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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / What Makes a Person... Bad?

Topic: What Makes a Person... Bad?

16 posts, 0 answered
  1. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    17 April 2018

    So as a teenager, self esteem is a massive issue for me as I’m guessing it is for most. That’s why I ask myself this question. Am I a good person? But before I can ask myself that question, I have to know what makes someone a bad person. They are selfish? They do things with malicious intent? They don’t do good things? Where do you draw the line between a good person and a bad person?

    Me personally, I have never done anything with the intent to hurt someone or done something with awareness that I will hurt someone with those actions. But I have hurt people. I felt bad about hurting people, and I am very capable of apologising.

    The things about me that I am beating myself up about are:

    The fact that I have done some attention seeking things eg. pretending to be drunk to fit in (that didn’t hurt anyone but I still feel ashamed)

    Choosing a guy over my girl friend (she had a crush on him, he had a crush on me, I had a crush on him, she didn’t want us to be together, in her eyes I stole him although she never had him, but still I wish I didn’t do that)

    I lead guys on with my actions such as being affectionate (flirty) but made it clear with my words that I only saw them as friends (it was just my personality but in all honesty I liked the attention). Some people say flirting is harmless and it was fine because I made my intentions clear but others say I played with their emotions. I’ve got rid of that aspect of my personality now. It got me into a lot of mess. Such as 2 guys that were best friends fighting over me, one sexually harassing me in the end and one threatening suicide saying he loved me. I kinda asked for it right?

    What else have I done that I regret? Hmm... I went to parties with a group of people that my best friend at the time introduced me to that she wasn’t invited to. They didn’t want to invite her for their reasons but I should have only gone if she went because she introduced me to them right?

    Another friend of mine pretended to be drunk and then when shit started getting real she said I pressured her (when in reality I had some alcohol, let her have a sip then hid it from her). But in a way, I gave her the opportunity to pretend to be drunk so is it my fault? By telling people the truth I lost her as a friend.

    Anyways, do you guys consider yourself good or bad people? What are the worst things that you’ve done? Do you think the things I’ve done specifically are wrong and do you think I’m a good person?

    2 people found this helpful
  2. PamelaR
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    2299 posts
    18 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Dear EllieM

    You've certainly asked some really hard questions EllieM. What makes a person .....Bad? Then you ask 'do you guys consider yourself good or bad people'.

    Beyond Blue forums are here for people who have mental illness. People who provide responses are friendly, caring, supportive and respect individual's privacy. We're not counsellors or therapists, we just people who experience mental illness and are willing to share what we can.

    Your questions are quite deep thinking for me. And how I might answer it, may differ from someone else on the forum. We do not all share the same values and beliefs, though we are restricted by laws. So when you ask me if I consider myself bad, then - No. I'm not. I've never been in trouble with the police, I've never had a speeding fine. I'm over 60 years old.

    I was brought up a Christian, so my values and beliefs are based on the 10 commandments. However, I'm no longer a practicing christian and my beliefs are much more Buddhist. All those things you have talked about in your post, may not be the best choices you've made in life, however, I would not place them in the 'bad' category.

    What is the worst thing I've done....... now that would be telling. Maybe not yet.

    Most of your examples are about social situations that happen - all the time. Tell me why you think the things you've done are bad? What is the worst possible outcome from what you did at the parties?

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
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    18 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Dear EllieM~

    OK, I think you are a good person. You got it in one "They are selfish? They do things with malicious intent" Those are the things to avoid.

    Yes you can hurt people, everyone can, and often do without realizing, or forced to by circumstances. For me the trick is to do as little harm as one can, and that's not always easy. Like many hard things thought and practice lead to successes, though there never will be success every time.

    You have started that process, your instincts have told you with each of those occasions something was wrong, be it insincerity, ignoring another's feelings and so on. That's great! You have instinct to prompt you, not everyone does. You have the desire to improve how you face situations, not everyone has that either, and you have a lifetime to perfect your actions.

    Flirting may be OK and fun if both persons enjoy it, the trick - which comes from experience - is to know when it is going to become hurtful.

    Telling the truth is in theory fine, but when not laced with tact and care can become hurtful and corrosive. finding the balance again takes thought.

    I'm not trying to lecture or give wisdom from great age, I make mistakes all the time, probably have as many regrets as you. It's all something to aim for. The above is how I try.

    What do you think?

