What Does It Mean To Be A Consistent Person? (Revealed)

There is little worse than having to rely on someone only to find they have disappeared and left you to handle a situation yourself while doing their part as well. Consistency has some part to play in being able to be relied upon along with dependability. So, if this is such a good quality, what does it mean to be a consistent person?

A consistent person displays the virtues of prudence and justice in always treating others with the dignity and intrinsic value they deserve. This means willing the good of the other without fail to develop trust. They are unwavering in loyalty and are reliable when courage is demanded.

We will look at the positives of being a consistent person and teaching your children to as well. I will also decipher whether consistency is a skill that can be learned and ways to recognize and promote it. Since this is a parenting and family oriented site, the main goal here is to be it ourselves, surround our families with it, and teach it to our kids.

Is It Good To Be A Consistent Person?

Is consistency a goal that someone should strive for or something that is good to have on occasion? The contradiction of that question should be an answer in itself. So, is it always good to be a consistent person?

Being a consistent person is a good in itself and relates to two of the cardinal virtues: prudence and justice. Consistency has to do with prudence in the form of self discipline based on reason and is concerned with justice in treating every individual as if their intrinsic value is the same.

Let’s briefly look at each of these virtues to see how a consistent person is upholding virtuous standards.

Prudence And The Consistent Person

Prudence is the manager of all the other virtues one may say. It deals with forming the intellect to solely rely on using reason each and every time a choice is to be made and not rely on whims, passions, or emotions. A good definition of prudence is stated this way:

without prudence bravery becomes foolhardiness; mercy sinks into weakness, and temperance into fanaticism.


Prudence is the foundation on which consistency and discipline stand. Right decision and action can only be made once “it lights the way and measures the arena for their exercise” (newadvent.org). This must happen every time and if that is done, consistency materializes.

Where consistency is not found, reason cannot be either. The right and good choice will be consistent, whereas decisions based on the passions or fleeting whims will not.

Justice And The Consistent Person

Many today are concerned with justice and try to stretch its meaning to encompass their own opinions or ideals. Yet, as a cardinal virtue, justice cannot be added to or taken away from and it remains the same as when Aristotle wrote about it. Justice involves not equality in simple outcomes, but has a much higher purpose.

justice teaches us to give to another what belongs to him.


Justice must at all times be consistent and in line with human dignity. In other words, people must be treated equally in the same situation no matter the group or identity they are arbitrarily aligned with. Justice demands that all are treated the same even in light of past offenses in every instance and even against popular opinion.

A judge, jury, government official, clergy member, or anyone with authority over another must be consistent in decisions and rulings for justice to prevail. Adults that are the victims of crimes need justice, and the punishment of the offenders is required by it.

Justice also means that punishments we give our children are necessary and must be both appropriate and most of all consistent. We have found in our many decades of working with children and families that the number one problem parents and teachers face with discipline is consistency.

Here are some other articles about virtue and character you will like…

Why Do People Need To Be Consistent?

Motivation is one of the key elements that gets any of us to do just about anything. Humans won’t do nearly anything without payment. Payment is not always in the form of dollars and cents. There are many ‘payments’ we receive for our actions: attention, sympathy, accolades, etc. So, why do people feel the need to be consistent?

A person needs to be consistent to be a trustworthy relative, friend, employee, boss and most every other position in life that connects with people. Trust is something that is earned not only by good character, but by consistent good character that others can rely upon no matter the situation.

The payment we receive when being consistent comes in nearly every one of these forms. When friends or relatives trust us, it adds to our understanding of ourselves as good people.

We are also able to keep these healthy relationships going since people know what to expect from us and aren’t always on edge wondering if they need to pull back or guard themselves.

How Do You Know If Someone Is Consistent?

It is fairly easy to tell if someone is consistent or not if you have known them for a while or at least have observed them for an extended period of time. Their actions alone will normally tell you, but it may be harder to notice if you haven’t been around them for long. It takes time to see the signs. So, how would you know if someone is consistent.

To know if someone is consistent it takes time to observe their patterns of action and see that they are using unwavering reason in their decisions. Someone who is on time, keeps their word no matter the effort, never fails to hold people accountable, and is even tempered is a consistent person.

As you can tell, it will take time to get to know someone before you will be able to decide if they are consistent or not. This rules out first impressions and points to how easily someone can fool you if you don’t take the time it takes to really find out.

First dates and casual acquaintances are especially prone to deception. Most people want to give the impression that their lives are healthy and happy and will readily give false impressions to those they know aren’t privy to some of their hidden secrets.

This is double true for social media. The vast majority of the pictures, comments, and videos uploaded to these various platforms are posed and staged in a way to show the person in the best light. Only using first impressions, casual acquaintances, and social media will not help in determining if someone is a consistent person.

Only knowing them for an extended period of time will tell, and it often is the opposite picture of the person you will find on social media.

How Important Is Consistency In Friendship?

Trust is the number one component in friendships, spousal relationships, and family bonds. Without trust there can be no relationship that is by nature built on the trust that each wills the good of the other. With this in mind, just how important is consistency in friendship?

Being a consistent person is vital in supporting a healthy friendship. In order to will the good of the other, there must be trust that this person is willing to do the same. Consistency in action, thought, and morality is the key component to building the right amount of trust for friendship.

We know this if we just think about it. If a girl has friend that sometimes cheats with her boyfriend, that inconsistency would ruin a friendship. Yes, this is an extreme example, but sometimes they illuminate contradictions and conflicts better.

If we then look at the same to girls in a different context, one without cheating, even mood swings that affect behavior or refusing contact for periods of time could be very harmful. One cannot trust how the other will act.

Consistency in moral and right action allows the other person to be able to predict what you will do. If they are unsure of your actions or reactions, the stress could become a wall between you. This can block what otherwise could be long and meaningful friendships.

What Is A Consistent Friend?

That may be more theoretical than practical. So, let’s look at what one should expect in a consistent friend. Here is a short list of examples. Though this may not cover but some of the aspects of a consistent friend, it will help you and your kids recognize when people are not living up to these standards.

A consistent friend will…

  • Always return messages when they can’t respond immediately
  • Always show up to a scheduled meeting or event unless an actual emergency occurs
  • Always notify their friend when they cannot make it
  • Never shun a friend in favor of spending time with others
  • Never divulge secrets to gain favor with others or put down a friend
  • Never allow moods or emotions to cause rifts to develop with a friend
  • Always hold a fiend morally accountable for decisions, even if it is difficult
  • Always be ready to forgive a friend and not hold grudges
  • Always be ready to give their lives for a friend. That is true love and friendship.

There can be many other examples, but these are not simply a list of rules to go by. These are strokes of a brush in the painting of what a true consistent friend will be. They show you not the hard boundaries, but what a consistent friend ‘looks like’.

Why Is Someone Not Consistent?

Those that fall into the trap of changing their actions, mannerisms, and opinions based on emotion, stress, or persuasion usually are falling prey to two of the ‘seven deadly sins’. They are some of the roots of many of mankind’s failings and show up in several forms. What are these two vices and why do they cause someone not to be consistent?

Someone is not consistent by following the vices of sloth and pride. Slothfulness is a form of cowardice whereby a person chooses inaction over taking on difficult issues. Pride is the elevation of one’s own will over the need to be trustworthy for others. Both lead to an inconsistent person.

Being included in the list of the ‘seven deadly sins’, there are two things that these two vices say about an inconsistent person.

  1. The sins on this list are there because they are very enticing. This makes it hard to be a consistent person and one of the main reasons why someone wouldn’t choose to be consistent in actions, moods, morality, etc.
  2. They are also very common vices, which means that many around an inconsistent person will not only accept their failings, but encourage them in order to have their actions feel ‘normalized’.

