I’ve always thought of myself as one of the ‘good guys’, but I suppose that in our own minds we each think that we are because acting in a manner that we admit is inconsistent with our own values isn’t a thing I think people would do.
To put a finer point on it, I never killed anyone the entire time I played Eve, nor did I have any intentions of changing that. I mined, scouted, and basically managed and distributed resources for other people to use. I helped newbies track down lost drones and MTUs, helped them recover from losses by running missions with them for a time or giving them just enough ship to do it themselves, depending on how much time I had to spend.
My experience, though, sounds like the exact opposite of yours. The gankers in my area respected me. I wouldn’t have put it past them to kill me if they could, but they were otherwise pleasant. They’d greet me on occasion, and I’d feel bad if I were docked up and AFK so that I couldn’t greet them in return.
In the dark underbelly of lowsec, some of the spoopy groups were actually fairly friendly to me and mine, even though I can assure you we were not particularly capable or numerous to present any real threat.
In my experience, what people like is someone who’s not selfish, who’s consistent in keeping their word, and who doesn’t knock or try to eradicate they way they play. In Eve, the people on the other side are your content. They’re who you interact with, and who you’re trying to beat or outplay, at least for a day.
I know Darth Vader’s got you really annoyed, but remember if you kill 'em then you’ll be unemployed.
Outside of blowing up my ship, Gankers and low-seccers have mostly been pleasant and they don’t tend to focus on beating me up or giving me a hard time. I was able to have and defend structures there, thanks to help from groups most would identify as ‘the bad guys’. I was judged more on my character than what I did.
Being nice and surviving in Eve was not that hard for me. Maybe that’s because I wanted to be nice to everyone by default, even if they play very differently from how I do, or would. The other players in Eve can’t hurt me, and I can go on caring about them as people no matter what they do in that universe. Some of them appreciated that, and I could tell that was the case by their choices and behavior, even if being an Eve badass dictated they could not say so aloud.