What does it mean to be a good person?
Most of us simply have an “I know it when I see it” answer to this question.
It’s possible that we haven’t taken the time to think about all the characteristics or behaviors that build up our concept of being good.
If you took a step back and looked at the big picture, I’m sure you could come up with a pretty good list of what you find good in others.
But at the same time, you’d probably skip over a lot of the things that are good about yourself.
If that’s true, there’s a good reason why.
But don’t worry; I’ve made my own list of eight things you don’t realize you’re doing because you’re a naturally good person.
This will help you understand a lot about why people like you and appreciate your company, even if you’ve never thought about it.
1) You listen when others speak
Does this just seem like a completely obvious thing to do?
Of course, it does if you’re a naturally good person. You probably think it’s respectful and considerate, and you’re right.
But you’d be surprised how many people don’t really listen to others.
There are a few reasons why not.
A big one is judging the speaker as not socially important. So many people simply ignore or, worse, talk over someone they think has a low position on the social ladder.
They usually don’t even do it on purpose – it’s just their instinct to pay little attention to “little” people.
Another reason is that they’re so wrapped up in what they’re going to say they don’t listen to the other person talking. This is basically a case of “finish saying yours so I can say mine” thinking.
But a naturally good person lends a respectful ear to all people, so matter where they’re positioned on the social totem pole.
2) You give out unloaded compliments
Even if they don’t know exactly what to do with a compliment, you’d better believe that everyone likes to receive them.
Complements and praise actually stimulate the same delicious reward centers in the brain as sex, giving the recipient a juicy shot of the feel-good chemical dopamine. So who wouldn’t want to hear such lovely things?
At the same time, though, most compliments that are given out are loaded. By this, I mean that there are strings attached.
So many people will say, “Oh, I love your outfit!” just so that person will turn around and compliment them back.
Or else they give out praise like, “That’s such a great idea!” to people who have power and status in order to kiss up to them.
But if you’re a naturally good person, you just give out real compliments when you actually mean them, which is really sweet and honest.
3) You’re honest
As a naturally good person, you do that thing that you were taught as a kid.
You speak the truth and carry truth with you everywhere you go.
It’s not that you wouldn’t stretch it a bit when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
You know – the classic, “Do I look good in this?”
But that’s about the only reason you’ll fudge the truth.
You’ll say something like, “I really love you in the black outfit,” instead, and try to spare feelings.
But in general, your inner and outer worlds are in balance; you speak the truth, and you show on the outside the person you truly are inside.
And you’d be amazed at just how many people don’t live like this.
4) You’re positive
If you’re a naturally good person, you probably also naturally see the world as good, and this leads you to be generally positive in your outlook.
So if you’ve ever wondered why people like to spend time with you or get in touch when they’re feeling down, it’s because they’re lacking that same positivity in their lives.
There’s no scientific reason to expect good things to happen. Bad stuff happens all the time, too.
But that’s not really what being positive is all about. It doesn’t mean you always predict that your friend will get a promotion or that the weather will be sunny.
Instead, it’s all about framing and perspective.
Your ability to find the positives in a tragedy or to turn a seemingly bad situation on its head is what other people find attractive about you, and they’ll gravitate to you when they need a big dose of positivity in their lives.
5) You don’t judge others
Or maybe I should say you don’t pre-judge other people.
The point is that you give others the benefit of the doubt and try to understand their motivations for doing what they do.
Let’s look at a situation where so many people would be judgmental.
A few months ago, there was a big string of bicycle thefts in my neighborhood.
People go together and tried to figure out what was going on and who was responsible. They were angry and also scared for the safety of their families.
And soon, blame was directed at a small group of homeless people living in tents near the edge of the park.
It was easy to see why they might be blamed. They were obviously poor, abused drugs, and came and went regularly. It must be them!
But one woman stood up against the growing mob mentality. She argued that these people were never seen with bikes, had no known history of stealing, and the thefts were concentrated at the opposite end of the neighborhood.
Well, guess what?
The police caught a ring of thieves who were driving a van in from another part of the city.
If it hadn’t been for that naturally good and non-judgmental person, a really big mistake could have been made!
6) You’re fair
This point is tied to judging others.
You may find that people come to you in situations where they actually need clear thinking because they know that you’re fair and respectful to all, and that makes you very balanced.
Suppose a friend comes to you and says she’s sure her partner is cheating. Unlike others, you’re not going to run and grab your guillotine for an execution.
Instead, you’ll probably listen closely and ask questions. And you might find that her suspicions are well-founded or that they seem to be more imagined than anything.
You reserve judgment and instead listen with an open mind.
And guess what, next time you meet your friend and her partner and they’re happy together, you’ll be glad you didn’t call him a horrible piece of garbage.
But you’d never say that anyway since you’re a naturally good person.
7) You’re generous
As a naturally good person, you probably learned all you need to know about how to treat others way back in kindergarten.
Remember that one rule: Share?
A good person thinks about others and sees their needs and deficiencies.
When they have something that others don’t, their natural instinct is to share what they have or even to give it away completely.
After all, they have goodness, and that’s a lot already.
This is why you’ll see good people give a lot to charity or give you the shirt off their back if you ask them.
They just don’t feel they have to hold onto everything they have with a tight-fisted grip.
Instead, they get a much better feeling sharing what they have with anyone in need.
8) You’re kind
This is a no-brainer, right?
Everyone knows that being good and being kind are basically the same thing… don’t they?
But what does it mean to be kind to others?
Sure, this includes holding the door open for someone whose hands are full and telling someone they look nice.
But like a thick, lush carpet, these simple behaviors are underlain by a deep-seated way of thinking about other people.
A naturally good person knows that life can be hard and that everyone is fighting a struggle you can’t see.
So there’s always a choice for how to treat someone. Do you do things that might add a burden to their lives, or do you try to do the opposite, providing help, positivity, and understanding?
Actually, naturally good people don’t have a choice in the matter.
They automatically care about others and try to make their lives better and not worse.
Naturally good people do good things, naturally!
The bottom line is that it’s not hard for good people to do good things.
They’re kind, honest, fair, open, and considerate without ever having to bat an eyelash.
They do their best for themselves, for the people in their lives, and even for total strangers.
And that’s what makes them loveable!