Imagine if we were all nice to everyone we met throughout our day? There’d be no more arguing, wars, strife. It sounds like a perfect way of thinking, but imagine just for a minute if this were the case. As humans, we have a natural desire to surround ourselves with friendly people. Nice people are genuinely a pleasure to be around. They build you up and inspire you to better yourself. Nice people tend to have more close friends.
On the flip side is the toxic personality. We’ve all experienced this person before. They walk into a room, and you can feel the whole mood take a downward turn. The toxic personality complains, gossips, and talks poorly of others attempting to take others down in their misery. My wife sums it up best when she says, “It must take so much energy to be negative all the time.”
The question is, how do you become a nicer person?
Be interested in other people
No one likes a person who always talks about themselves. So many people love to hear the sound of their own voice, but you must learn to listen to others and be interested in what they are saying. Too many of us aren’t fully listening. Instead, we’re waiting to find a minute to jump in and spew what we feel is the all-important wisdom that the conversation has been missing. Give people your full attention when they are speaking to you. Ask questions and listen.
Please put your cell phone away when there is a conversation happening. There is nothing worse than speaking to someone, and they are continually looking at their phones. You’re saying that Facebook is more interesting than their words.
Be on time
Being respectful of other peoples time is one way of being a nicer person. It demonstrates to the other person that you have respect for his or her time. No one likes to be kept waiting. Understandably, unexpected things come up, which we can’t avoid. If this happens, alert the other person as soon as you possibly can that you will be late.
The problem is that most people are late because they lack the discipline to prepare for the unexpected. If I need to be at an appointment for work, I always leave early to allow for traffic. I would much rather be early and sit in the parking lot or a coffee shop and get some work done than be late. Oversleeping or not being prepared to leave on time only demonstrates a lack of discipline on your part. Allow yourself more time, and you won’t be late.
You can’t help but be in a good mood when you are laughing and smiling. It is infectious to be around people who are laughing, smiling, and happy. Take time out of your day to smile at a stranger when you’re walking on the street or holding a door open. It takes a second to smile, and it might be just the thing that the other person needed to make their day a little bit better.
Don’t be critical or judge
In trying to be a nicer person, be less judgemental and critical of other people or their situation. It is hard to understand what another person is going through, so don’t be quick to pass judgment on them. They may be doing the best they can in that particular situation at that specific time. Constantly criticizing only creates unnecessary negativity. Try to find the bright spot in a given situation.
Say please and thank you often
Being a nicer person starts with the basics that most of us should have learned as children. Say thank you and please often. Proper manners go a long way to being nicer and are one of the easiest to do. Saying thank you reinforces that you appreciate them and what they’ve done for you. Saying please and thank you too much is nearly impossible. This goes for the cashier at the supermarket, the person who delivers your food, your co-workers, family, and friends.
Apologize and make it sincere
Mistakes happen, and the best thing you can do when trying to be a nicer person is own up yo your mistakes and apologize and apologize sincerely. Children are great at the insincere apology. We set them up as parents for this unsincere approach. “Tell your sister you’re sorry.” The child looks at you, rolls his/her eyes, and says sternly, “sorry.” This apology is not sincere. Apologizing doesn’t make you a weak person. It does quite the opposite. It shows that you are strong and humble.
Helping others when asked is another way of being a nicer person. Everyone needs a little bit of help at times in life. It could be something as simple as moving a couch or just lending an ear to hear out a problem they are having. The key to offering help is not to expect anything in return. You don’t need to keep a mental log of all the people you’ve helped. Remember that it might not always be possible to help at the exact time they need assistance. If this is the case, be upfront and honest. Perhaps the help they need can wait an hour or two or a day.
Nice people usually are honest people. Nobody likes a liar or one who exaggerates the truth. Do not try to impress others by lying. When you catch this person in a lie, it just makes you begin to question everything else this person has ever told you. You lose trust for this person and begin to pull back. Don’t try to impress people with grand stories of your accomplishments and experience. These stories trigger an almost instantaneous “BS Meter” with me that is a giant turn-off. Always be honest with more than just your words but also your actions. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
You can not be a nice person if you are always complaining. Complainers like to blame others for everything that occurs in their life instead of owning up to their problems. The complainer always looks for an excuse when something doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it to. Life doesn’t always work out the way we expect it to. I was supposed to be playing shortstop for the Yankees, and that never happened. It’s how you handle these situations that make you the person you are. Remaining positive in light of disappointment makes you a nicer person to be around. I laugh at every change of the season, as so many people say the same thing. When it’s Summer, they complain it’s too hot, and they can’t wait for Winter. Then three weeks into Winter, they complain it’s too cold. Look at the bright side of any given situation. If there’s a blizzard and school is closed, it’s an inconvenience, but it gives you the chance to spend some quality time with your children.
Part of being a nicer person is to be encouraging and supportive of others. If you are being asked for advice about a new idea the person has don’t shoot down their dreams. Instead, offer advice and remain supportive of their efforts. It takes a lot for some people to put themselves out there and ask for an opinion, and they don’t need you crapping on their dreams. People appreciate the encouragement and will offer their own in return when you need it.
We all have that go-to person in our lives who we know we can turn to for the encouragement we need in any given situation. For some of us, it’s our spouses or family, and others it may be their best friend. Find your go-to person and encourage them as much as they encourage you.
Respecting others can be tough at times, especially these days, with our country being so divided politically. Everyone has their own opinions on specific topics. Not everyone will agree with you or you with them, but it is critical to respect their views in the same way you want yours respected. If everyone agreed all the time, it would be a pretty dull existence.
Instead, be open-minded, hear what the other person is saying, and then reply. “I can understand your opinion. Here’s the way I feel about it”. Don’t discredit the person but instead, listen and respond when they are done speaking.
I’ve had too many discussions in my life that were not conversations, but instead was someone spewing their opinions at me and not letting me speak. I usually tune out immediately when this happens.
Be a nicer person because you want to be. Be sincere about your efforts to be nicer and strive to be supportive of those who need support and ask for it. Just be nice!
How do you practice being nice to others? Comment below.