People Share Green Flags That Show Someone Is A Good Person
We often recognize glaring red flags in a person’s personality, but what about the green ones? There are dozens of telltale signs that a person truly has a good soul, such as holding doors open or treating waiters with respect. These are some of the best green flags people have seen in others.
#1 No, No, Go Ahead
When you get interrupted by someone else in the middle of your sentence and they actually make the effort to ask you to continue. It’s kind of an oddly specific thing, but I’ve honestly found that not many people do that and the ones who do make the effort are genuinely caring. It’s just something I’ve taken note of.
#2 Blueberry Pancakes
Yesterday at a dining hall, I asked for two blueberry pancakes. The worker said that she used the last of the blueberries and the two on the stove were for someone else. No worries, I would have two plain instead. The guy in front of me, hearing this, said, “Give her one of mine and just give me one blueberry and one plain.” I was instantly attracted, what a good person.
#3 To the Rescue
I was in China and the air pollution kept giving me runny noses. I was sitting and talking to my friends and it started hurting and running again. I just went, “Oh, my nose is running” and they stared me in the eye for about 20 seconds before panicking and running around like maniacs and bringing me every napkin they could find.
#4 Keeping Them in the Loop
My boyfriend is a lot smarter than me and has a job where I don’t understand most of the terminology. He’s awesome for a lot of reasons, but one of those is that he talks to me about work as though I’ll understand what “vias” and “trace widths” are. He’s also never condescending to me or anything, so I make it a point to return the favor by actively listening when he talks even if I don’t get any of it. I think stuff like that goes a long way in any conversation.
#5 Engaging Conversation
Whether it be at work or hanging out with someone, if you’re approached by a stranger and, during the conversation, they look at both of you and engage both of you in conversation instead of just one. I appreciate it when someone actually takes the time to include everyone in a conversation rather than inadvertently exclude someone.
#6 Coming Through
A friend of mine, who I’ve known for about 15 years, and I lost touch and we didn’t talk to one another for at least five years. Then when I finally met up with him, he offered to put his neck out for me and helped me get a new job. To me, that’s a friend I never want to lose a connection with again, a truly good person.
#7 Squirrel Delicacy
When I was 14, I was walking behind a man who was maybe in his 30s. I noticed he went off the sidewalk about 20 feet ahead of me and onto the grass. He walked back onto the sidewalk 10 feet later. I was confused why and looked to my right. There was a squirrel enjoying some kind of squirrel delicacy and he didn’t want to scare it. I did scare it because I didn’t follow his path after realizing this too late, and I’ve felt horrible for the last 11 years. If you make an active effort to avoid scaring squirrels then you’re likely a good person.
#8 Person in Need
My friend abruptly put the car in park at a red light and got out to help an elderly person who was struggling to step up off the street onto the sidewalk. (It only took a few seconds and traffic was never impeded.) The way she did it without hesitation impressed me. It happened so fast and she was back in the driver’s seat almost before I realized what happened. She made it look so natural and seamless. Like for her, there was nothing more important at that moment than that person in need.
#9 Admirable Qualities
I recall one of the first outings (nearly a decade ago) with my partner. We were just getting off the train and probably more than halfway up a flight of stairs. To our right, on the other side of the railing was an older woman struggling to get up the stairs, lugging a massive suitcase behind her. We got to the top of the stairs and without any acknowledgement for what he was about to do, he went back down the stairs, offered to help her, got the luggage to the top of the stairs and then we continued about our business.
He made no fuss about it, didn’t draw any attention to the behaviour. He’s always holding doors or finding those small opportunities to lend a hand. It’s such an admirable quality, one that I wish I demonstrated more often. It’s definitely a green flag at the beginning of a relationship.
#10 Car Chick
I learned about cars because I used to have lunch (in high school) with a bunch of auto shop guys. They were really funny and nice and I like cars. So, I’d ask my dad technical car questions and he’d give me words to use to ask the boys more questions. They thought I was the most knowledgeable car chick. Ha, thanks, dad.
#11 A Little Consideration
My significant other hates it when people interrupt her or ignore her, it makes her feel really bad. When she met one of my friends, they interrupted her and she was going to let it go, but they apologized and asked her to continue. They are now her favorite of all my friends. That little consideration goes a long way for her.
#12 Scripted Play
That odd little smile from a stranger when something didn’t go to plan (try to pass on the same side of the pavement, etc.). In my mind, it honestly feels like they know they’re in a scripted play, and someone forgot their line. It’s sort of like a “we’re all in this together style vibe” and it’s cool to experience that.
