Being authentic has become somewhat of a catchphrase for people, but what does it mean? What is it to be authentic as a person? Authenticity is genuine. It is easy to create a wholly fake or misleading life on social media and carry that over to your actual life with people who do not know you intimately.

Being authentic means that not only do you not present a false face to the world, but you are comfortable and happy with yourself as you are. Being authentic means having the courage to be yourself regardless of what people think about you or what they say behind your back. Genuine people are easily spotted by their traits, their actions, and the way that they interact with the broader world.

Seventeen Telltale Traits That Reveal a Genuine, Authentic Person

Here are ten traits among truly authentic people:

1. Authentic People Are Self-Reflective

They spend time looking at themselves and trying to understand who they are, what they want out of life, and what kind of person they want to be along the journey. They study their mistakes without obsessing over them and use those experiences as a springboard to be a better person.



2. They Are Not Judgmental

Because they look at themselves and their mistakes regularly, they do not judge others for theirs. They understand that mistakes are to be learned from and are a precious tool for growth and change. They take others as they are regardless of color, orientation, national origin, religion, or anything else.

3. They Live in the Present

They do not dwell on their past, regrets, or mistakes. Likewise, they do not spend all day fantasizing about the future either. They live in the present, and they take things day by day. Someone authentic understands that everyone changes and that life is a day-by-day struggle to make the most of our short lives here.

4. They Focus on the Long-Term

While they live in the present, they plan for the future. They are focused on long-term goals and not on the short-term gains they could make by lying to, cheating on, or stealing from others. So they invest their time for long-term benefits and do not follow the mercurial crowd of trend chasers. They know who they are and what they want, so make a plan to achieve that in a reasonable amount of time.

5. Authentic People Have Character

They value their character or honor more than they love making a fast buck. So they will do what they said they would do when they said they would do it. They are dependable and honest. You can count on someone authentic because they hold themselves accountable for their actions.

6. They Listen

They want to hear what you say if they are talking with you. Otherwise, they would not waste their time. You can tell because they are not just waiting to reply with their thoughts or opinions but are trying to digest what you are telling them.

7. Authentic People Are Consistent

Because authentic people reflect on their actions and hold themselves accountable for their actions, they are much more emotionally consistent. They know what they want already. That’s because they know who and what they are. They are on the path they have set for themselves and do not chase ephemeral things like wealth or status. Thus, they are grounded in the here and now while entering the future. They have planned for themselves. There is no flip-flopping or indecision because they have already decided where they want to be.

8. They Are Honest

Because they are honest with themselves about what they want out of life and who they want to be, an authentic person has little choice but to be completely honest with everyone. They don’t hold back. They call them as they see them. Indeed, they are brutally open and honest about their opinions and thoughts. They see no need to deceive others about their intentions because they are not insecure about themselves or compete with them. The only thing that drives them to excel is themselves.


9. Authentic People Respect Themselves

Because they are honest with themselves and spend time self-reflection and value their character, they respect themselves. They do many things revolve around ensuring they can still appreciate themselves afterward. They won’t compromise their beliefs because they wouldn’t be able to look at themselves in the mirror the next day. They respect themselves and hold themselves accountable for their actions which gives them integrity and strength of character, which they value more than money.

10. Authentic People Are Courageous

They dare to be themselves and to be true to their ideals even when those things are not popular. These folks have the courage, conviction, and strength to stick to their guns even when the whole world tries to shout them down and bend them to their will. They do not succumb to societal pressure and instead march to their drumbeat. Authentic people stand out because they refuse to conform to what others think they should be doing. They dare to be the unique individual that they are.

11. Sense of Well-being

According to studies, authentic people have a higher sense of well-being than others. Individuals are viewed as original, live, and act in a way that emphasizes honesty and self-awareness. The same study found that authenticity positively affects a person’s view of their life.

12. Not Materialistic

Materialism doesn’t enamor authentic people. They are content with very little in life. As their friend, you may find it challenging to convince them to buy new clothes or a new car because their stuff is worn out. An authentic person prefers experiences instead of material things. They’re hard workers, but money and things don’t appeal to them.

13. Authentic People Have Simple Needs

An authentic person is straightforward in their preferences. You won’t need to buy them an expensive gift for their birthday. They would be happy to be with you rather than go out for a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Their simplicity is refreshing to you, or it may be challenging if you’re trying to buy them a gift. This tendency towards simplicity is attractive to the people around them. It’s a calming way of life that makes being around an authentic person fun.

14. Encourage Others

If you know an authentic person, you’ve probably experienced their encouragement. Genuine people like to encourage their friends, family, and co-workers. They want to motivate others to do good. They notice the little things people do and are quick to praise them without worrying about what people think about them. Their encouragement is contagious and might motivate you to encourage others more.

15. Don’t Follow Trends

An authentic person doesn’t follow the latest trends. They may know about the newest smartphone but don’t feel compelled to buy one. They have strong convictions about buying used clothing, books, and dishes. You may feel irritated that your authentic friend isn’t on Instagram or TikTok, but they won’t change. You’ll need to learn how to accept them the way they are.

16. Enjoy Their Own Company

If you have an authentic friend, they probably love being alone to read, write, or relax. They need time alone to recharge. They would rather be alone than hang out with you or other friends. This is sometimes misunderstood as being distant or unfriendly, but it’s just the way they are. As a friend, you’ll need to respect their need to be alone as part of who they are.


17. Authentic People Like Deep Conversations

Authentic people don’t like to have shallow, meaningless conversations. They won’t talk about the weather, sports or the traffic. They care about deeper conversations and want to connect with you more emotionally. Authentic people ask probing questions to understand others better. They are sometimes viewed as intense. People who don’t like deep conversations will feel uncomfortable around a genuine person.  An authentic person will be drawn to people who also want to have deep, meaningful conversations. If you have an original friend, be prepared to have deep conversations with them.

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