Why do good people do bad things? 

Why do good people do bad things? 


by Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)

Just last week I was talking to a client who is, as far as I’m aware, a good person. But the focus of our conversation was him NOT doing the right thing…

…more often than not, his history had suggested to me that he was honest and reliable and trustworthy and more. His personal and professional behaviour had almost always been moral and ethical.

In this particular instance, however, he’d failed himself and those who were relying on him. He’d let himself and them down. And everyone involved was disappointed, frustrated and even a little angry.

Why had this good man done a bad thing? 

Well in this case he acknowledged being “led astray” by a friend who’d suggested to him that what he knew wasn’t right was, in fact, “okay”.

Now let me make it clear that my client was NOT blaming this other person; rather, he was well aware that he was responsible for his actions.

But that being said, what he noted was something we’ve all experienced at times which is that our behaviour can be, and often is influenced by those around us and by our surroundings.

Accordingly, even if we take full responsibility for our actions we can still accept the influence of external factors; and it’s these influences that can explain why being good isn’t always the same as doing good!

How, then, can we be strong enough to be and do good regardless of what’s going on around us (challenging situations, peer pressure etc)?

Well, admitting that it’s easier said than done, the most effective strategy comes from knowing our values, with as much clarity as possible. If we value, for example, trust and relationships and reliability then as much as possible we won’t do anything to let others down. Values act as our compass; providing direction and helping us get back on track if/when we stray.

As Roy Disney said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” 

So that’s today’s mailing. Take some time to reflect upon the message and how it might apply to you. Check out, also, the links below for some additional readings and resources.

I hope it helps you enjoy some more happiness. Until next time…

Keep well & keep smiling
Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)