30 Ways to Be a Nicer Person
Almost everyone in this world likes to be in the company of a nice person. Nice people are a joy to be around, they inspire others and make the people they are with feel good about themselves. People who are nice are also great influencers and have a bigger pool of genuine friends. They sincerely care about others, and their thoughts, actions and words reflect it. As the saying goes, it is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.
But how does one go about becoming a nicer person? Here are 30 foolproof ways:
1. Be Punctual
Being punctual for an appointment is one important way to be a nicer person. It demonstrates to the other person that you have respect for his or her time. It shows that you have discipline, are responsible, trustworthy, and that you keep your word. Nobody likes to be kept waiting by a tardy person and, therefore, we should not do it to others. We all experience occasional unexpected emergencies from time to time which we cannot avoid and, in such cases, we should notify the other person as soon as possible, apologize for not being punctual, and do everything possible to prevent a future recurrence. But it is important to remember that getting stuck in rush-hour traffic, over-sleeping because your alarm clock did not go off, misplacing your car keys, or forgetting to feed your dog are all frivolous excuses that only demonstrate a lack of discipline on your part and a lack of respect for the other person.
2. Don’t Be Critical
One of the ways to become a nicer person is to be less judgemental and critical of others and certain situations. Always try to look at the brighter side of things and refrain from criticism and voicing displeasure. There will always be situations and people that are less than ideal in our minds, but it does no good to constantly criticize because it only reinforces negativity. Instead of complaining about the rain, relish it. Rather than get annoyed by another person, try to see the goodness in him or her because everyone has virtues.
3. Smile and Laugh
Frequent smiling and laughing makes you a more pleasant person to be around. I am not referring to fake smiles or laughs as people will see right through your insincerity. I am talking about genuine, heart-felt smiling and laughing. It demonstrates optimism, happiness, and an overall pleasantness that is contagious. After all, nobody likes to assimilate with a consistently melancholy person.
4. Don’t Talk About Yourself As Much
We all love the sound of our own voice, but that does not mean we should indulge in self-glorification and monopolizing a conversation. After all, true communication is a dialogue and not a monologue. It is perfectly alright to tell others about our lives, feelings and accomplishments in order to let others get to truly know and understand us. However, too many people do this excessively and toot their own horn, much to the chagrin of others. This point is closely related to number 5 below.
5. Be Interested in Others, Ask Questions and Listen
Rather than constantly talking about yourself, be genuinely interested in others, ask them questions to demonstrate your interest, and be a good listener. Ask others how their day went, about their family, their recent job interview, their feelings, etc. Make a point of giving others your full attention and listening attentively to what they have to say, regardless of whether you agree with them or not. It will be greatly appreciated.
6. Don’t Make Jokes About or Prank Others
Possessing a sense of humor and being able to crack tasteful jokes makes you fun to be around and it brightens everyone’s day. But it is important to remember not to do so at the expense of others. While you may not mean any harm, making someone else the brunt of your humor can often cause hurt and embarrassment. Make sure that your jokes and pranks do not come at someone else’s expense. Instead, see number 7 below.
7. Be Able to Laugh at Yourself
Develop the habit of not taking yourself too seriously and being able to laugh and poke fun at yourself. It shows others that you are not egotistical and It is a virtue that others greatly appreciate. Some of the best and most popular comedians in the world make themselves the brunt of their own jokes.
8. Say Please and Thank You
It might seems obvious, but many people in this world seem oblivious to the power of proper manners, specifically, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Being polite is one of the easiest and most effective ways to become a nicer person. It shows others that you are appreciative of them and their help or efforts. In fact, it is almost impossible to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ too much. As long as you are sincere in your gratitude, there is no such phenomenon as being ‘too courteous’. Regardless of whether you are interacting with a restaurant server, your mailman, a boss or a billionaire, never underestimate the power of being polite by remembering to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
9. Apologize Sincerely
Everyone makes mistakes in life. It is important to note that it is part of a learning process in life. We upset and hurt others, we fall short of expectations and sometimes make bad choices. In such cases, it is essential that we apologize sincerely to others for our mistakes and express genuine remorse. It is not a sign of a weakness. Rather, it demonstrates strength and humility. And it makes you a nicer person.
