9 non-obvious signs you’re actually a good person, according to psychology

As people, it’s important for us to know that we’re good, kind, and empathetic.

However, we sometimes overlook these qualities in ourselves.

Luckily, psychology gives us some interesting insights into what it means to be a good person.

It’s not always the obvious signs, like being charitable or always saying yes to help others. Sometimes, it’s the subtle traits and behaviors that truly define our goodness.

In this article, I will walk you through some non-obvious signs that prove you’re actually a good person, according to psychology.

These are the signs you might not recognize in yourself, but they are there, quietly showcasing your innate goodness.

1) Quiet kindness

Quiet kindness is a trait that often flies under the radar. It’s the silent, unassuming gestures of goodwill we extend towards others without expecting anything in return.

Often, you might not even realize you’re displaying this trait.

Maybe you always make sure to return the shopping cart at the grocery store, or you’re quick to offer your seat to someone in need on public transport.

Perhaps you’re the person who always listens attentively when someone else is speaking, showing genuine interest and empathy.

Psychology tells us that these small acts of kindness can be powerful indicators of a good person. They suggest that you’re considerate of others, and inherently value their well-being.

It’s these little things that can often speak volumes about our character.

2) Intuitive perception

Have you ever found yourself instinctively knowing when a friend needs a comforting word, or when a colleague is stressed out, even if they’re trying to hide it?

This is intuitive perception.

Intuitive perception is all about understanding others without them having to say a word. It’s how you pick up on cues, sense emotions, or simply know when something is off.

This ability to perceive and respond to the feelings of others is a sign of emotional intelligence, and it’s a clear indicator that you’re not just good but also empathetic and receptive.

Your sensitivity towards others’ emotions often leads to supportive actions, which may not be obvious to the casual observer but are deeply felt by the person receiving it.

3) Accepting your faults

Nobody is perfect. We all have our imperfections. It’s the way we handle them that reveals a lot about our character.

Ironically, accepting and acknowledging your own faults is a telltale sign of a good person. It might seem like a weakness on the surface, but it actually indicates an understanding of yourself and a sense of humility.

Maybe you’re someone who’s quick to apologize when you realize you’ve made a mistake or you’re not afraid to admit when you don’t know something.

Rather than seeing these as negatives, they actually demonstrate a sense of responsibility and authenticity.

4) Embracing vulnerability

Let’s get real.

Being vulnerable can be downright terrifying. It involves showing our true selves, even when we’re scared or uncertain. It means letting our guard down, even when we risk getting hurt.

Yet, embracing vulnerability is a sign of a truly good person.

It could be that you openly share your fears and doubts with others, or you’re not afraid to show your emotions, no matter how raw they might be. It could be that you’re willing to put yourself out there, despite the risk of rejection or criticism.

This acceptance and willingness to be vulnerable show a deep sense of self-awareness and authenticity. It shows that you’re human and are not afraid to show it.

5) Empowering others

Being a good person isn’t just about how we treat ourselves; it’s also how we treat those around us.

And one of the most profound ways to display our goodness is by empowering others.

Perhaps you’re always there to lend a listening ear, offering words of encouragement when someone is down. Or maybe you’re the one cheering on your friends as they reach for their dreams or standing by them as they navigate through their struggles.

These actions show a deep sense of empathy and kindness. Empowering others can take many forms, but at its core, it involves believing in others and helping them believe in themselves.

6) Appreciating the little joys in life

In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to overlook the little things.

But if you’re someone who finds happiness in the simplest of joys, that’s a sign pointing towards your goodness.

Maybe it’s the warmth of the morning sun on your face, the laughter of a child, a good book, or even your favorite cup of coffee.

Appreciating these simple moments shows a deep sense of contentment and gratitude for life’s everyday blessings.

This trait is relatable because we all have those little things that make our day a little brighter. So if you find yourself cherishing these tiny moments of joy, know that it’s a subtle yet powerful sign of your good nature.

It shows that you have the ability to see and appreciate the good in the world around you.

7) Laughter and positivity

Ever been told you have a contagious laugh? Are you the one who always cracks jokes and lightens the mood?

If that sounds like you, then take it as a sign of your inherent goodness.

Laughter and positivity are more than just feel-good factors. They’re a testament to your ability to spread joy and uplift those around you.

Whether it’s your knack for finding humor in the most mundane situations or your infectious enthusiasm that brightens up even the gloomiest days, these traits are a clear indication of your good heart.

It shows that not only do you have a fun spirit, but you also carry a light within you that shines on everyone around you.

8) Setting boundaries

This might seem a bit harsh, but being a good person doesn’t mean being a pushover. You’ve got to look out for yourself, too. And that means setting boundaries.

Maybe you’re the person who’s not afraid to say no when something doesn’t sit well with you, or you’re clear about your limits and what you’re comfortable with.

This shows a high level of self-respect and self-care.

It’s not that you’re being selfish or unkind. You simply understand that you have a right to your own feelings, space, and peace of mind, and you know that it’s okay to prioritize your own well-being.

9) Empathy and understanding

One of the most significant signs of a good person is empathy—it’s truly understanding and sharing the feelings of others.

Perhaps you’re someone who can easily put yourself in someone else’s shoes, or you’re always ready to understand different perspectives before making judgements.

Empathy is not just sympathizing with someone’s situation, but genuinely feeling with them and offering your understanding and support. It’s recognizing our shared human experience and responding with kindness.

Even when it feels difficult—even when it hurts—your empathy is making a difference in ways you may not even realize.

Reflecting on goodness

As we conclude, let’s take a moment to reflect on what it means to be a good person.

Psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.”

This rings true with our journey of self-discovery and growth.

Being a good person isn’t just simply having these non-obvious signs we’ve outlined.

It’s continually striving to be better. It’s recognizing our flaws and working on them, lifting others up, and spreading positivity.

Take these signs not as prerequisites for goodness, but as reminders of the innate goodness that already resides within us.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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