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7 Ways to Be a Nicer Person

friends listening to music on headphones outdoors
adriaticfoto/Shutterstock

Some people are naturally friendly, while others find it hard to be nice even on a good day. But you can be a nicer person, even when you don’t feel like it, with a few strategic tips.

You may think it’s okay to be aloof or unapproachable, but you might also find that when you’re nicer to people, they’re likely to be kinder to you. Being friendly can even increase your overall happiness and positivity.

If you’re ready to be nicer, here are some friendly things you can do.

Smile When You See Someone

One of the easiest ways to be kind to someone is to smile at them. A smile can go a long way, even without words.

Smiles are also contagious, so smile even at the people that aren’t smiling. Smile at friends, smile at strangers, and just smile (even if you have to fake it on a bad day).

Say “Hello”

When someone says “Hello” to you, say “Hello” in return. When you enter a room or building where other people are, make eye contact (if possible) and say “Hi.” Greeting people when they enter or you enter is a simple nice thing you can do.

You don’t have to have an entire conversation with someone, but greeting them is a kind way to show them they’re noticed.

Realize That Everyone Is Going Through Something

Everyone has their own private life. Consider this when you are around other people.

When you’re aware that everyone is possibly going through something that might not be pleasant, you can act in a more caring manner.

If someone seems upset, comfort them. If they don’t want your attention, leave them alone. Learn how to read people’s signs and act accordingly. You may feel like you’re being nice trying to help someone having a bad day, but pushing yourself on them when they don’t want you to is rude.

Also, don’t take it personally when someone is rude or mean to you. Remember, it’s not about you.

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Even if you only do one randomly nice thing a week, you’ll increase your karma points (if you believe in that sort of thing) and you’ll get a feeling of goodness deep down inside.

Your random act of kindness can be as simple as picking up garbage on the sidewalk, or as expansive as paying off someone’s layaway bill. Just do it because you want to do something nice, for a friend or even a stranger.

Don’t talk about it, because then you’re showing that you expect something in return (or an acknowledgment), which isn’t needed when your goal is to be nicer.

Don’t Talk About People

Gossiping is mean, and while it doesn’t directly affect the person you’re talking about, what you say may get back to them. It’s just not nice to talk about others.

Learn to say what you have to say to someone’s face, instead of behind their back. If it’s something you wouldn’t say to their face, don’t say it at all.

Be Forgiving

It can be difficult sometimes to forgive people for the things they’ve done, but it makes you a nicer person.

Forgiveness is like taking a heavy backpack off your shoulders: it makes you feel lighter and happier. You don’t have to forget the things that have been done to you completely, but forgiving someone for making a mistake is a kind way to allow them to also move on with their lives.

Do It Without Expecting It in Return

When you do something nice, never expect anything in return. When you do, you may be let down. Being nice to people means doing nice things without having a reason for doing it. Open the door for someone, but don’t expect a thank you.

Not in a “Nice” Mood?

Even when you don’t feel like being nice, you can still fake it. Everyone has a bad day from time to time. Plaster on a smile, no matter how false it is, and be kind.

A bad attitude may rub off on the people around you, but your phony happiness may turn into something real, and in no time you’ll be smiling genuinely.

Doing something nice for someone when you don’t feel like it may even help lift your spirits. If you open the door for four people and just one of them says thank you, that gratitude may be all you need to feel happier.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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