How to spot a good person.

By David Joel Miller.

Are you a good person? Can you spot a good person when you see one?

Do you think you are a good person?

helping person

Good People.
Photo courtesy of

Do you think you are a good person? Most people think they are, but how do others see you? Want to feel better about yourself, work at becoming a better person. “Are you a good person?” is not a yes and no question. Everyone has areas of their life that could be better. These issues could be called “defects of character.” I like to think of these areas as “improvement opportunities.”

Developing goodness is a lifelong task. Some people are too needy to make the effort.  If you want better self-esteem you need to work on becoming a better person. How do you exercise that goodness muscle? By hanging out with good people! Below are some of the ways you might spot a good person. Do you do these things? Do the people in your life have these characteristics?

Good people treat other people well even when there is nothing in it for them.

Make a habit of treating others better than simply the way you would like to be treated. That approach is trading favors mentality. You do for me and I do for you. Truly good people do the right thing because it is the thing. They chose to do good even when there is nothing in it for them.

Good people are not judgmental.

Because someone is different from you does not make them less-than. Good people accept others regardless of their looks, their language or their past.

Good people still form opinions of others based on what others do, but not because of who others are.

Being non-judgmental does not mean having no standards. Doing whatever you want when it impacts others is not always OK. You should evaluate people by their actions. But that non-judgmental stance includes the belief that people can change and that having made mistakes does not make someone a “bad person.” Even really good people sometimes do bad things and vice versa.

Good people respect others property and time. Punctuality.

A truly good person respects and cares for your property as much or more than they care for their own. They do not take things that are not theirs and they ask before borrowing. Just because they need something does not justify their taking what is not theirs.

Good people also respect your time. They consider your time just as valuable as theirs. They are not habitually late. People who feel that others time does not matter do not have anyone but themselves in mind.

Good people also do not repeatedly violate your time, possessions and rights and then try to excuse those transgressions with apologies. Once is an accident but recurring disrespect cannot be made right by continually apologizing for the same action.

Good people genuinely care about others.

For good people, others are something of value regardless of their state or credentials. For the good person other people are not objects to be used to get what they want but individuals who have worth because they are them.

Good people do not restrict their caring and concern to others like them or to those in positions to return the favor.

Good people are positive.

A good person can find the good in any person or situation. They see the potential, not the defects. They motivate others by their leadership not by playing to their fears. Beware of those who instinctively can find the flaws in anyone but themselves.

Good people are helpful.

Good people delight in being of service to others. They do not think only of what is in it for them because they know that being helpful will bring them joy. It is not kindness when you do for others expecting something in return. A good person knows that doing good things is its own reward.

Good people see things from others point of view.

Good people are not stuck in needing to be right and to convince others of their point of view. They are willing to see things from others perspective.  They are not dogmatic but open to seeing how it is that others form opinions different from theirs.

Everything is not always about them.

Good people can step outside what is best for themselves and honestly want what is best for others. They can find ways to get their needs met while allowing others to do likewise.

Good people are real. Genuine.

A good person does not have to be fake. They do not need to hide their true selves and do not fear others really getting to know them. They like themselves well enough to be able to be who they are with everyone. Good people do not feel the need to be fake in order to get others to like them because they have mastered the art of liking themselves.

Good people are interested in others.

Curiosity and a desire to understand drive the truly good person. They strive to understand others not to find ways to make themselves superior.

For Good people, communication is a two-way street.

Ever met someone, say hello, and then wait as they talk nonstop about themselves? Can you think of someone who evades every opportunity to share of themselves and seems motivated to “pump” you for info?

People who only talk or those who pry without being willing to reciprocate are both motivated to get more than they receive in a conversation.

For the good person, a conversation is an exchange between equals.

Good people do not always have to be right.

Good people may believe strongly but they can admit when they are wrong. A good person can acknowledge when others were right and can give credit where credit belongs.

Are you “Good people?”

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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