10. Don’t Talk Badly or Gossip About Others
One great quality to develop and practice is to refrain from speaking badly about others, regardless if they are within earshot or not. Nobody likes to be badmouthed, even if the criticism is true. If you badmouth someone else to a friend, how does that friend know you do not do the same to him when he or she is not around? Only immature people spend their time speaking badly and slandering another person. And as many a good mother has advised, if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.
11. Pay Compliments
Learning to pay others sincere compliments is a great way to be a nicer person. Everyone has qualities and accomplishments that deserve to be recognized. This is different from being patronizing or a brown-noser. Possessing the ability to offer genuine praise when it is deserved makes the other person feel great about themselves. It exhibits the ability to see goodness in others and makes others want to be around you more.
12. Help Others
Kindness and the willingness to help others go a long way in this world. Everyone needs some form of help in their lives at some point. Always be forthcoming when someone needs help because helping someone else makes this world a better place. Whether it is helping an old lady cross the street or spending time assisting a job-seeker friend update his or her resume, make the effort to offer your time and expertise. Do not expect anything in return (although helping others does make others more likely to want to help you). You will make a difference in that person’s life. It is a nice thing to do!
13. Make Polite Gestures
Courteous gestures and actions go a long way in showing others that you are polite and care about them. Some of the things you could do include standing up and shaking hands firmly (or hugging and kissing when appropriate) when meeting someone, opening the door for someone and allowing them to enter a room first, holding open a door for the person behind you, waiting for everyone at your dinner table to receive their dish at a restaurant or at home before beginning to eat, etc.
14. Be Honest, Don’t Embellish
One of the most fundamental qualities of a nice person is honesty. Nobody likes or respects a dishonest person or one who embellishes. Too many people exaggerate when describing their experiences and accomplishments. In the end, people will see right through the hyperbole and lose trust and respect for that person. Do not try to impress others by lying or inflating your achievements. Always be honest with your words and actions and you will never have to feel guilty or cover up your lies later.
15. Be Giving and Sharing
Nice people are generous with their time and their possessions. Offering others small and thoughtful gifts is one way demonstrate your kindness. If you know of someone in financial need, you can offer financial help. If someone you know is moving to a new home, you can offer your time and help that person move. You could be at the grocery store, remember that a friend recently expressed love for the blueberry pie you once bought and served him or her, and buy it for that person. Sharing is also a nice thing to do. If you are watching a movie with a friend, offer to share your popcorn or food. People really notice kind gestures, especially when you do not expect anything in return.
16. Remember People’s Names
It has been said that a person’s name is the sweetest sound to him or her. It is, therefore, important to remember other people’s names. Many people get hurt or upset if you do not remember their name because it makes it seem as if he or she is not important enough to you. Make it a point to register and recall names by saying their name out loud when introduced, saying it silently a few times, or associating it with someone or something memorable. For example, if you meet Barbara for the first time, associate her name with Barbara Walters from the TV show 60 Minutes so that you do not forget it in the future.
17. Write Personal or Thank You Notes/Emails/Texts
This step goes a long way in helping you become a nicer person and ingratiating others. Write thank you notes, cards, letters, emails, texts and online messages as often as possible. Let’s say you just met someone new. You could send that person a brief Facebook, text or e-mail message conveying that you enjoyed the meeting and look forward to seeing him or her again. If you visit someone’s home for dinner, write that person a thank you message or note. It will not go unnoticed.
18. Be Affectionate
Whenever appropriate, be affectionate with others to show them that you care. It could be a simple handshake, a pat on the shoulder, a hug, or a kiss. The key is knowing what kind of affection is appropriate with that person because you do not want to make him or her uncomfortable. If done correctly, affection draws someone closer to you because it releases oxytocin, reduces stress, and makes people feel better overall.
19. Be Humble
Humility is a quality in that everyone admires and respects, so always be humble. Nobody likes to be around someone who is a braggart or cocky. Make a conscious effort to be unpretentious. Do not go around boasting about your new car or job promotion. Instead, take the time to highlight the accomplishments and virtues of others. A person who is confident and secure does not need the recognition of others Remember the old adage ‘empty vessels make the most noise’.
