In a world filled with much sadness and adversity, it pays to spread kindness and be a nicer person. Being nice to ourselves and to others helps spread positivity and good vibes. This is something that is actually backed by science. Research also shows that being nice helps enhance our mental health and wellbeing. Doing something nice boosts our happiness hormones or endorphins and serotonin levels. This helps us maintain a happier outlook on life.
Experiencing more positive emotions than negative ones helps us become more resilient against hardships and negativity. However, it’s not always easy to be nice. It requires conscious effort, mindfulness, and commitment.
The first step to turning over a new leaf and being a nicer person is to understand what being nice truly means. What actions or characteristics make a person nice?
There are several personality traits that are often associated with niceness. Two of these are kindness and empathy. If we look at a dictionary, nice is defined as someone who is “kind, polite, and friendly.”
However, if we ask people we know or random strangers on the street how they would define a nice person, we would likely get different responses. Each person’s definition of nice is shaped by their experiences. As such, the definition of “nice” often varies from one person to another. Here are other personality traits or characteristics associated with being nice.
Being mindful of these traits with our interactions with others and with how we view ourselves is a great first step to being a nicer person.
How To Be Nicer to People
As children, studies have shown that we are biologically wired towards kindness and compassion. But, as we grow up, our experiences, outside influences, and daily stressors can cause us to forget our inherent niceness.
As adults, if we want to be nicer to people, we need to make a conscious effort. Practicing small acts of kindness each day can help us regain our inherent niceness and compassion.
There are a lot of things we can do to be nicer people. Here are eight simple actions we can practice to start becoming nicer to ourselves and to the people around us.
Before we extend our kindness towards other people, we should first be nice to ourselves. Kindness should start from within.
Starting each day with positive affirmations helps set the tone of our day. It can help direct our actions and boost our self-confidence. Studies also show that practicing positive affirmations can help us cope with difficult or negative emotions.
Some positive affirmations we can start the day with include:
- I am grateful to be alive.
- I am excited for this day.
- I will be productive today.
- I will be better today than yesterday.
- I know my worth.
Practicing gratitude is essential to be a nicer person. One way we can keep track of all the things we are thankful for each day is by keeping a gratitude journal. It helps us focus on positive thoughts and experiences, which can help us develop a more positive outlook on life.
Each gratitude journal entry doesn’t have to be lengthy or even daily. Even a simple bullet list for each week would suffice. What matters is that you spend a small part of your day or week thinking about things you are grateful or thankful for.
Arriving on time is a quick and easy way to be nicer to people. Being punctual is also a way of being mindful of others.
Regardless of whether it is for a formal meeting or a casual meetup, punctuality shows respect and consideration for our companions. It shows that you value their time and their willingness to spend time with you.
Never try to assume what other people may be thinking or feeling. Remember, there is a saying about people who assume. Making unnecessary assumptions can lead to misunderstandings, anger, and even fights.
Proper communication is key to nearly all positive social interactions — including becoming a nicer person.
Rather than assuming what other people may be feeling, show your kindness and compassion by trying to look at things from their perspective. Ask them what is troubling them and listen when they open up. If they choose not to, then respect their choice and try to offer your support and understanding in other ways.
Being helpful is a great way to be nicer to people. This doesn’t only mean helping with physical tasks, lending a shoulder to cry on or acting as a sounding board for friends and family is also a way to help others.
Whether the other party has a problem and is looking for someone to provide solutions or just someone to listen closely, be there for them. Showing genuine interest is crucial when listening and making stronger connections.
Social media is often full of negativity and toxic comments. As useful as the internet and social media websites may be in forming connections, few spaces maintain a positive and uplifting atmosphere.
In our quest to be a nicer person, it is important to also extend our niceness online. Here are a few ways we can do so:
- Spread and share positive content
- Report bullying and hateful actions
- Reach out to people who may be bullied
- Carefully choose the people you connect with
- Do not write hateful or toxic comments
- Leave positive reviews
It is also a good idea to step away from social media when the negativity we aren’t able to filter out starts affecting our everyday lives.
Anyone who has seen the 2000’s movie “Pay It Forward” would be familiar with this principle. It’s simple — for each act of kindness we receive, we pay it forward threefold. Instead of returning it to the person who was nice to us, we extend our kindness to three others.
This may seem like a daunting task for some. However, there is no hard and fast rule about paying it forward to three people. That’s just in the movie. If it’s not possible to repay the kindness we received to three others, then paying it forward to just one person is enough.
Letting go of resentment and other negative emotions is a huge act of kindness and compassion. Without negativity bringing us down, it becomes easier to be nicer to people. Learning how to forgive, both others and ourselves, helps us maintain a more positive attitude and move forward in life.
Similarly, learning to accept our mistakes and offering a sincere apology is necessary to be a nicer person. Do not offer your apologies with caveats — “I’m sorry, but…” is not a proper or sincere apology and will never be received positively.
Striving to be nicer to people doesn’t always come with verbal or straightforward validations from the people we interact with. One way to know whether we are taking the right steps to be nicer people is by remembering the Golden Rule.
“Treat others the way we want to be treated.”
If people are becoming much nicer towards us, enjoying our company more, or showing their genuine support and compassion — those can be taken as signs that we are changing for the better.
Becoming a nicer person isn’t an overnight project. If you are feeling like your actions aren’t enough, remember to be kind to yourself first and let that inner kindness overflow to others.