Are We As Good As We Think We Are?

I like to think I'm a good person. I think most people tend to think of themselves as being good. Sure, I could be better about recycling or be more compassionate to strangers, but overall, I like to think I live my life with good intentions, and I like to think that most everyone else does too.

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However, sometimes I encounter a person who has wronged me or someone I know, and it becomes hard to see them in a good light. Whether it's that they just seemed to have an attitude when we talked or they've cheated on a close friend, I end up thinking of them as a bad person.

For a long time, I didn't really see anything wrong with me mentally labeling them as a bad person. After all, if you do something bad, it makes you a bad person, right? Except, I know I've done bad things before. So then, why don't I see myself as a bad person?

It's so easy for us to see ourselves as the protagonist in every situation we're in. In our minds, of course we're always right. Even when we've hurt someone else, I think we often tell ourselves that we never had bad intentions, so it should be okay.

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I realized how ridiculous it was to think that way when someone who was toxic to me expressed that they didn't feel they were in the wrong and that they had good intentions. Sure, maybe they did have good intentions, but it doesn't change that they hurt me and that they treated me unfairly. It felt frustrating, but I think in that moment, I needed to feel frustrated in order to understand the hurt I may have put others through.

Even though I want to be a good person and I want to see myself as a good person, the truth is that I've hurt others, some of whom I may not even realize I've hurt. I've made mistakes, and I realize that my intentions haven't always been good. I've had moments of selfishness and toxicity. I've been a bad person at times, and I think it's important to admit that.

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As humans, there's no way that we can be perfect "good people," and while we should never see ourselves in a bad light per se, we should still be open to self-reflection and to really being honest with ourselves about our intentions and how we treat others. In order to grow as a person, I think we need to take a step back sometimes and reevaluate ourselves in moments where we may be someone's "bad person." In doing so, I think we realize that sometimes, even the people we think are bad are not necessarily bad, but just growing and still learning what it means to be a "good person," just as we are everyday.