“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
Being nice to others shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes it is. Kindness, or a lack of kindness, can be present in the smallest of signals or gestures, so if you are focused on yourself in any given moment, or in a bad mood, then you could easily come off as not a nice person. Being kind to others is so important, as it benefits the wellbeing of our entire community. Niceness breeds more niceness! To be a nice person all you need to do is shift your consciousness a little, focus, and just be a bit more aware of how you treat other people on a day to day basis.
‘Smile? But I’m always smiling.’ First of all, when the face is relaxed, most people don’t smile all the time, even if they are in the best mood! But secondly, when I say ‘smile’, what I really mean is ‘connect’. Walking around with a grin permanently on your face is not only jarring, it is disconnected. When you walk around your world, notice others, connect with them and give them a smile. Our world is so much less tangibly connected than it used to be. A real-life smile shared between two people, whether friends or strangers, is a wonderful thing. It lifts the mood of all involved!
Put Your Phone Away
You won’t be able to smile at anyone if your face is lost in your phone. Nor will you be able to connect with others as it sends off a signal that you are disinterested. You would rather refresh your Twitter feed or beat the next level on your game, than connect or converse with another person. Put it away, look your friends, colleges and family in the eyes and connect! There is nothing less nice than trying to have a conversation with someone who is glued to their device.
When you are speaking to someone, listen. Don’t interrupt, and don’t get distracted by what point you want to bring up next. Focus on them, listen to their needs and show them that what they have to say is important.
Manners are free. A ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ can genuinely make someone’s day. I said thank you to a bus driver in London once, and I have never seen a man so surprised. It changed his mood. These simple words show the other person that they are appreciated.
Small Acts of Kindness
Small acts of kindness are the building blocks of a considerate community. There are opportunities everywhere, you simply have to be on the look out for them. It might be as simple as holding a door open for someone. If you see an old lady struggling to cross the road, help them out. Help that mother down the stairs with that buggy and let that rushed person grab their coffee ahead of you. If you can solve somebody’s small problem, you have contributed to both their wellbeing and yours.
Be on time. Finish things when you say you will. Be trustworthy. Be someone that others can rely on. Being the opposite of these things comes off as rude and sometimes selfish. If you hold up a whole team of people because you are late (again!), then that doesn’t look good on you, and puts everyone else in a bad mood. Being reliable isn’t hard. Being someone who ‘gets stuff done’ feels great, lets others know that you have their back and also benefits your own happiness and opportunities in the long run.
Get A Plant
Research says that those who engage with and look after plant life are nicer, more generous people. The results of the study suggest that experiencing nature’s beauty increases positive emotions, leading to kindness. So, get a plant for your desk or coffee table, what have you got to lose!
If you see someone, take the time to make them feel like you are genuinely pleased to see them. So, no power poses, no intimidation, no ‘power hand-shakes’ no pre-judgement. Just relax, smile and make them feel at ease.
By Chris Thomson
It is important to be nice and considerate towards others, especially when you have to work with them! Workplace Culture: Why Wellbeing is Important
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