How would you feel if some described you as a ‘nice’ person? Would you feel it was a little lacklustre, not very imaginative…. perhaps a tad boring? Years ago, I told friend on her wedding day that she looked ‘so nice’- I know, I know doesn’t quite cut it does it, I have no idea what I was thinking well, obviously I wasn’t! I mean, there were at least 10 other adjectives at that could have been used rather than plain old ‘nice’… I’m aware, it wasn’t my finest friendship moment.
So what is it that makes us think that the word ‘nice’ is just, well, just so lame? Maybe it’s because for some reason being too nice, can be seen by some as a kind of personality flaw, that it makes you too vulnerable or a bit of a walkover. But, being a nice person is not a bad thing at all. In fact did you know that being nice is actually really very good for you, so it perhaps it deserves to be given a little more kudos and maybe it’s something we should be striving to aim for a little more often.
Ok, so maybe you’re not completely sold. Perhaps this might help sway you…
According to the dictionary the word ‘nice’ can be defined as the ability to ‘give pleasure or joy’or ‘attractive or of good quality’. Not bad huh? oh and there’s also the definition ‘kind, polite, and friendly’- This nice thing is actually beginning to look better by the minute.
I’d also like to point out that being nice happens to be synonymous with being kind, which has already has been proven to be great for your wellbeing. And, just in case you need a little more persuading, to flaunt your ‘niceness’ check out these reasons..
5 Reasons Being Nice is Good For You:
- Good for your heart– Doing nice things for people helps you to produce more oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’ which can lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
- Stress reliever- Being nice towards others can lower the stress hormone cortisol and reduce anxiety.
- Relationships- Research shows that people appreciate others who they perceive to be ‘givers’ more. Nice people are also more likely to gain trust and be valued, which enables them to build stronger personal and professional relationships- bottom line, people like you more!
- Happy vibes- Doing the nice thing actually makes us happier. This maybe because some studies show that on a genetic level we are kind of hard wired for niceness. Therefore, it could be that being nice feels good because inherently we know is the right thing to do. It also increases dopamine levels in the brain which gives us a kind of natural happy high.
- A longer life- People who make being nice a priority not only reap the benefit of the feel good vibes they can actually live longer. This could be because being nice goes a long way to improving our social connections and people who have a sense of belonging tend to live longer. It also helps the immune system and reduces inflammation markers in the bloodstream which has been linked to a whole host of illnesses- it might actually be anti-ageing too!
So how can we bring a bit more niceness into our lives?
Let’s first look at what it’s NOT. Being nice doesn’t mean forgetting your boundaries and letting people take advantage of you, it doesn’t mean saying yes to things that aren’t good for you, turning into a people pleaser or becoming completely selfless. It’s more about making the choice to be actively nice in our everyday actions, to be fully present when someone is talking to you, being patient, sharing our good fortune, paying a compliment or sparing the time to help someone out and so many more tiny gestures and actions.
Of course, I’m not presuming that everyone reading this, is going about life in ogre mode, frightening small children and such. I am sure on the whole you are perfectly lovely people with those odd lapses here and there, that make us human. However, I think that even the best of us, could probably come up with a few situations where we could consciously turn up the dial on our nice-o-meter. It’s really is no great shakes, it’s about making subtle overall changes to our every day behaviour and actions rather than big changes- unless of cause, you really are behaving like Shrek, in which case you may need to take some bigger strides
Simple things to bring a little more niceness into your everyday.
- Limit the gossip….we can all get sucked into it but try not to make it a regular habit.
- Smile more at other people, even if you’re in a funk. Who knows it might just lift your mood
- Be polite, nothing is ever helped by being rude.
- Be helpful, small gestures go a long way. See someone struggling, give them a hand.
- Pay compliments, this one small action might change a persons whole day.
- Take the time to really listen to what others are saying.
- Don’t be that arse in a car-just going to leave that there.
- Surprise someone with a small ‘just because’ gift.
- Give someone a hug
You see, being nice doesn’t mean big gestures or actions, it can be the little things that make more of an impact. Picture someones face when you pay them a compliment, that would probably take you what? 5 seconds, but that simple gesture could completely change someones day for the better, boost their confidence or even inspire them. You just never know what impact you can have from the smallest act of niceness. What SNT (Simple Nice Thing) can you do today?
And, remember to be nice to yourself! That’s where it all starts.