits of Truly Genuine People


For years we have been told that if we study hard, it will be easy to find a well-paying job. “Companies will line up to hire you,” they said. I’ve even been told, “You can write your own paycheck”. A glowing resume with credible experience and fine academic scores will get you noticed by hiring managers everywhere.

But over the last few years, more companies have placed more emphasis on the behavioral component than just technical and fundamental competence. Talent is no longer enough. Companies want genuine people on their team.

In the context of human resources, genuine people are those who are in-touch with their emotional intelligence. They are authentic in how they feel and react to other people, their environment, and the organization. In doing so, they can tell if others are being truthful or sincere with their intentions.

Businesses want people who subscribe to the same core values because it becomes easier to find talent who share the same purpose and vision. Having aligned values, purpose and vision is a powerful thing. You have an organization run by people who are always thinking about the general good. They will navigate fearlessly through difficulty because they are confident, fearless and selfless. They talk less and do more.

Think about it. In your experience, you have come across different types of supervisors, managers, and bosses. Which one do you follow? The one who talks too much but does nothing? Or the one who says little but sets an example by performing big time?

A culture that is propagated by genuine people creates an environment of leaders. Here are 15 habits of truly genuine people.

1. They Don’t Crave Attention

Genuine people are confident. They know what they are capable of; aware of what they can do that they don’t need the validation of others.

People who are insecure crave attention because they are aware of their limitations or shortcomings and are always finding ways of covering them up. You know who they are.

During meetings, they are the ones who will do everything in their power to please the boss. They will laugh unnaturally at every quip. They will raise their hands at every opportunity to deliver the most head-scratching opinions and obvious answers. What they are doing is to use the venue to scream “Look at me! I’m the main guy here!” But once the meeting is over, they retreat into their shell and continue to be unproductive.

2. For them, It’s All About Apples and Oranges

Genuine people accept the fact that people are different. You can’t expect everyone to like you, so why bother trying?

People will always have opinions on others and unfortunately, most of the time these don’t have merit. It doesn’t matter what you try to do; some will have a preconceived notion of who you are and you can’t change that.

For genuine people, it’s either you like me or you don’t. Either way will be fine. They will not go out of the way to make you like them. If they did, they will leave themselves vulnerable to manipulation.

Genuine people know they serve a higher purpose in life than worrying about other people’s perceptions of who they are.

3. “You Can Fool Some People Some of the Time…”

Genuine people can see right through you. They will know if what you are saying doesn’t add up. This is because they have a grounded perception of reality. It is not because genuine people are less trusting.

They recognize honesty as a non-negotiable core value. They are firm believers in the saying, “If something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

Genuine people will be a nightmare for scammers. They will not be able to land them hook, line, and sinker. Every selling point will be challenged, uncovered, and shot to pieces.

4. They Accept and Love Who They Are

Genuine people are comfortable in their own skin. In a way, they have their own sense of style and it manifests in how they conduct themselves to others.

They don’t let other people try to change them, especially if these are not warranted. Who they are is a result of decades of experience in all the different facets of life.

They have gone through periods of success and failure. They have accepted their strengths and weaknesses, good behaviors, and faults. The experiences have molded them into the people they are today.

And they would want nothing less!

4. They Are Not Enablers

If you can’t handle the truth, find an enabler (or people who encourage negative behavior in another).

Genuine people will tell it like it is. Sometimes people want you to say what they want to hear. Most of the time, it will not be the right thing to do. It is hard, to tell the truth, because as the saying goes, “the truth hurts.” But genuine people care about others genuinely. They want you to be happier and better off.

Related: 10 Toxic Types of People You Should Keep Out of Your Life

The reality is the road to salvation can sometimes take you through a rocky path. Even if you get a harsh dose of reality, always trust that a genuine person will not let you take this journey by yourself.

6. They Are Not Materialistic

There are some people who equate success with owning stuff. Not just any kind of stuff but the ones with a good number of zeroes after the comma.

They love to flaunt it at every opportunity; in public, at reunions, and on social media. There are those who are beguiled by it. You can hear the “oohs” and “ahhs” or read the condescendingly phrased comments on Facebook.

But for those who are genuine in heart and mind, stuff is nothing but fluff. They are not defined by material wealth or inspired by its acquisition. They are happy with what they have. They are not compelled to compete with “The Joneses.”

For them, being content with what they have is the true measure of success. If they must compete, it is to become a better and more improved version of themselves.

7. Go Ahead and Critique; Share Your Opinions

With genuine people, you can carry on with a discussion. They will not take offense if your perspective takes on a position that is contrary to theirs. Because they are comfortable in their own skin, they view criticism as a way of identifying weak points to work on.

You can share your opinions and not have to worry about a discussion escalating into a full-blown argument. Genuine people don’t walk on eggshells. They know they are not perfect and will always look for ways to improve.

8. Genuine People Exude Quiet Confidence

You can tell who is genuine in a roomful of people. They exhibit a strong body posture and there is an aura of quiet confidence about them.

They greet everyone who comes up with a sincere smile and speaks when the time is right. For them, confidence is as natural as breathing. That is why people tend to gravitate toward them.

Then, you have the polar opposites, those who try really hard to fit in. They start out every sentence with either “I, me or myself.” It has become their purpose to interject themselves at every opportunity.

