Saturday, December 6, 2014

How to recognize sincerity versus insincerity

Sincerity is the quality of being free from pretense, deceit or hypocrisy. It is a virtue of one who speaks and acts truly about his or her own feelings, beliefs, thoughts and desires. We all know people who are sincere as well as know people who are insincere. The trouble is figuring out which is which. George Burns once said “Sincerity – if you can fake that you’ve got it made.” There are ways to recognize genuine sincerity regardless how good they are at faking it.

How do you recognize true sincerity? First, people who act the same regardless of the group they are in and when they are alone. For example, someone who is sincere will have the same attitude whether they are with their family, friends, and co-workers or by themselves. Second, sincere people will do things because they want to and not with thought of reward or repayment later. For example, someone is a couple dollars short at the cash register, a sincere person will hand over the money without expectation of being paid back. If repayment is made, great. If not, that’s great too because he or she did it because someone needed help. Third, sincere people will not do or say things they do not believe in. For example, a sincere person will not say they don’t believe in eating meat and then chow down on a bacon cheeseburger.

How do you recognize insincerity? First, insincere people who always take but never give. They may promise to reciprocate one day but that day never comes. Second, insincere people will avoid eye-to-eye communication and will often deliver bad news through a text or email. Third, insincere people have an excuse for everything and nothing is their fault. The fate is holding them back. George Orwell once wrote “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms.” In other words, be short and sweet. If a friend asks for a favor and you don’t want to do it, just say so. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said. “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.” Short and sweet.

We all have moments of sincerity and insincerity. We all have said and done what we meant and we’ve all have not. While researching this topic, I realized that the most insincere people who have been in my life have a way of moving out of my life on their own. There are a few insincere people who are stuck in my life and I deal with their insincerity as it comes. I also realized that the people who stick around and are actively engaged in my life and allow me to be a part of their lives are the most sincere people. I have learned to recognized those who say “I want to help” and finds ways to help and others who say “I want to help” and never do. Bottom line is sincere people will walk the walk after they’ve talked the talk.