Goodness is like fire. When it spreads, it grows, and the kinder you are to others, the happier you feel yourself, giving rise to a positive feedback loop of genuine kindness and love.
Sounds amazing, right?
Well, not everyone is as good as all that. There are some people out there who are genuinely good – so good, in fact, that you can tell them apart from others.
These are the 10 character traits they share.
1) They root for other people
First things first, a genuinely kind person will be your number one fan. Always.
My best friend, for example, reads everything I write and asks me about each and every date I go on. She cheers when I make a small step forward in my career, buys me bubble tea to celebrate every accomplishment in my life, and gives me compliments about how hard-working and inspiring I am.
She’s simply the best. Every step of the way, I feel emotionally supported by her and I do my best to give that support back.
I can tell that she roots for me from the bottom of her heart.
2) They make you feel included
Speaking of my best friend (aka, the kindest person I know), she has the magical ability to make everyone feel included, no matter how shy or nervous they are.
The moment she enters the room, you know that nobody’s going to feel left out. She will ask questions, make sure everyone feels comfortable, organize fun activities, and if there’s anyone who seems to be on the periphery, she will pay them extra attention to glue the whole group together.
It doesn’t happen every day that someone tries so hard to make every single person feel included…
Which is why it’s exactly what sets genuinely good people apart.
3) They are all about respect and safety
What’s more, a truly kind person will never push your boundaries.
You will instinctively feel safe in their presence because they will communicate their wants clearly, ask you for consent before they take the relationship in a new direction, and respect your wishes and decisions.
If you say you don’t want to go party in a club because you hate crowds, they won’t try to persuade you to come along anyway.
If you express your fears or certain vulnerabilities, they won’t use them against you in the future.
And if you bring up something they’ve done that you’ve found hurtful, they will apologize and try their best not to do it again.
4) They practice gentle honesty
Honesty is good. I’d wager a guess you agree, right?
But honesty can also be harsh. Both are true at the same time.
This is why kind people are in the business of the so-called “gentle honesty”. If you ask them for an opinion on something, they won’t lie, but they also won’t be unnecessarily cruel.
Instead of saying, “That coat looks horrendous on you,” they might tell you, “I really like the color, but I’m unsure of the size and the cut. What do you think?”
By pointing out specific details and accompanying them with something positive, they are simply honest rather than mean, helping you choose the best option for you while also offering emotional support.
That’s gentle honesty at its greatest.
5) They’re very compassionate
The number one reason good people strive to make others feel comfortable is that they are incredibly compassionate.
Empathy is at the core of everything they do.
Do you feel down? They will empathize with you so deeply that they’ll buy you your favorite sweets and console you.
Have you just won an award? They’ll jump in excitement and celebrate with you, happy to see you thriving.
Since they absorb other people’s emotions so easily, they will always try to make it so that you’re as happy as can be – but if you need to feel sad or angry, they will help you along on that journey, too.
6) They’re in it for a genuine connection
Do you want to know my absolute favorite trait of genuinely good people?
Here goes: they don’t use you as a means to an end. If they want to connect with you, it’s not because they have any ulterior motives – it’s because they are truly interested in getting to know you and forming a meaningful bond with you.
They don’t pretend to be someone they’re not just to get in your good books. They aren’t “fake nice” just because they want to have you on their side.
No, they are simply authentic and kind. And nothing makes a person more beautiful than that.
7) They aren’t narrow-minded
If you confide in them, they won’t roll their eyes, wave you away, or raise their eyebrows in silent judgment.
And that’s because kindness goes hand in hand with open-mindedness. If you have a truly good heart, you don’t close yourself off to the unknown. You don’t stick to your beliefs no matter what. And you don’t judge other people for living their lives differently than you do.
On the contrary, an open-minded person will always strive to learn more about the world around them. They inherently understand that their own perception of the universe is but one of many, and they don’t mind it one bit if their subjective worldviews shift as a result of opening themselves up to others.
In short, kind people know that there is always something they don’t know and that things are never black-and-white. And they’re willing to listen in order to discover more about the complexities of life.
8) They possess a healthy amount of humility
Speaking of accepting one’s ignorance, another trait that sets genuinely good people apart is that they are humble.
And by “humble”, I don’t mean that they turn the other cheek or let others walk all over them.
I mean that they aren’t arrogant because they can accept their own lack of knowledge and their own failings.
If they don’t know something, they ask. If they’re talking to an expert on a specific subject, they explore that person’s mind with humility and curiosity. They steer clear of boasting, bragging, and stealing the spotlight at every opportunity.
And what’s more…
9) They aren’t afraid to admit a mistake
If you tell them they’ve done something hurtful or if you manage to convince them that their opinion is based on faulty logic, they will shift their attitude based on your feedback.
Because kind people have enough self-awareness to realize that they aren’t perfect and that making mistakes is an inherent part of their humanity. But they also know that their mistakes don’t define them – they only serve as lessons that help them progress further in life and become all the better for it.
If they are wrong, they admit to it. If they make an error of judgment, they admit to it, too.
And what’s more, their future behavior is adjusted in accordance with that lesson.
10) They care about fairness and equity
Finally, a truly kind person believes that everyone deserves fair treatment. They will often be the ones to speak up against injustice, fight for other people’s rights, and help those in need.
Furthermore, they understand the importance of equity.
Unlike equality – where everyone is given the same treatment – equity is all about taking people’s individual circumstances into account and adjusting the rules and requirements based on that.
If person A is tall and person B is short, they won’t be able to reach the same library shelf. Enter… library ladders! They make up for the difference, promoting equity.
So, what do all these 10 traits come down to?