9. They Speak From the Heart and Experience

A genuine person is a keeper for life. This is a type of friend who will not give you advice that he or she will not follow themselves. They are sincere because they speak from the heart and from experience.

They are objective listeners. It will not take long to process the information and find an experience that will relate to yours. It does not matter how dark the past or troubling the history, a genuine person will share the experience so you will learn from it. They will not sugar coat the truth.

They will leave themselves vulnerable as a way to show you that you are not alone and in time, everything will be okay.

10. They Embrace the Reality of Failure

Genuine people find success because they are not afraid of failure. They are familiar with the saying, “Even the best-laid plans go awry.” Failure lurks at every turn and every corner; it can strike without warning. A decision can result in only one of two options: victory or failure.

Rather than run away or freeze, they move toward the great unknown. Why? Because they know very few will take the road less traveled; many are averse to risk and fear failure.

But genuine people with their quiet confidence view failure as a teacher who will reveal their faults and weaknesses. Failure is an opportunity to learn and become better.

So why run away from it when you should embrace it?

11. They Are Team Players

Genuine people are generous; sometimes to a fault. They will go out of their way to help others out even if it means compromising their own opportunities for success.

I have met many such people at school, at work who have inspired me in my career as a serial entrepreneur. They will take time from their schedules to coach others who are lagging behind or appear to be in need of more motivation.

They do not have qualms or fears of being surpassed. If someone they helped gets promoted ahead of them, they view it as a testament to their ability to make others better.

To achieve success opens one to acquire a certain degree of power. But for genuine people, the true measure of power is not found in the capacity to build oneself but to contribute positive change in the lives of others.

12. They Are Open Minded

Insecure people feel threatened whenever you make suggestions to them. Their initial reaction is that you want to “steal their thunder” and bring yourself up at their expense.

So instead of considering your suggestions, they will reject them but not before challenging you point-per-point just to rub it in your face that they are superior.

Genuine people are more welcoming of suggestions because they know they do not have all the answers. When someone presents a different perspective, they try to view it through the other person’s filter.

They think to themselves, “Perhaps I missed something. Maybe my own biases made me blind to its faults, weaknesses, and problems.”

13. They Respect Everyone

One of the most inspiring Filipinos in business is the late founder of Philippine Seven Corporation, the former Senator Vicente Paterno.

There were stories of Mr. Paterno doing the rounds in the company’s numerous 7-11 stores.

Related: Top 10 Successful Entrepreneurs in the Philippines Story

If he saw spilled liquids on the floor, he will not hesitate to pick up a mop and clean the mess. It was his way of showing his people that if you want to succeed, there is no job that is beneath you.

When people came down with illness after buying food from 7-11, Mr.Paterno did not waste time to visit the victims, offer them well-wishes and financial assistance. He did not worry about being threatened with lawsuits. He only wanted his customers to get well.

Mr. Paterno was well-loved and respected because he reciprocated in kind. That’s why it saddened me when a popular airline that was embroiled in controversy years ago for missed bookings laid the onus squarely on the call center managing its account.

The young chairman of that airline should learn magnanimity, courtesy, and respect from the late, great Senator Vicente Paterno.

14. They Focus on You

Don’t you hate it when in a middle of a conversation or a meeting the person whom you are talking to drops everything to answer a phone call?

That is rude and highly unprofessional no matter how you look at it. The least they could do is tell the other person to call back. But no! Instead, they go on and on; completely oblivious that they are now wasting your time.

I view it as a sign of insecurity. They want you to see them as busy people; someone whose time is also in demand by others.

When you talk to genuine people, their focus is squarely on you. Their mobile phones are in silent mode. If it vibrates, they will not open it until there is a lull in the discussion.

Genuine people don’t see the need to put up a front. They understand the value of time and would like to get things done according to schedule. They are considerate and would not want the discussion to hinder your plans for the day.

15. Decisions are Influenced by the Truth, not the Ego

Genuine people find success because they can make the tough decisions. They simply do what needs to be done.

This is why very few politicians become good leaders. They are not beholden to those who have given them their mandate. Instead, they govern to protect the interest of those who helped fund their campaign.

Governance thus deviates from creating laws to protect the constituents to one that opens up opportunities for campaign donors to enrich themselves and “recover their investment”

Their decisions are not influenced or driven by the truth but by greed-fuelled ego. You can see the repercussions in countries where the poor continue to get poorer.

Sadly, the electoral exercise is nothing but a popularity contest. When there are no qualifying guidelines in the selection of candidates, what you will have is a river of alligators waiting to feast on unsuspecting prey.


As you were going through this list of 15 habits of truly genuine people, for sure, each trait brought certain people to mind. It could also have identified people in your life who are insecure.

You may even have associated some behaviors with your own. You don’t have to have 100% of these habits to be certified “genuine.” The most important rule to remember is this:

Be true to yourself; because if you can’t be true to yourself, how can you be true to others?

Unfortunately, social media shares part of the blame. It has given people a false sense of entitlement. A post can be used as a “mask” to hide the truth from the community.

There are pretenders everywhere; they purport to be someone they are not in order to hide their own shortcomings real or imagined.

In the end, the truth will inevitably come out. The truth will unmask you; people will know who you really are.

Be genuine! It’s easier and more convenient. When you have nothing to hide, you are free. People who give in to their insecurities build a prison for themselves; one in which they may never get out.

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