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Good People Gone Bad. Why Self-Proclaimed Good People Are the Worst

Most of us have been around someone who’s boasted about how great of a person they are. But how good is a self-proclaimed good person? People flooded an online forum with their thoughts.

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

How It Started

Skeptical man.
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A frustrated roommate explains how their roomie constantly “passive-aggressively drops hints about [how] he’s a better person and morally superior” to them and their fellow roommate. The kicker? The two roommates volunteer and run mentorship programs, while the “good” roommate does nothing.

Let’s Be Real

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Since the “good” roomie is always quick to talk about anything “good” he happens to do, it got the roommate wondering: Do self-proclaimed “good people” lack self-awareness?

Oh, Yes

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The original poster (OP) hit the nail on the head, says one commenter. Their diagnosis? “I think your roommate might just be a narcissist.”

From a Good Person

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“I consider myself a good person,” ventures a modest poster. “But I’m never bragging about it. I don’t really talk about it.”

Excuse Me

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“What about the people who say they’re a terrible person?” asks one commenter. Perhaps truly good people are too good to ever say it to the self-proclaimed good person’s face.

So Hurtful

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We all make mistakes. One commenter says people who go around claiming to be good people can do serious damage to others. The reason? “Because they’re good, they think they can’t do anything bad.” 

Treading Water

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To one person, people who consider themselves good people merely go out on a limb to not look bad. In their eyes, the root cause is because the person thinks “that highly of themselves.”

To Be Fair

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One person posting in the online forum points out a discrepancy in the OP’s story with their comment about volunteering and mentoring. “Worth noting that those activities don’t necessarily make someone a good person.”

Red Flag

Red flag.
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Anyone who repeatedly describes themself in a virtuous way is a walking red flag, according to a commenter. “That’s their ego doing mental gymnastics trying to justify and rationalize the way that person views themself so they can avoid the cognitive dissonance of guilt.”

Just Self-Esteem

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“If people are doubting you all the time, it could make you defensive,” says one reflective commenter. They say that good people “could just have self-esteem issues.”

Awareness Issue

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“Most people who think they’re good simply just lack awareness,” muses one person. They explain that while they don’t see themselves as a very good person by their own standards, “when I look at the world, it becomes clear to me that I’m better than most.”

Defining Good

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The same person goes down a philosophical path, asking how to define good. “Is sacrificing yourself the ultimate good?” they ask. If so, “you’d not been good to yourself.” They then point out that if you look pitiful in the process, “You’d have made those around you sad.”

What It Takes to Be Good

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The philosophical commenter continues their point, saying a truly good person needs “to be strong enough to do good,” while recognizing it’s hard because most people would do “their own twisted version of good,” making a lot of things work in their favor followed by rationalizing it after the fact. 

So, who are the truly good people in the world to this person? “I think it’s most of the great scientists, and those working noble jobs, and those fighting to better the world on a larger scale.”

Source: Reddit.

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