Five Traits of Good People

Good people aren't born, they're made. Their traits include humility, benevolence, and sincerity. Find out more here.
Five Traits of Good People

Last update: 10 March, 2022

Good people aren’t born, they’re made. Therefore, being a good person isn’t impossible. However, in order to be one, you must really want to be good and to make decisions accordingly. Nonetheless, no matter where you are in your life, you can always make the decision to change and be a good person.

Being good comprises a set of behaviors, values, and attitudes that are displayed throughout different situations. In this article, we take a look at five traits that characterize good people. They aren’t the only characteristics, but they’re the most outstanding.

Five traits of good people

What are the traits of good people? In a cross-cultural investigation, carried out by Smith et al. (2007), prototypes of what people consider to be a ‘good person’ were collected. They found that benevolence, conformity, and traditionalism were the traits most often attributed to good people.

1. Benevolence

A good person seeks to preserve and reinforce the well-being of those with whom they have contact (Smith et al., 2007). The benevolent person is able to step outside their own bubble and think about others, their well-being, their quality of life, and their needs.

Benevolence is important not only for everyday interpersonal relationships but also for society in general. In fact, the human disposition toward benevolence is essential to our nature and is the foundation for life in society ( Pinedo, 2018). Therefore, if you want to be a good person, you must begin to cultivate benevolence in your daily life.

2. Conformity

When we say that good people conform, we don’t mean that they’re conformists or that they simply agree with the opinions of the group. As a matter of fact, when we speak of conformity, we refer to the ability good people have to moderate their actions, inclinations, and impulses so as not to offend or harm others or violate social expectations or norms (Schwartz, 1992).

Moderation is manifested in the good person’s actions and in their relationship with pleasure. The moderate person isn’t moderate in all appetites but in regard to the objects of the senses of taste and touch (Giraldo, 2015). Moderation leads people to avoid extremes and to maintain a balance in their actions.

3. Traditionalism

Schwartz et al. (2000) define traditionalism as the respect, commitment, and acceptance of the customs and ideas proposed by the cultural tradition. Good people have a deep respect for the cultural customs with which they’ve grown up. They’re committed to their culture and always seek the best for it.

We know that good people respect tradition. However, what is tradition? Basically, it’s a social construction that changes temporarily from one generation to another. The tradition varies within each culture, over time, according to social groups, and between different cultures (Arévalo, 2004). A good person knows how to understand these changes, accept them, and commit to them in search of the best.

4. Sincerity

Good people are characterized by being sincere. Furthermore, they’re extremely empathic when telling the truth. Because, while some people may be sincere, they may do it in a rude and hurtful way. On the other hand, good people aren’t indifferent to the feelings they could provoke by telling the truth. For this reason, they’re extremely careful not to offend or hurt anyone by being honest.

Sincere people express honestly and assertively what they feel and who they are. Indeed, sincerity is an important value for good people. That’s because it improves their relationships in the community as it involves respecting both others and themselves.

A man helping another up, one of the traits of good people.


5. Humility

Good people are humble. They never feel superior to others and don’t look down on them. Furthermore, they recognize that everyone has their own dreams and goals. Consequently, they respect the success of others and don’t get in their way. They’re simple people. They enjoy the little things in life and the company of their loved ones. In fact, they realize that it’s in the simplicity of life where happiness and tranquility are found.

In conclusion, good people are an integration of virtues that help them cultivate a valuable life, not only for themselves but for others too. Being good doesn’t only imply stopping doing bad things, it concerns the will be proactive in life, always seeking to favor its development at all levels.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Arévalo, J. M. (2004). La tradición, el patrimonio y la identidad. Revista de estudios extremeños60(3), 925-956.
  • Caballo, V. E. (1983). Asertividad: definiciones y dimensiones. Estudios de psicología4(13), 51-62.
  • Giraldo, L. F. G. (2015). La virtud aristotélica como camino de excelencia humana y las acciones para alcanzarla. Discusiones filosóficas16(27), 127-146.
  • Pinedo, I. (2018). De la benevolencia a la ciudadanía compasiva: la recuperación de conceptos claves para el cultivo de la democracia. Límite (Arica)13(41), 29-45.
  • Smith, K. D., Smith, S. T. y Christopher, J. C. (2007). What defines the good person? Cross-cultural comparisons of experts’ models with lay prototypes. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology38(3), 333-360.
  • Schwartz, S. H., Sagiv, L., & Boehnke, K. (2000). Worries and values. Journal of personality68(2), 309-346.
  • Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In Advances in experimental social psychology(Vol. 25, pp. 1-65). Academic Press

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.