10 behaviors that signal someone is a genuinely good person, according to psychology

Being a good person is more than just being nice. It’s rooted in actions that reflect sincerity, kindness, and empathy.

Psychology gives us some great insights into what these actions look like in everyday life.

In this article, I’m going to share some behaviors that signal someone is a genuinely good person. These aren’t just my personal observations; they’re backed up by psychological research.

So, let’s dive in and understand what it truly means to be a ‘good person’.

You never know—you might even recognize a few of these behaviors in yourself!

1) Making random acts of kindness

One of the most telling signs of a genuinely good person is their willingness to perform acts of kindness, both big and small.

These aren’t just random acts. They’re consistent displays of kindness, without expecting anything in return.

These are the people who pick up trash on the street, hold the door open for strangers, or spend their weekends volunteering. They do these things not for recognition, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.

This shows that true kindness isn’t found in grand gestures. It’s often found in the small, everyday actions that can easily go unnoticed.

So next time you see someone going out of their way to help others, know that you’re witnessing a genuinely good person in action. It’s these selfless acts that truly define their character.

2) Listening with empathy

Another behavior that signals someone is a genuinely good person is their ability to listen with empathy. These are the folks who don’t just hear you speak – they truly understand and feel what you’re going through.

I remember a time when I was going through a rough patch. I was talking to my friend about it, and she just sat there, silently listening, giving me her full attention.

She didn’t interrupt, didn’t try to give unsolicited advice. She just listened and empathized.

It was such a small act, but it meant the world to me. It made me feel seen and heard in a way that I really needed at the time.

That’s the kind of empathy that good people demonstrate. They make you feel valued, understood, and less alone in your struggles.

So, if you come across someone who listens with empathy, know that you’re in the presence of a genuinely good person.

3) Being honest, even when it’s uncomfortable

A genuinely good person values honesty, even when it’s uncomfortable.

It’s easier to tell a white lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, or to avoid a potentially awkward situation. However, a good person understands that honesty builds trust and maintains integrity in relationships.

Those of us who value honesty and demonstrate it frequently, despite its potential downsides, are often perceived as more authentic and trustworthy.

Honesty may not always be the easiest path, but for genuinely good people, it’s the only one they’re willing to take. Their commitment to truth, even in difficult circumstances, is a clear signal of their character.

4) Respecting everyone

A clear sign that signals someone as a genuinely good person is their respect for everyone they interact with.

Regardless of status, background, or beliefs, they treat everyone with the same level of decency and consideration.

Good people understand that everyone has their own story, their own struggles, and their own journey. They do not judge or belittle others, instead, they extend kindness and respect.

This respectful attitude extends beyond just their interactions with people. They respect the environment, other people’s time, and even differing opinions.

5) Being accountable

To err is human. We all make mistakes, but what sets a genuinely good person apart is their ability to take accountability for their actions.

When they make a mistake, they don’t deflect, deny, or pass the blame. Instead, they own up to it, apologize if necessary, and take steps to rectify the situation.

This behavior not only demonstrates humility but also shows their commitment to growth and learning. It sends a strong signal that they value relationships and integrity more than their ego.

6) Having a nurturing nature

signs of genuine kindness in a person according to psychology 10 behaviors that signal someone is a genuinely good person, according to psychology

There’s a certain warmth you feel in the presence of a genuinely good person. It’s this nurturing nature of theirs that makes you feel comfortable and cared for.

These individuals have a way of making anyone they’re with feel important and valued. Whether it’s lending a shoulder to lean on, offering encouraging words, or simply being there in times of need.

It’s like that favorite blanket you wrap around yourself on a cold winter night, bringing comfort and warmth. They radiate positivity and care, creating an environment where everyone feels safe and loved.

7) Being authentic

In a world where it’s easy to hide behind masks, finding someone who is unapologetically themselves is like a breath of fresh air. Authenticity is a key trait of genuinely good people.

I’ve met individuals who are always trying to fit into certain molds, constantly changing their colors like a chameleon to suit the situation or the people around them.

And to be honest, I’ve been there myself. It’s exhausting and leaves you feeling disconnected from who you really are.

On the other hand, I’ve also had the privilege of meeting people who are authentic, who are not afraid to show their true selves, flaws and all.

It’s these people who have taught me the importance of staying true to myself and embracing my uniqueness.

Authentic people don’t feel the need to pretend or put on a facade. Their transparency and genuineness are a testament to their goodness and can serve as an inspiration for us all.

8) They know how to say no

While it might seem contradictory, genuinely good people are not always yes-men or yes-women. They understand the value of setting boundaries and are not afraid to say no when necessary.

This doesn’t mean they’re selfish or unkind. On the contrary, it shows a healthy respect for their own time and well-being, which in turn allows them to be more present and helpful when they do choose to say yes.

It’s easy to mistake constant agreement for kindness, but the ability to say no, even when it’s hard, signals someone who is not only good but also wise and self-aware.

9) They spread positivity

Life is full of ups and downs, but genuinely good people have a knack for spreading positivity even in the toughest of times. They are the ones who can find a silver lining in any cloud and inspire others to do the same.

This doesn’t mean they’re always happy or that they ignore the harsh realities of life. Instead, they choose to focus on the good, encourage optimism, and uplift those around them.

Their positive outlook is infectious, bringing a sense of hope and motivation to everyone they interact with. This ability to spread positivity is a clear signal of a genuinely good person.

10) They practice gratitude

At the heart of a genuinely good person’s character is an attitude of gratitude. They appreciate the big and small things in life and don’t take anything for granted.

These individuals recognize the value of what they have, who they are, and those around them. Their gratitude is reflected in their actions and words, demonstrating a deep sense of contentment and joy.

So, if you come across someone who expresses thanks often, for the little things as well as the big, know that you’re witnessing a genuinely good person in action. Their gratitude illuminates their goodness.

Final thoughts

The beauty of human behavior lies in its ability to reflect who we truly are. The actions we take, the words we speak, and the choices we make, all serve as mirrors reflecting our character.

The behaviors we’ve explored can signal the presence of a genuinely good person. From kindness and empathy to authenticity and gratitude, these traits create a mosaic of goodness that is both heartwarming and inspiring.

But remember that no one’s perfect. We all have our moments of weakness where we fall short. What matters is our willingness to learn, grow, and strive to be better.

As Carl Jung once said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

So let us strive to be that genuinely good person we admire – not just in moments of comfort, but in times of challenge, too.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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