31 Eye-Opening Ways To Be A Better Person
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Becoming the best version of yourself is an honorable goal, but is it possible to be the “best” version?
Maybe a more realistic goal is to become a better person. Since life is constantly changing, you must be adaptable enough to shift your mindsets and actions accordingly.
As soon as you think you've got it all figured out, life throws you a curveball that challenges your best self or what you believed it to be. These events can leave you humbled, questioning everything you believed about yourself.
That's why your personal evolution never stops — or at least it shouldn't. Life's curveballs are lessons that can help you grow to the next phase in that evolution.
Becoming a better person is a continuous journey throughout your life, and setting aside some time every day to self-reflect gives you the opportunity to grow and improve yourself.
What does it mean to be a better person?
The answer to this question is personal and subjective. What might be considered “better” to one person might not be relevant to another.
For example, perhaps giving more of your time and energy to causes that you're passionate about make you a better person in your eyes.
But this choice doesn't necessarily align with everyone's values or beliefs about what being “better” means.
Someone else may view bettering themselves as learning to accept help from others or allowing themselves more time for self-care.
No matter what your starting point is, there are guidelines that apply to all of us on how to be better. These guidelines include:
- A desire to self-reflect and seek out self-improvement.
- A willingness to hear constructive criticism from others.
- A desire to have healthy, supportive, and mutually beneficial relationships.
- A personal operating system that includes your core values, life priorities, and personal boundaries.
- A healthy sense of self-esteem that allows you to acknowledge your flaws and mistakes without crumbling.
- A recognition that becoming a better person is a life-long endeavor.
It is equally as important to identify what becoming a better person is not. Being a better person is not about:
- Being perfect.
- Fixing what is “wrong” with you.
- Making other people like you at the expense of your values or integrity.
- Reaching a final “best self” destination.
If you ever find yourself thinking, “I want to be a better person,” here are some strategies for your personal growth. Let's explore some of the ways you can continuously improve yourself.
How to Be a Better Person: 31 Ways To Grow As A Person
Check out these ways to become a better person and pick one to begin working on today:
Step 1. Make the Commitment
One of the most imperative ways to be a better person is to commit to the process.
You can't be afraid of self-reflection or bury your head in the sand when your worldview gets upended.
You have to commit to bettering yourself, which means letting go of excuses. Commit to owning your mistakes and learning from your perceived failures.
Step 2. Give Yourself Compliments
Take a few minutes each morning to give yourself a compliment or a pat on the back. Start your day on an optimistic note, and work to foster a positive mindset about your day.
It can be as simple as complimenting yourself on how to put together you look or something more substantial like finishing a project or meeting a goal using your unique set of skills.
Giving yourself a bit of an emotional boost of self-love increases your happiness, which in turn positively impacts those around you and helps you exude confidence.
Step 3. Let It Go
You can't let any feelings of anger fester. Doing so may influence you to make bad decisions, and it could negatively impact your health.
If you are ruminating about something or someone who has caused you pain, then one of the most important things you can do for your betterment is working on releasing those thoughts and feelings.
Write down your feelings in a journal to help process them and release any anger. Practice meditation for a few minutes a day to learn how to manage intrusive, negative thoughts.
Internal negative energy is a huge impediment to personal development, so take action to deal with it.
Step 4. Honor Your Boundaries
How do you feel when someone lies to you? It probably takes a toll on your trust for that person.
What do you do when a friend takes advantage of your time or your boss puts more on your plate than you can handle?
Part of becoming a better person means defining your boundaries and communicating them directly and confidently.
Learn how to articulate your beliefs, feelings, and boundaries in a kind but direct and honest way. If you don't, you'll soon be coping with the resentments and negative feelings I mentioned in point #3.
Step 5. Be Coachable
You can always learn from other people no matter what their background is. This is true for your personal and professional lives.
Don't shut down opportunities to learn because you think that you already know enough. Allow yourself to be open to learning and look for possible mentors who can help guide you.
Before you can be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. Before you can be a good partner, you need to learn what a good partnership or marriage is.
Seek out people and information that can further your self-awareness and knowledge. Never assume that you know all there is to know on any topic or endeavor.
Step 6. Be Helpful
Being helpful to other people is one of the simplest ways to become a better person. In fact, look for opportunities in your daily life where you can be supportive and helpful (without being intrusive).
This help may be as simple as giving up your seat on the subway, supporting a co-worker on a project, or stepping in to clean up the kitchen after someone has made you dinner.
The more you help others, the better you will feel about yourself and the people around you.
Step 7. Be Respectful
Be respectful of other people's time, beliefs, thoughts, lifestyles, feelings, and everything else.
While you may not agree with everything, people have a right to be themselves, and your opinion is not always welcome or necessary.
Respect the basic human dignity of all people — even those you may not like or who you may judge to be “lesser than” in some way.
Step 8. Educate Yourself
If you don't understand why something is the way it is, take the time to do some research on the subject.
Ask someone who is in-the-know about their thoughts.
Remember, it is important to educate yourself to be aware of the different cultures, people, and lifestyles that people have in order to be a more well-rounded person.
