Be Nice

Being nice is often easier said than done. Getting through the day can be hard enough without having to go out of your way to smile at strangers and say "please" and "thank you." So why do it? Being nice makes people feel good and paves the way to good relationships. If that's not enough, consider that it also helps you get what you want, since people are more inclined to help you if you're nice to them. Read on to learn how to start being nice.


Being Nice in Everyday Ways

  1. Smile. Smiling at people lets them know that you are pleasant. Look the person in the eye and give them a small smile or a wide grin - it doesn't matter which. This sets the mood of the encounter, and usually encourages the other person to smile back. If they don't, then maybe they are just having a bad day. That's OK; being nice doesn't guarantee a positive response, but it usually helps.
    • Smile when you pass people in the street, when you buy something from a shop clerk, when you walk into school in the morning, or anytime you make eye contact with someone else.
    • Smile even when you're feeling low. You can still be nice when you're in a bad mood. Why spread your negative energy to other people?
    • If you are in a bad mood and don't want to listen to people, try listening to music, drawing, or something else you enjoy to prevent yourself from acting harshly towards people or being rude (even if you don't mean to be).
  2. Acknowledge other people. When you're walking past someone, even a stranger, acknowledge their presence with a simple "hello!" or "hi!", or even just a wave or a nod in their direction. Letting people know you see them is nice; it makes people feel a little more special.
    • If you're walking through a crowded city, it can be hard to acknowledge everyone you pass. Try to at least be nice to the people you end up sitting next to on a bus or plane, or those who accidentally bump into you.
    • Say "good morning" to your fellow classmates and teachers or coworkers in the morning when you walk into school or your work place. You'll soon earn a reputation as a nice person.
  3. Ask people how they are doing. Take the time to ask someone how things are going in their lives, without being nosy or intrusive. If they seem resistant to talking, don't push them to say more than they feel like saying
  4. Be a good listener. Listen when other people are talking to you. It isn't nice to just ignore other people's opinions and stories. Give them time to speak, just as you'd like them to give you time to speak if your positions were reversed.
    • If you find that someone is becoming rude or pushy, never put your hands on your mouth or make a rude face. Just politely wait for them to finish and change the topic after they've discussed theirs.
    • Being nice doesn't mean letting yourself get pushed around. If you're talking to a stranger who starts to make you uncomfortable, it's okay to excuse yourself and walk away.
  5. Be courteous. Always use your manners, say please and thank you. Be patient, caring, observant, and considerate. Treat people with respect, even those you don't particularly want to get to know.
    • Don't forget to always say "Excuse me" instead of "MOVE!" when someone's in your way. People aren't the ground that you can just spit on, they are living beings like you. If you are respectful to that person, that person will usually act the same way.
    • If you're on public transportation and an elderly, disabled or pregnant person gets on board, offer your seat. It's the nice thing to do.
    • If you see someone in need of a little help picking up something he or she dropped or reaching something from a high shelf, help out.
  6. Don't forget to be nice to animals. If you want to be a truly nice person, you've always got to be nice to animals too. Don't tease them or think of them as little robots you can treat however you want. Animals deserve respect just like other beings.
    • Never hit or otherwise hurt an animal, whether it's your pet, someone else pet, a stray, or a wild animal.
    • Never tease an animal for your own amusement. This goes for bugs, spiders, mice, birds, squirrels, fish, and any other creatures you might come upon.
    • If you find an animal or bug in your house, use a humane way of putting it outside or keeping the population down.

Being Nice to People You Know

  1. Be positive. When your friends look to you for advice or just to set the mood of a conversation, don't be negative or critical. Keep looking for the positive in any given situation. Cheer them up. There are two sides to every situation: the positive side and the negative side. Nice people help others see the bright side of things.
    • Praise your friends' accomplishments. If your friend does a good job on a test or wins a prize, tell him or her congratulations!
    • Complement your friends. If you have a friend who doesn't like her hair, tell her you think it's gorgeous, or compliment her on her pretty smile. Even if you lie, you will still make her happy.
    • Sometimes people need to let you negative steam. You can be positive and nice without being overly cheerful; make sure the tone of your feedback isn't out of touch with what your friend is trying to tell you.
  2. Be humble. Do you tend to look down your nose at people who are different or "weird"? It's not nice to believe that you are better than other people. You're an individual, but everybody has their struggles, and being nice to one another makes life better for everyone. Everybody is equal, and when you talk about how great you are, you make others feel less valuable.
    • Don't brag or have a high ego. If you accomplished something great, that's certainly something to be proud of - just make sure to acknowledge the people who helped you along the way.
    • Don't judge people until you really know them. Don't make assumptions about people based on how they look or speak. Realize that first impressions don't always reveal the truth. As the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover.
  3. Be sincere. Don't be nice like it is the end of the world. If you just want to be nice so that you can gain preferential treatment, it's quite the opposite of being nice-it's deceptive, shallow and cruel. Be nice because you want to look back on your life and know that you were a nice person, no matter what. Be nice because you feel like you willingly want to.
  4. Don't be two-faced. Do not brag too much. Don't talk about people and don't be a backstabber. Being nice to people's faces helps you gain their trust, and you're betraying that if you talk about them behind their backs. Don't ever gossip about other people you don't like. It's bad karma, and it makes you look shallow, not nice.
  5. Fill your days with small acts of kindness. Those little, everyday things, like holding the door for a teacher you don't know, or smiling at someone who isn't always nice to you - they don't seem to matter much, but in the end, doing these will make you seem like a much nicer person.
  6. Don't discriminate. Be equally nice to everyone. Even if you're nice to your friends and teachers, but you aren't nice to people who aren't cool or popular, you may not actually seem as nice as you actually are. Do not judge others by race, age, gender, sexuality, ability, or religion.

