Sometimes I’m not as patient as I should be. Perhaps I haven’t slept quite as much as I should have or one of the kids is having an off day. I feel grumpy, burdened, moody or cross at the world. On those occasions I know I’ve been guilty of not being as nice as I could. On those days I need to snap out of it, fake it, listen to good music to lift my mood–whatever it takes to make being around me a pleasant even joyful experience. Too much to ask? Well, we can try our best!
When I saw the book, Be Nice (or Else) by Winn Claybaugh, I had to grab it off the shelf. This book reminded me that being nice is a skill. We all need to practice being nice whenever and wherever we can.
What are some characteristics of a “nice” person. Well, nice doesn’t mean being weak. It means being kind, sympathetic, caring, concerned, sensitive, gracious, compassionate, thoughtful, respectful, enthusiastic, patient and even having nice phone manners.
What are some things you can do to be nice today?
- Take time to greet people, even if they don’t reciprocate. Our family has worked hard to say, “Good Morning” as the very first thing we say when someone wakes up (even if there are other pressing things to tell them!)
- Be cheerful and friendly even when you’re in a hurry.
- Be approachable.
- Be helpful.
- Listen well.
- Perform random acts of kindness. I liked Winn Claybaugh’s example of paying for the next person in line at a toll both. I also heard about a woman who was gifted $300. She put $200 in her wallet and left $100 for the hotel maid. Wow!
- Be nice to yourself. Work on your own self-esteem. Feel good about yourself.
- Don’t gossip.
- Focus on stories of hope, inspiration and stories that lift your spirit.
- Be kind and respectful even to those you don’t see face-to-face.
- Send handwritten notes and cards to your family and friends. It makes you feel good, it makes the recipient feel great!
- Apologize when you blow it.
- Be courteous and kind on the road. Find fun ways to be nice to your fellow drivers.
- Say please and thank you.
- Be thankful and grateful.
- Give back to your community.
- Treat yourself well. Go for a walk to de-stress or stretch to some nice music on your break.
- Show your appreciation for things that are done for you.
- Let people know why they are valuable to you.
- Enlist support rather than barking out orders and demands.
- Laugh and have fun — it’s good team building and helps create positive attitudes for those around you.
We have a relationship, however brief, with everyone we come in contact with — from the person who served us coffee, to our fellow drivers, to our co-workers, colleagues and family members. Remember to acknowledge and compliment them for the nice things they’ve done for you, then pay it forward!
Good bye, my kind reader! Thank you for visiting my blog today! ~Liesl