As an INTJ-A, integrity is the cornerstone to my existence. It’s how I evaluate myself and the world. Further, it’s how I value my relationships. I often get asked how I’ve dated so many quality men. Most of the men, not all (ah hem last NY guy), have scored high on the integrity scale. Not only does this lend itself to a relationship full of trust, but with trust as a foundation so many other things can blossom.
So what are some of the signs I look for early on to assess integrity?
1. They routinely show up late. Maybe they even blow you off every now and then. High integrity people hold to their commitments and promises.
2. They ask you to lie to them. Maybe it’s about how they look or something they did. Maybe it’s a lie to save their face in front of others. High integrity people want you to be truthful, they can handle the truth.
3. They lie to you. Maybe something big like they cheated. Maybe something small like you look good in that dress when you don’t. High integrity people are truthful and you can trust what they tell you.
4. They say they care about you but they can’t ever find time to see you. Or maybe it’s they are always “so busy” to text or respond to your texts. High integrity people’s actions match their words, they aren’t hiding anything, what you see is what you get.
5. They are inconsistent. Maybe it’s in their actions or their words. Maybe it’s not standing up for their values by siding with people just to make friends/avoid conflict. High integrity people don’t compromise their values to be liked, their ego can handle it.
6. They avoid responsibility. They have excuses and justifications that run miles deep. Maybe they even blame you or deflect by calling out your reaction as the problem. High integrity people take accountability, they can handle making mistakes.
7. They play the victim. They believe they only got angry because of you, they only cheated because of you, etc. It plays into #6. High integrity people take responsibility for their life, they are slow to blame others.
8. They are sloppy in completing tasks. Or maybe they only do tasks well because they’re looking for kudos or a reward. High integrity people care about a job well done, they take pride in their tasks, regardless if it goes unnoticed.
9. They follow the fads and buzzwords. It’s important to them they are well liked and trendy. High integrity people aren’t quick to jump on the bandwagon, they are okay being different.
10. They hold grudges and don’t forgive easily. Maybe they are even spiteful or vengeful about someone, hopefully not you. High integrity people understand we’re not perfect and can find ways to understand and forgive. Maybe not accept, but forgive.
As you’re out there evaluating your prospective partners or maybe you’re knee deep in something, the above guide can help if integrity is high on your priorities. It’s important to realize this is my list and yours might be slightly different based on your value system. Holding true to what’s in your core is most important. Maybe integrity isn’t even your number one priority, maybe it’s something else. Meaning you’d be willing to give a little – like they can tell you you’re not fat when you are or that it’s not your fault when it really is. For me, I want truth no matter what. I want to trust what someone says, always.
Then there is good old society and its expectations of our behavior which sometimes force high integrity people in very uncomfortable spots. The boss does a lousy job and asks for positive kudos. Lie to him or skirt the answer and you might lose your job. The wife asks if you noticed her haircut. Lie to her or skirt the answer and you might be sleeping on the couch. Of course these are all examples of a high integrity person put in a situation with someone who doesn’t have the same value system and sadly our society seems to side with the lower integrity answer. A dance most high integrity people dread.
A further complication for high integrity people is that one might assume they attract each other. Not necessarily. Low integrity people that shift blame, refuse responsibility, and play the victim love the high integrity person who can easily see fault in themselves. Of course, this only lasts so long until the high integrity person starts to see they are being made to take on all the accountability, at which point they start looking for the exit before things get even more toxic.
In summary, for high integrity people, surrounding yourself – whether friends or partners – with other high integrity people can be a life changing experience. Well worth the turbulence you might encounter when cleaning house to make this happen.