15 essential ingredients for being a good person

Despite being quite young (at least I think I still am), I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide variety of people. 

And through these experiences, I’ve come to realize that not everyone is a good person!

Which I totally understand.

Being a good person isn’t always easy, especially in this day and age.

With all the pressures of school, work, and social media on top of being ethical it can be easy to slip up from time to time.

It takes effort, commitment, and a certain set of ingredients.

With that being said, here are 15 essential ingredients for being a good person.

1) Kindness

It’s like the secret ingredient in a recipe for a delicious cake. 

Without it, you might still have a decent dessert, but it’s that little extra something that takes it to the next level. 

And just like baking a cake, spreading kindness is easy and accessible to everyone.

Think about it.

A simple compliment to a stranger or a colleague, or even a smile and a hello can brighten up someone’s day. 

It’s like the cherry on top of a sundae.

It doesn’t take much effort, but it makes all the difference.

Or, like a warm hug on a cold winter day, kindness can be just what someone needs to chase away the chill. 

And it’s not just about grand gestures, sometimes it’s the small things that count. 

Like, holding the elevator door for someone running late or lending an umbrella on a rainy day. 

It’s the little acts of kindness that add up and make a big change.

2) Empathy

It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s like being able to read someone’s mind, but in a good way. 

Imagine you’re at a party and you see someone sitting alone, looking a little lost. 

With your empathy superpower, you can sense that they’re feeling left out and decide to go talk to them. 

And let’s not forget the power of empathy in relationships. 

It helps you to understand and communicate with your partner. 

Imagine you’re having a fight with your significant other and instead of getting defensive, you use your empathy superpower to understand their perspective. 

It’s like being a relationship therapist, helping to resolve conflicts before they escalate.

3) Honesty

You’ve probably heard that honesty is the best policy.

But it’s also one of the most essential ingredients to being a good person

Honesty is key in any relationship.

Be it with friends, family or significant others. 

Being honest not only helps build trust but shows how much you care about someone. 

It shows that you are genuine and sincere and not just faking your way through life.

Hey, it’s not always the easiest path to take.

But it’s the one that gets you where you need to go.

It takes courage to be an honest person.

I’ll explain more in my next point.

4) Courage

a guy is acting different 15 essential ingredients for being a good person

It takes bravery to be honest and true to yourself and others.

It’s not just about physical bravery.

It’s about having the mental and emotional fortitude to stand up for what is right.

And what better way is there to show courage than standing up for yourself or others? 

It can be scary to stick up for what you think is right, especially if others are against you. 

But the truth is, it’s those who speak out against injustice that make change happen. 

For example, imagine you’re a whistleblower who exposes corruption in your company, despite the potential risks to your job and reputation. 

That takes courage. 

Courage also extends to everyday situations.

Like standing up for a friend in need, speaking out against bullying or even standing up for yourself in a social situation that makes you uncomfortable.

5) Patience

It’s like the chill pill of personal qualities. 

It’s that little extra something that helps you stay cool, calm, and collected in any situation. 

Without it, you might just turn into a hot mess, freaking out over every little thing.

For instance, you’re stuck in traffic on the way to a big meeting. 

Without patience, you might just lose your mind, honking your horn and yelling at other drivers. 

But with patience, you can take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s out of your control, put on some music and enjoy the ride.

Patience helps one to think before acting and respond in a thoughtful way.

6) Respect

One of the hallmarks of all great relationships is respect.

It’s about knowing and understanding the value of another, even if they’re different from you. 

It’s not necessarily agreeing with someone but rather valuing them just the way they are. 

You wouldn’t say things to someone that you wouldn’t say to yourself, so why would that be any different? 

However, it’s important to note that respect is not a one-way street, it’s a mutual process. 

Even when it’s tough and we don’t see eye-to-eye with someone, being a good person means setting your feelings aside and treating others with respect. 

After all, it starts with yourself, and then it spreads to others.

7) Forgiveness

Holding grudges and resentment will only weigh you down. 

You can’t be a good person if you’re carrying around negative feelings towards others. 

It’s like trying to light a room with a dim candle!

You can’t spread positivity when you’re holding onto negativity. 

Holding onto anger and hurt only keeps you stuck in the past. 

But forgiveness is the key to move on. 

It doesn’t mean forgetting what happened.

But it allows you to let go of the negative feelings and keep it from holding you back.

8) Humility

Yes, you might be a good person.

But it doesn’t mean you’re perfect (sorry, not sorry).

And that’s totally okay! 

Being humble means being comfortable with your flaws and knowing that you have room to grow.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not trying to say that you can fix yourself by simply thinking positive thoughts or making a list of your flaws. 

But knowing your weaknesses can help you identify the areas where you can grow and develop into a better person.

In this video by Justin Brown, he explains how letting go of the need to be a “good person” has helped him become a better person.


