5 Basic Questions To Identify Good People And Bad People In Life – People Skills, Social Skills

I came across a very interesting question today about people. The question read this –

How To Identify Good People?

The question although sounded a bit basic at first, I realize that it is equally important to understand how we differentiate good people and bad people in life.


The definition?

What is the ideal definition of good people? – Are they the ones who do a lot for the society? Are they the ones who look out for you all the time?

– Are they the ones who do a lot for the society? Are they the ones who look out for you all the time?

– Are they the ones who look out for you all the time?

– Are they the ones you trust with your deepest troubles?

– Are they most fun to be with?

– Are they someone who you can connect well with?

I guess I can come up with a lot more questions like this. But one thing is true – we all have a different definition of good people and each one of us have a definition based on our perspective towards life and people and their relevance to our lives.

Why the definition?

It is pretty simple – Our lives are precious. Hence, we would like to share it with someone who actually deserves it. I wouldn’t like to go and make a friend of every person I see. I do have a few base standards and a few base requirements they have to fulfil before I consider them a good person or rather a person who is going to be relevant in my life.

There is nothing called good or bad?

Well! This rather sounds a bit philosophical indeed, doesn’t it? Well if it is mere theory, I would be among the first one to neglect it. We are asking this question only because we need an answer to it and not just a philosophical reassurance. We want to know who we can trust our lives with and rightly so.

Although I would stand by the above statement that there is nothing good or bad, I would certainly say that there is something which is relevant to us or not. The moment we sense a threat in someone, we end the conversation, we avoid that person and don’t bother much about staying in touch with them. We all have our defence mechanisms and they get active the moment they see any threat.

The situations are important.

Well, we already said that there is nothing good or bad in this world. Even a murderer has his own story, but sometimes it becomes too much for us to handle and we prefer to stay away and avoid acknowledging even knowing that person. We do this not because we are mean or selfish, we do it because we have our own definitions of people and that is not wrong.

But give that leeway to the people you meet, try to look at their situation with curiosity. Ask the question why instead of jumping to a conclusion if they are good and whether you should cut them off your lives. Each person has a story, listen to it first before deciding whether it is a good or bad one. The intentions do matter sometimes.

Do the definitions hurt us?

This might be an interesting and a better question to ask. We will probably never find an answer to the question if someone is absolutely good or not. It is not a perfect science or math, the situations make someone good or someone bad. Having said that, the more open we are about people, the more we can share our lives with them. Although we have our definitions of good and bad people, we cannot stick to them by the rule and apply it to everyone we meet.

Each person will have his own limitations and sadly enough they cannot be there for you all the time, nor can they live up to that exact definition of a good or bad person. Eventually, people are just people – good or bad just comes with the circumstance we both are placed into.

So, instead of worrying if someone is good or not, instead of creating a definition for people, we could rather focus on identifying what is good in someone.

Life is pretty simple, we always get what we focus on – we focus on the “bad” we meet only the bad ones and when we focus on the “good” – it is fascinating that we meet good people. Instead just forget the definition of good or bad and simply live life and let others be a part of your life.

There is a lot to appreciate in this world. Don’t be bogged down by definitions and miss out on an opportunity to know some wonderful people just because you are too caught up in trying to decide if someone is good or not.

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  1. I think there’s nothing like absolute goodness or badness. Someone who is good to me might be very annoying to somebody else and vice-versa. I loved your last line, “Instead just forget the definition of good or bad and simply live life and let others be a part of your life.”

    • Spot on Maniparna. The idea of absolute good or absolute bad seems a little immature to me. People always are what they are and we will have to accept that. Often when someone gets close to us, we do expect things from them and rightly so I guess. But then somewhere we lose that innocence of doing without many expectations and the joy and control of doing something for the fun of it..

      That’s the best solution I can think of – Just forget what is good or what is bad, simply try and live life to its fullest.

  2. Pingback: Each One Of Us Sees In Others What We Carry In Our Own Hearts - Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote - Inspire 99

  3. I do have some trusting problem and I always try to find good things in everyone as no one is perfect… πŸ˜€

    • Nice to hear from you Arpita. Welcome to inspire99. It is really an honorable thing to do and more than that a lot of fun to try. And people do surprise us so well, esp when help comes from completely unexpected junctures :)..

