If someone has these 8 character traits, they see the good in everyone

“You always give everyone the benefit of the doubt,” I once told my friend Josh. “But you take it too far. You choose to only see the good in them despite evidence to the contrary.”

He sighed. “I just want to believe they are better.”

Thus the struggle of a kind-hearted person. Instead of seeing the reality for what it is, you’ll always look for someone’s hidden potential and hope that one day, it gets a chance to bloom.

But why do some people see the good in everyone?

Long story short, it has to do with these 8 character traits.

1) They’re incredibly empathetic

As an empath, I can place myself in the shoes of almost anyone. And while having high levels of empathy is something I cherish – it allows me to view the world in all its richness – it also comes at a cost.

And that’s the fact that I empathize with people even in situations where I should really just focus on myself.

If someone hurts me, I empathize with the motivations that drove them to it even though I’d never choose to act that way.

If someone isn’t very empathetic, I empathize with them over not being empathetic.

It’s kind of a rollercoaster.

What’s more, it can easily get out of hand because if you don’t check in with the rational part of you often enough, you might end up seeing the good in everyone – even in situations where this approach doesn’t exactly improve your own well-being.

Empathy is both a blessing and a curse. It all depends on how you use it.

2) They never have malicious intentions

If you’re never planning to manipulate, hurt, or screw someone over, you might think that everyone else thinks in the exact same way.

Surely, everyone’s intentions are as pure as yours? Surely, people just want to be kind?

Of course, this is a very naïve approach to life, but as someone who used to have this exact mindset, I can honestly say that it doesn’t feel naïve when you’re right in it.

It feels hopeful. Optimistic. It comes from such a deep place of love and understanding that it helps you move through the world with ease, shut in your comfortable bubble of peace.

Until it all comes crashing down because someone’s used your gullibility to their advantage.

At the end of the day, though, giving people the benefit of the doubt is a good thing. It reflects positively on your character and it helps you achieve peace of mind.

Just remember that seeing the evidence right in front of you is just as important. Not everyone deserves your love and effort. You only have a limited amount of it, so use it wisely.

3) They have a growth mindset

A growth mindset essentially means that you believe in hard work. Be it a specific kind of talent, a skill, or a pattern of behavior, you think that putting in active effort can lead to a positive change.

People with a growth mindset know that their identities aren’t something rigid and set in stone – they’re constantly changing and ever-flowing, just like a river.

Add high empathy into the mix, and you’ve got a person who believes that anyone can get better if only they put in the work.

While this is an excellent attitude overall, it does mean that you might stay in dysfunctional relationships and unhealthy situations for longer than is preferable because you keep hoping that things will get better.

If this sounds familiar, keep in mind that whilst people do change and grow, that transformation has to come from within and has to be accompanied by real-life evidence.

If you only ever see potential but no real action… it might be time to take a step back and reflect on the whole situation more objectively.

4) They always see other people’s potential

Speaking of potential, someone who always sees the good in everyone is very likely to look for other people’s hidden potential so much that they refuse to accept what’s right before their eyes.

Trust me, I speak from personal experience. 

In the past, I always saw people not only for who they were but also for who they could be, and even though that potential never bloomed, I kept hoping it’d surprise me.

Alas, it did not, and I eventually had to learn a hard lesson: it does not matter how much potential someone has because what counts is what they do with it. That’s the most important part.

So, if you tend to hold on to people and situations just because things might get better sometime in the distant future, remember that the person standing right in front of you is who they truly are right now.

And there’s a high chance that “right now” equals “tomorrow”. Will you wait around forever just to find out?

5) They don’t think in black-and-white categories

One of the things I love about people who see the good in everyone is that they understand the complexities and intricacies of the human psyche.

In turn, they make for very open-minded and non-judgmental individuals because they know that things are rarely as they seem and that behind every action, there is a whole lot of contextual information.

If someone has a specific opinion on a certain issue, that opinion is formed by countless factors that make up the backdrop to their lives, including their nationality, socioeconomic status, family dynamics, education opportunities, and more.

Therefore, it’s not prudent to quickly judge someone because those judgments are based on incorrect assumptions. Only after you’ve known someone for years and years can you build an accurate picture of who they are.

6) They believe in nurture, not nature

On a similar note, people who like to give others the benefit of the doubt do so because they know just how important those external factors I’ve mentioned above are.

Someone’s socioeconomic status or year of birth can have such a major impact on their perception of the world that the only way to properly understand where they’re coming from is to have in-depth, calm, and mature discussions on many different topics.

The conflict between nurture (the external circumstances of someone’s life) and nature (their genetic makeup) is as old as time.

And while both affect us to some degree, people who see the good in everyone are more likely to consider nurture the most important factor because it’s what’s ultimately shaped all of us into who we are today.

7) They’re highly aware of their own imperfections

Another trait that bears mentioning is humility.

The reason my friend Josh likes to believe people are good at their core is that he is very much aware of his own mistakes and imperfections, which leads him to believe that we’re all just imperfect humans trying to get by.

And he’s right. 

Thinking that some people are just better than others would make for a very simplistic approach because it doesn’t take all the different nuances and intricacies of life into consideration.

Being aware of one’s own faults can help us put other people’s mistakes into perspective and realize that we’re all just people trying to make sense of life.

8) They’re eternal optimists

Lastly, people who believe in others’ potential also tend to be very optimistic.

They don’t go through life expecting a smack in the face at every corner. On the contrary, they believe that every challenge only pushes them further, every failure is a stepping stone toward success, and every person is capable of some goodness.

And while I’m a huge optimist myself, it is important to note that optimism is most effective when paired with realism.

Yes, believe that there is goodness in everyone. But don’t stick around in toxic relationships just because you hope that someday, things might get better.

It is possible to see both the good and the bad in people simultaneously and to make an informed decision based on that evidence. 

You only have one life. Spend it with people who treat you right.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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