Being Nice to People You Love

  1. Offer to help. If you see your mom or dad struggling to juggle all the chores that need to be done, offer to help. Put others before yourself when you have energy and time to spare. Your nice acts will definitely be rewarded in the long run, so don't be self-centered.
    • Don't wait to be asked to help out. Learn how to spot times when other people are in need.
    • Find creative ways to help! Help your siblings with homework, listen to your spouse's idea for a new project or idea, make breakfast for your family, walk the dog, drive your sister to school, and so on.
  2. Learn how to share. Sharing can mean dividing your dessert in half to give some to your younger sibling, or it can mean giving up something bigger, like your time, space or words of wisdom. Being generous is part of what it means to be nice. Try not to take more than you give, and when you are able, give more than you take.
  3. Be reliable. Part of being nice to family members and others you love is being there for them in times of need. Respond to emails, answer the phone when people call, don't flake out on plans, and spend time talking when the other person asks you to listen.
    • If someone leaves you a message, call them back promptly. It's not nice to leave them hanging for days on end.
    • If you say you'll be somewhere, be there. If you say you'll do something, do it. Being flaky hurts people's confidence in you, and it's not a nice way to act. Commit to your friendship.
  4. Take the high road. Sometimes it's not easy to be nice. You'll encounter situations that will test your ability to be a nice person. Even people you love may at times be flaky, judgmental, egotistical, selfish, or outright mean. You've got to avoid sinking to their level. Don't turn from nice to cruel just because your patience is being tested.
    • If your brother or sister is trying to pick a fight, don't let it escalate on your behalf. Calm down and refuse to act mean.
    • When you become angry and feel you're going to act in a way that isn't nice, take it out in a different way instead of being cruel. Go for a run, beat up your pillow, or calm down with a video game. You have control over your actions and behavior.


  • Don't laugh at other peoples' mistakes and don't point out their faults too harshly. It's okay to joke, of course, but use your common sense; think about what you're about to say, and consider the fact that just because you may not be offended by a certain comment, others could be.
  • Don`t judge other people with your standards, because what is good for someone can be bad or hurtful for someone else.
  • If you are really struggling with being nice to someone you really don't like, go imagine that person truly hurt or crying. If you think "serves them right" then you need to think deeper. If you would try to comfort them or save them, that usually changes hate to care.
  • Try practicing at home with your parents and siblings.
  • Don't say hi all the time or it gets creepy. Especially if you don't know the person.
  • If friends are not being nice to you don't flip out! Sit down and ask them what's wrong. Having feelings for other people is important too.
  • If someone you know is sitting alone sit with them and get to know them more.
  • Treat people in a way you would expect to be treated.
  • Compliment people. It may make someone feel better if there is a problem or situation that they are going through.
  • An encouraging statement or pat on the back can go along way, especially in an office/team setting.
  • Try being more aware of other people's feelings.
  • If somebody tells you a secret and you promise not to tell anybody, don't go back on your word. If you do, the person will probably lose the majority of their trust for you.
  • Remember it doesn't make you a bad person if you lose your temper every now and then, especially when someone's behavior towards you has been cruel or mocking. Forgive yourself and remember you're only human. That being said, don't take your anger out on other people that have done nothing to hurt you.
  • Never treat people differently because of their religion or color . No matter who the person is you should always treat him nicely.
  • If you can't be nice to a person then don't ignore them. Just flash them a quick smile that lasts a few seconds and look away. Try to limit your contact with that person as much as possible. Still be nice, but you don't have to talk to them.
  • Think before you talk and remember that words hurt.
  • Keep up the kindness and don't just be kind one day and not the other. – People will start to think it's an act.


  • You may have heard that "It doesn't matter what someone looks like, but it's what's on the inside that counts". This is partially true, but you only have one chance at meeting someone. If you are barbarous the first time, that is how you'll be known. If you are friendly the first impression, people will know you as nice and sincere.
  • Don't let others take advantage of your nice actions and friendly, submissive manner. It can hurt you, and cause regrets for other people. By politely upstanding up for yourself you may save yourself and many others a lot of trouble.
  • While being nice, do not be a total pushover. Compromise is good, but expect to be treated fairly. Don't be afraid to stand up for what is right and do not hesitate to defend someone. If you find that you're being considerate of someone's time but they are not being considerate of yours, bow out as respectfully as you can and make yourself scarce.
  • Be careful smiling or saying hi to someone who you have a bad background with. It can backfire and they may think your being sly and they may reply with a not very nice comment.
  • Be careful of coming off too nice; people may dislike you for that.

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