Characteristics of a Good Person

By Brad Bell  

Self-improvement is an important topic.  An important question concerns how to be a better person.  What are the qualities or
characteristics of a good person?  This can be viewed as a subjective or value judgment that has many possible answers.  A simple answer to the question of how to be a good person is to strive to be someone that others would like.  A more complex answer may address the specific attributes that would reflect being a likable person.  Some of these good qualities in a person can be considered to be good people skills.  There are a number of good personality traits.  Below are six characteristics or qualities of a good person.

1.  Altruistic

A good person may be an altruist more than an egoist.  Being
altruistic or an altruist is one of the more admirable qualities. Altruism is selfless helping.  You help someone because you are
concerned about the person’s welfare.  Altruistic people not only
help the people they know, but they also help people they do not
know.  Altruistic people have the strength to make a difference in
the lives of others and to do the right thing.

2.  Empathetic

Empathy can be viewed as a defining attribute of being human,
and one of the most important attributes that a person could have.  
Thus, being empathetic can be viewed as a primary attribute of a
good person.  People may wish to feel understood and that others can feel what they feel.  A person who empathetic will express that he or she understands what the person is saying. This can be done by making statements that reflect that you understand what the person is feeling, or by telling a story involving a situation that you were in that is similar to the situation that the person is in. Moreover, because empathy is the combination of both
understanding and feeling, the empathetic person also feels what
another person feels.  It is important to express emotion, and not
just state that you can understand what the person is going through.

3.  Responsible

The emotionally mature person will take responsibility for his or
her actions.  He or she will not avoid blame for outcomes that he or
she caused, and use the excuse that it was not intended.  A
responsible person realizes than a reasonable person has a
responsibility to be careful and make wise decisions.  A responsible person strives for good time management so that he or she will be able to accomplish all that he or she agreed to do.  A responsible person will make sure that he or she is informed about all things that may affect the quality of the decisions he or she must make.  The responsible person highly values learning and strives to increase his or her knowledge.

4.  Honest

The good person believes that honesty is the best policy.  Good
people strive to be honest with others and themselves. People who are honest with themselves see themselves in an accurate manner.  All of us are average or below average in some ways, and the honest person acknowledges the ways he or she is average or below average.

5.  Fair      

The good person is fair in his or her decisions.  Fairness reflects
being relatively free from personal biases.  Fairness reflects wishing
to work for the common good.  It reflects a commitment to basic
principles of what is right.

6.  Humble

A good person can be also described as being humble.  In the
article, “What is Humility?” on my website,, I
defined humility as, “Humility is the willingness to acknowledge
one’s shortcomings and to present one’s positive attributes in an
accurate way.”  (Bell, n.d.). There are a number of examples of humility.  A person is humble when he or she states his or her abilities in an accurate manner.  If a person is only slightly above average at math, then the person would state that he or she is only slightly above average at math.


Bell, B. (n.d.)  What is humility?  Received February 16, 2017