#13 Rare and Valuable
They value honesty highly — from themselves and others — but also tact and sensitivity. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have found most people seem pretty comfortable with a sort of ongoing background hum of dishonesty in their lives. This is mostly little fibs all day about why they were late, how great their life is, why things are other people’s fault and not theirs, etc.
Then there are the people who demand total honesty from everyone and blurt out their opinions and judgements freely claiming they aren’t being obnoxious, they’re just honest. To find someone in between is rare and very valuable. I’d say the big green flag is the way they cop to things right away, explain or apologize, and then just move on – no big drama. Also, they’re willing to tell you an unpleasant truth, but in a way that doesn’t make you feel completely awful. And they don’t talk about their life one way one week and then a different way the next.
#14 Changed Outlook on Life
Where I live, the supermarket hires some special needs people. They bag and do cart returns etc. They’re super nice and helpful and I can’t stand it when people ignore or avoid talking to them. Sometimes, they don’t even bother saying thank you. Like, what? It literally takes one second to say “Thanks!”
After my son passed away, people had a fundraiser for some hospital and other expenses. At the fundraiser, we saw someone we didn’t know sitting right at the front door. It was our bagger. He just wanted to donate something. He ended up sitting at our table and winning a signed stick since he’s a huge hockey fan. That, right there, changed my outlook on life forever.
#15 Including Others
I always try to include others pretty much whenever I can because I have a shy streak, and every time someone has done this for me, it’s been deeply meaningful. It’s hard for me to talk to people I don’t know and I’m almost pathetically grateful when someone sees that and genuinely makes an effort to include me.
#16 Remembering Details
They remember things about you from previous conversations. Then, when they bring it up, they engage about it even if it’s not their most favorite topic. Basically, they’re more concerned with having a pleasant conversation even if it’s not entirely about them, which, in turn, makes everybody feel really great.
#17 Saving the Worms
I was once walking along a sidewalk after a rainstorm with a guy I had just started working with. More than once, he stopped to pick some worms up off the sidewalk and put them back in the grass. I immediately thought, “Hey, look at the size of that guy’s heart.” 10 years later and he’s still a super good dude.
#18 Level of Maturity
When a person recognizes that there’s more than one right way to accomplish something. If they can admit their way might be improved upon by listening to others or watching how other people manage to do something, that shows a level of maturity and compromise that will do them well in a long-term relationship.
#19 A Good Dude
When they don’t have to have the full story to help someone. I accidentally choked on some water (wrong pipe and all) at work. I had it coming out of my nose, had watery eyes, the whole nine. I was looking for a tissue and went into the storage room, where another co-worker was looking for something.
He’s from Hati and is all around a wonderful person. English isn’t his first language, but he gets by just fine. When I barged in, he immediately thought something personal was going on with me and jumped to action right away. There were no tissues in the storage room but he turned and said, “I get tissue right away. Stay here.”
I started to laugh and tried to explain it was literally no big deal and wasn’t serious, but his demeanor and haste were so endearing to me. He came back right away and even knocked on the door. When I tried to tell him, “Dude, come on in, it’s all good,” he just opened the door and handed me the tissues without even looking in the room.
I think he even runs interference at the door to try and give me privacy. While I was in there, it hit me on how much of a good person he was and I felt loved (we have worked together for the greater part of a decade). He wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was just water, and was just like, “It’s okay, I don’t tell.” He’s such a good dude.
#20 Come Join Us
When I was in the U.S. earlier this year to visit my brother, we went to L.A. to go to Universal Studios. At some point during the day, we went to get lunch and it was super crowded. So, I took my meal and headed outside to find a seat while my brother already started eating while standing. I stood there for about five minutes and couldn’t find a seat. Suddenly, one family waved over at me, signaling that I should sit down with them. I instantly knew they were a good family and I thanked them.
#21 Two Wheelchairs
I went to a concert last night and in the parking lot, this guy parked in a truck with two wheelchairs in the back. He got out, set them both up, then helped a girl into one of them. Then, they both wheeled into the concert. He hung out in a wheelchair just so she didn’t feel insecure about it, I guess. It was really cute.
#22 Taking Responsibility
When someone can actually take direct, unmitigated responsibility for making a mistake. I appreciate it when someone can say, “That was entirely my fault. I’m sorry. What can I do to help fix this?” That person is less likely to lie to you to preserve your relationship, and won’t blame stuff on you when it goes south.
#23 Asking Permission
When someone asks if they can pet a dog before getting too close to it. I love petting other people’s dogs. I love other people petting my dog, too… but he doesn’t react the best if people run up to him. I really wish everyone would ask so I could say, “Yes, but he’s a little skittish, so let him come to you.” He’s never caused an issue, but he has some dangerous body language when people run right up to him and I worry. He’s a Beagle, so I’ll just pick him up if I see a particularly rowdy child coming my way.
