20 People Reveal The Subtle Signs They Look For To Identify A Good Person

Published 1 year ago

Sometimes, the people we surround ourselves with might appear grumpy, rough in their manner and words or even just quiet. But that doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person. So how do we identify the inner qualities of someone who has put on a veneer of gruffness but may be the softest hearted individual on the inside? Netizens united to share their opinions on the tell-tale signs we need to look out for so we can do just that.

More info: Reddit

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My best friend comes off kinda cold at times to others, I’ve always seen him for how warm he really is, just shy. But I always notice that anywhere he goes and if there are pets, they are like magnets to him.

Image source: christiescrubbs


Image source: bethlabeth, Toa Heftiba

Guy I used to work with was such a class clown, always cracking jokes. Everybody liked him because he was so funny. It was a while before I realized that his jokes were never at anybody’s expense. He was kind. There was never anything mean in anything he ever said, to anybody’s face or behind their back.

Anyway we’re married now.


Image source: wannabe_pineapple, Edmond Dantès

when you’re in a group and that one person keeps trying to say something or add to the conversation but they keep getting talked over. Then that other person will look at them and say, “Sorry person, I didn’t catch what you were trying to say, can you repeat it?” and makes space for the person being ignored unintentionally. That’s a real gem.


Image source: AtlasNinja13, Annie Spratt

When someone is actually in trouble/needs help, they will help out, even if it’s really subtle or disguised as something else.

For instance, there was a kid in my school who had a reputation for not caring about others, doing whatever he wanted, and tried to convince everyone that he pretty much had “no emotions”. I think he thought it made him seem more tough and hardcore, and although he didn’t necessarily do anything bad to anyone, he tried not to seem kind either.

Once, one of my friends at school had some sort of emergency where she needed (I think) $30. Most people in class either didn’t have $30 (which was quite a bit for a kid to bring to school) to loan her, or they just didn’t want to give it to her, thinking they would never get it back, and she was panicking. The teachers couldn’t help her for some sort of legal reason (I think she wanted to take a Taxi to the hospital because something had happened to a family member but was slightly underage, and the teachers had to pretend that they had no idea she was doing this).

So, this kid with the “reputation” collected money from all of his friends (since he didn’t have the money himself), under the pretense of another reason – I think it was something like movie tickets or something for that evening. Then, he privately gave it to her, but told her not to tell anyone it was him (I was close friends with her and was actually standing right next to her when he approached us and told us this). She managed to get to the hospital on time, while he paid for the tickets or whatever with his own money once he got home. When she later offered to pay him back, he refused, insisting that he didn’t do anything (I think he knew that her family would struggle to pay that back, they were having some financial trouble).

I guess it’s not extremely subtle in my case since I was standing RIGHT THERE, but that was the first time I began realizing how some people pretended to not be a good person when they actually were.


Image source: JenovaCelestia, Paul Hanaoka

I don’t really know how I want to word this, so I’ll just tell you the story.

This past Sunday at 2:34am, my cat/son George was euthanized because he was so sick. Naturally, I was very, very, very close to my son and I took it extremely hard. I didn’t go to work on Monday, but did show up to work on Tuesday. So the math so far is I’ve lost my son less than 72 hours, and it was just 48 hours before then that I quite literally collapsed in grief. What I’m trying to say is: I was very visibly upset, frequently crying, really quiet, etc.

A customer had noticed that I was upset and asked if everything was okay. I had hit a place in the day where I felt like I could open up to total strangers about what was wrong, and so I told her. It turns out she lost her cat the same weekend in the same manner. She told me she hopes I take comfort in knowing George was no longer suffering and that my husband and I made the right decision. She paid for her groceries and left.

She came back not even 30 minutes later with a single wrapped gerbera daisy. She said, “This is for George, okay?” before leaving. Her kindness spoke absolute volumes. She was grieving the loss of her own pet, but when she saw a total stranger- a cashier, who many customers regard as being inhuman, no less- mourning the loss of their pet too, she reached out and offered an ear and genuine condolences. No hidden agenda, no ulterior motives- just genuine compassion.


Image source: Icy-Bee4242, Oleg Didenko

I used to have a riding instructor who, while not outwardly mean, was pretty firm and expected every student to heed her words. She never struck me as a bad person or anything, but I had never seen her show any love toward the horses. She didn’t treat them poorly, she always watched for injuries, illnesses, a rock in their hooves, improper tack fit, etc, but she wasn’t one to hug and kiss on the animals. She treated them kind of like tools, because, well, she paid a lot of money to buy those horses and even more money to get them into working shape, so naturally, she tried to get as much out of them as she could.

There came a day when she called all the students, including myself, over to where she was sitting. We were told that the stable’s most popular horse, Fiddle, had passed away the night before. Fiddle was the first horse I ever rode and he never gave anybody any issues, never a glare, a buck, a bite, nothing. Anyway, my instructor told us that the horse was clearly unwell and she called the vet. The vet had her take old Fiddle to the arena and try to get him to the center jump. Fiddle couldn’t make it that far. He laid down and the vet euthanized him there. Fiddle was 18 and suffered kidney failure. I had never seen my instructor display any strong emotions, but she couldn’t stop herself from tearing up. It became very clear that, while she may not have always shown it, she loved the c**p outta those horses.

