Whether being a good person is worth it or not is not an easy question to answer since it can be very interpretable because to say what being good means, you have to compare it with something.
But this is not a philosophy site, so I will try to attribute a meaning to being good because this is what I believe people are interested in finding out with this question.
I will describe a good person, as someone that is respecting the rules, would not screw others to get some advantages, does their best not to upset people around them without reason, and it is a kind person that is not looking to pose an image of a bad guy/girl.
A bad person would be a selfish person who will take advantage of others as often as possible and have no problems breaking the rules, lying, or cheating.
This is a superficial description of a good and bad person, but having in mind that there are entire books written about this topic, so it’s pretty hard to describe that in a few hundred words.
Before going to the topic, it is important to know that your age matters a lot when answering this question.
Bad people have more advantages when they are young compared to adults since young people are willing to take more risks than adults, which might make us not avoid bad people as much when we are young since we don’t understand all the risks involved in hanging out with those people. When you add that being bad sounds way cooler than being good or normal and for young people being cool and having cool friends is a priority makes total sense why bad people have a better reputation.
However, as adults, we tend to ignore or avoid people who seem to have bad behavior, so the reputation of bad people is not so cool anymore and being cool loses its value anyway.
Is being a good person worth it?
Yes, being a good person is totally worth it because there are a lot of advantages that good people have in this society.
I know this sounds a bit crazy, and everybody wants to think that you can win in life only by being a bad person, breaking the rules, cheating, and so on. The thing is that this image is the one that most people want to see because it is more interesting than it actually is.
Being a bad person and getting ahead in life is more interesting. This image will be more mediatized than being a good person since it will get more views/clicks and attention, but on average, being a good person will give you a better chance.
Let’s do an exercise, think of all the people you know, not from the media, and which ones you would consider bad and good people, then think about who is better off in life(by your standards). When I do this exercise, the first thought is how cringe people that are bad people are and how awful their life is.
Life is not what you see in the media or the movies. Generally, we respect good people and try our best to avoid the bad ones.
I just wrote an article about whether nice people are attractive or not and I went a bit into the discussion about bad boy vs. nice guy and new studies show that women actually prefer nice guys if they are honest and true rather than bad boys, despite the common belief that”Nice guys finish last”
So let’s see some real advantages of being a good person and why it is actually worth it.
5 Advantages of being a good person
1. People will not avoid you
We all have a few acquaintances, preferably not friends, that are very selfish, and they will do anything to take advantage of people around them or to look good.
They are not the first people that come to your mind when you think of someone you will want to hang out with or invite to your birthday party but you will have no problem inviting someone you know is a good/decent person.
So by being a good person, you lower your chances of being avoided by other people. Usually, when we do something nice or meet new people, we think about who can also benefit or want to be there with us. Being a good person will increase your chances of being on that list, while being a bad person will make sure that you will never be there.
You might say that you have enough friends or enough activities and you don’t want to have this advantage, but keep in mind that life is not linear, and you might find yourself in a worse situation in the future when having this advantage will be helpful.
2. Getting opportunities
This one is related to the first one, when someone has an opportunity that wants to share it with somebody, being a good person makes you a better candidate.
Suppose you have a business opportunity, you wouldn’t want to share that with a bad person because they have a higher chance of destroying it with their bad reputation or by taking advantage of other people, including you.
3. You don’t make enemies
Not making enemies in life is actually more important than people think. If you are unwilling to break the rules, cheat or take advantage of people, you have a low chance of making enemies.
Not having enemies leads to a better life due to less stress, and more happiness, so we can say that being good is worth it.
There are many moments in life when being trustworthy matters a lot. If you have to prove something or to show that you are innocent in certain situations, being a good person will help you, while being a bad person and having a bad reputation can make you guilty even when you are not.
We are very skeptical about everything a bad person says, and it’s easy to believe that they are the ones that have done something wrong when you have to choose between them and another person.
5. Better relationships
Usually, bad people are overconfident and arrogant and think they are sneakier and more manipulative than they actually are.
They think they can be good with one or a few people and bad with the rest, and everything will be fine. However, we usually consider how a person behaves with the others around them, not only with us. So even if some people will say things like”No, he/she is not how people think he/she is” unconsciously, those doubts will add up, and even if they don’t distance themselves from that bad person, the relationship isn’t as healthy as without those doubts.
So by being a bad person, you will never have a 100% healthy relationship with someone. The same is true for friendships since your friends will always think that you can do to them what you do to others at any moment.
Being a good person helps your partner trust you more because they can see that you are not good only with them because you have something to win but rather this is who you are, a good person.
So, being a good person is totally worth it, it might not sound as cool as being a bad guy/girl, but you will have some real advantages that will help you in life.
It is hard to go through adult life without being trusted by people around you, and it is quite obvious why being a bad person is very detrimental to your professional and social life.
So I would encourage you to be a good person and don’t think too much about the bad people, you will tend to cherry-pick and think about those few bad people who seem to have a good life, but even then, you don’t know for sure if they are happy or not.