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  4. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    18 April 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Thank you Pamela for your advice, I really appreciate it. When I come to think of it, you are right. I tend to think very deeply and overthink things. Yes, these are common things for my age group but there’s more below the surface I guess. I still feel like I should have been smart enough to not make those decisions.

    For example, I feel that I was oversenstive about my friend pretending to be drunk. I feel like it was my fault by giving her the idea in a way (although she always drinks with other people, like REALLY drinks, and if anyone was being pressured it’d be me). But maybe if I just went along with it, it wouldn’t be in such a mess. She’s managed to turn many people against me as they know she can hurt them and I won’t.

    My friend (who's crush I “stole”) said some very personal things about me to him to try to turn him off me and I said she was lying. He believed me. I feel wrong for doing that.

    I also feel like there’s was something wrong with me because I was attention seeking. I was flirtatious and even myself pretended to be drunk and things like that (although I would never throw someone under the bus as my friend did to me). I’m guessing it’s because I had a hard time in junior school, I never really fit in. So when I got attention, I couldn’t get enough of it.

    Now I’m trying to get through the HSC with no real friends and it’s terrible and depressing. I blame myself for the fact that I’m no longer popular, although my family tells me it’s good because they were all “toxic”. It makes me think, will everyone be “toxic” or will I find real friends?

    1 person found this helpful
  5. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    18 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Thank you Croix,

    You also seem like a very wise person. I know that you have to make mistakes but I tend to beat myself up about some mistakes. I feel like there is something wrong with me because I don’t have many friends anymore. But thank you for saying that you think I’m a good person. That means a lot to me. Thank you for your encouragement.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Croix
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    19 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Dear EllieM~

    No, I'm no wise person, just someone that has tried to stop hurting himself and others as time has gone on.

    Like just about everything worth-while in life it takes experience and practice not just to modify one's own behavior so we don't feel bad afterwards, but also to be able to sum up others.

    The older you are getting the more life you have and the more past encounters to draw on to see people as they are. I've no real idea if the people you knew were toxic or not, I do have an idea of how to judge though. Do they always put themselves first or try to take care of others?

    That was one reason I think you are indeed a good person. I was not just saying it to make you feel better for a moment, but because it is true and something you should know about yourself, something to fall back on when times are hard and doubts are there. All through your post you were concerned with other people.

    Attention from the right person is really great. It will happen, it does for most people, me included:)

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  7. PamelaR
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    19 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    So good to hear back from you EllieM.Thank you.

    Croix is so right, you are a good person. All through your posts you are concerned about others. That is a wonderful attribute to have EllieM.

    You say you think there is something wrong with you because you were attention seeking, i.e. you were flirtatious and pretending to be drunk. There are so many things in our lives that promote flirtation / attention seeking. Especially the media - look at all the 'reality programs'. That's is what they are all geared towards. Must confess to not watching the programs, just watching the ads for them is enough. So it's not surprising your behaviour is like that. It is promoted as 'acceptable'. However, you are so wise - very wise to note that there is something wrong with these portrayals of behaviour. Well done you!!

    Maybe think about what happened as a learning for you - next time you'll stop and think about doing anything like that again. Everyone makes choices that aren't the choices they really want to make. That so okay. We can't be perfect all the time!! I know I can't. I've made choices in my life that I would not make now. These I cannot take back. They've happened and I have to move on. So, in some ways, maybe that is what you could think about doing. Learn and move on. What do you think EllieM?

    Would like to hear back from you. Let me know how you're travelling.

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

    2 people found this helpful
  8. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    19 April 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Thanks Pamela,

    It’s really good advice. I know I should move on but it is hard to when I’m constantly faced with backlash of old friendships etc. going to school or even to the shops. I’m anxious to go because I don’t want to bump into people such as a guy who harassed me because I rejected him (I blame this on the fact that I was flirty with him). But I will move on, I’m just struggling at the moment. I guess my rollercoaster of life is at a low right now, but it will rise. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    19 April 2018 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Croix for your advice. It’s very helpful. Although the “to tell is someone is toxic, see if they care about other people” thing is hard for me. I’ve had experiences of very manipulative people. People who buy me necklaces and the next minute are blackmailing me with suicide. At times it seems like they really care about me, other times they seem psychopathic. I really can’t tell because people are so fake, many people pretend to care about others so it is hard to tell. How do you go about it?
    1 person found this helpful
  10. Chloe_M
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    20 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Hi Ellie,

    So what makes a person bad? I would say that they

    • Are selfish
    • would purposely harm another person
    • would lie frequently for their own personal gain
    • spread rumours
    • is racist, sexist and discriminates against people

    but not necessarily. I am selfish, that would have to be my major flaw. And I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a bad person. But to be a bad person I don't think that you have to fit all of those things. It's not like there's a criteria for being a 'bad person'.

    i think a good person however, is easier to define.

    but after writing this down, I've come to realise that there is no good person/bad person. We shouldn't label ourselves like that. We already have enough labels already (thanks mental illnesses 🙄).