This will also help you grasp other people's points of view. The more you ask, the more you will learn.
Step 9. Have Empathy
Try to put yourself in other people's shoes in order to understand where they are coming from.
Give people your full attention when you are listening to them, and give visual cues such as nodding to let them know that you want to understand what they are saying.
Empathy helps you understand people better, resolve misunderstandings, and develop more meaningful relationships.
When you seek to be empathetic, even with the most difficult people, you open a door to healing and mutual understanding.
Step 10. Be Meticulous
Do you pay attention to details in your personal and professional life?
Being mindful of details is probably rarer than you think.
Meticulous people put their heart and soul into everything they do, and this dedication consistently results in excellence in any endeavor.
If you are meticulous, you’ll automatically be a valuable asset in your personal and professional life.
Being meticulous also means being reliable, trustworthy, and consistent. You strive for excellence in your integrity as well as in your work and deeds.
Step 11. Be Considerate
Basic consideration of others is an act of kindness that all too frequently gets bypassed. To be a better person, start to notice how you can be more considerate of the large and small efforts of others.
Let your grocery bagger know that you appreciate his efforts. Hold the door open for someone whose hands are full. Give your spouse the night off from doing the dishes since he's had a rough day.
Small acts of kindness and consideration add up to spread ripples of positivity throughout the world.
Step 12. Cooperate, Join In, and Share
Don’t be narrow-minded and secluded. Try not to prioritize your busy schedule or “urgent” tasks when called on to assist or join in an effort.
Offer to work with other people if they need your help. Look for ways you can compromise or create win-win outcomes. Allow others to shine in the spotlight rather than seeking it all for yourself.
Remember that you don't exist in the world alone — life is only possible because people have each other.
Step 13. Have Courage
Try to overcome your fears. Most of our fears aren't based in reality. They are future-oriented worries that more often than not don't come to fruition.
Look for evidence to undermine your fears. Find facts that support the opposite of what you're afraid of.
Acknowledge that fear is just an emotion, and fear alone can't hurt you. Once you challenge your fears, you will realize there is nothing to be afraid of.
Whatever negative outcome you fear, remember that you have what it takes to handle it if it does come to pass. But it probably won't.
Step 14. Ask For Feedback
You may not know if you're improving if you don't seek out and to listen to feedback from others.
Feedback is one of the most effective ways to identify areas in your life that require improvement. Remember that other people can see your blind spots, and many of these people have your best interest at heart.
Seek out trusted friends, family, and mentors who will gently let you know where you need to grow and change.
Step 15. Keep Your Promises
If you promise to do something for someone, follow through with that.
Don't make empty promises only to let people down. Be dependable and build trust with those around you.
If you can't keep a promise, don't make it. Your good word is a reflection of your character.
Step 16. Be Discerning.
Don’t automatically believe everything that you hear or read.
Evaluate the information that you’re given with a discerning mind. You don't have to be a skeptic but use appropriate judgment.
This applies to the people you choose to spend time with as well. Some people are draining, negative, or even toxic. Use your inner wisdom to choose supportive, emotionally intelligent people with whom you spend time.
Step 17. Strive to Do More
Without overwhelming yourself, challenge yourself and stretch beyond your perceived limitations.
When you get tired, push yourself a little bit harder. When your brain struggles with a project, give it a few more minutes before giving up. If your boss asks you to complete a task, do more than he or she asks.
Otherwise, you will never grow or develop your abilities. Push yourself to expand your boundaries in order to increase your capacity.
Step 18. Don’t Speak About Others Behind Their Backs
Don’t talk or gossip about people behind their backs, especially if you are sharing personal or negative information.
Even if you are sharing positive information, you don't know whether or not the person wants you to share it.
We sometimes talk about people because it feels good to possess knowledge others don't have, or we want to boost our own egos by putting someone else down.
If you don't like what someone is doing, speak directly to the person first. If you don't know if the information is shareable, ask before you speak.
If you are sharing to gossip or put someone down, it only makes you look petty and unkind.
Step 19. Do Not Pass Judgment or Discriminate
Are you quick to judge people before you have the full story? Do you think you know who someone is based on the way they talk or dress?
Don’t be too quick to judge and then discriminate because of those judgments. Strive to treat everyone equally, regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality, age, sexual preference, social status, or financial status.
Don’t make conclusions about anyone's character based on a few facts you see about them. Give people the benefit of the doubt. In fact, try to see the best in all people and look for commonalities instead of differences.
Step 20. Stand Up for Social Justice
If you see something unfair happening, like racism, bullying, or another injustice, assert yourself and speak up.
It's hard to put yourself out there for criticism or rejection, but do your best to honor your own values by helping those who disenfranchised.
Stand up for other people if you see them being unfairly treated or judged. Become the change you want to see.
Step 21. Forgive Others
Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean what happened was acceptable, and it doesn’t mean the offending person must be welcomed back into your life.
Forgiveness means that you've made a conscious decision to release your pain and anger and try to let it go. Forgiveness is not so difficult when the other person asks for it and shows true remorse.
It's harder when it's never asked for, and the offending person doesn't believe he or she has done anything wrong.
