The problems of being a good child 

As a kid, I was always one of the ‘good’ kids. I was perceived as the ‘good child’ who always gets his homework done on time, never gets into trouble and never does anything wrong. Your teachers love it. Your parents love it. You love it. Because why not? You are treated like a rare bit of gold, in a world of sharpened shrapnel. No one ever shouts at you, and you just keep flowing through life with no worries or cares so long as you are good. You are friends with many people because they have no reason to dislike you, as you do nothing wrong. But doing nothing wrong, means you are basically doing nothing at all.

Over time you build up a reputation, even from a young age of 4, a perception that you must live up to, as anything else would just be disappointing. So, you continue to be good to avoid being frowned up, and this won’t wear off – ever. You will go into adulthood, being the same ‘good’ person, not starting arguments, not expressing opinions, and not doing anything risky, as everyone expects the opposite of this in you, ultimately limiting your success.

So the ultimate issue with ‘goodness’ is compliance. Being too good will make you adopt a passive and compliant nature, where you resist pragmatism, as that could be ‘too dangerous to your reputation’ and through your lack of ‘scary’ experiences, could hurt you really bad. You aren’t used to experiencing scary emotions, such as anger, jealousy or fear that are vital in order to live and be a ‘proper person’. Without these emotions, we lack motivation, and therefore we have no reason to make a difference or contribute to a change.

Without anger, competitiveness doesn’t exist and we don’t challenge anyone in power, as you fear the ideas of hate towards you. Without jealousy, we don’t want to achieve anything. Without jealousy, you see the guy chatting up your crush and even though she is the love of your life, the perfect girl for you, you don’t envy his victory over you in getting your girl, and then you lose. You give in and make excuses that, “she wasn’t really my type anyway”, even though she 100% IS! We miss out on vital opportunities for self-growth and development, and always stay the complicit and passive person, as we were when we were 4. At the age of let’s say 24, you haven’t had the chance, your whole life to experience what it’s like for someone to be threatened by you, and tolerate any badness you may have inside.

A great example of the long term issues of goodness is in the workplace. This example is sourced from the school of life (my favourite youtube channel) which completely summarises the concerns one should have for any good child. Let’s say that you’re in a meeting and for some very strange reason, the boss suggests that they should invent a car which has completely square wheels, with the boss saying that round wheels are useful and never work properly. Obviously, square wheels are a bad idea, BUT, being the good adult you are, you comment “what a great idea, I really support this”, not because you actually believe in this idea, but simply to make your boss happy, keep your job, and resist a change in perception of you, at risk of being an inconsiderate, rude and destructive individual.

In relation to me, as I mentioned before, I was that who was the ‘golden boy’. Now, a decade or so on, I look back and wish that maybe I wasn’t so good sometimes, and taken risks to learn from or to have more fun with, rather than just saying, “oh you can’t do that – it’s bad”. I’ve missed out on vital communication opportunities when I’ve had chances to express my honest opinion, I haven’t. I’ve been scared that people will think, oh, “how he’s changed” and I still hate the idea of anyone hating me or having reason to. I wasn’t that sort of kid who would stereotypically sneak into someones back garden to get a football we just kicked over the fence. I would be the one who would stand back, away from the ‘danger’ and say, ‘don’t do it! You’ll get caught! It’s wrong what you are doing!”. But no one ever got caught. No one got into trouble. Everyone else had fun, an adrenaline rush and an ‘experience’, whilst I stood by and missed out.

If you are interested in this topic of matter, please check out this youtube video by the School of life where I was first introduced to this concept. I wish for everyone to see it as it taught me so much, and I believe it can help all of us, no matter who we are. Link:


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