General Question

stevenb's avatar

Are you a good person?

Asked by stevenb (3805points) September 30th, 2008 from iPhone

Do you think so? Do other people think you are a good person? Does it even matter to you or are you proud that you are a good person? Are you good to everyone or a select few? Are there some people who you find it is difficult to be kind to? By being good I mean honest, kind ( not a pushover ), sincere, true to your word, hard working, not taking advantage of others, etc. Thanks for the answers!

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54 Answers

Nimis's avatar

I’m usually not a bad person.

JackAdams's avatar

Ask the Moderators.

scamp's avatar

I’m a pertty good person, but the is definitely room for improvement. I guess admitting that makes me even better, right?

Jack, we all know you have a problem with the mods. Please knock it off. It’s beyond old now.

seVen's avatar

There’s none good but God.

Nimis's avatar

But God is not a person, so He/She is disqualified. Nyeah.

tinyfaery's avatar

Compared to some, yes. Compared to others, no.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I think I am, I think… Other people frequently tell me I am and seem to be very upset or disappointed with me when I do something they think is out-of-the-norm for me. It matters to me, very much, that I’m a good person. Not so much if others think I’m good, but that I personally think so. I hate hurting people. Hate it, so I try to do my best.

But a lot of times, I don’t think it’s very easy to define good or bad. Circumstance and emotion play a big part in the outcome of things, regardless of intention. For example, some people will lie (big or small) to protect those they love. They’re trying to spare the feelings of those they care about, which is a good intention… But what about lying in the first place? That’s not so good, right? It’s hard to define. Not really black and white.

PupnTaco's avatar

People tell me I am. My wife tells me I’m too nice sometimes, always offering to help people with no reward.

deaddolly's avatar

I think I’m a good person; I try to give ppl the benefit of the doubt. all of my employees like me. I never raise my voice to them and try to act civil. It’s exteremely difficult to do at times.
I have a marvelous sense of humor and am a good listener!! (do I win something if ppl think I better than others?????)

I try to treat ppl the way they treat me; sometimes it’s not nice. I have had to toughen myself over the years; as ppl took advantage of me being nice or a good person. I used to care if ppl liked me or not; now not so much…

stevenb's avatar

I value being seen as a good person, but sometimes I get tired of the stereotype also. I love helping others and doing good deeds, etc, but I am also a pretty solitary person. I can go for days without seeing other people and not feel bad. My wife doesn’t dig that too much, but she loves me as a kind person anyway.

JackAdams's avatar

@Scamp: Wrong again!

I have no problem at all with the Moderators, whatsoever. I do not dislike any of them, and that’s a fact.

I have a “problem” with some of The Guidelines.

Please PM me, if you wish to continue with this off-topic dialogue.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

stevenb: I know exactly what you mean. The stereotype definitely gets hard to deal with, sometimes, especially (for me personally) when I feel I’ve done something wrong and don’t let myself live it down. And then other people look at you like “What the fuck? You did that?” and all you can think is “Yeah… I’m human, too…”

I’m also a very solitary person, which is hard for most people to understand.

fabulous's avatar

I’m grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat


scamp's avatar

@fabulous I agree!!

@stevenb I apologize for the off topic comments in this thread. Please let it be noted that I only asked that it stop.

Nimis's avatar

Fab: Ha. Wrong avatar?

wundayatta's avatar

I’m always trying to be a good person, but inevitably, it seems, something goes wrong, and I fail. I end up hurting people that I love. I end up failing to achieve the goals I set. I spent most of my career working for single-payer health care reform. That was an utter failure. It did no good. I meant it to do good, but things got worse instead. I should have been working in daycare, or something actually useful to others.

It just seems like anything I want to do: be a good husband, be a good father, be a good employee, be a good musician, be a good writer, save the world, just goes south as soon as I turn my attention to it. It’s gotten to the point that I warn people upfront not to have anything to do with me.

fabulous's avatar

Ahhhh stop that now scamp i’m blushing

You know you pretty damn great yourself.

Nimis you have to tell me what the picture is it won’t show on my computer. Or is it better that i dont know.

marinelife's avatar

I try to be a good person, especially in terms of interactions with others. I always think that I could do more, be more.

I have a lot of flaws. I can be impatient. I try to work on that.

fabulous's avatar

@Nimis: It’s ok i got the picture i am just going to go into a corner now and cry.

cookieman's avatar

Somewhere between a seriel killer and a saint, you’ll find me.

Nimis's avatar

Dal: I don’t think merely having good intentions makes you a good person.
Nor do I think having things turn out well makes you a good person.

It’s a lot more complicated than that.

Nimis's avatar

Fab: Cry? Whatever for? You’re grrrrrrrreat!

wundayatta's avatar

@Nimis: no, but having good intentions and failing at them, in my opinion, makes you, if not bad, than at least not good.

Nimis's avatar

Dal: Not effective does not equal not good. Though I suppose everyone’s definition varies.

Consider the opposite of your statement:
having [bad] intentions and failing at them, in [your] opinion,
makes you, if not [good], than at least not [bad].

True or false?

trudacia's avatar

I’m okay, getting better as I get older. I often wonder if I’m good because I’m afraid of the consequences…..

