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Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

Honesty and Personality

Honesty is often said to be a personality trait, with some personality types more inclined to be honest and some more deceitful.

In the classic Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the ENFJ or ESFJ personality types are often marked as dishonest. Jung argued that Extroverted Feelings usually present a fake, socially appropriate image to the world. On the other hand, INFPs and ISFPs are considered to be the markedly most honest of all personality types.

In the Big Five personality indicator, those who score low on Agreeableness are considered dishonest. People low on compassion or scoring high in the dark triad are the most inclined to lie or manipulate others. This would be correlated with Thinking. But what’s the truth?

In this article, I will show you that honesty and truthfulness or authenticity are traits associated with Self-Actualized individuals, while a tendency to lie, manipulate other people, or be inauthentic is most associated with people who have yet to self-actualize.

Exercise: Think back to a time when you weren’t completely honest. What do you think you would have needed to feel safe, to tell the truth at that time?

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The Truth

Carl Jung “Still waters run deep.” Introverted and Feeling types can often hold deep values and convictions but may struggle to speak out confidently about these.

Feeling types may behave dishonestly because they care too much about your feelings while thinking types don’t care enough.

Truth and honesty are marks of self-actualization and being a well-integrated person.

Integration of Thinking and Feeling

To reach the truth, we must be capable of love, compassion, and trust toward other people. But we also need to be allowed to think critically and independently on a topic, offer constructive advice, and speak honestly when it can help other people.

Integration of Introversion and Extroversion

To reach the truth, we need to know and understand it, but we must also be ready to speak out and act on what we feel is right.

A lack of truth and honesty often occurs when…

  • A person feels a lack of security and has to act to protect their true feelings from attacks from the outside world.
  • A person is in the grip of negative instincts and impulses, such as hunger, poverty, lack of sleep, and physical needs.
  • When a person feels a lack of love or belonging.
  • When a person feels a lack of self-esteem and has to lie or cheat to prove their competency or worth.
  • Narcissism, selfishness, and sociopathy are psychological defenses for people who grew up in adverse conditions and never built up a basic sense of self-sufficiency.

If you want the truth, create a basic environment of safety and trust.

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