Do you have genuine people in your life? You know the kind. People who are honest and real with you. People who inspire and motivate you. I’m talking about people who support you and are there for you – no matter what. They give you real feedback that helps you grow and learn. And really, they do this because they have your best interests at heart. 

A genuine person is a rare treasure. Hold on tight, and don’t let them go! Be grateful for these people because they are few and far between.  

Recognizing genuine people 

Look at the people you surround yourself with and take some time to appreciate the genuine ones. Like I said, they are a gift! They have consistent qualities: honesty, authenticity, generosity, empathy, self-awareness, and humility. But don’t mistake rudeness for being genuine. It’s not the same. Genuine people will give you feedback with the intention of lifting you up. The I’m just sayin’” crowd is sometimes just sayin” something to be hurtful, couching it as helpful. 

One of the greatest qualities about genuine people: True, genuine people aren’t working to get you to like them. They are just being real. And when you are around a genuine person long enough, you realize how refreshing this is!  

Upfront Honesty

Genuine people are real and honest and not putting up a front. My friend Rachel was heading into a meeting. An important one. She had a big proposal to present to the executive team. Rachel passed a co-worker in the hall who stopped her, pulled her into a cubicle and said, Wait, you have spinach in your teeth.” Rachel was mortified – how many people had she talked to that day, and no one said anything?? And then she was grateful. This woman saved her mountains of embarrassment!  

Rachel didn’t even really know this co-worker before this incident, but it opened up a new connection. She found her after the meeting and thanked her. The more time Rachel spent with her, she realized this woman was not in competition with her and never passed judgment. She was approachable and found it easy to laugh at herself.  

Genuine people have a natural ability to put the people around them at ease because they themselves are at ease. Comfortable in their own skin. They complement others. Their genuine respect for others is obvious in all their interactions. (I would even call this a sales quality!) 

Are you ready for genuine?  

So, you have found your person. This is a gift! However, now you have to ask yourself a hard question: Do you really want feedback? Are you really open to them speaking truth into your life? It’s gut-check time! Are you ready to hear the hard stuff? Because let’s face it, someone might tell you what you don’t want to hear. Careful! Don’t push people away by being defensive.  

  • Prepare yourself! Remember, this will always make you a better person. Practice receiving feedback by listening and not interrupting.  
  • Be open to what is being said. Be interested in what is being shared with you and ask questions for clarification.  
  • Learn to take time for personal reflection. Also, as you work on getting used to this, you can practice using this response, Thank you. I need some time to process this. Can we talk again soon?” 
  • And then, make sure you follow up.  
Express your gratitude 

Don’t forget to be grateful! Don’t take genuine people for granted. Make sure they know you are grateful that they care enough to be real with you. Thank them for being in your corner. We all know how great it feels to be appreciated. Don’t let these moments go by without letting someone know how much you value their input in your life. 

Or, maybe you haven’t yet realized someone in your life is being genuine with you and giving you feedback that has been hard to hear. My friend recently had a moment of self-awareness that all the things her mom has been telling her for years are painfully true! As a result, she realized it was time to make some real changes. And the first thing she did? She called her mom and thanked her. That’s hard to do! It takes a lot of humility, but it’s a big step in letting genuineness into your life.  

Bonus: Being around genuine people will make you feel safe. It might be hard to allow people into your life and know the deeper parts of you, the parts that often stay hidden. But ultimately, you will create a safe place for yourself with people you’ll always want on your side. 

Consequently, having genuine people in your life brings out the best in you. The truth is, you become who you surround yourself with. So, pick the best so you can be the best!