How to be nicer? We should all strive to be seen as nice people. However, being nice does not always come as easily to some as it may to others.
You may know someone else who just seems to “get” it. They are the person who will hold the door open for others, who always has the right thing to say, and who radiates positivity and makes others feel good about themselves.
Maybe these traits don’t come to you naturally, and you have to make an effort to achieve them. That’s okay! Becoming a nice person can take some time, but there are plenty of ways to do it.
It can also be incredibly beneficial for your mental health to pick up some ways to be kinder to someone else.
So, how do we become a nicer person? First, let’s take a look at what a nice person is.
What is a nice person?
A nice person does things for others without personal gain.
They are genuine in their actions and words, and they make it a point to make another person’s day better. They view the world in a positive light and are generally liked and accepted by those around them.
Most importantly, a nice person makes others feel good because they treat them how they want to be treated.
Does this ring a bell about anyone you know? Think about how you feel when you’re with that person and how you can incorporate parts of their temperament and actions into your own.
How to be a nicer person
If you’re looking for more concrete examples to becoming a nicer person, keep reading!
1. Be kind to yourself
If your inner critic is always working to bring down the way you feel about yourself, your actions, and your mood, it can be hard to put on a positive face for others.
After all, how can we be nice to someone else if we’re not even nice to ourselves?
To become a nicer person, it’s important to find the things we like about ourselves. Then, reaffirm those things when we are feeling down.
The easier it is to accept ourselves for all of our flaws, the easier it will be to do the same for others and treat them with more kindness.
2. Say nice things to others
Everyone enjoys a good compliment and nice people are better at giving compliments than most.
Again, once you silence your own inner critic with a more positive viewpoint, the easier the trail will be from your brain to your mouth when it comes to people around you.
Next time you listen to a friend talk about something, don’t be quick to judge or criticize. Instead, try framing your response in a way that is uplifting and encouraging.
Being mindful of others and their feelings is a great way to start being nicer because you are taking the time to be attentive to someone’s needs other than your own.
Practice sympathy for others and say something that will make the person feel like you are listening and understanding them.
Make it a point to give others your full attention when they are sharing something with you.
This means turning your body toward them, nodding and saying affirmations as they speak, maintaining eye contact, and waiting for them to finish before you speak.
It’s okay to find yourself bursting with something to say back sometimes, but waiting until the other person has paused enough for you to interject is better than talking over them or cutting them off.
These same skills you may use in job interviews or academics can be beneficial in everyday life when interacting with others. When you practice them regularly, people will notice and greatly appreciate your patience and kindness.
4. Pay attention to the details
In addition to actively listening, it’s important to jot some notes down mentally as they speak, as well.
People think of others as kind and inviting when they remember something that has been said previously. It can be as simple as recalling a stranger’s name the next time you meet them.
Try to remember a small detail about your friend, such as their favorite place to eat, their favorite movie, or what they like to do in their spare time. This shows your listening skills. Work on jotting down things in your mind while other people are talking.
When you bring it up in conversation later, it will most likely make them feel like you not only listened but that you respect them enough to remember things they’ve said.
5. Smile more
A smile shows you are happy, friendly, and inviting to other people.
Think about when you go out to eat lunch or dinner at a restaurant. If your waiter greeted you with a stale face after you sat down at your table, then proceeded to take your order with no hint of friendliness in their voice, what would you think?
To be a kinder person, we have to work on how we come off to others. This is why smiling is so important. It makes us appear more pleasant, especially if it is genuine!
6. Say please and thank you
Manners are a great way to show you are a nicer person.
They make it easier for everyone to feel comfortable in social situations. If a customer at a table nearby in a restaurant is being rude to a waitress who is trying their best, our first instinct may be to frown at their behavior or get a hint of second-hand embarrassment for the staff.
It’s awkward and disappointing to experience rudeness, so it’s important to remember to be polite to others. Often, we forget the simple gesture of letting someone know we appreciate something they have done.
Polite people are also generally more pleasant to be around. They also give off a feeling of authenticity and gratitude because they are attempting to recognize another’s efforts.
7. Make time for friends
People are grateful when others take an interest in them. An important tip to being a nicer person is to make sure that you don’t only care about your own interests or hobbies.
While it can be okay to like and dislike doing certain tasks, when you show interest in another person’s life, it can also make them interested in yours. Making time to spend with others is a gift on its own.
So, next time you are looking for something kind to do, try calling up a friend to see if they want to play a sport they enjoy together or make a meal with your parents or kids. Not only will it be a bonding activity, but it can make you happier to spend quality time with people you enjoy being around.
Your kind act could go a long way in the other person’s mind.
8. Commit an act of kindness
Have you ever noticed that a small act of kindness makes you feel giddy for a moment?
That it makes you want to do more, just to see the other person light up when you do something as simple as complimenting their hair or holding the door for them? Their reaction makes us feel rewarded; these are the benefits of being a nicer person.
Being kind can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health, as well. We can make ourselves happier by making other people happier.
To be a kinder person, you must be kind to other people, this is a given. But knowing what to do to be kind is the hard part.
We will discuss some ways to perform acts of kindness in the next section.
