The psychology of the good person

You might know people that are inherently good. Heck, you might be one of them. A person who does good deeds, helps grannies cross the street, helps friends out when in need. People just shove the pretense that the person is good and are done with it. Having an ulterior motive is seen as a very negative thing – making the deed of helping someone either invalid or even negative.

But here I’ll have to ask – why is it that people do good? There are profiler shows on the Discovery Channel that analyze the motives of killers and ner-do-wells or whatever, but why never of the goody-two-shoes? It doesn’t make any sense – they’re the ones that are desirable in society, aren’t they? Society is a cruel, pessimistic bitch, but that’s why we have police instead of entertainers on every corner of every street.

Anyways, here’s my take on it. The take of a professional not-psychologist, student in History and IT technician – many people do good because it makes them feel good. I know that’s why I do it – it’s probably not a very isolated incident. I don’t know the biological implications of it, but being thanked for doing something good or simply the realization of knowing that you have changed the world for the better, no matter how minute that change may be, secretes some sort of hormone/drug/substance/thing that titillate our feel-good nerve centers as much as any other addictive activity would.

Again, don’t take my word for it, but logically, that’s why I think people are good. There is always an ulterior motive. Even if people are friends with the person they are helping, it’s still there – the motive might be simply the fact that they are friends.

It’s not conscious either – you might not think you have a motive for doing something good, but subconsciously you could. Now then, I’m not saying that you, thinking you are good, are actually wrong. I don’t think it’s wrong, I don’t think it’s necessarily evil too – I just think that trying to deny that you have an ulterior motive when you know you do is utterly fake. Religion might dictate that doing good has no ulterior motive – but that’s a blatant lie: do good in life, so you may go in heaven in the afterlife. The good Samaritan doesn’t seem so high and holy now, does he?

In addition, focusing on the fact that the person helping you might have an ulterior motive is just as stupid – focus on working together – it might lead you to other things.Friendship is giving and receiving. The concept is abstract though – you can give and receive everything and anything. On the other hand, when this rapport is lopsided, things might just blow apart.

Ok, I’ve rambled a bit now – t0 make it short: good guys are addicted to doing good, there is always an ulterior motive, friendship is the same as being good but in a two-person rapport.


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