Every day we are surrounded with perfect faces, perfect lives, perfect everything. If what we haven’t got is perfect then there’s a filter or an app for that. So it’s nice to come across a transparent personality once in a while.

What does it mean for a person to be transparent?

When I talk about a transparent person, I mean someone that doesn’t pretend to be what they are not. A transparent person can laugh at themselves. They don’t take life or appearances too seriously. Transparent people are upfront and honest.

And in an age where image and perfection are idealised, it’s refreshing to meet a person with a transparent personality.

Now in an age where everyone is tinkering with selfies and editing their online profiles, you might think it’s hard to spot someone with a transparent personality. Well, not if you look for the following signs:

16 signs of a transparent personality

  1. They are super confident

Transparent people get their self-esteem from within. This is because when you hold onto secrets or fears, your power comes from other people, not yourself.

  1. They admit when they are wrong

We all want to be right. We feel rewarded when people agree with us. So it takes a special kind of person to admit when they are wrong or own up to their mistakes.

  1. They resolve issues quickly

It is unusual to go through life without encountering conflict, but people with transparent personalities are open about their expectations and beliefs. Everyone knows where they stand so issues are resolved quickly.

  1. They are not afraid to laugh at themselves

Transparent people don’t get embarrassed and are happy to goof around. They can laugh at themselves because they are not ashamed of their shortcomings.

  1. They have no agenda

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” – Mother Theresa

What you see is what you get with a transparent person. They’ve nothing to hide. They are not trying to manipulate you, trick you, or control you.

  1. They tend to have deep, meaningful relationships

When you have nothing to hide, it fosters an intimate trust with those around you. You know where you stand with transparent people. As each person is being honest you can share the good and the bad parts of your personality.

  1. They accept that not everyone will like them

Being transparent means opening up your inner thoughts, values, and beliefs to those around you. As a result, you know that not everyone will agree. Someone with a transparent personality doesn’t take rejection personally.

  1. They accept you for who you are

Transparent personalities are the most non-judgmental people around. How can they not be? They share their lives, warts and all, so they are the last people to judge you for any shortcomings.

  1. They make you feel safe and secure

“Radical transparency fosters goodness in so many ways for the same reasons that bad things are more likely to take place behind closed doors.” – Ray Dalio

When you know you can tell a person anything and they won’t disown or judge you, it gives you an incredible feeling of security and safety. You feel parented in a way. You know you won’t be rejected because they have told you everything about themselves.

  1. They are trustworthy

Some people are gossips and you know you would never tell them anything you’d want to be kept quiet. On the other hand, you can trust transparent personalities to keep your secrets. They will have proven to you in the past that you can trust them.

  1. They encourage others to achieve their goals

“I find that when you open the door toward openness and transparency, a lot of people will follow you through.” – Kirsten Gillibrand

One of the most important signs of a transparent personality that feels great to be around is that they positively encourage you to follow your goals. They actively assist and find joy in your success.

  1. They are not jealous of your success

And if you manage to achieve success, they are truly happy for you. This is a good trait to have in managers. By surrounding yourself with successful people your business is more likely to be a success.

  1. They admit they don’t know everything

Even Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking didn’t profess to know everything. It takes a transparent person to hold their hands up and admit ‘I don’t know the answer to that, what is it?

  1. They are vulnerable at times

“As is well known, [Carrie Fisher] suffered – and was open about it. Her transparency was courageous, which is why people loved her.” – Tony Taccone

It’s hard to show weakness at times. We are told to be strong, and even in today’s society, mental fragility is mocked. What’s great about the transparent personality is that they’re not afraid to show their vulnerability. In doing so they encourage others to open up about theirs.

  1. They are not afraid to say no

When you have a transparent personality, you know that you can’t please all the people all the time. You also know how important boundaries and your well-being are. Saying no when you are not able to help isn’t personal, it’s practical and healthy.

  1. They keep their promises

On the other hand, if a transparent person gives you a promise, then you can bet they will keep it. They will only promise if they know they can deliver. For them, trust and reliability are important.

4 ways you can be a more transparent person

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Asking for help shows a vulnerable side. It is an indication that we are not perfect and that we appreciate the skills of others.

  1. Share your opinions

If you have an opinion, then share it. Don’t agree with the group simply to fit in. Your views are as valid as the next person’s.

  1. Don’t gossip behind people’s backs

When we talk about people behind their backs, we are building walls of conspiracy and subterfuge. This is the opposite of transparency.

  1. Be open to new ideas

Closed-off minds can never be transparent. You have to have an open mind and embrace change, different views, and challenges.

Final thoughts

Transparent personalities appear in all kinds of society; from friends and family to management and politics. Being around a transparent person gives you permission to open up and be your true self. And in today’s world of fake news and filters, I find that refreshing.


  1. linkedin.com
  2. forbes.com

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner desktop

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

Leave a Reply