#24 Donuts for Everyone
I had a very bad day yesterday and had been crying in my car, driving around trying to get my baby to sleep. I’ve been very ill and my husband has worked 14 days straight. His commute is long and he doesn’t get home until 1:00 a.m., so it’s all me, every day with our kid and my classes online. It’s just been tough.
I had to get gas and needed some coffee, so I lugged my sleeping angel into the gas station. The young Pakistani man working I think could tell I was sad. After I paid, he stopped me right before the door and gave me a bunch of donuts. He then said he hoped I had a good evening and that I had a beautiful baby. Kind people make the world go round. It honestly really helped pick me up from a pretty dark mental place. I don’t even like donuts, but my husband does.
#25 Cleaning Up the Mess
I love it when someone actually cleans up a mess they made in a public place. It can be little things like wiping up a spill from a gas station soda fountain, clearing out their own table at a fast-food restaurant or picking up the food the toddler threw on the floor. Just small things to let others know you’re considerate.
#26 First-Name Basis
When they have a Doctorate or are a medical doctor and they ask you to just call them by their first name. I understand those who say “I went to school for so and so the number of years I earned this title” but in my experiences, I’ve found that those that ask you to just call them by their first name are much nicer and laid back. They usually respect you back as well. I’ve had to deal with so many mean people who demand you call them “doctor,” both in the medical field and academia.
#27 What Others Need
People who always look out for what others need. For example, we were doing some training that got our hands a little dirty. One of our guys walked to the bathroom and returned with paper towels for everyone to clean their hands. It didn’t even occur to me to do that let alone for others. Throughout the week, he was always doing small things like that. I don’t know him personally but I would wager he’s a good dude.
#28 The Right Way
When they’re certain what they’re doing is the best, most effective way of doing something, they still allow stubborn people to try their method first or will be patient and polite about communicating their experience. There’s a huge difference between being right and wanting to always be right. You don’t have to be the person to tell everyone “this is the right way,” sometimes people have to learn it themselves without your input. Anyone that can take a step back and let people live their own lives and chip in when needed or asked, that’s a good person.
#29 Real Go-Getters
If they move different kinds of debris out of the road. Tree branches, displaced manhole covers, bags of trash, anything that can cause injury or property damage. Good people go, “You know, somebody should do it.” So, instead of expecting taxes to pay for it, they just do it themselves and wind up helping everyone.
#30 Joke’s On Her
I once had this girl ask me out on a date with her. Sometime down the road, she explained why, “When we were at [mutual friend’s] house, you saw the dog’s empty water bowl and filled it up without saying a thing. I knew then that you cared about other people and animals.” Jokes on her, though, I just hate people.
#31 Sticking to Values
They try to improve themselves rather than tearing other people down. Sure, they can still be ambitious, but they’re not going to do it by sabotaging other people’s efforts. The mere act of throwing someone else under the bus is just contrary to what they believe. If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.
#32 Good Sense of Humor
When someone can make me laugh and it’s not at the expense of someone else. A lot of people get cheap laughs by putting someone else down, so it’s a good indicator that they are a legitimately funny person with a good sense of humor when they don’t do that. Bonus points if they’re into self-deprecation as well.
#33 Biker Dog
I met some new neighbours a few months ago. They’re a greasy couple of bikers, I’ve never seen them sober, and they’re over-friendly enough that in some contexts, I might be creeped out. But they have a husky dog who is the calmest, gentlest, most easy-going animal I’ve ever met. In contrast, I’ve met perfectly nice-looking families with clean houses and smart kids and good incomes who have nervous, hypervigilant pets that are constantly on the edge. I think you can tell a lot about what kind of person someone really is by how their animals act around them.
#34 Last Word
Whenever someone “wins” an argument, their response in the end is always very telling. Normally, a lot of people are kind of smug and in your face about it. However, I tend to find people who are just happy to drop it and move on or educate on the matter without raising their temper to be much kinder people.
#35 A Helping Hand
I almost have a good feeling about people depending on how they view homeless people. Yes, there are definitely some strung out people on the streets, but there are just some unfortunate folks mixed in as well. Even if someone is a little out of it, you just never know how and when people need a simple helping hand.
#36 Keeping Their Cool
When someone’s angry, not just annoyed but amazingly angry, they still don’t fight dirty. They don’t use racial or homophobic slurs, don’t threaten anyone. They just talk about how angry they are about whatever’s happened to them. I think it’s also a good sign when you don’t become nasty while they’re out partying.
