We all know or have at least met someone that seems to be able to always take a joke and we can count on to be in a good mood. This is even true in more difficult circumstances. Though they can relate to hardship, they are ready to jump back into good spirits. With this in mind, what does it mean to be a good natured person?
Being a good natured person means not taking offense easily, being personable around others, having a good sense of humor, and being reliably consistent in mood and temperament. Good natured does not mean being a push over or being overly nice despite the situation.
We all wish we could be more like these people, and we can. It just takes understanding their perspective and the conscious effort they put into being that way. What does this have to due with good humor, or even having a sweet nature? I will dive into these and other questions below.
What Does Good Natured Person Mean?
When we think of a good natured person, it usually has something to do with their temperament. They seem to be on an ‘even keel’ most of the time and even harsh circumstances don’t tend to sway them. So, what do we mean by a good natured person?
Being a good natured person means having a firm grasp on emotions like anger and outrage while choosing to be friendly or at least accommodating in even difficult situations. Though they experience emotions, they elect to have an open or inviting demeanor instead of giving in to emotional displays.
It is important to remember that being good natured doesn’t mean ignoring or ‘turning off’ negative emotions. Not only is this unhealthy, but in reality not entirely possible.
What being a good natured person means is controlling which emotions are given precedence and which to subjugate. When tough or uncomfortable situations arise, the good natured person puts a ‘positive spin’ on things and remembers that others are affected by our actions.
This also bleeds over into less stressful situations as well. They tend not to take themselves seriously and can be the but of a joke without taking offense. The seriousness of a situation is kept in perspective and they are ready to get over small things in order to enjoy the moment.
To read more about this and other subjects, here are some more of my articles…
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How Does A Good Natured Person Behave?
Let’s now look at the practical application of a good nature. What does it look like? And since not only do we learn by seeing examples, our children do as well. So, in order to teach ourselves and kids to be more good natured, how does a good natured person behave?
A good natured person is friendly even in awkward situations and doesn’t give into pride by taking offence easily. They can take jokes and tend like both telling and hearing them. A good natured person behaves in a way that doesn’t make others uncomfortable.
Though sometimes these types of people are considered kind, this is not always the case. Kind signifies a more personal aspect of interaction, whereas good natured as a trait tends to describe a more public socio-relational aspect of someone’s personality.
In other words, good nature deals more with people in open situations whereas kindness can even be a private. Though people can be more intimately good natured, normally it is in public settings.
Here are a couple of examples of how a good natured person acts.
- When the object of a practical joke, they truly find it funny and don’t take offense.
- When someone is unkind or dismissive, they ‘shake it off’ quickly and don’t let it affect their mood.
- When receiving harder assignments than coworkers or classmates, they don’t complain.
- They understand the hardships others face and don’t draw attention to their failings.
- They are ready to laugh and find the humor in situations of all kinds.
- They tend to shy away from laughing at the expense of others.
- Even if their actions to offend others, their intent was not to do so.
There are many more that can be given, but this can give you a picture of what to strive for when looking to be more good natured. Being good natured some claim leaves you open to being taken advantage of. Yet, simply because a good thing can be misused doesn’t negate its worth. Most things can be misused.
Being good natured is an excellent way for us to better ourselves and build bridges with others.
What Does Feeling Good Natured Mean?
Moving on from a person that IS good natured to when someone says they are ‘feeling’ good natured is our next topic. They are not the same thing and the permanent versus temporary nature they hold should be understood. What does it mean when someone is feeling good natured?
Feeling good natured means that a person is feeling generous and is willing to do something that in their estimation the recipient may not necessarily deserve. A person feeling good natured may give something to or do something for someone else where they would normally do otherwise.
This feeling is normally a break from the normal actions a person. It may not even result in any action, but could just result in a more positive disposition toward a subject or an individual.
This could be a father allowing a teenage son or daughter to do something they normally wouldn’t due to it being near Christmas. It could also be a boss giving a raise to someone that may not have fulfilled all of the requirements because they like the attitude of the employee.
Being a good natured person is more of a permanent character trait whereas feeling good natured implies a break from normal character.
What Does Sweet Natured Mean?
Here we are delving into the realm of the very popular word ‘nice’. Nice can mean many things to many people, but it usually entails giving a pleasing response or sentiment sometimes without regard for what may be necessary because of its harshness. What does sweet natured mean and how does it relate to niceness?
Sweet natured means someone who values being nice and accommodating, but sometimes to a fault. When we add the word natured onto sweet, it connotates a persistent state that has the person elevating being nice over truth. Though this can be good, it can also promote denial.
Contrary to what some may believe, nice is not a virtue. Though it has seemingly good accidental or outward qualities, its intent is normally to avoid conflict of all types, even necessary ones. This is primarily a denial of the importance of what’s true and the need to push back against assaults on truth.
It is actually not nice to give someone a speeding ticket, take away a child’s favorite toy as a form of discipline, or not take someone’s word and require them to prove their identity with ID. Yet, truth and justice demand these things of us for many reasons.
We should not confuse the virtue of civility with being nice either. Sweetness usually refers exclusively to being nice. But civility is founded on the principles of the other virtues being true. This points to upholding truth beyond all others without compromising civil discourse and respect.
In an article published in the journal Philosophy and Public Affairs, Cheshire Calhoun argues for the virtue of civility and distinguishes it from what we today term as niceties. Civility must be preceded something solid for it to stand on or it simply becomes vanity.
A sweet natured person does not always fall prey to nice ruling over truth, but sweet natured usually means that giving and friendly personality traits are displayed even when the situation calls for harsher words and treatment.
What Does Good Natured Humor Mean?
When telling jokes or trying to pull off a practical joke, sometimes boundaries can be crossed and some people can be offended. Especially in today’s culture, being offended has taken on a life of its own. What does good natured humor mean and what does it say about the person attempting it?
Good natured humor means jokes or actions that have at their heart the intent bringing laughter without offense. If offense occurs, good natured means that it was an unintended outcome. When someone attempts good natured humor it should be obvious that no offense was intended.
Intentions are very important when judging the actions of people in general. This is definitely true when looking at jokes or practical jokes.
If the person telling or doing the joke means for a laugh to be had at someone’s expense it is usually not good natured humor. Though, this kind of joke can happen and still be good natured humor if the people involved are friends and that sort of action is acceptable in their interactions.
When someone says something is good natured humor, it usually is one of two things.
- The person telling the joke can be trusted to not be malicious.
- The person may have inadvertently offended someone, but the intent was not to do so.
What Does Good Natured Fun Mean?
Like with good natured humor, good natured fun has much more to do with the intent of the person than with the act itself. People that like good natured fun may even do things that to the outside viewer could seem harsh. So, what does good natured fun mean?
Good natured fun may be rough, a bit dangerous, or harsh, but the intent is benign and no one is meant to get hurt or offended. It usually refers to actions that could be seen as malicious in other contexts, but due to the circumstances is not meant to be.
Good natured fun could look like college dorm mates starting water balloon fights with other unsuspecting floors. This could be students hiding all of the contents of a teacher’s desk. The action itself is not what is important as long as no one is injured. The fun is good natured depending on the intention.
The Good Natured Person Takeaway…
Good natured people are easy to be around, fun to do things with, and can take a joke even when they are the butt of it. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be serious when necessary, only that they are ready to return to a more lighthearted demeanor when appropriate.
They also tend not to complain as much as others and will do what is needed without become a ‘victim’ because a particular task falls to them.
Being good natured is not synonymous with being nice, and even holds to standards better than those elevating nice to the level of virtue.
When a friendly, personable demeanor is needed, a good natured person will normally fit the bill.
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