Everyone and anyone can be nice.
They can offer up nice works. They can do an act of kindness. It’s something that’s in the moment.
Being a good person goes much deeper than this. Good is something real that lasts much longer than the moment.
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing wrong with being a nice person. They aren’t bad people.
But they are often treated as doormats, exploited, and taken advantage of, as they are willing to go to any lengths to keep the peace and be nice to people.
A good person has firm values in place and is focused on doing the right thing – not just the right thing for them. It’s a lifestyle.
So, how do you tell the difference between a nice person and a good person?
Nice person vs good person: 10 ways to spot the difference
1) Good people back up words with action
Anyone can tell you that you look nice today. It takes a good person to make you feel beautiful each and every day.
The difference is in the actions.
As they say, it’s easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Nice people are full of words. They want you to see them in a certain light (as the nice person), so they’re all too willing to dish out the compliments and help at the moment.
They’re less likely to follow up this exchange with action.
Once the moment is over and being nice is no longer their priority, they retreat into themselves.
A good person, however, always follows through with actions. They’re not concerned with how other people see them, they’re simply focused on doing the right thing.
A nice person will tell you they’d love to help you move if they weren’t already working that day. A good person will clear their schedule and turn up without making a big deal out of it.
They aren’t in it for the praise and attention.
They act because they care and want to do the right thing.
That’s a key difference.
2) Good people don’t compromise their values
A nice person simply wants to be liked, and they will go to any lengths to achieve their end goal.
This means they’re willing to compromise their values just to be liked.
But, the sad fact is, if they continue to compromise their values they will lose sight of who they are a person. And people will no longer be able to trust them.
On the other hand, a good person would never compromise on their values. They know who they are and what they stand for and won’t let this slip for the sake of being ‘nice’.
A good person doesn’t care if they burn friendships or people dislike them because of their actions. They act on their values and do what they consider to be the right thing in the process.
For nice people, it’s a popularity contest. They focused on winning people over no matter the costs to their values.
For good people, it’s non-negotiable. Their values are what make them who they are and they aren’t willing to sacrifice these just to be liked.
3) Good people set boundaries
If you don’t set your boundaries in life, then other people will set them for you. This is how nice people end up getting walked all over.
They are so focused on keeping the peace and maintaining their image, that they have no boundaries they aren’t willing to cross in order to achieve their goals.
This means that other people set the boundaries for them.
Good people do what’s right, not just what’s right for them.
They have boundaries in place that reflect their values, which they aren’t willing to compromise.
People don’t have the opportunity to walk all over them, as their boundaries are set and clear. There’s no wiggle room.
4) Good people aren’t afraid to speak up
Nice people tend to go with the crowd.
If you think about it in terms of peer pressure, then nice people are constantly being led astray.
Their end goal is to be liked, which means they follow the crowd just so they fit in with everybody.
Good people speak up. If something isn’t right, they let the people around them know. They aren’t interested in fitting in just for the sake of it. And they won’t let others suffer just to keep a few friends.
For example, if friends are pressuring everyone to have a smoke, the nice person will join in without question.
If this is what it takes to be liked, they will do it without hesitation, turning away from that one person who clearly doesn’t want to join in.
A good person will stand up for this one person, and let the crowd know their actions aren’t OK. The good person will walk away from the group with this person, without worrying whether or not they have lost friendships in the process.
They are only concerned about doing what’s right at the moment, and they aren’t afraid to speak up if the need arises.
5) Good people gain respect
This is one of those simple tell-tale signs between a good person and a nice person.
You can never respect a nice person.
They are constantly compromising on their values and bending over backward to be liked, which means people don’t trust them. They might end up being liked by these people, but they will never be respected by them.
The simple fact is, it’s hard to respect a pushover, no matter the circumstances.
On the other hand, it’s easy to respect a good person.
You may not like them at the moment, but you always respect the choices they make and the way they stand up for what’s important.
In the end, it’s hard not to like them despite it all.
For example, if you’re out with friends and you want to go skinny dipping for fun, the good person will be the one to talk you out of it. You may not like them at the moment, but the next day you respect them for standing up to you and stopping you do something stupid.
The nice person, however, will join you straight away. You like them at the moment, but there is no respect there. They are always willing to jump when you say jump, and you have to know the idea whether they have any thoughts or values of their own.
6) For good people, it isn’t an act
Being nice is easy.
You only have to do it at the moment and you don’t even have to think about it.
