9 tiny things you don’t realize you’re doing that’s stopping you from being a truly good person

Tiny actions can often have a big impact on our character.

Sometimes, we might be doing things that are inadvertently holding us back from being the best person we could be – and we might not even realize it.

Being a good person goes beyond just doing the right thing. It also involves recognizing and rectifying any behaviors that aren’t really serving us – or others – well.

Below, I’ll share 9 subtle things you might unknowingly be doing that could be standing in the way of your journey to being a truly good person. Let’s dive right in!

1) Unconscious negative self-talk

We all have a running commentary in our minds. But did you know that this internal narrative could potentially be hindering you from becoming a good person?

Negative self-talk, often subconscious, can lead us to develop a pessimistic outlook on life. And this negativity isn’t just confined to ourselves – it can seep into our interactions with others too.

Lingering self-doubt and constant self-criticism can make us more judgmental and less compassionate – qualities that are far from ideal for a truly good person.

Tuning into your inner dialogue and consciously shifting it towards positivity is an essential step towards becoming a better person. Remember, the way we talk to ourselves shapes the way we perceive and interact with the world around us.

2) Overlooking the small acts of kindness

I’ll admit it, I’ve often been guilty of this one. Like many people, I’ve found myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, prioritizing grand gestures and big achievements.

But in doing so, I realized I was missing out on the small acts of kindness that truly make a difference. I’d rush past a person struggling with their grocery bags, too focused on my own to-do list to offer help.

I’ve come to understand that being a good person isn’t just about the monumental acts of charity or heroism. It’s about the little things, like lending a hand when someone needs it, listening to a friend who’s had a bad day, or even just picking up trash on your daily walk.

These small gestures might seem insignificant, but they add up. They can make someone’s day brighter and make you a better person in the process. 

3) Forgetting to practice gratitude

In our busy lives, it’s easy to focus on what we lack rather than what we have. We’re often chasing after the next big thing, forgetting to appreciate the present.

Research has shown that practicing gratitude can significantly increase our overall happiness and well-being. It can also improve our relationships, reduce stress, and even enhance our resilience in the face of adversity.

When we’re grateful, we foster a more positive outlook on life and become more empathetic towards others. So try keeping a gratitude journal or simply take a moment each day to acknowledge the good in your life.

Remember, being a good person isn’t just about how we treat others, but also about how we treat ourselves. And gratitude is a key aspect of self-care.

4) Not setting boundaries

Setting boundaries may seem counterintuitive when we’re talking about being a good person. After all, shouldn’t a truly good person always be available and accommodating?

But here’s the truth: constantly saying yes to everyone else often means saying no to ourselves. This can lead to burnout and resentment, which can inadvertently affect our interactions with others.

It’s important to remember that it’s healthy and necessary to set boundaries. It’s okay to say no when you’re overwhelmed or when something doesn’t align with your values.

Setting boundaries allows you to maintain your mental health and ensures that when you do help others, you’re doing so out of genuine desire and not obligation. After all, a truly good person respects both themselves and others.

5) Judging others quickly

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ yet we often fall into the trap of making snap judgments about people based on superficial characteristics.

Making assumptions about others without knowing their story can lead to misunderstandings and unfair treatment. It can also block us from forming meaningful connections and learning from diverse perspectives.

To avoid this, try to approach each person you meet with an open mind. Practice empathy and try to understand their perspective before forming an opinion.

Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles that we may know nothing about. Being a good person means giving others the benefit of the doubt and treating them with kindness and respect, regardless of first impressions.

6) Neglecting to forgive

Holding onto grudges can be like carrying a heavy weight around your heart. It’s draining and can prevent you from moving forward, blocking the path to becoming a truly good person.

Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting or condoning the wrongs done to you. It’s about liberating yourself from the burden of resentment and anger. It’s about healing and giving yourself the gift of peace.

It might not be easy, and it might take time, but forgiving someone is a powerful act of kindness – towards both them and yourself. So, let go of the grudges, mend the bridges where you can, and give yourself permission to heal.

Because in the end, being a truly good person means having a heart that is light and free.

7) Avoiding difficult conversations

I once believed that keeping the peace meant avoiding any form of conflict. I’d often find myself agreeing with things I didn’t necessarily believe in, just to avoid an uncomfortable conversation.

Over time, I realized this approach was doing more harm than good. Not only was I compromising my own values, but I was also denying others the opportunity to understand my perspective.

Difficult conversations are just that – difficult. But they’re also necessary for growth and understanding. They allow us to express our feelings honestly, resolve misunderstandings, and build stronger relationships.

Being a truly good person means standing up for what you believe in and being open to different viewpoints.

8) Ignoring your own needs

In our quest to be good people, we often prioritize the needs of others above our own. We give and give, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

But here’s an important truth: you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Neglecting our own needs and desires isn’t just harmful to us; it can also affect our ability to care for others effectively. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential.

Whether it’s taking time out for relaxation, pursuing a hobby, or simply saying no when you’re overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take care of yourself.

Remember, being a truly good person means being kind to yourself as well as others. You deserve care and consideration too.

9) Forgetting that change takes time

The journey to becoming a better person isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It requires patience, persistence, and a whole lot of self-compassion.

It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws and make mistakes. But it’s how we learn from these mistakes and strive to improve that truly defines us.

The key is to keep moving forward, no matter how slow the progress may seem. Every step you take towards being a better person is a victory in itself.

So be patient with yourself. Celebrate your progress, however small it may seem. And remember, every day is a new opportunity to be a little bit better than you were yesterday.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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