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How to Be a Good Person: 10 Small Changes to Transform Your World

Self-improvement can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve been wondering how to be a good person, then here are some tips for you.

how to be a good person

If you’re reading this, then I have to congratulate you! You are a part of the minority… people who actually want to improve themselves. Believe it or not, most people don’t care about knowing how to be a good person. So, if you do, that is the first step.

How do we learn to be a good person? Well, usually it starts with our parents. We learn just about everything from them – for better or for worse. They might have modeled highly respectable behavior that taught you how to be a good person. But maybe they didn’t, and now you’re wondering how to improve yourself.

How to be a good person

Okay, so maybe your parents weren’t perfect and didn’t teach you how to be a good person. Well, I’m sure they did the best they could. So now it’s up to you! You can learn, you just have to put some effort into it. But trust me, it’s worth it. Here are some tips for how to be a good person. [Read: 11 tips to fall in love with yourself and be a better you]

#1 If you say it, do it. I know a ton of people who are so flaky that I never believe a word that comes out of their mouth. I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who were true to their word. If they said they were going to do it, they actually did it. You could count on them. And that’s how I am. And you know what? Unfortunately, that’s rare.

So be a person of your word! If you say you’re going to do something but don’t, you let other people down. And that’s not being a good person. Trust me, it’s not that hard to do. So, if you say it… do it.

#2 Have empathy for others. I hate to break it to you, but the world doesn’t revolve around you. Nor does it revolve around me. Or anyone else for that matter. My point is that your needs and desires aren’t more important that other people’s. Even if you don’t agree with them, it doesn’t matter. That is their experience.

You should live by the motto, “perception is reality.” In other words, everyone has their own experiences, and you should have compassion for them. Don’t get caught up in being self-absorbed. [Read: 13 inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]

#3 Don’t waste other people’s time. Maybe you’re not a time-conscious person, and so you always run late. And maybe you don’t think it’s a big deal because time isn’t important to you. But I have a newsflash for you… time is important to a lot of people.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a restaurant for an hour *or more*… just waiting for a friend to arrive. It’s rude. They wasted my time. I could have been doing something else other than waiting on them to arrive… late. So, value other people’s time. PLEASE.

#4 Take personal responsibility. Don’t blame other people. Even if they really are to blame, don’t go on and on about it. Look at any situation and try to see how your behavior played a part in how it turned out.

Most people don’t take personal responsibility, but it’s a cornerstone of how to be a good person. It is not a weakness to admit when you did something wrong. In fact, it’s the mature thing to do. So, for the love of God, own up to your actions. [Read: Emotional maturity – 13 clues to know if someone has it]

#5 Don’t take anything personally. So many people get offended at every little teensy tiny thing anyone says or does. But listen, what other people say or do it usually not about YOU. It is about them. It is a reflection of how they feel about themselves.

So, don’t lash out at people when you feel like they upset you. Remember, no one can offend you unless you allow them to. Try not to take anything personally. Believe me when I say that this one little change alone will completely change your life.

#6 Be self-aware. If you want to understand the world and improve your relationships, it takes a lot of self-awareness. In order to learn how to be a good person, you have to be aware of how and why you do *or say* the things you do.

When you are self-aware, you help others understand you. And when they understand you, they are more likely to want to have a peaceful relationship with you. [Read: How to improve yourself – 16 powerful secrets to self-improvement]

#7 Understand the consequences of your actions. Remember when I said you are not the center of the universe? Yeah, well, here’s another thing that goes along with that sentiment. Your actions affect other people. Let me repeat. Your actions affect other people!

Just as a pebble in the water sends out ripples, so does your behavior. Even if you’re just grumpy, trust me, it affects the people around you. So, make sure all of your actions are as positive as you can make them, because you want to make sure that you are a happy influence on other people.

#8 Think before you speak. I’m sure you’ve heard your mother say this before, right? Well, it’s true. You can’t take it back after it’s out there. Even if you apologize until you’re blue in the face, you can’t undo any damage that might have been done after you say something you might regret.

So, before you say anything *especially if you are angry* stop to think about it. Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it helpful? If it’s not, then don’t say it. Just don’t. Be mindful of the words you speak. [Read: How to be classy – 20 traits that command awe and respect]

#9 Remember the Golden Rule. We all learned this in kindergarten, right? But how many of us actually live by the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have done to you. It’s a pretty simple concept, isn’t it? So why is it so difficult for people to actually live by this wisdom?

Just as you should think about what you say before you say it, think about how your actions would affect another person. If they did that to you, would you like it? If not, then why are you doing it to them?

#10 Love yourself. I saved this for last because it is really at the core of learning how to be a good person. People who love themselves naturally love others too. So if you love others, how  can you treat them badly?

A lot of people don’t love themselves, and it’s sad. But if you want to know how to be a good person, you have to accept all parts of yourself. And when you do, it will be instinctual to do good in this world… and be a good person.

[Read: The rules of life – 22 secrets to never be unhappy again]

If you want to learn how to be a good person, these are great starting points. It won’t happen overnight, so you need to keep putting the effort. But everyone around you will appreciate you for it!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...