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How Does Integrity Influence Self-righteousness?

Integrity is one of the highest virtues of humanity. But, what is its relation with self-righteousness? How does integrity influence self-righteousness? Let’s find out.

A woman with integrity and self-righteousness
Image by Dominic Alberts from Pixabay

Through years of wisdom and knowledge, integrity turns out as one of the most valuable virtues. Every action depends on the parameters of principles and beliefs.

Besides, integrity also serves as a tool for self-awareness and introspection. Having integrity strengthens our character to make us more self-aware. But, this is not all about it.

Like many complex traits, it is difficult to understand the integrity and its unity with subjective good in contrast with the objective one. In other words, integrity is a less explored trait concerning knowledge at present.

For instance, integrity in the corporate world is of little importance and doesn’t help make a good impression on others. Due to its subjectivity and depth, it is difficult for everyone to understand except the individual himself.

Integrity serves as a pathfinder to our subjective goals. It instills a personal system or framework that compares every information to the known experiences. It also strengthens moral principles to a great extent.

But, keeping aside its significance, it also shares a mysterious relationship with self-righteousness, which is vital to understanding the core of this article.

“What is it, and how does it influence self-righteousness?”

“Is it good or bad for an individual?”

Let’s find out about it in the next section.


Why is integrity misunderstood in mainstream culture?

In general, mainstream culture is pretty much biased about integrity. Most people are not convinced that it can be useful under certain circumstances. However, the issue lies with the people who use integrity without understanding its strengths.

For instance, utilizing integrity to prove one’s self-worth is the worst way to express it. Besides, expressing ourselves through internal values is not good to deal with others even when the situation calls for it.

To understand the fundamentals of integrity, one has to explore a library of personal interests, consisting of numerous ways to differentiate between right and wrong. These ways help in refining our convictions and make them strong and sound.

A mask representing the various shades of integrity.
Image by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

Here are three reasons why integrity is misunderstood in mainstream culture.


1. Integrity is the other name for stubbornness:

It would be better to say that integrity is considered as stubbornness or aversion towards acceptance. The countries where social conventions are respected might dismiss the benefits of integrity.

With strong and rigid moral principles, individuals utilizing integrity are ethically aware of their motivations and desires. They act on them with their understanding of the situation at hand.

This makes them appear adamant and resolute in their values that don’t go well with mainstream society. Ultimately, this society misunderstands them for having integrity.


2. Integrity is the aversion towards change and novelty:

Novelty and change are two of the most important traits that determine an individual’s course in life. Any aversion towards these two qualities can breed stagnancy and discomfort in the individual.

Society views integrity to similar standards where it comes off as resistance to change or novelty. People do not understand the need to stick to one’s beliefs and blame the individuals doing so.

Besides, the constant comparisons and judgments the individual undergoes with integrity are too overwhelming to handle. In summary, it doesn’t have a good reputation for openness and experiences.


3. Integrity is a hallmark of foolishness and naivety:

This might be a little disrespectful, but mainstream society does view integrity as foolishness and naivety, especially when it doesn’t go well with their interests.

Although individuals with integrity have their way of considering things, they are ridiculed for being too innocent and prideful. Integrity can sometimes lead a person to sacrifice his interests too.

In mainstream culture, this can be detrimental to an individual’s identity and respect. This makes it difficult for him to find his place in society. Hence, they are misunderstood for having strong principles and beliefs.

So, these were the three most important reasons why integrity is misunderstood by mainstream society.

But, “How does integrity influence self-righteousness?”

Let’s discuss it in the next section.


How does integrity influence self-righteousness?

In the first section, we mentioned integrity and self-righteousness and their mysterious relationship with each other. So, here we are going to have an elaborate discussion on this relationship.

It makes sense when we say that integrity also affects self-awareness and introspection. In other words, integrity influences self-righteousness with the help of these two traits.

Self-righteousness is nothing more than an individual expressing his biased and stereotypical opinions rather than giving these a second thought, while integrity is much more than just having a sense of right or wrong.

But integrity does influence self-righteousness. So, here are 5 must-know ways how integrity influences self-righteousness.


1. Integrity directs our perception to opinions:

Opinions are the expressions of not just our thought processes but also our righteousness. In many ways, opinions influence our personality and emphasize a great deal our righteousness.

However, the source of self-righteousness is integrity. In other words, when we try to use integrity to direct our perceptions to opinions, we become too narrow-minded to understand the nuances of the situation.

It creates imperfect judgments that give rise to partial and personal opinions. Hence, integrity influences self-righteousness by directing our perceptions to opinions.


2. Integrity can create a false sense of individuality:

Individuality is a highly valuable trait. It is also the source of personal identity. Individuality also influences self-righteousness to a great extent. However, the relationship between the two is less influential in contrast to integrity.

Integrity helps us form our opinions of ourselves and makes the self more resolute. But, some people are so proud of this virtue that they utilize it for creating a false individuality that reeks of arrogance and self-righteousness.

Understanding integrity is important to use for self-development. Trying to impose it on our individuality makes us nothing less than an idiot stuck in their ways.


3. Integrity can breed a holier-than-thou attitude:

“Did you come across individuals who have some sort of messiah complex?”

Or whom people idolize frequently?

If you did, then you would relate to this point.

Some people appear naturally more righteous, self-aware, and morally superior at first glance. They may also preach their sense of right and wrong to people who are interested in listening to them. However, they have made integrity a tool to enhance their ego to an extent where every other judgment seems wrong.

They do not acknowledge the large grey area that exists in the subject of morality. Besides, they also determine their self-worth with this black-and-white thinking which is judgmental at best and absurd at worst.

Hence, integrity can also contribute to a holier than thou attitude and makes the person self-righteous under unhealthy conditions.


4. Integrity is used as a weapon than a virtue:

Integrity is a virtue. Everyone knows that.

However, what people do not realize is that it can also be used as a weapon against people. It is apparent when people try to impose their values on others and manipulate them into (assumingly) doing the right thing.

At its best, integrity is a virtue that can help change the society for better. It makes us self-centered and empathetic. But at its worst, it makes us authoritative and manipulative towards others. In some cases, it is also the reason behind gaslighting.

Using integrity as a weapon not only makes us self-righteous but also promotes manipulation and unhealthy morality.


5. Lastly, self-righteousness is an unhealthy product of integrity:

Whether you believe it or not, self-righteousness is an unhealthy product of integrity. People with high integrity also experience this very often. The reason is integrity requires a person to be self-righteous. However, it manifests in different ways.

Perfectionism and stubbornness are the sources of self-righteousness. Society mistakes integrity for righteousness. In such cases, the individual relates self-esteem to integrity, giving rise to arrogance.

Integrity is not unhealthy by default, but the way we use it can be unhealthy. To sum up, self-righteousness does come as an immature analysis of integrity.


Final Words:

In conclusion, integrity is a virtue that the world needs the most yet is deprived of it. It is also one of the things that people tend to ignore in day to day lives. The ones who have integrity can misuse it to come off as arrogant and selfish.

Nevertheless, integrity does influence self-righteousness. It doesn’t have to be bad if we are keeping our ego and self-esteem in check. The insightful ways above can help us utilize integrity at its best.

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