You probably have done some things you consider good, some you consider bad, and many other things that are somewhere in the middle. And now you wonder what that behaviour says about you as a person. You are stressed and have uncomfortable feelings.
If you’re asking yourself, Am I a bad person? It’s usual, and most people ask themselves at least once in their life. This post will provide you with several factors that make one a bad person and improve yourself if you’re the one among those.
What does it mean to be “bad”?
The question is very complex, and it doesn’t have any straight answer. Most people can possess good as well as bad behaviour. But “bad” can be subjective, and most often, many people disagree on its definition.
What if a person opts for the only option available to them, based on the country’s law, where they were born, their developmental history, and the current environment? Does that make them bad?
Every individual has a backstory that provides essential context for their behaviours. You might consider a behaviour “bad” for one person, but it might seem reasonable from someone else who comes from a different background.
The dark core of personality
A research paper was published in 2018, in which three psychologists suggested that the dark factor of personality lies at the root of cruel or unethical behaviour. They call it “D”.
These D-factor traits include psychopathy and narcissism, along with:
- Moral disengagement
The traits mentioned above suggest that someone will go after their interests at the expense of others.
You may have noticed some of the D-factor traits in your behaviour. Regardless, the following questions will help you assess your behaviour and identify areas where some work is needed.
Do you consider the possible outcomes of your actions?
You should know that each choice you make affects people besides yourself. Before doing something, it’s good to stop and think deeply about whether your actions might hurt someone else. Passing office rumour to your concerned boss could make you look good, but it won’t help your co-workers, especially if the rumour is not true.
If you have a hard time considering consequences for others, or the potential impact does not matter much to you as long as you benefit, that may be worth exploring.
Do you think about how others feel?
You come across many people in daily routine life. Do you consider the emotions of those people around you? To maintain interpersonal relationships, it is essential to show interest in the well-being of others.
You may feel bad because you don’t have enough time or energy to help out. But it doesn’t need much time to demonstrate that you care. It’s enough just for emotional support or a listening ear to the needy ones.
What drives your actions?
You might involve yourself in such activities that others consider them bad out of necessity. Let’s take an example, people who steal, lie, or do things others might consider immoral feel they’re optionless. Reasons don’t justify thefts and other things, but they can help put them in context.
Maybe you don’t have money to pay for something you needed, that’s why you stole. Or you lied to protect a loved one from trouble. These aren’t the best moves, but if you have a motive of protecting someone you care about, you are acting to cause the least harm.
What’s your response when you realize you’ve hurt someone?
The people close to us can sometimes bring unkindness to us. We say hurtful things and push them away. Maybe you intend to put down friends by saying mean things when you feel down.
They would certainly consider that behaviour, but how do you respond to the consequences? Do you say sorry, try to make amends, or resolve yourself to communicate better in the future?
Maybe you feel terrible and don’t care who you hurt. Sometimes you believe your partner deserves those words or other mistreatments because they treated you badly.
If you have these signs, then it is better to look at your behaviour more closely.
Do you only focus on yourself or also think about other people?
There’s nothing wrong with being a little self-centred on occasion, and you should not feel guilty or bad about it when you are trying to fulfil your own needs.
But if you have more people in your life, such as a partner, kids, and you only think about yourself, those people may face pain and distress as a result. Children can’t fulfil a lot of their desires and needs alone. Parents have to take care of their physical and emotional needs. This can be hard if you’re dealing with such a situation, but a therapist can offer guidance and support.
Now you’ve asked some tough questions from yourself, and may you realize that some aspects of yourself need improvement.
At the start, you can choose “Not” to do bad things and tell fewer lies. This will put you in the right direction.
Furthermore, few other pointers can help you move forward.
- Around yourself with a variety of people. A small world can limit your view. That’s why it is good to spend time with different people, even those you think you don’t have much in common with, can help expand views around people of different cultures.
- Do one kind act each day. Doing something nice for someone not only benefits them but also helps you develop more compassion.
- Think about the consequences. Sometimes, it is not always possible to avoid hurting anyone, but you can avoid causing unnecessary pain if you proceed with caution.
- Practice self-acceptance. It will help you remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes; you’re not the only one. Additionally, it helps you learn and grow from the past to avoid hurting people in the future.
Your ability to think about your actions and wonder about their impact on others suggests that you’re a better human than you think you are. Even if you’ve some “D” traits, still you are capable of change.
If you want to improve yourself more, therapy can be a good option. It will help you change your behaviour and will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of others’ emotions.