The most prevalent character strengths in human beings in descending order are kindness, fairness, honesty, gratitude, judgment (Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2006).
In the last two blogs I discussed how kindness and fairness can be used to increase happiness and decrease depression can lead to an increased quality of life and how you can call on your inborn character strengths to make the process with less effort. The third quality in our increased happiness report is:
The definition of honesty is 1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness. 2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness. 3. freedom from deceit or fraud.
Have you noticed how the qualities in this series overlap? We have discussed kindness and fairness in the previous articles, so wouldn’t you need to have the quality of honesty to be fair? And wouldn’t you need the quality of kindness to be honest? These ideas could bring all sorts of conversation and opinions.
Going out of your way to be truthful with others, beginning with what you say to yourself, will show up in your character strength of Integrity.
Your character strength of integrity will ensure your ability to be truthful. This process is very much like anything else in nature. One ingredient does not do the work alone. Often times there are a number of ingredients that work together. Each one of these will magnify the strength of the other.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” ― Oprah Winfrey
When you make choices based on who you are and what you believe and speak what you know within your heart, to be your truth, then, you will be honoring your values; you will be living in integrity.
Trust is a skill, one that is an aspect of virtually all human practices, cultures, and relationships.
I have just had an experience of questioning trust of a stranger.
As I have mentioned before, I am an octogenarian. I have well meaning people tell me that as such, I am much more vulnerable. The danger of someone taking advantage of my weakened state (say it ain’t so) could be more prevalent. I say I am cautious but not afraid.
Some months ago a lady rang my doorbell. She introduced herself and began to tell me she had noticed my husband sweeping our front walk. She wanted to offer her 3 young children to help at no charge. I am thinking this is a switch! Usually with an exchange of service, there is a fee charged. She went on to say that she wanted to teach them to help others. I told her that was nice of her but it did not need sweeping now. She was of Mexican decent and spoke very good English. She went on to say that she is a housekeeper. Now, why don’t sales people come up with an introduction to making a sale as clever as her presentation? She had my attention, however I told her I already had a housekeeper and let it go at that. She left but not without leaving me her contact information.
She also calls on occasion and we have a brief chat about how she is doing. She has such a nice personality that I have not refused to talk to her when she calls and occasionally rings my bell.
You might be thinking, why bother? I have had an intuitive feeling that she is someone who is in need of help even though she has never asked for it. There is something about her that I trust.
Building trust within yourself will increase your ability to trust others. When we have a reputation of
Honesty as a character value, this translates to peace of mind, better health, and less stress. To be successful in business or in life, a person must have a reputation of honesty. To be known as someone that can be trusted, just plain feels good.
“Friendship- my definition- is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” ― Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
When we speak the truth about our own feelings, we are thought to be sincere. When our words are deemed to be speaking the truth we have the respect of the listener.
“Be true and sincere and loving in your human relationships.” White Eagle
Never forget that a half truth is a whole lie. All too often our deceptions are discovered. It is likely that lies will be seen sooner rather than later. It is just plain inefficient to be dishonest.
Joci James, Life Strengths Detective
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