What is good anyway? My good is probably different than your good….. I think we’d all be a little frightened by the evil thoughts that run through our minds. Or is it just me?

deaddolly's avatar

@trudacia No, it’s not just you. I maim and multilate many ppl in my mind throughout the day…

iwamoto's avatar

i feel like a horrible person, but the people around me tell me i’m a great person, i guess i just define good in another way, i feel it more of a duty to help people and not as a deed, and for some reason i have a hard time being proud of myself

deaddolly's avatar

@iwamoto It’s not a duty. and you should be proud of yourself.
Many ppl think they’re good ppl, but most aren’t. Helping ppl
should be a natural thing and it is; for good ppl.

wundayatta's avatar

Nimis: yes, not bad. Results matter. Intentions less so. Maybe not at all. I mean, no one ever knows what someone else’s intentions really are. But we all can see what they do! In theory, I know my own intentions, but there is the possibility that I don’t truly understand myself, too. In fact, I often look at what I have done to see what I really wanted. I don’t trust my thoughts on what I want. Other people might call this the impact of the subconscious. However you think of it, it seems to me that it makes much more sense to look at actions and results in determining goodness and badness. Intentions, now that I think about it, are pretty much irrelevant.

stevenb's avatar

@scamp, don’t worry about it. No biggie!

scamp's avatar

Thanks Steve!

stevenb's avatar

I think being a good person sometimes involves having bad thoughts and not giving in to them or acting on them. By resisting the bad thoughts and actions you are showing your goodness even if no others know about it.

Nimis's avatar

Dal: True. It’s easier to judge actions than intentions.
But the easier way isn’t necessarily the better way.
Results matter. But so do intentions.

I think most people weigh intentions more heavily than action.
But you know how that saying goes The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
There has to be a balance of both…with a dash of something-else-I-can’t-put-my-finger-on.

But take an extreme example, if you were to try to kill…say…a pregnant mother and a litter of kittens, but you failed. I’d still say you’re probably a bad person. Unless the pregnant mother was driving a bus into a school full of children and the litter of kittens would grow up to be bloodthirsty vampire kittens. But I digress.

poofandmook's avatar

It depends on who you ask. Some people would say absolutely. I, personally, would tend to disagree with them. For the most part, the people around me need to prove they’re worth helping. Mainly that’s because of how many times I’ve stuck my neck out only to be royally screwed in the end. I don’t just mean it went unappreciated, I mean hung out to dry. Stomped on. Screwed over. In essence, life has taught me that helping people has (way) more often than not been not only not worth my effort, but damaging to me. So I don’t unless it’s been proven to me that I can trust that person not to screw me over.

Maybe that sounds harsh and bitchy and terriblehumanbeing-ness of me, but when you’ve been hurt as much as me, you really start to not give a crap.

Note: Complete strangers are a totally different story.

Bri_L's avatar

According to me, I am not as good as I want to be.

According to others I am better than I think I am.

Dorkgirl's avatar

Ohh, so who’s defining “good”?

Personally, I’m a pretty good person. I am kind to other people. I make an effort to help those in need. I support my family & friends. I love freely and anger slowly. I try to put myself in the other guy’s shoes and not judge.

squirbel's avatar


I see myself as good.

People around me see me as good, sometimes even prudish.

Now, what do you see me as?

Nimis's avatar

Squir: Dunno. Would have to “see” you first.

Knotmyday's avatar

I am better than you think.

Dorkgirl's avatar

So, squirbel, is “prudish” good? Does that mean you judge others? That doesn’t strike me as very “good”. I think “good people” share their opinions, but don’t judge others and prudish sounds like someone who’d make that sneery, grandma face indicating distaste.

stevenb's avatar

Where does your desire to be good come from? Parents, society, lessons learned? Mine comes from being treated badly as a child and wanting to make sure I was different than those who treated me badly.

stevenb's avatar

Plus I do love to make people smile.

squirbel's avatar


Prudish in the sense that I cling to my sexual purity.

Thanks for the jeer.

iwamoto's avatar

mine comes from my parents raising me with respect for others, and it’s something i reflect i guess, on a crowded station a blind man asks me for help, guess it’s in the voice as well, from all the working in stores

DrasticDreamer's avatar

My desire to be a good person comes from my very screwed up childhood. I don’t think anyone should be treated that badly or with that kind of disrespect… At any age. Just the pure disregard that people have for one another that I witnessed at a very young age. It makes me extremely sad. I can’t comprehend doing that to other people.

sccrowell's avatar

I do my best to be a good person, yet I do have my faults, I’ll just continue to do my best…

augustlan's avatar

I think I am a good person, and it is very important to me. It’s a large part of my self identity. I am not, however, a perfectly good person…we all let ourselves or others down, from time to time. I’d say my impetus for being a good human being is due to my (very, very bad) childhood.

Hmmm, starting to see a pattern, here. Does this mean that all of our kids, having had happy childhoods will turn out to be “bad”?

stephen's avatar

obviously i m great but not perfect,thats why i can be better all the time.

scamp's avatar

@squirbel I see you as a good person too. Also asone who is kind to others and fair in her judgements. I am very glad to ‘see” you back at Fluther!!

scamp's avatar

Hi squirbel , old buddy old pal!! I’m so glad you’re back!!

susanc's avatar

I’m not proactively destructive to other people, little animals, or the earth. But the days of hoping to protect myself by being thought to be good – they’re over, ‘cause it didn’t work.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think, ultimately, I am a good person. I’m told by others that I am, and I strive to be on a daily basis. I am not malicious, I don’t like hurting other people, and I try to treat others well, with civility and respect. I constantly evaluate my behavior based on how I would feel if an action were perpetrated upon me. I pride myself on being open-minded and understanding.

I am not perfect, though, and I sometimes do things that I know fail my personal moral code. I liked what stevenb said, though, and I think maybe you’re right.. that it’s not about not having evil thoughts or whatever, it’s about resisting acting upon them.

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