When someone asks, “Do you think you’re a good person?” It takes a minute to process. Am I? Can I learn how to be a better person?
We all do shitty things, some of us do it on occasion while others ride that shit train till the end. See, I don’t believe anyone is born as a bad person, I think how we’re raised and our environments have a lot to do with it. So, are you sitting here wondering how to be a better person or you just don’t care?
So, you may be going through your memory bank, rewinding back to the time where you kissed another girl when you had a girlfriend or when you stole a bag of chips from the store, but those are things from the past. Of course, defining what’s bad is a whole other topic. But, let’s keep it simple.
How to be a better person
You may think cheating on your spouse is bad while the person beside you doesn’t think so. But it doesn’t matter. Whatever you feel is a bad act is bad. So, you may be wanting to become a better person and you know you can do it.
Just because you have done things that you label as bad, doesn’t mean you must continue doing them. Make a change and be a better person. You can change if you want to.
#1 Accept what you’ve done. I know you want to be a better person, but if you genuinely want to know how to be a better person, the shit you dusted under the rug? Lift up the rug and give it a good vacuum.
How can you be a better person when you accept your past and continue to hide it? Now, you don’t have to go on Dr. Phil, you just need to accept what you’ve done and perhaps do some apologizing. [Read: How to grow up and face life like an adult]
#2 Cut the excuses. Now that you think about everything you’ve done, you probably have a list of excuses for why you did what you did. I don’t want to hear the excuses, I don’t care about your excuses. Stop pointing the finger and just acknowledge what you did what shitty. Then, you learn from your mistake and become the person you want to be.
#3 Learn to forgive yourself and others. This isn’t going to be easy and for many of you, resenting someone is what makes you wake up and go to work. But it shouldn’t be like that. This isn’t about them, this is purely about you. Harboring those feelings of resentment only holds you back and keeps those negative feelings and memories alive. [Read: How to forgive someone and unburden your mind]
#4 Work on honesty. Usually, when we think about bad people, we tend to associate them with dishonesty. You may have been lied to in the past and from that hurt, you now act in the same way. You’re going to have to grow up and work on being an honest person. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your feelings and thoughts. If anything, people respect you more for it.
#5 Do things without self-interest. I’m not going to lie, most of us only do things if there’s some sort of self-interest involved. For example, if you go to the gym, you work out because it improves your health and appearance. You wouldn’t go otherwise. But attempt things that don’t actually benefit you. For example, if you want to know how to be a better person and take little steps towards being one, help someone take their groceries to the car or pay for the coffee of the person behind you. [Read: 20 positive ways to pay it forward and create a chain of goodwill]
#6 Actively listen. Here’s the thing, though in front of someone, most of the time, we’re not listening. Instead, we’re already thinking of the next thing to say or a story we want to share. See what I mean by self-interest? So, practice becoming an active listener if you want to develop connections between you and others. [Read: Do you love talking and hate listening?]
#7 Write down your beliefs and values. Sometimes we disconnect from ourselves and get lost and tied up in a world that doesn’t necessarily represent ourselves.
Take some time to write down your beliefs and values. Reconnect with yourself and what you believe in. It helps you to stay on track with who you think you are and the direction you want to go to.
#8 Don’t be scared to give. Buy your mother flowers one random day, treat your friend to a coffee. Don’t be afraid to give. Many people are concerned about whether they’ll be paid back, etc. But this shouldn’t be your concern. You buy this person a coffee because you want to, not because they buy the next round. Don’t be scared to give and don’t expect to receive.
#9 But do put you first. I would be a fool to tell you to not put yourself first. Yes, you do need to connect with others, actively listen, and do things without self-interest. However, you are number one in your life. What does this mean though? Have goals for yourself and make sure whatever it is that you want to achieve, you do it. [Read: 12 ways to finally start living for yourself]
#10 Be present. We’re so connected to social media and our phones in general that we completely disconnect from what’s happening around us. Now, this won’t necessarily make you a better person, however, by not being glued to your phone, you become present.
You see things that you wouldn’t have seen, have conversations that you normally wouldn’t have. These experiences positively affect you.
#11 Change the way you solve problems. Perhaps why you think you’re a bad person is because of the way you solve issues. I mean, you wouldn’t be feeling this way if you dealt with issues in a different way. So, really reflect and look at the way you solve your typical problem, do you see anything wrong? If someone says no, you can’t do this or that, do you lie and do it anyway? How could you change that?
#12 Practice self-respect and respect for others. You were probably taught at home or school about the importance of respect, and trust me, it’s true, it’s really important. A lack of respect will not get you far in life, so if you wonder why you’re not where you want to be, well… maybe you need a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. [Read: How to fine tune your internal compass]
#13 You have to want to change. This is really the only way it works. If someone forces you to change, it won’t work. You need to want to change and see that you’re not the person you want to be. It’s the only way you actually take the steps forward into being a better person.