When you forgive these people, you're doing it for yourself more than for the other person. You have to make the choice to either dwell on the pain forever (and let it eat you up) or to forgive and move on.
Step 22. Practice Gratitude
Be thankful for the things you have and recognize the areas in your life where you are blessed. Practicing gratitude is a way of acknowledging and focusing on the good in your life.
This effort will make you happier, more compassionate, and appreciative of even the smallest comforts and conveniences.
Show other people your love and gratitude for who they are and what they do for you, and don't take anything for granted.
We often forget about what other people have done for us and underestimate the value of our connections.
Write a thank you note to a friend to let her know how much you appreciate her (or him). Spend some time each day reflecting on the good things in your life.
Keep a gratitude journal so you can reflect on everything in your life that is good and beautiful.
Step 23. Show Personal Responsibility
Learn to manage your own problems and life without having to rely on other people.
Of course, you need to rely on others from time to time, but don't expect other people to solve your problems for you. And don't make excuses or blame others when you don't follow through or when things don't go your way.
Own your life by owning your responsibilities and problems. Personal responsibility empowers you to take control of your life and become a stronger, more confident person.
Step 24. Embrace Your Uniqueness
Be true to yourself and don't try to be someone you are not. Sometimes it's hard to be yourself when you're not sure who that “self” really is.
If you're not sure, spend some time finding out. Define your own life priorities, beliefs, values, and lifestyle. Tune in to your natural and authentic personality — the one that is underneath any efforts at pretension or fear.
When you embrace who you are, you align yourself with your beliefs and values, create your own identity, cultivate courage, set and maintain boundaries, and find focus and direction.
Step 25. Be a Leader
When you are a leader, you have the ability to inspire other people and bring out the best in them.
You motivate people into action toward a common goal and vision.
Leadership begins in your everyday life as you show others how you conduct yourself and how you live your life.
You don't need to be a gregarious extrovert to be a leader. Quiet, contemplative, and thoughtful people can lead through their ideas and actions too.
Step 26. Embrace Loyalty
Be loyal to your family, your values, and your beliefs. Find the higher value in being loyal — whether it's through your faith, patriotism, family values, or any belief or ideal that's meaningful to you.
Being loyal allows you to build deeper connections with other people and live more authentically. It shows your capacity for commitment and sacrifice when necessary.
Step 27. Accept Criticism
When people offer you constructive criticism, accept it.
Listening to their thoughts doesn't mean that you have to agree with them.
However, give yourself the opportunity to consider to consider the value of or their perceptions. There is often something useful to glean from even harsh criticism if you look for it.
Try to resist defensiveness or anger, and look deeper into the gift you are being offered. Accept it as graciously as possible.
Step 28. Take the High Road
If someone is malicious toward you, take the high road and ignore them.
Defend yourself if your values are compromised or if their words could cause problems with your work or relationships, but try to take a hands-off approach otherwise.
It's not worth your time to engage in these negative discussions because the person who is attacking you is not looking to achieve a resolution.
Often it is something within themselves they are grappling with.
Step 29. Practice Mindfulness
Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Make it a point to be attentive to the present moment, and focus fully on the task, action, or relationship at hand.
Mindfulness frees you to fully savor life and find the peace that comes with being fully attentive and engaged.
Step 30. Look for the Strengths in Other People
People often focus on what they don’t have rather than what they do have.
This same tendency occurs related to our perceptions of other people. We focus on their negative qualities rather than their positive.
Instead of thinking about what’s missing in someone else, whether that's a character trait, skill, or ability, focus on their strengths and positive qualities.
Strive to see the best in people, and you'll find all of your relationships improve.How To Be A Better Person (31 Ways To Becoming A Better You). Click To Tweet
Step 31. Live With a Purpose
Find your reason “why.” Why are you here? Why are you doing the work you do? Why do you have family and friends?
What are the bigger, more profound reasons behind the life choices you have made? If you don't know, do the work to figure it out.
Doing this helps you naturally grow into a better person. Pursuing your purpose is a journey that gives your life meaning substance.
It helps you answer the painful, existential questions that make us feel hopeless and directionless at times
Choose one or two of these strategies that most resonate with you, and put them into action over the coming weeks.
Keep track of how your actions are making you feel about yourself and how others around you are responding to your efforts at becoming a better person.
Here's some additional inspiration to guide you on the path to personal betterment:
Bonus: 10 Quotes about Becoming a Better Person
1. “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway
2. “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw
3. “Make the most of yourself…for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you've come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ― Madonna
5. “When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.” ― Confucius
6. “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.” ― Aldous Huxley
7. “Do your best, and be a little better than you are.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley
8. “We first make our habits, then our habits make us.” ― John Dryden
9. “Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor” ― Alexis Carrel
10. “He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” ― Confucius
Did you find these tips on becoming a better person useful?
Life is a continuous exercise in self-improvement when you want to know how to be a good person. I hope the strategies and ways to be a better person that I've outlined will become part of your life.
All of us struggle with finding our way and improving ourselves, and you can help thousands of people just by choosing to share this post on your favorite social media platform.
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