How to perform acts of kindness and how to be kind to others
You can take one of these acts of kindness and try to incorporate it into your week. Then try another next week. This way, you can slowly work your way toward being a nicer person.
1. Be a good friend
Friends support each other.
They listen to each other and show empathy when it’s needed. They share good news and bad news and learn how to deal with both by talking it out with each other.
Our friends are our support systems, and more often than not, they are the people we relate most to in the world. Friends learn from each other, and they are loyal to us even if we are not their immediate family.
Being a nicer person can also mean being a good friend. Therefore, you should make it a goal to be the person your friends want to come to when they need advice or help, or just to talk to someone about something they are going through. By lending a shoulder to cry, or being someone that will just listen when they need to vent.
2. Say good morning
You may not be feeling your best when you get into the office, especially if it’s a Monday, but taking the time to greet your coworkers with a “Good morning!” and a smile can go a long way.
You never know if someone is having a rough time themselves. By making an effort to greet them positively, you can do a lot for their mood and yours.
A “Good morning” can promote friendliness and a sense of togetherness in the workplace, so try to say it to a few people before you hunker down at your desk for the day.
You can tighten your relationships with your coworkers and further build a sense of community with just a little bit of effort.
3. Post positively on social media
A lot of times, social media is a place for us to relinquish ourselves of the thoughts and complaints we have towards the things we are dealing with in our lives.
We may use Twitter to rant about the terrible weather, the ornery customer at work we had to deal with, the traffic on the way home, etc.
However, it can also produce a lot of negativity because it tends to be the spot where we catch up on the news. Scrolling past article after article of negative things that are happening in the world can be mentally exhausting.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and think about what you would like to see on your timeline that would make you happy. It can do yourself and others, a world of good to post something positive about your day to break up the monotony.
Next time, bring a bit of happiness onto your timeline by sharing something funny and lighthearted. You can even post a good meme or tell a joke you heard.
Kind people are still allowed to complain because they are human. However, your kindness will be seen differently by others if you can use it in ways that positively express your stress.
4. Pay it forward
This is a popular act of kindness at the drive-thru window.
A person chooses to pay for the items the person behind them ordered, which often starts a chain reaction in the car line.
This phenomenon is common at places like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Dairy Queen. Workers at these chains have said it’s great to see the person’s face lighting up when they tell them someone paid for their food. In turn, it also makes the workers happy to see a good, selfless deed being done.
Paying it forward can be a great, authentic way to lift someone’s spirits who isn’t expecting it.
5. Let someone go first in traffic
Traffic is a stressor for everyone. Often times when we are in a rush, we just want to get from point A to point B with the least amount of interruptions. However, this can cause us to be a menace to other people on the road.
Cutting out in front of people, not slowing down for yellow lights, or not paying attention because we are on our phones can be unkind to other drivers and extremely dangerous. If you have to stomp on your brakes consistently because you are tailing another car too closely, you are doing both of you an injustice on the road.
Next time, take a moment to let another person go first at a stop. Or let them into your lane of traffic. We all know what it’s like to be the person who can’t merge onto the highway because there are bumper-to-bumper cars in the slow lane. Don’t be the person that speeds up and makes it difficult for another driver to get onto the highway!
Think of a time when another person let you over and how you were grateful. Use that to compel you to do the same for others.
It could be the first act of kindness that has been shown to that person all day.
6. Give someone a compliment
Making an effort to compliment others is a great way to be a nicer person. Giving compliments is often a show of leadership because it encourages others to do the same.
Think about the last time you complimented someone. Did they say something nice back to you? They may have been thinking about it but weren’t sure if they should express it, but your compliment gave them the courage to come out with it.
You might find yourself out in public when you notice a beautiful dress that a woman is wearing. Tell her! Even if it’s a stranger, more often than not, the person is going to light up when you tell them something you noticed about them.
Additionally, you can complement those you are close to. It can strengthen your relationship and set a precedent for how you treat each other.
7. Tip your waiter/waitress
Being a nicer person also means having respect for those around you.
When culturally appropriate, tipping is a great way to show you have gratitude for workers and those who offer you services. The wait staff is not always paid a fair wage and rely on their tips for most of their income. Again, this varies from place to place, so do your research before you tip!
But if it is appropriate, make sure to do so. The next time you are out to eat, and your waiter or waitress did a great job of tending to your table, tip them to show them you are grateful.
The Bottom Line
Many of us strive to understand how to be nicer.
We see friends and family that we want to be like because they exude positive energy, are genuine and helpful and help others without worrying about what they will get out of it for themselves.
We also like to hear others reactions when we’ve done something nice. It can lift our mood and give us a sense of purpose in life.
But being a nicer person does not come easily to everyone. Therefore, it may take some time and energy to do something nice every day.
Start with being nice to yourself. If you’re constantly putting yourself down or have lousy self-confidence, it can be harder to try and lift others up.
Try making an effort to smile, listen, and have empathy for your friends. You can also try being nice to strangers by paying it forward, letting them go first in traffic, or tipping your waitress.
These are all acts that can lead to being a nicer person if you do them enough. After a while, they will be second nature to you, and you can start being a positive role model to others around you.