It’s easy to be mean. Or at least, it’s easy to be indifferent and thoughtless, which sometimes has the same results as being rude. This election season in particular has caused more people to become enraged, bitter, and straight up intentionally nasty.
But being nice? Unless you were born with the nice gene, niceness doesn’t always come easy. For some of us, being nice takes practice and effort. Behaving nicely is well, nice. It creates happiness and positivity within yourself, and may even brighten up someone’s day. If you are nice to someone, then they in turn may be a little nicer throughout their day (a pay it forward kind of thing, if you will).
Luckily, for those of us without a temperament akin to Snow White, there are a plethora of ways to be kind. Here are some easy—and free—ways to be a nice person.
1. Let The Car In Your Lane.
Don’t speed up to prevent someone from changing lanes, or scoot up to block a car from turning out of that small side road or driveway. Chances are, you’ve once really needed to get over because you had to turn or because there was a bus in your lane. So be nice, and let them in.
2. Return Borrowed Things.
Clothes, books, you name it: Give it back. Even if the lender forgot you have it, it’s still theirs and they were nice enough to let you borrow it in the first place. You know that you would want your cute brown boots back too.
3. Give Someone A Sincere Compliment.
If you like their hair, clothes, shoes, bag, even their perfect eyebrows, let them know. Don’t say it unless you mean, but if something about them really strikes you, go ahead and make their day.
4. Be Nice To Your Server.
Being nice and understanding not only gets you better service (and maybe free side servings), but it shows that you know that your server is an actual human. I also like to gather menus, stack up the used dishes, and gather up any napkins. I know it’s their job to do it, but it makes their day a little bit less stressful.
5. Listen (And Don’t Interrupt).
Look them in the face. Make eye contact. Act like you want to hear what they are saying. And wait your turn to talk. I know I need to work on not interrupting, especially since it irks me to no end when I am continuously interrupted. Let them know that what they are saying is just as valid and important as whatever it is you want to say.
Wait for the person you’re walking with to catch up. Wait for the person who is rushing for the elevator, by holding the door open button. Wait an extra five minutes for someone you are meeting, in case of traffic.
7. Hold The Door (Especially If They Have Kids).
If someone is right behind you, or leaving while you’re entering, go ahead and open the door for them. It’s nicer then the door slamming in their face. Bonus nice points if you wait and hold the door for someone with a baby stroller, or lots of little kids. You won’t know how difficult it is to hold open a door while pushing a stroller and holding on to your 2-year-old child until you do it yourself.
8. Let Pedestrians Cross.
Is the road you are driving on is residential, or cuts through a walking/cycling trail and you see someone waiting to cross the street? Let them go. Who knows how long they have been standing, waiting for traffic to clear, or someone to let them cross.
9. Use Your Manners.
Please, thank you, and you’re welcome do go a long way. The person behind the cashier may have not had a “thank you” in hours, and reminding them that you are grateful of their service is a simple way to be friendly.
10. Put The Phone Down.
When hanging out with a friend, either watching movies, getting coffee, or eating at a restaurant, give them your undivided attention by leaving your phone alone. Texting nonstop, or continuously looking at your phone sends the message that you would rather be with someone else, rather than who you are with. Another place to put the phone down: when in line to buy something. It’s a bit discourteous to be chatting on your phone while someone is ringing up your groceries.
If you see someone and know them, why not wave? It lets them know that not only have you spotted them, but that you are happy to see them.
11. Let People Go Ahead Of You In A Grocery Lane
Have more than 10 items, and the person behind you has just a few? Offer them to go ahead of you. I know I get annoyed when I only have two items, and the person in front of me is buying enough food for you to live off of for the next few months. And really, you’ll likely be in line for a minute or two longer.
Do you have any other ideas and ways to be a nicer person? Tweet us @LitDarling or leave a comment!
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