Most of us want to be good people (serial killers, I’m not counting you), but most of us also find it hard to judge whether we actually are. It’s difficult for us to look at ourselves subjectively.
Because of that, there are two types of people in this world. There are the people who are biased towards thinking they’re a good person and there are those who are biased towards thinking they’re a bad one.
I fall into the latter camp, in part because I’m a glass half full kind of person who tends to take a pessimistic view of most things in life. That continues to hold true when I’m getting introspective and trying to figure out if I’m a good person or not.
And so that’s why I decided to write today’s article and to do a little research into those hidden signs that we might be better people than we give ourselves credit for. Let’s get started.
1) You put others’ needs ahead of your own
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are inherently selfish, at least to a certain extent.
We need to be, because it stops people from taking advantage of us and makes sure that our needs are met, from the basics like food and shelter to the more advanced needs like the need for security and companionship.
And so perhaps this point should actually be that you put others’ needs ahead of your own when it’s feasible to do so.
Like a parent who needs to make sure that they feed themselves and that they get enough sleep before they’re able to take care of their children, you need to be able to look after yourself while looking after others.
Still, there are plenty of examples of when you can put others’ needs ahead of your own. For example, if a friend is moving house and they ask for your help, you can agree to go and help them even if you were hoping to spend the day watching TV.
2) You actively work to develop your community
If you’re one of those people who volunteers and spends a huge amount of time helping out in your local community, all I can say is thank you!
It’s people like this who make the world go round. They’re the people who put on the festivals and the live music events, as well as those who arrange childcare groups, self-defense classes and goodness knows what else.
Helping out in the local community shows that you’re a people person and that you care deeply about the world (and the people) around you. It’s a great way of giving back and helping other people, but it also allows you to tap into that old saying: be the change you want to see in the world.
So if you’re helping out in your local community, hats off to you. And if not, it’s never too late to get started.
3) You’re trustworthy
Trustworthiness is one of those traits that people look for all over the place, from when they’re hiring someone to when they’re dating.
And it’s easy to see why. If you trust someone, you can go to them when you need someone to talk to because you know that they’re not going to spill your secrets. You can also ask them for favors when you need them.
For example, I’ve come to trust my friend Dave for the big things in my life. He’s who I ask to look after my cat when I’m away from home, and he’s the person I asked for help when I moved house and needed someone to help me take the first load of stuff from the old place to the new one.
The good news here is that if you’re trustworthy, you’ll know. People will go out of their way to tell you.
4) You’re a good listener
Being a good listener requires a couple of different skills, and it’s not just a case of being able to keep quiet while someone vents to you.
In fact, there’s a skill called active listening in which you prompt the speaker with questions to help them to tell their story or to get their point across. If you can master this skill, it’s going to be a huge help throughout your life.
It’s also going to make sure that you can help their friends and family to reach their full potential. And that makes you a pretty good person, if you ask me!
5) People ask you for your advice
If you’re trustworthy and a good listener, you’re going to find that people naturally come to you for advice.
That’s why when people ask you for advice, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re a good person. To be an even better person, make sure that you’re open and honest with people. If they ask you for advice on buying a car and you don’t know anything about cars, make sure that you tell them.
This is particularly important when people ask for your professional advice. For example, if you’re a plumber and someone asks you to take a look at a leak, you’re duty bound to give them the truth, even if you have to tell them something they don’t want to hear.
6) You celebrate other people’s achievements
Celebrating other people’s achievements doesn’t always come easy, especially if it’s an achievement that you’re jealous of.
For example, I’ve lost count of the number of female friends of mine who’ve talked about how jealous they are of the bride while at a wedding.
I’ve noticed that people also often struggle to celebrate achievements that they’re not jealous of because they fail to understand how important they are to the person in question.
These are just a few of the reasons why it’s so important to celebrate other people’s achievements. It shows that you’re the bigger person and that you can be happy for people where other people might be jealous or uninterested.
7) You take responsibility for your mistakes
We all make mistakes. In fact, I’d argue that making mistakes is what makes us human.
One of the many factors that separates good people from bad people is that the good people take responsibility for their mistakes and try to learn from them.
A great example of this occurs when we look at YouTubers and YouTuber apologies. There’s a whole world of difference between those who hold their hands up, admit their mistakes and apologize for them and those who blame everyone they can think of.
In other words, don’t be like [INSERT NAME OF YOUTUBER HERE]. When you make a mistake, take responsibility for it.
8) You’re open-minded
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
This quote highlights the big risk of having an open mind, which is that if you’re not careful, you’ll end up believing in all sorts of rubbish. But I think that’s a risk worth taking.
Being open-minded may make you more susceptible to conspiracy theories, but it also makes you more empathetic and more likely to support other cultures. In fact, open-mindedness is such an attractive quality that it’s one of the big things I look for in a partner.
And so if you’ve always considered yourself to be open-minded, you’re in luck. You might just be an awesome person.
9) You’re humble and don’t have a huge ego
The big challenge with being humble is that if you’re proud of the fact that you’re humble, there’s a good chance that you’re not.
That’s why I’ve coupled this point with the line about not having a huge ego. These days, we all have a bit of an ego, mostly because of social networking. We’ve been conditioned to think that we’re important and that our lives are of interest to other people because otherwise we wouldn’t post on social media.
The key here is to keep your ego in check and to remain humble. I think Eminem is a great example of this, because even though he’s acclaimed as one of the greatest rappers to have ever lived, he still stays true to his roots as a kid from the streets of Detroit.
Although he also has a song called “Rap God”, and so perhaps I need to rethink that one.
10) You spread love and not hate
I think we can all agree that there’s already too much hate in the world.
That’s why the best people go out of their way to spread love and not hate. They live by the concept that if you can’t think of something nice to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.
In fact, the best people of all go one step further and go out of their way to find nice things to say. This is actually something I’m working on myself. If I like someone’s clothes, I’ll tell them instead of just thinking it.
Every day provides us with countless opportunities to spread love instead of hate. All we need to do is to seize them.