7 signs you were raised with strong morals and values, according to psychology

We all want to be a good person, and having strong morals and values is integral to that.

If you grew up in a household that prioritizes these, you most likely had a head start, because this significantly impacts someone’s development.

Want to know if you were raised right?

Let’s take a look at the psychological signs that you most definitely were.

1) You believe it’s important to contribute in whatever ways you can

You can tell a child that was brought up in a moral and loving home because as adults they want to give back.

Rather than be just out for themselves, they find contentment in contribution. That may be to their community, their family and friends or even the whole world. 

  • You want to lend a helping hand
  • You give without expectations or demands of getting something in return
  • You don’t do good just to gain praise and recognition
  • You don’t feel like life owes you something
  • You’re the first to roll up your sleeves rather than pass the buck
  • You are generous with what you have —whether it’s your time, money, or skills

As highlighted by the UCLA Center for the Developing Adolescent, “Contributing can help us earn the respect and appreciation of our peers, and can help us develop a sense of meaning and purpose in our own lives.”

That’s a strong principle you are more likely to take with you in life if you were taught it from an early age.

2) You have great manners

It can seem like a really inconsequential thing. But whether you use mind Ps and Qs runs a lot deeper.

Good manners not only reflect who we are as people but are a way of extending respect and decency towards others too.

Researcher and author Paul J. Zak says as highly social creatures we subtly modify our behavior to fit in with others.

“Humans are highly social creatures and wherever we go we subtly modify our behavior to fit in with others. Rudeness signals that one is not welcome in this group, activating pain regions in the brain…Good manners, on the other hand, are a reflection of the Golden Rule: if you are nice to me, I’ll be nice to you…My colleagues and I have found that when someone is nice towards another person, the recipient’s brain releases oxytocin and this causes him or her to respond with kindness. Oxytocin is the embodiment of the Golden Rule.”

Far from being just a pointless social nicety, it goes to show that manners really do maketh man (or woman!).

3) You still respect people even when they’re different from you

Empathy and compassion are a big part of this. Because it allows you to connect with people on a deeper level, beyond surface differences.

You recognize that there are always fundamental areas where we can find common ground, and you go looking for them.

Even on the rare occasions that’s not possible, you try not to be judgmental.

Psychologist Barbara Markway says it’s easier to do this when we remind ourselves nothing is personal.

“When someone disagrees with us or somehow makes our life difficult, remember that it’s typically not about us. It may be about their pain or struggle. Why not give others the benefit of the doubt? “Never underestimate the pain of a person,” Will Smith said, “because, in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are better at hiding it than others.”

4) Doing the right things matters deeply to you

If it were guaranteed that nobody would ever find out, would you get up to no good?

If your immediate answer is “But I would know”, then it says a lot.

A clear moral code has been instilled in you from a young age.

Those with strong morals exhibit integrity in their actions.

You don’t say one thing and then do another. It’s important to you that your behavior is aligned with your words for your own self-image and respect.

You also have an internal compass that guides you to do what’s right.

Sometimes that means doing something that’s hard.

The easiest thing can be to put ourselves first or get ahead by treading on others. But your conscience won’t allow you to do that.

5) In your eyes, fairness is more important than winning

10 ways to deal with rejection without losing your integrity 1 7 signs you were raised with strong morals and values, according to psychology

I’m a real pain in the ass to play board games with.

I hate cheating. So I feel compelled to point out any underhand tactics or attempt to bend the rules.

But that’s because I feel like if you’re going to play, you should play properly.

It’s a motto I adopt in general life too.

We live in communities and we rely on cooperation.

Good morals mean believing in equality and fairness.

So you always strive to treat people justly.

If in order to win, you have to cheat, you’d rather lose with grace and your head held high.

6) You never hit below the belt in an argument

My mom always used to remind me “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

That’s not to suggest we should stifle healthy expression, but it’s tempting to use our words as weapons.

There’s no denying it takes a lot of patience and restraint to bite your tongue. But what we speak carries weight, and the effects can linger.

We’ve said fairness is important, and that goes for fighting fair too.

Rather than shout people down you try to hear people out.

When you express yourself, it’s not about throwing around blame, you just explain how you feel.

Instead of striving to get the upper hand, you’re more focused on moving forward to a resolution and finding common ground.

7) You don’t need others to, because you hold yourself accountable

You look to your own behavior first and foremost.

That takes not only good morals but plenty of self-awareness and reflection too.

Taking responsibility for your actions is a key sign of strong values.

That means:

  • Holding yourself accountable
  • Acknowledging wrongdoing
  • Apologizing when your actions hurt others
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Fulfilling obligations and commitments because you have a sense of responsibility

Rather than be a burden, teaching a child this empowering approach offers incredible freedom as explained by bestselling author and foster carer, Cathy Glass:

“Taking responsibility liberates us from the constraints of others. If we pass responsibility for our lives to others we will live in the shadow of their experiences, expectations, successes and failures, and this will result in us becoming frustrated and discontented.”

Why morals matter

Morals don’t have to be complicated, a lot of them come to us as instinctive gut feelings.

Or as Ernest Hemingway put it in Death in the Afternoon:

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”

Our values matter, and not only to us if we want to live contented, authentic, and fulfilling lives. The traits we’ve just seen contribute to a more compassionate and ethical society too.

Picture of Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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