We as parents must show our children our own struggles to be consistent. This applies to hard choices we have to make and the display of courage it brings. It also means dealing with fairly applied discipline even if it means being the bad guy.

Trust me, with all the conversations with children of my own and ones I have taught that have grown to adulthood, I can attest that they will thank you for making them walk the line. You just may have to wait a decade to hear it. But that’s okay. It’s worth it in the end.

Is Consistency A Skill That Can Be Learned?

If consistency is tied to the cardinal virtues at least in some way, it is something that can be developed or is it something that is simply part of someone’s personality? Is consistency something that can be learned?

Consistency can most definitely be learned and is a skill that should be developed. The conscience must be formed in children and adults to conform to virtue. It takes understanding, the consent of the will, and action. But once this occurs consistency can be learned and practiced.

If you or your children are not consistent now, you can change and conform to the virtues that are at the root of being consistent that were described above. It take making the decision and the changes with one important addition: don’t stop.

Being consistent will take time to develop in your life and the lives of your children, but it will come with time if it is taken on as a challenge every day.

How Can I Be More Consistent In Life?

Being more consistent as a person comes with several aspects that converge and help us act in moral and trustworthy ways. To be more consistent in life it is not just mental or physical issues that must be wrestled with, it is a combination of both.

To be more consistent in life it required an understanding of the cardinal virtues of prudence and justice, the consent of the will to conform to them, and the courage to make changes even if they are big. Many of the changes will be small and over time even larger ones will become easier.

Here is a list of some of the things that can form the conscience and motivate the proper changes necessary to be more consistent.

  • Remember the trust friends and family are looking for in you and don’t put your desires or pleasure ahead of it.
  • Don’t say things that you know you will not follow through with. Let your word be your bond.
  • Do not ignore bad behavior from kids. They will see it as inconsistency and play the odds next time in hopes of ‘getting away with it’ again.
  • Make a habit of being early and not just on time, so that if problems arise, you are never late. This especially shows children that they can trust you if they are invovled.
  • If emotions tend to control you and at times alter your moods or decisions, deal with them away from family and children. Children need to see the same person that was there yesterday to feel safe and learn to trust.
  • Don’t let your views of a person’s background influence how you treat them. No matter their history, culture, or background, they all have the same intrinsic value as humans.
  • Learn how to use reason through philosophy and logically make decisions rather than reacting emotionally.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong, but if something is true and you act accordingly, it will be true years later. Changing because circumstances make something easier or more profitable isn’t consistent or true.

These are just a few of the ways that can make a difference in anyone’s life. They are not secrets, but time honored wisdom that has guided billions of people to be more consistent in their lives.

We should all do these and let our children see it. Then when we try to teach them they will accept it without question.

What Is Another Word For Consistent?

One way to learn to understand a word and how to apply its meaning is to look at similar words. Here I will give you a list of other words that are sometimes used for a consistent person. If you have more experience with these other terms it can help you and your attempts to explain this to your kids.

Other terms for a consistent person…

  • dependable
  • trustworthy
  • trusty
  • persistent
  • rational
  • steady
  • true
  • unchanging
  • unfailing

There can be a great many more that used in context mean a consistent person, but again I list these only to give you what a consistent person looks like rather than a list of rules the must follow.

The Meaning Of Consistent Person Takeaway…

Not only is being a consistent person a good thing, but it is a necessary thing. If someone is not consistent they are shirking their responsibility to friends and family.

Consistencies relationship to the cardinal virtues underscores its importance.

It is not simply a plus to be consistent, it is imperative to a moral life filled with healthy relationships.

To read more about teaching character, here are other articles you will enjoy…

Mathew Booe

Mathew Booe is a father of four, husband to Jackie since 1994, retired international competitor with over 50 wins, an international seminar instructor, a master instructor of hundreds of Little Ninjas each week, and the one bringing you the great content like you just read. Sign up for the newsletter to hear about his upcoming books before they are released to the public.

Recent Posts