I later learned that my instructor would give Fiddle days off if it was really hot or if he gave her a look that said, “I can’t do this today.” She retired many months ago but still comes to the stables frequently.

Sorry for the long story.


Image source: Illustrious-Science3, Chewy

They’re kind to animals.

A friend of my dad’s was mind of grumpy and was very loud, and tried to come off way tougher than he was… but absolutely MELTED over small animals. Bunnies, squirrels, but his favorite was his cat Taco. That cat was treated like damn royalty and got all the perks and baby-talk included.

Even the Grinch had a dog.


Image source: Carp8DM, Ksenia Chernaya

I waited tables at a pretty popular New Mexican restaurant when I was in college. There was this one manager, her name was Rosie, and she never smiled. She always looked like she was pissed off at everyone and everything.

The entire waitstaff and bus staff feared her. When she walked into the kitchen and wanted something, the line would immediately jump to her demands. It was rumored that she was the person to fire any employee when an employee was fired.

The only people that didn’t seem to be scared of her were the hostesses. They were always talking to her like she was just any other manager or person in the restaurant.

She scared the hell out of me for the first year I worked there. I made sure that she never had anything to be upset at with me. One day, I came into work sick as f**k and having just a really bad day. She took me to the side and talked to me for a good half hour. Just asking quesitons about my day and how school was going. Towards the end of the conversation she said I didn’t look good and that if I wanted to , I could take the night off.

Rosie was the best f*****g person I ever met inside the restaurant industry. From that day on it was my goal to make her laugh. I never did make her laugh. But I got a smile out of her quite a bit after that. She was not just a good person, she was one of the best. But man, you wouldn’t know it unless you really took the time to look.

She was one of those types of people you know had had a hard time in life and put up a rough exterior. But deep down she was a softie and loving grandmother type. I hope she’s happy in her retirement.


I had a maths teacher who used to bust my chops. He was fun, but also very temperamental. He’d be silly to a point, then tell you off when you out-sillied his silliness.

I was sat opposite a quiet girl who suddenly looked really distressed. She said something to him in a whisper, and he looked down to a puddle on the floor. She’d wet herself. This was when we were 11-12, so it was quite a big deal.

I clocked this at the same time, and he gave me this look like ‘don’t you dare’, He went over to his desk, poured himself a water, then came back and was pretending to peer at her work, before stumbling and dropping it on her. He apologised and made a big scene and told her she could go and get a spare uniform from the office as it was his mistake.

I really respected that, I think it showed a lot about his character and care.

Image source: awesomeo_5000


When you are having an argument and they actually listen to your point instead of just getting ready to make theirs.

Image source: mousicle, Christina Morillo


Image source: anon, RODNAE Productions

they don’t ask question that might hurt other people. like “why ur not married yet?” or “why u don’t have kids?”


Image source: Meowsilbub, Karthik Sridasyam

How they treat animals and customer service staff. Especially when they are agitated.

Putting their shopping cart in the corral, even if it’s not right next to them.


Image source: anon, CDC

You can tell a good kid when they purposely try to include the quiet shy kid at school, and make an effort to be nice and friendly to them

I was that kid at high school and it always made me happy when these kids would make an effort to talk to me


Image source: Jenghrick, Olavi Anttila

People who don’t kill spiders but gently relocate them to outside.


Image source: Stratahoo, RODNAE Productions

Admonishes people for being rude to wait staff. I was at a family dinner at a pub/restaurant years ago, and my sister was very rude to the waiter because her steak was overcooked or something, really went hard on him, and my brother’s new girlfriend, who always seemed a shy and quiet person, told my sister to basically stop being a b***h and that the waiters didn’t cook the food, and you’re embarrassing all of us, everyone’s looking at us etc.

From that point on, I knew she was a good sort.


Image source: BagelAgenda, OCG Saving The Ocean

They pick up litter and put it in the bin without posting a picture on social media saying “You guysss this is so depressing to see :'(”


Image source: ShmooelYakov, Arina Krasnikova

When someone is honest, even at the detriment of themselves.

Ex they won’t lie to save face


When they actually respond/say something to homeless people asking for change instead of just ignoring/walking past them.

A simple: “Sorry, man” or “Not today, sorry”

Just an acknowledgement that they exist, instead of treating them as inanimate objects.

Image source: Clavicula_Impetus



Image source: eF240uKX52hp, Brooke Cagle

They are given a chance to quietly talk bad about someone, but instead, says something good.


Image source: IAlbatross, Elevate

People who make excuses to do good deeds.

Picking you up from the airport? “Oh, it was on my way.”

Buying you a beer? “I accidentally ordered two.”

Helping you move? “I need the work out! Now I don’t have to go to the gym later!”

Volunteering at an event? “I had nothing else going on tonight, I’m just here ’cause my buddy asked me to.”

Anyone who does a favor for you and then acts like you’re doing them a favor, or brushes the favor off as nothing, is a person who is doing the good deed for the sake of it and not for the praise or clout they receive. These are the best kinds of people.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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empathetic person, good people, gruff people, grumpy people, signs of a secretly good person, signs of goodness, subtle signs
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