Well, when we think we’re a good person, it’s like trying to hide a pile of dirty laundry under a fancy bedspread. 

Sure, it may look good on the surface, but deep down, all our hidden flaws are still there. 

And when we constantly think of ourselves as good and perfect, it’s like wearing rose-colored glasses and judging others for not being as ‘good’ as us. 

Watch the video to find out more about the benefits of “giving up” being a good person.

9) Generosity

Another essential ingredient for being a good person.

It’s not just about giving to others, but it’s also about the way it makes you feel. 

When you give to others, whether it’s a small gesture or a grand one, it makes you feel good. 

An example is when you’re out to dinner with friends and you decide to pick up the tab for everyone. 

It may seem like a small gesture, but it can make a big impact on the people you’re with

They’ll appreciate it and you’ll feel good knowing that you were able to make their night a little bit better.

Being generous is also about being a good steward of all things in life. 

It’s about sharing with others and being grateful for what we already have. 

I’ll include more details in my following point.

10) Gratitude

It’s such a powerful thing. 

It’s not just about being content with where you’re at in life or putting on a fake smile when things aren’t going great. 

It’s about taking a step back and really appreciating everything in your life.

Whether it’s the big stuff or the small stuff.

Let’s say you’re having a really tough day at work. 

Instead of just focusing on all the stress and the negative aspects of your job, you can take a moment to be grateful for the fact that you have a job and a steady income.

However, I do understand that it’s not always easy to be grateful, especially when things aren’t going well.

But it’s important to try. 

And once you start looking at life through this lens of gratitude, it can change the way you see everything. 

You’ll start to appreciate the little moments and the small things in life that you might have taken for granted before.

11) Emotional intelligence

Life can be a rollercoaster ride, right? 

I’m sure you’ve had those moments where you feel like nothing’s going your way. 

Whether it’s dealing with the loss of a loved one, finally landing that dream job, or getting passed over for a promotion, life can be tough. 

But here’s the thing.

Being a great person means having the strength to face these challenges head-on with courage and grace. 

It’s not about running away from problems.

And it’s also not just about being happy and smiling.

It’s about understanding that everything in life is temporary and approaching it with the right mindset. 

As well as managing your emotions in different situations. 

12) Open-mindedness

thinking for yourself 15 essential ingredients for being a good person

When you decide to be a good person, it means you’re open-minded to new ideas and cultures. 

Because let’s be real, the world is a big place filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful things. 

Being open-minded means you’re not stuck in your own little bubble, judging and dismissing other people’s beliefs. 

It means you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, even if they seem a little strange at first.

For example, have you ever tried raw marinated crabs?

I know, I know, raw crabs sound pretty fishy.

But trust me, they’re delicious. 

And you know what, it’s not just raw crabs.

There are all sorts of foods from different cultures that you might never have tried if you weren’t open-minded.

Being open-minded also means being willing to accept other people, just the way they are. 

Like that one weird uncle you have at family gatherings, who always talks about conspiracy theories. 

At first, it might seem like he’s a little crazy, but if you’re open-minded, you’ll learn to accept him for who he is and maybe even learn something new from him. 

It’s like the old saying goes, “Don’t knock it till you try it.”

13) Fairness

“Life’s not fair”.

If you’ve ever said that, then you know it’s true. 

No matter who you are or where in the world you live, life is never fair. 

But when it comes to being a good person, all that matters is the attempt. 

Being fair isn’t just about treating everyone the same.

It’s about being willing to give everyone a chance to prove themselves before judging them. 

If you ever find yourself judging someone without getting to know them first, then you need to ask yourself if that’s really fair of you. 

14) Reliability

You can be a good person, but if you’re unreliable, everyone will see it.

Being reliable is all about keeping your word. 

You do what you say you’re going to do, when it’s time to do it. 

For example, if you promise to meet someone for lunch, check the time and let them know when you’re leaving your house.

You don’t need to check in with everyone on your schedule, but keeping them in the loop is a good thing.

When you’re reliable, you’ll find that people trust you more and that makes a big difference in your relationships with others. 

15) Self-control

If you don’t have this essential ingredient, sorry to say, but you’re not 100% a good person

Self-control goes a long way.

Being able to control yourself means you can stay calm and act with kindness, even in tough situations. 

It’s about knowing when to say no and when to compromise.

It means not letting your anger take over, and not letting others push you around. 

It’s all about not making rash decisions, like getting drunk every night or gambling away all your money.

Be the best version of yourself

It’s okay if you don’t have all the ingredients for being a good person figured out just yet. 

It doesn’t make you a bad person.

It just means there’s room for improvement. 

Being a good person isn’t easy, and it’s not something you can master overnight. 

But, every day is a new opportunity to practice, learn, and grow.

Picture of Dania Aziz

Dania Aziz

A spirited lifestyle and love advocate, who loves to explore the two to help herself and others discover what they are really searching for.

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