Monday, August 27, 2012

Nice and Easy

A friend and I were talking tonight about being nice. We are each (practically) one of the nicest people you will ever meet...and we're constantly surprised by how often people aren't nice to others.
It seems so simple to always be nice. 
Since our conversation this afternoon, I've been working on a list of ways to just be a nicer person. Again, it seems so easy.
I do believe, however, that 'niceness' begins by being nice to yourself and feeling good about yourself! I promise, if you start being nice to other people and really work at making others happy--eventually, you will feel so much better about yourself. Eventually.
Here's my nice list of ways to be really nice.
  1. Be happy for people! Whether they are going on a big trip or win the lottery or get a new job or buy a new car--say, "I am so happy for you!" or "You deserve it!" or "That's fabulous--I am thrilled for you!"  Practice that! And mean it. Rejoice when people rejoice! Don't rob people of their joy...please.
  2. Tell people they look great today. Compliment their new tie or shirt or dress! Tell someone their hair looks fantastic! They will think (know!) you are so nice!
  3. Look at name tags when you're at a restaurant or a store--and use that person's name when you interact with them! As my friend always says, "The sweetest sound to anyone's ear is the sound of their own name." And, as someone who wears a name tag at work, I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have people use my name when they are talking to me. It really makes a HUGE difference...and it is SO very nice. 
  4. Say please and thank you. Please! Thank you.
  5. Be patient with people when they are telling a story or recalling an event...and please don't correct them while they're talking. Don't make fun of them if they can't remember a detail--help them out--be and listen. Let them finish. Be interested. Genuinely.
  6. Turn off the TV and computer when someone is a guest in your home. Put down your cell phone. Personally, this is a HUGE one for me. It's so nice to feel like you want to see/hear/visit with ME when I'm in your home.
  7. Do little things that YOU KNOW will make someone happy. Surprise them with their favorite candy bar, bring them a cup of coffee, leave them a note on their desk...seriously, it's so simple to make someone's day. I LOVE when someone does this for me! And it's so easy!
  8. Talk nice and complimentary and say GREAT things about people--especially when they can hear it! behind people's back--saying ONLY good things!!
  9. Smile and make people laugh! I LOVE to make people laugh! Lighten up the situation when it's appropriate. Life is long and rough--be a bright spot in someone's day!
  10. And, for the love of God, LAUGH when someone is obviously trying to be funny! Let them know that they are A-larious! Encourage them to be who they are!
  11. Let people go in front of you in line at the market. I LOVE to do this. I always say, "Oh please! I'm in no hurry!"
  12. Offer to help someone move, pack, unpack, clean, organize, pick up their kids, make a someone! Seriously, that's SO nice! (Then be sure to follow through and be there for them!) A couple of hours helping SOMEONE ELSE will make you feel better about YOU too!
  13. Lend something to someone so they don't have to buy it...folding chairs, a suitcase, a book you just read, a fancy dress for a special occasion--part of your lunch! Honestly, just the offer often makes my day! (Sharing is SO nice!)
  14. Look at people when they are talking to you. Listen with your eyes. Try (hard) not to talk while they are talking. Try (really hard) not to finish their sentence and PLEASE do NOT tell them YOUR story instead. It's hard to be with someone who is always "one upping" a story. Let them know they have your undivided attention! So nice!
  15. MOST IMPORTANT ONE: Say kind things ABOUT yourself--TO yourself--and to others as well! Be nice about YOU! Be nice to yourself! You deserve it! Acknowledge that you are a good person, a hard worker...that you are frugal and smart and even that you look great today!! You know you're amazing...especially when you are being so nice.