#37 Instant Green Flag
I went to an informational session at a university in a fairly small meeting room (10-15 people). Someone knocked on the door and I stood to let them in, as I was closest to the door. The dude walked in and immediately went for my seat as I was closing the door. The professor leading the session said, “Excuse me, but I think that person was sitting there. There are more seats up here.” Instant green flag.
#38 Doing Unto Others
How people treat service-industry people is my number one. So many people seem to have this attitude of “If i’m paying you to do something, I’m superior to you.” No, you aren’t. You are two people entering into an agreement to exchange trade services for money, that’s it. You don’t get to turn into a tyrant just because you’re paying someone to do something. Sure, you’re the customer, so you’re always right, but you can still talk to the service provider like a human. Thank your waiter. Offer your landscapers some water and shade. It’s relatively simple!
#39 No Downside
When they help even if there’s no downside to not helping. There was one time I got to my dorms too early after a break (around 3:00 a.m.) and the doors to get in were locked and could only be opened from the inside. I couldn’t call an RA for a few hours, so I stood around wondering what I would do. Suddenly, a friend miraculously appeared at the door. Turns out he was gaming and saw me through the window. I didn’t know he was there, so it wouldn’t have been hard to ignore me. He came anyway.
#40 Oh, My Bad
Being able to admit when they’re wrong. For some reason, 90% of people I meet and 99% of people I interact with online cannot admit they were mistaken. I mean, you see people that got a misspelled tattoo saying, “Oh no, sometimes it is spelled like that.” Oh, please. Good mature people say, “Oh, my bad.” It’s so rare.
#41 Ask You Back
When they ask you questions back. It doesn’t have to be an equal amount of questions back and forth, but when someone lets you ask questions and then thinks to ask you too, it shows they’re thoughtful and care. Especially if that person has more power than you (and talking to you won’t get them anything useful).
#42 Leaving the Past Behind
I always consider being on good terms with their exes and not smack talking them, still respecting their privacy a huge green flag. It’s really rare these days. Nothing more unattractive than a guy harping on about his “crazy ex” or giving you compliments like, “Wow you’re much better than my ex.” I also don’t want to hear about that embarrassing thing that happened to your ex, the weird thing with her body or about her irrational fear of the dark.
#43 That’s “Doctor” to You
My friend is a doctor. He’s a chill, laid back guy and treats everyone with respect. The only times he demands to be called “doctor” is when people are being disrespectful. He was having a conversation with a woman about some medical thing and they were disagreeing. She got super rude and said, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he said, “I graduated top of my class from Medical School That is Very Well Respected, and I work at Very Well Known Hospital.” She said, “Yeah, right. Prove it.” So he pulled out his phone, went to the hospital website, got his bio page and photo pulled up, and very politely said, “Here you are. Also, that’s ‘doctor’ to you.”
#44 True Friends
My uncle once told me that in your life, you will only meet a few good friends that will care for you unconditionally and if you called for help at three in the morning, they would answer your call and be willing to help you. I know that seems like a stretch, but I feel fortunate to have someone like that in my life.
#45 Following Rules
When someone actually follows rules, even when no one of authority is around to bust them if they do break them. They realistically don’t have to if the potential consequence is gone, yet they do anyway. I’ve noticed that those people have a strong sense of trust and integrity, which is something I really admire.
#46 Respecting Others
You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them. Most people are very nice to the people who can help them. But how do they treat the checkout clerk, public servants, or those who may need grace rather than judgement, like the woman with a crying child in the grocery store? You don’t know her story. Seek first to understand.
#47 Nice and Reassuring
I spoke to a big, burly guy at a party the other day. Some girl came up and she obviously had some mental issues. She was barely coherent, kept apologizing and saying she had social anxiety. Basically, she wasn’t making much sense and kept apologizing for it. He was so nice and reassuring and gave her a hug. It was such a sweet gesture and it gave me a bit of a lump in my throat. Just generally he was giving everyone around at the party, including me, really thoughtful compliments all the time. Such a great, positive guy.
#48 Crisis Management
When a person’s initial reaction in some kind of crisis (big or small) is to help someone and not gawk at whatever’s going on. I know that sounds like the easy answer, but you would be amazed at how many people go with the crowd and just stand there. Sadly, there are times when I’m just that way and it’s kind of pathetic.
#49 In the Eyes
I always take it as a good sign when I see people who have crow’s feet around their eyes. For me, that tells me that they smile and laugh a lot. The older they are with less noticeable wrinkles, I tend to just assume that they’re sour people. However, this is just based on the first impression and nothing else.
#50 Simple Gestures
If someone holds open the door for me, I instantly throw away any previous bad thoughts I may have had about them. Conversely, if someone doesn’t hold open the door for me or someone else, even if they’re the nicest person in the world, I start internally foaming at the mouth about how garbage of a person they must be.