    Hope this helped, although I reckon it's just super confusing.

    chloe :)

    2 people found this helpful
  11. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    20 April 2018 in reply to Chloe_M

    Hey Chloe,

    I think you’re on the right track, but I mean those can be characteristics of a bad person I think. You’re right about it being super hard to define. How would you define a good person? Also what would you say about my situation currently? I totally agree about the labels thing. Very true. But don’t tell yourself you’re selfish again that’s a label. I think in a way we are all “selfish”, we are built that way in order to survive as human beings I guess. But we can also love and do amazing things too. Thanks Chloe for your response ❤️

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Chloe_M
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    21 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Ellie I'm a teenager too, I get the whole self esteem thing. It will pass, it's just because we have so many hormones flying around in our bodies.

    I have hurt people too. And I am very good at apologising. Too good.

    okay so the pretending to be drunk thing... You were just trying to fit in. But, myself think of it this way: You weren't actually drunk. If you're underage, then that's awesome, I'm guessing you would have been surrounded by people off their faces. You made a good choice not to drink. Good on you 👍

    if you really love this guy then of course you would choose him. If your friend has a crush on him, well, it's just a crush right? But then again, this could cause some major conflict between you two.

    If you have a playful, slightly flirty nature, then that's who you are. There's nothing wrong with that. And no, you didn't ask for it. What they did it's their choice. And I'm sorry about the sexual harassment. That is a big no no.

    if those people invited you to a party, then go. It's not as if you have to bring your friend. These new people see obviously friends or whatever, you don't need to bring your friend if she wasn't invited.

    If your other friend who pretended to get drunk lied and spread rumours that you pressured her into drinking, then I don't think she's a very good friend. It's not like she even said it when she was drunk, because she wasn't! I think that losing her as a friend was for the best. Someone like that is toxic. And having someone toxic around isn't good.

    So am I a good person? I think so, but sometimes. When I'm suicidal- heck no. But the rest of the time, i guess so. What about you?

    hope you have a good day, if you're still on school holidays enjoy then we only have a week left (or just over).

    😄 Chloe

    1 person found this helpful
  13. quirkywords
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    4188 posts
    21 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    EllieM,

    I have just read your posts on this thread and I am impressed with your insights into your behaviour as well as your kindness.

    I was a teenager a long time ago, but alas self esteem is something that some of us grapple with all our lives.

    I think most people want to be good people and try to live lives like that.

    You have highlighted many important issues.

    It is really important that you have started thinking about what makes a person good or bad as this is all part of the development of who you are and a sign of maturity.

    Thanks again for being honest and by doing this help many people reading this.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  14. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    22 April 2018 in reply to Chloe_M
    Wow Chloe, that really helped. You’ve really got your head screwed on right for your age. I agree with your advice. And yeah I’m back at school in a week or so ughh. May I ask why you feel so bad about yourself sometimes? You seem like a really great person. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays.
  15. EllieM
    EllieM avatar
    13 posts
    22 April 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    Thanks so much Quirky, it’s really nice to hear that. I hope you enjoy your holidays. :)
  16. Chloe_M
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    22 April 2018 in reply to EllieM

    Hey Ellie glad I could be of some help :)

    yeah I don't want to go back to school 🙄 Holidays are the best haha.

    i feel bad a lot, I don't really want to go into much detail there's a lot and it all compounds, then caused depression and anxiety. But it's on my thread "Advice for seeking professional help trigger warning: sexual abuse, self harm and suicidal feelings" if you wanted to take a look. You might find some goodness advice I've got some lovely people on there looking out for me😊 . It's pretty full on lol. My first post is where I explain everything.

    I feel like a lot of people wouldn't take me seriously because of my age (I'm young, probably younger than you expect) but I have been proved wrong there are so many supportive people out there.

    Aww thanks I'm not that great honestly. But it's nice to hear anyhow. Hope you enjoy your holidays too :)

    xx Chloe

    1 person found this helpful

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