If someone does these 8 things for others, they’re a really good person

Have you ever met someone so kind, you later thought to yourself, “damn, that was a really great person!” I know I have. 

In a world full of fakeness and ulterior motives, it’s comforting to know that truly good people are still out there. But the thing is, they are an increasingly rare commodity. 

How can we tell the authentic from the phony? How many times are people fooled by a facade of innocence, only to later pay the price for their naiveté? Short answer: a lot, daily. 

Once we develop the ability to spot a truly good person, we can trust others accordingly and save ourselves a lot of trouble. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the things really good people do for others. And as a bonus, when you become aware of the signs, you can start cultivating that inner goodness within yourself, if you haven’t already. 

Let’s dive in! 

1) They cook for others

They say the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Frankly, this is something I can attest to. 

Cooking in particular takes time and effort, so when someone often willingly cooks for others, be it a loved one or an elderly neighbor, this is a pretty clear indication of a good person.

When you cook for someone, you’re providing them with a basic need: sustenance. On a primal level, you’re not only communicating a protective nature but also a compassionate and kind one. 

So the next time you want to do something meaningful for someone you care about, consider cooking. 

I assure you that whipping up a dish, however simple, is a far more profound act than ordering discounted pizza on Uber Eats. 

2) They’re a reliable friend 

Here’s the thing: when you’re going through a rough period in your life, chances are only a select few (if you’re lucky) from your circle will consistently be there for you. 

This is why, as we grow, we tend to value authentic friendships and connections over vapid interactions. 

We gradually gain the wisdom that it’s far more important to have a few solid relationships over a ton of meaningless ones. 

In short, the quality over quantity rule very much applies.

Being a dependable friend means consistency. It means frequently checking in and being a rock for them through the good times and in particular, the bad. 

Once you have a truly good friend on your side, you can sleep well knowing that someone has your back. 

3) They have a rescue animal 

Respecting people is one thing, but when you have respect for animals as living, breathing, sentient beings? That puts you in a different class in the category of good people altogether. 

Rescuing dogs or cats from an otherwise miserable existence is pretty much confirmation of a good person

Sure, we all love cuddly, cute pets, but going out of your way to rehabilitate a lost creature and provide it with much-needed love and shelter? 

You’re doing God’s work, my friend. 

4) They quietly donate to charity

I’ll be honest, when someone describes themselves as a “philanthropist” I can’t help but cringe a little. 

Not to sound too suspect but charity these days is often just an excuse to throw a party… one where most of the attendees are there for the free booze and hors d’oeuvres instead of actually contributing to a cause. 

On a similar note, many people become “charitable” as a means of getting likes or views on the ‘gram or TikTok rather than genuine altruism.  

In a sense, charitability has become a form of clout chasing. I think we have to occasionally step back and reflect on who we are as a society. 

I know, I know… I paint a bleak picture but I believe charitable acts should be motivated exclusively by a desire to make the world a better place and little else. 

If someone, say, quietly donates a portion of their income towards charitable causes they believe in, without the unnecessary publicity or self-promotion, then the chances are, they’re a good person.

My country gets hit with devastating typhoons pretty much every year. Thousands die and thousands more lose their livelihoods. 

My grandmother who is pushing ninety has always donated to those suffering as a result of these natural disasters.

When she donates, there’s no fancy fundraising, no publicity, and no social media-induced dopamine high involved (she’s barely even heard of Facebook.) 

She helps simply because she knows she’s in a position to improve the situation of others.

Remember, integrity is how you act when nobody’s looking. 

5) They have respect for everyone 

I’m curious, do you treat the janitor with the same dignity and respect as the CEO? 

When you’re a good person, you see past superficial things like status, class, race, income, etc. You treat others with respect simply because they’re entitled to it as living, breathing, autonomous human beings.  

I remember high school when the status quo was that the so-called cool kids would bully the less cool kids because of status, or lack thereof. 

I had a friend, Dave, who always was nice to everyone, regardless if they were star athletes or social outcasts. 

By being kind and respecting everyone, he was displaying tremendous emotional maturity for someone his age. 

He was genuinely nice because that was his innate personality and he was true to himself and others. He wasn’t caught up in juvenile popularity contests like the rest of us. 

Today, he leads a wildly successful life as an entrepreneur, regularly traveling the world and making new connections. He’s living the dream. 

His kindness has always been an asset and has always taken him places… and still does. 

Try not to forget: just like Dave being unconditionally kind to everyone, true character is how you treat people who can’t do anything for you in return. 

6) They practice kindness in daily life 

Now let’s discuss things on a more micro level since kindness is often seen and judged by our smallest actions. Here are a couple of common examples:

Let’s say you’re in the grocery and someone lets you get ahead of them at the checkout queue when they’re purchasing a gargantuan, prepper-like haul and you have a bag of red onions and some soy milk in hand. This is kindness. 

Or maybe you’re on the subway home and after a long day on your feet but you offer your seat to someone more in need, like a pregnant woman, an elderly person, or someone struggling to carry something. 

Believe me when I say these seemingly small, consistent acts of kindness and empathy have a huge effect on how you’re perceived by others, and even how you perceive yourself. 

7) They stand up for others

I’ll say this much about social media: one of its positive aspects is that it has raised awareness about the plight of the disenfranchised and less fortunate. 

Whether it’s your schoolmate being bullied or harassed or a segment of society that is blatantly marginalized, standing up for others, even when you have the (far more convenient) option to stay quiet, speaks volumes about you and your character. 

I think it’s safe to say that most people prefer to take a passive approach when faced with contention, afraid to ruffle feathers or take risks. 

A really good person will often stand up for others when they feel it’s needed–a testament to their compassionate and kind nature

This reminds me of something the revered bishop Desmond Tutu once said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” 

So the next time you witness injustice, speak up. Life is too short to play it safe, particularly when your neutrality comes at the expense of others. 

8) They have the ability to forgive 

As humans, we tend to have a lot of pride. If you’ve been willing to be the bigger person and forgive someone who has wronged you in the past, then guess what? You’re on an elevated plane of existence, ahead of most.  

The thing about people is that they can be a bit high and mighty. Once they’ve been wronged, they put up a protective shield–one that’s in all honesty, quite hard to penetrate.

The genuinely good person however recognizes that life is short and holding grudges isn’t doing anyone favors.

They know that we’re all just humans and a core part of the human experience is making mistakes and learning from them. 

Sure, don’t be a doormat and let people walk all over you. But if someone close to you has wronged you in the past and has since atoned for their mistakes, choosing the path of letting go is a resounding reflection of your moral fiber more than anything. 

Besides, why hoard unnecessary baggage and stress when you don’t have to?

Final thoughts

To recap, being a “good person” goes far beyond a single act. Instead, it’s something that you embody through practice and dedication. 

If you’re not where you want to be, don’t fret–read the examples in this list carefully and gradually try to incorporate them into your life, with authenticity always at the forefront. 

Through commitment and a will to be better, you’ll get to where you want to be. Celebrate the small wins.

Great things don’t happen overnight. Remember, you should look at your quest to goodness not as a destination, but as a journey, one with ample opportunities to connect with and inspire those around us.

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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