To become the best version of myself, one of the foundations I am looking at is to quite simply ‘Be Nice’. But what does being nice actually entail? I certainly don’t think its something that some people are born with and others are not but it’s actually a number of character traits that are totally under your own control. I’ve been giving lots of consideration to what those traits are and have come to the conclusion that these are the main elements I believe make up being a nice person:
1) Ask questions
If you are someone who loves to talk about themself (like me!), you might want to work at improving your active listening skills. To support you in doing this, you can try asking more questions, to truly find out about what is going on in that other persons life. You can transform making small talk, into having deep, meaningful conversations. It can be very easy to only half listen to what people are saying and focus on things other than what is being said such as:
– What should I say next?
– How does what the person is saying impact me?
– What is my view?
– Is it my turn to speak now?
Asking questions can help with actively listening to others and showing a genuine interest in other people.
2) Give 100% focus
These days it seems like so many people get distracted by their phones. If you are chatting to someone else, you may have one eye on Whatsapp, or be glancing at Facebook. This means you are not focusing on the here and now and giving the person or people you are with your full attention. If you want to give people 100% of your focus, you can try having your phone away, out of sight whilst you are face to face with others. If you do sneak a quick glance, it can totally divert your attention away and appears rude to the person you are talking to. Try working towards giving your full commitment to the conversation you are in and looking at your phone at a more suitable time later on.
3) Be confident to be yourself
If you are happy being yourself and you act in a genuine and honest way, this will come across. If you are insecure, it can drive undesirable behaviours such as being fake. Sometimes it is tempting to behave in a way that you think is more acceptable to others, especially if you feel insecure about who you are. If you work on being confident in yourself, admitting when you don’t know something, when you are wrong, sharing your views both when you agree and disagree with others, it will help others perceive you as a nice person.
4) Don’t judge
It’s so easy to judge people on their behaviour, decisions and opinions. Having an open mind helps support you in understanding that everyone is different and they all have a reason for how they are behaving or what they think. Rather than judging them on what you see or hear, you can instead try and understand where they are coming from and accept that they may have different views from you, but that doesn’t make them bad.
5) Control your mood
Moody people are usually not very likeable. When people approach you, if they are nervous about what sort of reaction they might get, and they often feel they are walking on eggshells not to upset you, it will no doubt put them off interacting with you or spending time with you. You can focus on ensuring that even if you feel grumpy, it doesn’t impact how you interact with other people. Try to identify why you’re not feeling your best, be aware of it and try to move past it as quickly as you can.
6) Be positive
Positive energy is contagious and attracts people to you. You can use positive body language and words to display your positive energy. You will often be in contact with negative people, and you can ensure that their negativity does not influence you. You stay positive even if they are not. You might even be able to win them round.
7) Use People’s Names
You know that thing, when you get introduced to someone and for some reason you’re not listening to their name when they tell you and no sooner have you been introduced, you have immediately forgotten what they told you they were called? It happens to so many people. A good trick is to repeat their name straight back to them. This can be especially important if it is a tricky name to pronounce. Be confident to ask for clarification if you need it. It’s nice when you refer to someone by their name as part of a conversation, it can make them feel valued.
Quite simply smile more. It cheers you up and it cheers the people around you up. It makes everyone feel good.
9) Don’t gossip
Minimize talking about other people behind their backs. It is easy to fall into the habit of idle gossiping, which isn’t a great trait to possess. Try considering whether you would repeat what you are saying about someone directly to them and if you wouldn’t, don’t say it at all. Try considering what viewpoint someone else is coming from to drive their behaviours and refrain from speaking badly about them to others. If something is bothering you could try addressing it with them directly, rather than sharing it with others.
10) Don’t compete
You know those people who have always done one better that you, know more about a subject, have had better experiences etc.? No one likes someone who always try to get one up in a conversation or if you act more as a rival than a friend. Try not to make everything a competition and instead view conversations as an opportunity to listen to others and their experiences, without adding yours in a competitive way.
I’d love to know whether you agree having the above traits will help you be a nicer person and what other traits you think are important in the comments below.