We all change as we get older. The more life we experience, the more it shapes our personality, behavior and daily habits.
What we all hope for is that we change for the better. To know for sure, you need to think about your behavior and how you think about things.
Psychology says that at least 9 things will happen to you if you change for the better; starting with the following…
1) You have more patience than before
What did you do when it took your mother ages to change the TV channel? Did you get annoyed, take it from her and do it yourself – all the while shouting insults about how slow she is with technology?
I think you already know that if the answer was yes (or still is), you didn’t have much patience!
Experts say that if you are patient, you are more likely to be understanding, rational, and focused. You also probably make people feel relaxed and comfortable around you, which is great.
So if you let your mom play with the remote for as long as she wants without so much as a sign, hats off to you! Your patience has grown – and so have you.
2) You listen, instead of giving advice
It’s easier said than done, right? When people open up to you about how they’re feeling, it’s so easy to step in and give advice.
Goal psychologists saying that when people open up about their feelings, they want to feel heard – not patronized or ordered.
If you respond to people by sharing your problems, dismissing their problems with an “I’m sure you’re fine,” or telling them what to do, that’s not good.
But if you sit back and listen; By nodding along, asking open questions and being empathetic, you are a better person than most!
3) You give up your free time to help people in need
If you are a good person, you help others. You even help people you don’t like very much… which is really not easy!
When you don’t like someone or you’re busy, it’s tempting to turn them down, ignore their text, and not offer help (even if you know they need it).
But if you become a better person, you make the offer. You text a friend back even when you’re super tired. You ask someone how he or she is doing, even though you know you’ll be hearing about his or her problems for hours. And you’re happy to give up your weekend when someone really needs your help.
4) You don’t like gossiping anymore
Did everyone else like to gossip, or was it just me? When I first started working, I loved hearing what everyone was up to!
I wouldn’t spread rumors myself. But I definitely asked more questions than necessary to see if other people would spill the beans!
But gossiping like this (I realized years later) was a bad habit. Talking about people behind their backs is not fun. If the person found out you were doing it, he or she probably wouldn’t be happy about it.
As Susan Clarke, BBA of Quora, expertly put it to someone who doesn’t gossip:
“You sound like a nice person and you make the world a better place. We need more people like you in this world.”
…and she’s right! Choosing to stop gossiping is an integral and respectful thing to do. So once you kick the habit for good, you’ll be a better person for it.
5) You do good things without being told to
Good people are taken into account towards the people around them. It’s easy to say or even think that you are a thoughtful person.
Like your mom asks you to unload the dishwasher and you do it. Or when you unload the dishwasher because you know your mother will reward you for it later.
But that’s not real behavior. The true definition of a thoughtful person is someone who does good things without being told to do so – and without doing it to get anything in return.
It’s like you’re swiping along a clothes rail in a store and a bunch of them fall to the floor. No one will know you picked them up again. Just like no one will know you did it!
But you pick them up and hang them back on the rail. Because even though you know you won’t be rewarded for it, and no one asked you to do it, you know it’s the right thing to do. And a thoughtful thing too!
Speaking of rewards….
6) You do good things without expecting anything in return
We touched on this a bit above, but it still needs its own section. When I was younger, I must admit that I always did good things for the reward!
I always helped my parents so that I could get more pocket money. Or treating my friends to things for a better gift on my birthday.
But the thing is, this isn’t real kindness. Experts say that selfless habits (i.e., doing good without expecting anything in return) make someone a genuinely kind and good person.
If you do things like this all the time and never think to yourself, “This person owes me” or “They should help me because I’m helping them” – then you have already become a better person!
7) You feel genuinely happy for other people
It’s not always easy to be happy for other people when good things happen to them. Jealousy is almost always to blame! In addition to a feeling of insecurity and inadequacy within yourself.
I know, I’ve been there. When a friend of mine got engaged while I had just ended a long-term relationship, I knew I was happy for her. But honestly, I wasn’t that happy for her… I felt sad and more jealous than I’d like to admit.
While when another friend got engaged years later, I felt pure joy filling me inside! I was genuinely happy for her, even though I didn’t have what she had.
If you feel this way about your friends, family, coworkers, or just people you’ve only met a few times, then you’re a good person. And if you feel this way even when you go through bad times, you definitely have a good soul!
8) You let go of grudges
Boy, did I used to hold a grudge! If someone did or said something that hurt me, I cut them out and never forgave them – no matter how many times they apologized.
As I grew older, I became more and more understanding of the people around me. I accepted the fact that people make mistakes.
I also accepted that if someone apologizes and stops doing the things that hurt you, that’s really all he or she can do.
When you reach such a place of forgiveness, it feels good. Letting go of the past and giving people your forgiveness when they ask for it is something a good person does.
And if you do it more than you don’t these days, you are a much better person than you think!
9) You accept the opinions of others (without trying to change their minds!)
Not to share my life story in this article, but this is something I was definitely guilty of years ago!
If someone believed something that I didn’t believe, it really bothered me. I wanted to debate it with them. I wanted to discuss it with them. And sometimes that made me secretly hate that person for a very long time…
Tea experts (and I today!) know that this argumentative behavior is not that of a good person. It is not very understanding to judge someone else for his or her opinion and not be able to accept it.
When you become a better person, you know this is wrong. You know everyone is different. And even if someone believes in something that really shocks you, they don’t bite you.
You accept that they believe (that) and you believe (this). And there’s nothing you can do (or ever want to do) to change your mind.
Was this a helpful article or a confessional? Hopefully it was at least a useful confessional!
The point I’m trying to make by sharing all these stories is that just because you’ve done certain things in the past doesn’t mean you’re a bad person forever.
People change and grow – you too! And your past does not define who you are in the present.
If you’ve always done the things on this list, you’re already a pretty awesome person – and that’s something to be proud of!
If you’re just beginning to recognize these traits, experts say you’re becoming the best version of yourself—and that’s something to be even more proud of.
So keep doing what you’re doing; live, learn and grow – be the best person you’ve ever been!
Share this content: