I’m not known for being a sweetheart. In fact, I am known for being pretty brutal to people. Insults come as naturally to me as swimming does to a fish. But I’m trying to change all that. Especially with the increasing anger and hostility I see all over social media and the real-life encounters that are starting to blur the lines between disagreement and assault, I really want to step up my game with the whole being nice thing. In talking to people you may already have a problem with, you need to have some things sorted out with yourself so you can end the interaction being the bigger person. So I’ve identified some of the basic pieces of the niceness puzzle:
It’s a lot easier to be nice when you look the part. People are more nice to you when you set the precedent of the encounter with a smile.
Not everyone is on the same page.
People disagree. People are different. People have various perspectives. Some of them are right, some of them are wrong. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. Some of them are smart, some of them are foolish. But the people who hold these opposing ideas are still people. Respect the person even if you can’t respect the opinion.
Real names, please.
Unless “moron,” “idiot,” and “dumb***” are someone’s actual name, part of being nice is not calling people these things.
Breathe. Being nice can be energetic of course. But part of not being mean is having your emotions under control.
Use your inside voice.
Raising your voice makes other people raise their voices. Escalating isn’t a good thing unless you’re escalating generosity or the amount of compliments you give.
After you’ve been nice, the other person might not want to play by your rules. That’s fine. They can be mean by themselves.