      Hope to see more of you here πŸ™‚

  4. Very nice article, I have mixed thoughts due to my personal experience, while there is nothing as good or bad and as you said situations make it good or bad but some people are bad their deeds are bad and nothing about their heart is good….

    • Thank you Shweta :). Actually even I do, when I meet someone I used to wonder how to place them in my life. And then I heard that quote – There is goodness in every person, we just have to focus on that. It sure was a hard thing to try, especially when the bad ones were so catchy πŸ˜€ .. But I guess in some way it makes sense. Many of them will fail to stand up to that definition though. Perhaps it is best to let them be. Not all apples in the lot are tasty, are they?! πŸ™‚

  5. Ahh… Highly needed post! I hope by these sheer clear list, I would be able to judge people… though I believe it’s the toughest task, but what you give is what you get is the concept that will match in this case.

    • Thank you Tara, I am glad that you found the post relevant :). I agree, it is the toughest thing on earth – to judge people. And more often than not, we are always wrong about them πŸ˜€ .. I believe it is really hard to put people in that bracket sometimes. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t and when they don’t I guess it is time for us to move ahead and not really worry about what happened earlier.. Easier said than done isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  6. Lovely Vijay. I really liked the way you have explained in a detail. Superb post I must say. I visited your blog for the first time through the comment you have posted on my blog and I must say its awesome. thank You for inspiring me.

    • Thank you yash for such kind words :). Welcome to inspire99, I am happy that you liked the post. Hope to see you more often from now :).

      As for the link, I think it is the commenting plugin on your blog. It automatically takes a hyperlink. I usually don’t leave a link back as a matter of principle. Tried editing it but somehow it wouldn’t take.

  7. Thoughtful post Vinay! Good and bad both two face of the same coin. It depends on the people, through whose eyes they chose to read or see. As mentioned it is the situations which forces one to percieve.

    • Thank you Ajai :).. True that! I guess we can never escape the bad in life no matter how much we would like to or no matter how simple our lives would have been without that. Maybe the intelligence is in accepting things the way they are and making our decisions count..

  8. Definitions be the end of everything ! Your post reminds me of the SRK movie ‘My name is Khan’ πŸ˜€ ! he had the same perspectives when it came to good and bad people ! Loved the post and it put me in deep thought!

    • He he :).. Thank you Najm. It is always very refreshing to see your thoughts on my posts, I kinda look forward to them :). I somehow missed out on that movie. Sounds like my kind of a movie, will try to get a copy of it.

      I am currently swept by the craze of game of thrones.. Completely captivated by that πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  9. Great write up. With my experience, I have seen that we should not judge or form an opinion just because the person is reserved or doesn’t speak much OR speak too much. Honestly speaking in some cases I have formed certain opinion about the person but when I interacted with him he was very friendly and super cool dude. Great post..

  10. Nicely put Vinay.. people can’t be ‘categorized by a set of definitions and I strongly agree to the situation point . Having said that quoting Will Smith “Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there. ”
    And I have this feeling that sometime a social worker is a bad person doing good work and vice -versa ..

  11. hmmm… I like it that this one is non-judgemental but let me give you two instances that happened to someone – heard this story on the radio that some lady got a guy in Hyderabad and they had nice skype sessions and she liked him and came to trust him, it was skype relationship of 6 months…now then that Hyderabad guy tells her to come to his place to see his Mom, she wanted to go but did not because her friends told she should not go alone to meet someone she knows just slightly or something… it turned out he had plans of spending a night with her on the hotle… and this is a bad person with such intension… and another instance is someone wanted to marry a handicapped women, we all thought he was nice, until he got to know he was after her money… and well people have to be careful with such people… being bad like shouting at someone, getting angry or not being couteous are all things that can be changed though talks but real bad people are dangerous… there have been unfaithful partners and they have been forgiven, but somewhere breaking your trust, doing harm to you, all that classify another person as bad and having the propensity and likeliness of doing that shows that person is dangerous… so yeah, in time when you know the person things come to place, generally people you have a real bond with change too get mended with things like love, affection etc… and all people are fun… lets not ditch good harmless people because they are boring or have some defects those things will change in time for sure(: …. anyway if your good generally you will have friends too, would be helpful, will have nice thoughts etc… generally there are exceptions think…anyway…good attempt… its not easy to be good too… inside us we fight too between evil and good and if the fight is on, there is hope this person will be good…anyway…

