Integrity - Doing the Right Thing Even When No One Is Watching
Ever blame someone's behavior on circumstances, technology or another person's behavior? If you tend to be forgiving, trusting, kind and sometimes blind to reality it's possible you have without even knowing it.
In this age of countless ways to communicate, endless ways to connect and the mindset of "what's next or better" and "what's in it for me" it's easier to place blame on things; to make people victims of circumstances.
Mom told me, "go ahead, lie, cheat, steal, flake out on your commitments. You're not fooling anyone except yourself." She added:
"Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking."
This has stuck with me my entire life. Doing the wrong, unkind, selfish (where it would hurt someone else) thing even If I would NEVER get caught never appealed to me. Lying, especially to myself, seemed like such a mindgame and a waste of protoplasm. Don't get me wrong I fear imprisonment but I fear inauthenticity more than losing my freedom. Authenticity is a prison that one can escape even when everything around us is perfect.
In this day and age of hook ups, ghosting, folks with two-phones, hidden applications on phones that facilitate cheating it's more important than ever to be with someone with your same level of integrity. Why? Because I do not believe that this is something that can be taught as an adult. We enter into any type of relationship, with our definition of right and wrong set.
Select someone that has a different definition of integrity than yourself and you're in for some frustrating times. This applies to all of our relationships; including the relationship with yourself.
To find folks with the same philosophies as us, we need to accept the concept that the way we do one thing is the way we do everything. Example: Watching someone lie and deceive others then think they would never lie to you is a mind game we play with ourselves.
The red flags can be found in the tiniest actions. They're almost so benign we miss them. Here are some of my favorite examples of grey areas that turned out to be full fledge red flags:
If It’s Legal, It’s Ethical
Ever hear the phrase "just because we can do it doesn't mean we should?" Doing the ethical thing has nothing to do with whether it's legal or not. Integrity is defined as the state of being whole and undivided. I love this definition and goes hand in hand with Satya - truthfulness with oneself.
They Do The Right Thing—When They’ve Got An Audience
Putting on a show so that the masses think they're awesome. However, when there's no one around the actions cause immense pain to their loved ones. You know, the ones that didn't see the red flags at first and now find themselves wondering how did this person change? They didn't change. We just didn't see the whole person for any number of reasons.
They Don’t Care About Little White Lies
If you've noticed that a person says little white lies to make things easier on themselves watch out. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Incongruence in what we say and do leaves most feeling frangemented or out of balance. If the person in question lies as easily as they breathe, you're standing in the presence of emotional quicksand. Don't excuse it. Don't even confront it. Just back away...
Treating beings that can not do anything to advance their agenda cruelly or disrespectfully.
Yelling at a server.
Covering up actions that they know aren't right but that get them what they want.
Lying about themselves, their successes or negatively lying about others to meet their agenda.
They Think Their Behavior Doesn’t Hurt Anyone
There's this high level of entitlement that supports this mindset. They won't, because I think they can, see past their own actions because the desire for benefit is so strong.
Someone that consistently goes to the front of the highway off-lane when it's a mile deep thinking they are owed preferential treatment.
Stealing (as a habit) someone's time by being late, or standing them up.
Being cruel, unkind or murderous to an animal. I have a problem with people that are mad at someone but take it out on an animal.
Their Definition Of Honesty Is Fluid
If it benefits them than it can be justified and rationalized. We know right from wrong and we know there are EXTREME exceptions to this. However, when it's part of someone's daily life, it's not a one off - it's their lens of how they see the world.
Someone who suggests selling your leftover pain killers from surgery for profit. Um, can you spell felony?
Smearing people's names with false events to make themselves feel bigger, better or a victim to get sympathy or laid. Yep I've seen it happen. A LOT.
Flat out lying even over the smallest things. When someone that is so low on the self-esteem range that they literally have to hide who they are to you and to others do not belong in yur life - unless you share the same outlook.
My personal favorite: when confronted with truth they have amnesia. Like in Shaggy's song, "Wasn't Me"
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
They have two sets of rules in life. Their rules and the rules for everyone else. Heaven forbid someone else followed their thinking.
The partner that deletes texts, phone records, online history from their partner. Lying is the intent to deceive. Some may say this is privacy. I say it's secrecy. It's about WHY this is being done. I've yet to have something that I have had to hide from a partner.
Behaviors that hurt other people but are not acceptable if someone did it to them. The old double standard.
The solution to this is simple, albeit not always easy, to implement. Get to know yourself and know what is and is not ethical FOR YOU. Then when you come across those that do not share your mindset, there's no need to go further with them or go too deep. You might want to create space with those in your life that meet the above criteria. It can and should be done simply and kindly but firmly.
It's not about which party is better or worse. It's about deciding what variables we want in our lives. We become like our tribe.
If we take the emotional component out of this we can see that it's about compatibility. Nothing more nothing less. Choice those that vibrate or are working at vibrating within the same frequency as you.
All my love,
Vikky Santana 500hr-E-RYT, 200hr-RYS
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