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Sneki95's avatar

How to become a better person?

Asked by Sneki95 (6997points) August 19th, 2016

Talking about cliché questions….

But seriously, what makes a good person? How to become one? Is there such thing as an objectively good person? Can you learn to be one, or are you born one? Can it be taught and achieved or is it some hereditary, non changeable thing? Are you good by default, or are you good by choice and effort?

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21 Answers

Setanta's avatar

I’d say that nuture, not nature, determines if one is “good.” Nature can produce psychotics, tut it takes nuture (or a lack of it) to produce a sociopath.

I would suggest that if one really wants to become a “better” person, they should consider the probable consequences of their actions, and don’t do cruel or wicked things, especially simply because it’s fun. I consider people like that at least mildly a sociopath. If you wouldn’t like it, don’t do it to others. One consequence of that, though,,might be that people find your humorless. A good deal of humor is cruel.

YARNLADY's avatar

Think about what you most admire in other people and copy it.

Sneki95's avatar

@YARNLADY What if it turns out I admire an evil person?

zenvelo's avatar

It may also be cliche, but the Golden Rule is widely recommended by various cultures as a guide to living:

Treat others as you wish to be treated.

And, consider the Four Agreements as a means of achieving the Golden Rule.

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

Pachy's avatar

Integrity. Make it your lifelong mission.

ragingloli's avatar

get some kittens

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why do you think you need improvement? It’s entirely possible that you are just fine. The fundamental question before you do anything is – WHY do I want to change?

If you still convince yourself that you need improvement, then you need to figure out where the work is needed. Personality? Sense of humor? Intelligence? Looks? Ethics? Sexual ability?

Once you have those targets identified, then come back to ask with more specific questions.

My guess is that you are just fine and don’t need improvement at all.

Bill1939's avatar

One can become a better person by learning to care more about the needs of others and less about satisfying their own desires.

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flutherother's avatar

Respect is important. Try to respect others whoever they are.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is no absolute answer to this question. The golden rule is a good guideline. It says that whatever standard you choose for judging others needs to be applied to yourself. Are consistent standards necessarily good ones? At one time people assumed that the victors, whether your side or the other, had the right to enslave the defeated. That is consistent.

There are further complications. For example, how much effort should you direct toward your own betterment and how much should be directed toward others? To a degree, bettering yourself allows you to do a better job of helping others. Where do you draw the line? It is not clear.

This is something we all have to work out for ourselves.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I try to be very hard on myself. The man in the mirror is harsh, but fair.

Introspective thought is important to me. I try and go over every instance in my life, and think of how I could have handled it better.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Acquire a trust fund.

imrainmaker's avatar

Treat others the way you would like to be treated by them.Who would like to be treated badly? No one right? If you follow this simple rule you’ll do alright..

Zaku's avatar

Clean up your psychological crap. Almost everyone is really fundamentally good by essential nature, but there are layers and layers and layers of unprocessed crap piled on that which we forget about and mistakenly think is who we are. The crap layers are almost always responsible for the bad behavior. So figure out what your crap is and let go of it. Meditation, counseling, body work, therapy, etc.

Blackberry's avatar

Work out. It’s science, when you work out your chemistry changes as well as your body. You literally feel stronger, fear disappates, and confidence rises.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Sneki95 Obviously I meant the “better person” you aspire to be.

Sneki95's avatar

How does confidence and strength equal goodness?

Haleth's avatar

I’m a big fan of the St. Francis of Assisi prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

The Dalai Lama’s writings are great too; for example, here are his thoughts on compassion.

kritiper's avatar

Be honest with yourself and others. Try to like yourself. Be a good friend. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

To thine ownself be true and then don’t do anything that would make your immediate environment, your community and the world itself an unsafe place to raise children. In other words, always work toward making it a place where children can reach their potential. That’s been my benchmark and I think it is simple, good, and not restrictive in the least. This, by default, benefits everyone.

This is the very least you can do and it is a good place to start.

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