    • Thank you Maria. Thanks for sharing these experiences. It is really sad that the very core of trust is being breached in these instances. Sometimes it makes me wonder if it is that easy to fake and create trust of someone else?! I mean there are people with whom we open up and sometimes we do read them wrong too, like the instances you mentioned above. It is never an easy thing to know whom to trust or not. Trust does come from a longer association with people and in these two cases, even the longer associations seem quite baffling. Maybe we need to come up with an elaborate screening system to get such people off our lives or maybe we need to be on guard.

      I guess the world is a fair division of the good and the bad and unfortunately there are the ones who use these skills for a more selfish purpose. Maybe it is in our discretion to identify who to trust and who to stay away from. Through the process, I guess there is one thing that is constantly building up our strength and the power of discretion. That might be the most valuable outcome through the process.

      Thank you for these thoughts, I really like the healthy conversations like these which make us reflect on the real experiences and how we can implement the same in our lives.

      • Yeah there are several instances… but I think we all lack basic human values… and there is a big disconnect…and thats the building blocks of any human being more than charm and money…you talked about marriage somewhere and we all know that the biggest fear anyway has is about the person you won’t know very well… and right now in our society we got so much going on different people, work, parties lots to explore and its not possible to be right all the time… I can only say that everyone needs to be strong and intolerant of such people… also be nice to nice people, we should definitely not shun anybody if they are not bad at heart and have some defects… well… think building a network of really trust worthy people is one’s strenght, one should be open to that… and generally if one is good he attracts good anyway goodday. There are ways to indentify really rotten people – body language, speech, they can’t be perfect all the time… eye contact, expressions… and anything suspicious if they offer to take you around lonely place too soon, or give excuses to avoid knowing them more properly etc , there must be signs… and knowing then intially also means checking out how they behave etc with others, there wll be small small instances… one has got to be smart… I am sure they will show signs of rotteness somewhere…anyway just hunches… you don’t trust anybody dearly without knowing them…sometimes your heart is right, but don’t be blind(: anyway… you must be knowing many tips… and you can cleverly test and asess someone(:

        • True Maria, it is never easy to build that core circle cos there is a whole variety of people out there and each one is looking for his own quest in life and his own support system. There is no way we can fit for all of them and there is no way they are all going to fit for us. But maybe there is a balance somewhere and we can be mutually helpful. Having said that, I believe that there are two circles of people – the inner and the outer circle. The inner circle is of people who really mean a lot to us and vice versa. This is the circle which is built upon trust and over time where they have proved themselves to us and vice versa. It is with time that we build this circle and this circle keeps getting stronger and this is the most precious one.

          The outer circle is the one which keeps changing, people come and go and each one of them will be important in their own way. Like you said, it is not about shunning them, but it is about that tolerance and curiosity which can make our lives better.

          Having said this, we can’t underestimate the importance of due diligence. Cos it is our personal lives and we can’t let anything bother that or even try to set that out of balance. It has to be of primary importance.

  12. Well, yes it takes all kinds of people to make the world. We should choose our friends wisely and respect people. Everyone are imperfect, busy and may not be there at all times for us, but when required and opportunity comes true people will support you and those who are not committed won’t bother. We are indeed lucky to find good people to be with and it is something we should cherish.

    • True Rakesh, variety sure is the spice of life :). You are spot on when you say everyone is imperfect and I would go on to add and say – Me first! πŸ™‚ . True mate, when the chips are down and when we really need, help is out there and the real people, the ones who truly care never really vanish from our lives just like that. They will be there looking over us, helping us to bring balance to our lives.