8 signs you’re genuinely a good person, according to behavioral science

It’s nice to be told that you’re kind, reliable, and have a good heart, but despite your best efforts, maybe you don’t hear these words often enough. 

Being a good person means that you’re compassionate and that you really care about the well-being of others. 

And I don’t want you to measure your value and goodness by what you give and do for others alone. These are certainly important, but the biggest question is: how do you treat other people and animals when no one is looking? 

As an example, if someone didn’t realize that they gave you the incorrect amount of change at a store, would you go back to tell them about it? 

Maybe you’re here because you want to know how to be a better person or because you’re interested in the traits associated with being authentic and positive. 

The best way to find out is to look at the following 8 signs you’re a genuinely good person, according to behavioral science. 

1) You don’t try to impress others. 

An authentic person unapologetically accepts their flaws, quirks, and strengths. They get that there are people who won’t like them, and that’s okay because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. 

What does matter is that they always hold their head up high, show others respect, and do what’s right, regardless of whether it makes them likable or not. 

So, how does this apply to you? 

Well, you’ll know that you’re a truly good person if what you say and do comes from a place of sincerity because you don’t feel the need to impress other people. 

You’re confident in who you are and have no problem making decisions that are in your best interests and those of others. 

Your self-esteem also helps you speak with clarity, and you can naturally draw people in rather than put on airs and graces to get attention. This motivates and inspires confidence in others, and it’s a particularly admirable trait in leaders. 

2) You’re generous. 

Whether it comes to sharing your time or things, you don’t hesitate when you need to help others out, but what does it mean when you lack generosity? 

Perhaps a colleague withheld information that would help you get ahead because they feared that you’d outshine them. Or you have that so-called friend who has no shame calling when they need you, but when the tables are turned, they’re always busy. 

But regardless of others’ selfishness, it doesn’t get in the way of showing how much you care

If a coworker needs your help, you’re more than willing to give them the resources they need to excel. You do this because you want others to succeed, and there’s no envy when they do well. 

You also make time for family and friends who depend on you, no matter how full your to-do list is. 

That’s because you’re a genuinely good person

3) You hold yourself accountable for your mistakes. 

You might not consciously think about accountability, but it certainly shows in your behavior. 

Being accountable means that you own up to your mistakes. You don’t blame others or shift responsibility when things don’t go according to plan. 

Accountability is such an important sign that you’re a genuinely good person because it shows your moral standing. If you avoided responsibility for your actions, you’d try to get away with bad behaviors that are considered devious and deceptive. 

One thing I know for sure is that it’s easy to blame someone else for your faults and misgivings. But when you take the high road and accept responsibility for your choices, you have integrity, honesty, and pride. 

4) You show others respect and consideration. 

simple ways to be a kinder person every day 8 signs you're genuinely a good person, according to behavioral science

According to psychology, you’re a decent person if you know how to treat people equally, and that means showing respect and consideration.

Whether you’re talking to the CEO of a company or a shop assistant, you don’t think of someone as less than or superior based on their title, background, or where they come from. 

You certainly aren’t quick to judge, but more importantly, you treat others with politeness and dignity wherever you go. 

Not only is respect a necessary part of social recognition and integration, but it also helps to build your self-esteem because people positively respond to your ways.

Many don’t realize just how far a little consideration can go, which means being kind. Little gestures like helping a neighbor with their heavy groceries or giving your partner a break by offering to do the dishes are simple ways to show kindness and consideration. 

Respecting others means that you listen to what they say, even if you disagree with them. You don’t cut people off or treat them differently because of a personal bias, and let’s face it, we all want to be treated with respect because it makes us feel valued. 

5) You don’t boast about what you have. 

If you’ve ever spent time with a person who boasts and brags, you’ll understand why they don’t leave the greatest impression. 

Boasting about what you have or what you’ve achieved in life not only gets tedious, but it’s also a sign of weakness. Good people don’t need to describe everything they own or emphasize titles they’ve earned. 

I clearly remember as a child, whenever I’d get home from school and was overly dramatic about what I wanted, my grandmother would say, “Don’t get too big for your boots.” In other words, she told me to keep my ego in check!  

To cut a long story short, if you don’t exaggerate your accomplishments and you’re comfortable with being yourself, you’ve got grace, sensibility, and goodness. 

6) You have empathy. 

You can’t talk about what makes an honest and good person without mentioning empathy. 

That’s because empathic people have the incredible ability to feel with others. 

Rather than feel sorry for someone else or look down on their circumstances, you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see a situation from their perspective. 

It means that you’re compassionate and have emotional intelligence

Being an authentic person means you don’t fake your emotions, which many people try to do to convince others that they’re real and honest. 

Another sure sign of your inner goodness is the fact that you can be kind to animals, even if you don’t consider yourself an animal lover. In addition to your compassion for animals, you’re patient with children and the elderly, who can be a little difficult even at the best of times!

In a nutshell, empathy cannot be faked. No matter how hard someone tries, the absence of smiling eyes and a shoulder to lean on are telltale signs that you’re dealing with an unempathetic person. 

People who see you as genuine and empathetic feel comfortable in your company because you show them sincerity and unwavering care. 

7) You’re trustworthy. 

things you dont realize youre doing because youre a kind person 8 signs you're genuinely a good person, according to behavioral science

Being your authentic self always shines through, even in a crowded room. Couple your authenticity with a good heart, and you have a winning combination that most people gravitate towards. 

That’s because you’re seen as a person they can trust. 

You’d probably be apprehensive of someone who wasn’t their true self in your company. So if you showed others a disingenuous side, they wouldn’t think of you as reliable. 

As a trustworthy person, you respect others’ interests, and you keep sensitive information confidential. Most notable of all is your ability to keep a promise because you don’t believe in letting people down. 

When you say something, you mean it without being insulting or condescending, and everyone knows this about you. 

If you can relate and you consider yourself trustworthy, then you’ve got to have a good soul. 

8) Your attitude and outlook are consistent. 

There’s no way you could ever trust or respect another person who is inconsistent and hypocritical. 

Being authentic and good means that who you are and every aspect of your life are consistent. 

The way you treat people, your sense of hope and optimism, and your general perspective of the world shouldn’t change from one moment to the next for you to be thought of as a really good person

You can’t have a bad attitude and treat someone poorly today, but tomorrow, do a good deed and think that you’re a well-rounded and humble individual. 

Consistency is about developing an ongoing pattern of behavior, and for anyone to be deemed genuine and kind, there must be a consistent pattern in what you do and how you feel. 

Final thoughts

When you look at the above signs, you know that you’re a genuinely good person if you see yourself with these traits. It’s something you should be extremely proud of. 

The best way to tell that someone is a good person at their core is to look at how they treat their parents, friends, and everyday people they meet. They should be patient and kind, and even if they’re feeling a bit flustered, they never fail to show others consideration and respect. 

As an authentic individual, you can celebrate the fact that you know who you are and that you have an inner light that shines brightly, not only for others but for yourself, too. 

You do what’s right even when no one is watching, and that’s what goodness is all about. 

Picture of Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

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