20. Stop Complaining, Giving Excuses, Blaming Others
All of us have, at one time or another, encountered a person who seems to complain and blame external factors incessantly. They find excuses for anything that does not go their way and never take personal responsibility. Nobody enjoys being around such a person, with the exception of other negative people. If it rains on a certain day when you were expecting it to be sunny, find the beauty and virtue in the rain rather than complain about it. Be less cynical and do not assign blame on others, even if there is an element of truth to it. Things do not always work out exactly as you expect and handling such situations in a gracious, positive and non judgemental way makes you a nicer person to be around. It also will make you a happier person.
21. Encourage Others
Always try to be encouraging with others. Nobody enjoys disparaging comments and being discouraged. If a friend who is overweight expresses his or her intention to lose weight, be encouraging and supportive. If an acquaintance tells you his or her plan to start a new business, offer constructive input and encourage that person. You will find that people appreciate your encouragement and reciprocate it.
22. Learn Other Cultures (Capitals, Food, Customs, etc)
We live in a beautiful world replete with diversity. The world is a big place and it is filled with different cultures and customs. It is essential that you remember that the culture you are used to may not be the norm for someone else. Make an effort to learn the intricacies of different cultures and respect them. Learn the capitals of different countries. Try new ethnic foods. Listen to music from around the world. Become familiar with customs from other cultures. Be interested in the norms of different people and people will take more interest in you.
23. Try Other’s Interests/Activities
All of us have our own personal interests and hobbies. While you may enjoy golf and cooking, others may be more keen on cooking and kayaking. While you do not need to share another person’s passion, expanding your horizons by trying new activities and hobbies makes you a more interesting person. People are grateful when you take a sincere interest in their activities. In return, they will take an interest in yours. So if a friend who is an avid golfer asks you to go golfing with him or her one day, make a point to do it even if you are not passionate about the game and know that you are going to hit a lot of balls into the water. You might even begin to enjoy the game.
24. Don’t Give Advice Unless It Is Asked For
With the exception of your own children, one way to be a nicer person is to refrain from giving others advice unless it is requested. Many people are too forthcoming with dispensing advice when it is not called for. Everyone has a different way of doing things and that difference must be respected. You may not like or agree with a friend’s actions, but that does not mean that you need to preach to that person. In fact, many people who are quick to advise are averse to heeding the advice of others. Give constructive advice when it is requested.
25. Never Say, “I Told You So”, Even If You Did
If you give someone advice or information and they fail to listen to it, only to find out later that you were right, never rub it in that person’s face by saying, “I told you so”. If your advice or input was correct, people will recognize it. There is no need to reiterate that they should have listened to you. That only serves to belittle the other person and exalt yourself.
26. Respect Others and Their Opinions
We all have our own opinions on different subjects. Others may not always agree with you, and you certainly will not always agree with them. One of the ways to be a nicer person is to respect the opinions of others even if you do not agree with them. Harmonious diversity is what makes this world an interesting and beautiful place.
27. Love Yourself and Be Less Sensitive to Criticism
If you are secure about and love yourself, you will not think it is the end of the world if someone is critical of you or your actions. Try to be less sensitive about the criticism of others and do not react rashly. Thank that person for their input, evaluate it objectively and move on.
28. Make Time For Others
The most precious commodity you can give others is time. Everyone in this world, rich or poor, has been dealt an even hand in the way of possessing 24 hours in a day. Therefore, affording others some of your valuable time is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Making the time to enjoy a meal with a friend, helping someone paint a bedroom, or teaching a person a new skill will go a long way in showing others that you truly care about them.
29. Be Fully Present For Others
When you are spending time with friends and family, be mindful and fully present. One of the best ways to show others that you care about them is by giving them your undivided attention. If you are having dinner with a friend, mute your cell phone and stop checking Facebook every few minutes. It can wait. If you are speaking with a friend, look them in the eye and focus on them. Be a good listener and do not dilute your attention with other trivial concerns.
30. Don’t Be a Nicer Person For Personal Gain
Finally, be a nicer person because you want to be. Do not do it for personal gain, although, inevitably, people will appreciate you and your nice ways. People see through insincerity. Learn and practice habits that make you a nicer person because of its inherent value. You will make a positive difference in the world.