You simply agree, go along with the crowd and keep the peace.
Being good is a lifestyle.
It’s not just a simple act that you turn on and off as you choose.
You stand by your values at the moment and every moment afterward.
You make decisions based on what’s right and what’s wrong, not based on what others around you are thinking.
Being good means sacrificing friendships and relationships for your beliefs and values.
It’s your life.
And it affects every single moment of your life as well.
7) Good people are confident
You’ll find that most nice people have almost zero confidence. This is part of the reason why they’re so willing to keep the peace.
Being nice allows them to sink back into the shadows and go unnoticed. If people do notice them, it’s because they’re agreeing and going along with what they want. They’re being nice.
Nice people generally aren’t sure of themselves. This is easy to understand since they are so willing to compromise on their values. They don’t know their worth, so tend to be much shyer as a result.
Good people are a lot more confident, which is why they’re willing to speak up and act if the situation needs it. The good person knows he has value, which sparks that confidence. They aren’t afraid of losing friends or ruffling feathers in the process.
A good person knows their worth which is why they tend to be a lot more confident than nice people.
8) Good people don’t gloat
Nice people often do nice things for recognition.
They are the ones who overshare their acts of kindness with a “look at me attitude”, to ensure their nice deed has not gone unnoticed.
Good people don’t need this recognition. If they share their act of kindness it’s the hope of getting other people involved so the kindness can spread.
They don’t care about getting anything in return – all that matters to them is doing the right thing each and every day.
A good person doesn’t just attend a one-off charity event or go give blood once. They are doing these things every single week without making any noise.
Their way of life is thinking about what they can do for others, and not what they can get out of it.
Even though their actions might be the same, the difference between a good person and a nice person is where these actions are coming from and what’s driving them.
9) Good people live life with a full cup
Those with a full cup are then able to give others.
They’re happy people who are living happy and fulfilled lives. They can authentically share with others because it comes from a good place.
Good people lead good lives, because it’s a lifestyle choice for them. And it flows down through every single aspect of their lives.
Nice people generally have a half-full cup they’re looking to fill. They’re conducting emotional transactions, giving something to get something in return to help fill their cup.
They are usually unhappy in their own lives and seek validation from those around them. They are looking to build themselves up.
Nice people feel inadequate in themselves, which is why they won’t say no. They are constantly seeking something more because they constantly feeling like something is missing from their own lives.
10) A good person is simply…good
Finally, trust your intuition when it comes to spotting the difference between a nice person and a good person.
They are usually very easy to spot as they are so genuine in the way they act and behave.
You never find yourself asking whether they’re wanting something in return.
You never find yourself wondering if they have an ulterior motive.
You never find yourself questioning their values or who they are as a person.
And finally, and most importantly, you trust them completely.
You always know what to expect from a good person.
Because they are so strong on their values and beliefs it’s so easy to predict how they will act in certain circumstances.
This means you can trust them no matter what and count on them time and time again.
On the other hand, a nice person will come across as fake to you.
You might not be able to put your finger on anything specifically, but trust your gut on this one. If it doesn’t feel right and the relationship doesn’t sit right, then they’re probably faking it.
How to be a good person
Now you know the key differences between nice people and good people, how do you make changes in your own life?
Start by defining your own values and ideals.
These are what you should be living your life by.
Once you know how you want to live your life, start making small changes each and every day. Before you know it, these values and ideals will drive your life and play a part in everything you say and do.
It will become a lifestyle for you.
It won’t always be easy with so many tempting distractions out there to draw you away from what you believe.
But at the end of the day, if you’re staying true to yourself and your values then you are on the right path to being a good person.
Putting yourself first
Hey, Lachlan from Hack Spirit here.
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever it is, you’re not going to get there, unless you’ve got a plan.
And even then…plans fail.
But I didn’t write this to you to be the voice of doom and gloom…
No, I’m writing this because I want to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
I’ve recently been taking part in a workshop called Life Journal created by teacher and career coach Jeanette Brown.
Covering all the basics and more on what’s needed to reach your goals, Jeannette tackles everything from creating habits and new behavior patterns to putting your plans into action.
She doesn’t mess around – this workshop will require effort on your part but that’s the beauty of it – Jeanette has carefully designed it to put YOU in the driving seat of your life.
So…think back to that important goal I asked about at the start of this message.
How much do you want it?
Are you willing to put the effort in to get there?
If so, check out the workshop here.
If you do take part, I’d love to hear how your Life Journey goes!
All the best,