Many of us wish that we knew how to become a better person. There is always room for improvement, so try these tips and remember, no one is perfect.
If I had a dime for every time I laid my head down on my pillow at night and promised that tomorrow I would be a better person, I would be beyond a millionaire. If you want a magic formula for how to become a better person, there is none. Wanting to better yourself is a natural feeling, but sometimes the problem can lay not in who you are, but who you believe yourself to be.
How to become a better person – The 9 golden rules
There are some people who care a whole lot about others, and then there are those who care a whole lot about themselves. The key to knowing how to become a good person is finding the balance between the two.
Caring more about others more than you do yourself doesn’t make you a better person. In fact, it can make you a nervous wreck. In the reverse, caring about yourself only, can lead to a life of struggle with those around you. Here are 9 tips for how to become a better person. [Read: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]
#1 Be kind. Being a good person is about kindness. Kindness involves having empathy and being able to see when someone needs help.
It doesn’t involve always putting people in front of your own needs, but it does involve you speaking kindly, not taking advantage of others when they are vulnerable, and when you have the means, helping those around you who need it.
#2 Don’t judge. One of the worst traits that human beings possess is being judgmental. Having the ability to judge is an important evolutionary skill that we have. When you see a situation, you are trained to assess it to decipher whether you are in danger and how you should react.
If you hear gossip, see someone being ugly, or walk into something that wasn’t meant for your eyes or ears, try to reserve judgment. There are always two sides to every story. Assuming that you know the whole story or the motivation of another person can do a lot of damage.
Stay out of things that have nothing to do with you, and try not to judge what others do. You never know how you would react or behave until a situation presents itself to you. So, don’t presume that you would have done something better than anyone else in their shoes. [Read: 10 simple ways to become a more socially conscious person]
#3 Don’t gossip or spread rumors. If you want to know how to become a better person, you need to mind your own business. If you are worried about a friend, then confront them. Using the guise of worry to talk badly about others, or talking about others behind their back, whether it is true or not, is one of the most destructive human behaviors there is.
If you know someone or not, they are not a source of debate for you or the group you talk to. The only life you have to worry about is your own, so don’t discuss what someone else is doing with other people. It isn’t your business, and it isn’t helpful.
Once more, if someone talks badly or tells you something personal about someone else, choose not to listen and let them know that you don’t think it is cool. Being a better person involves not talking badly.
#4 Don’t hold grudges. If you are wronged by someone, it does no good to hold a grudge or not to forgive. Even if they haven’t asked for your forgiveness, being upset or angry does nothing to hurt the other person, it only makes you angry and spiteful.
If someone hurts your feelings or does something that makes you mad, turn the other cheek to be a better person. They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you certainly don’t deserve to carry around the baggage of anger either.
#5 Always assume the best. Always expect and assume that people are coming from a good place. Making assumptions about someone’s motives or intentions taints any situation and is a negative way of looking at things.
If you constantly approach a situation expecting the worst, you are setting yourself up for failure. A self-fulfilling prophecy, what you expect is typically what you get from people. Instead of assuming that someone hurt you on purpose, assume that they didn’t, and move on from it. [Read: How to be charming and liked by everyone]
#6 Treat others as you would like to be treated. Yep, the Golden Rule, do onto others as you would have done onto yourself. If you want someone to respect and honor you, then you have to show them the same courtesy.
Before you say and do things, put yourself into someone else’s shoes and think about how you would like to be treated. Thinking there is one standard for you and one of the rest of the world just makes you self-centered. You wouldn’t like it if someone said something nasty to you, so don’t do it to anyone else.
#7 Volunteer. If you want to know how to become a better person, try to give some of your time to someone in need. There are a ton of organizations that need help. Whether it is a food bank or Hospice, helping someone in crisis will give you a different perspective on life. Seeing the struggles of others can help you to feel more blessed, and also make your own issues seem small. [Read: 11 simple ways to inspire the people around you]
#8 Be a good listener. Sometimes the best way to be a better person is to take the time to listen. Too often we are so wrapped up in our own head or drama that we stop listening to those around us.
If you focus on things outside yourself and allow someone to vent, you are spreading peace in your life. Be the person who people can come to who doesn’t judge, won’t repeat what they are told, and listens thoughtfully without telling someone what to do. Be the person who truly just listens.
#9 Care about you. Sometimes the reason you want to become a better person is that you care too much about what people think… and you don’t have faith that you are a good person. If you are even considering how to become a better person, then you have goodness in your heart. [Read: How to be a good person – 10 small changes to transform your world]
Not a single one of us is perfect. And, the harder we try to be perfect, the more unhappy it can make us. Part of being a good person is not only forgiving and being kind to those around you, but also to yourself.
Knowing how to become a better person includes understanding more, forgiving more, giving more of yourself, and loving you. If you are too hard on other people, give them a break. If you are too hard on yourself, do the same.