Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Angela Vaz

Let’s face it – life is hard.

The older we get, the more responsibilities there are.

Every day poses its own challenges, and we’re caught in an endless affair of problems and choices.

It isn’t easy to think of others when there’s so much to do in our own lives.

But it’s only when we take a step back and let go of control do we understand that we’re all in this together.

It’s not us versus them.

It’s just us.

Every single problem we’ve ever faced has been faced before by so many others.

And that’s why we need to be nicer.

In this post, you will learn how to become a nicer person.

Why?

Because everyone is going through some sort of hardship, and it doesn’t hurt to be nice.

If we can be kind by example, we can change this world.

Our small acts of kindness may just influence someone else to be kind, and by constantly paying it forward, we can make the world a much better place.

Today morning, I was reading an article that touched me deeply. We’ve all seen the movie – Matilda.

Mara Wilson, who plays Matilda, had a mom dying of terminal illness when she was cast.

Danny DeVito and his wife Rhea Perlman, who play Matilda’s parents in the movie, looked after Mara Wilson during cuts and after shooting.

They also visited her mother in the hospital, and Danny personally took an early cut of the film and showed it to Mara’s mom in the hospital before she died.

He even dedicated the film to Mara Wilson’s mom – something that Mara will never forget.

They may have been portrayed as selfish parents in the film, but they were anything but in reality.

Mara still views the couple as her family.

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The benefits of being nice – Why be a nice person?

What are the benefits of becoming a nicer person? How do you become a nicer person?

Life is much easier when you’re not second-guessing everything about everyone.

Many people choose to keep to themselves or not help people because they secretly judge the actions of others and feel that they “deserve” what happens to them.

But it’s just making us more bitter and unhealthy.

There is no harm in being kind because, as human beings, we are incredibly social creatures.

People love nice people.

And if you’re nice, you’ll never run short of friends or loved ones.

It’s just as simple as that.

People will be more than happy to be by your side and help you in times of need. Here are a few benefits of becoming a nicer person in general:

1. You become happier

Most physical possessions or materialistic pleasures bring short-lived happiness.

But being kind and nice to others gives you certain happiness that is like no other.

It’s mostly why people choose to be kind.

When you do something for someone else, oxytocin is released in your brain, which boosts your mood and makes you happy.

Oxytocin also reduces inflammation in the body and boosts your immune system.

2. It strengthens social bonds

The kinder you become, the more you are looked up to as a person.

People love being around gentle, kind, and nice human beings. Nobody enjoys unpleasant people.

And being humble and kind will help you form powerful bonds with people.

3. It will change your life for the better

Being kind to people will help you see the world with very different eyes.

It will help you attain happiness more quickly, and your entire mindset will shift permanently.

4. Being nice will reduce your stress and anxiety

Getting upset or constantly hating on people will do nothing for us except give us stress and increase our rage.

However, being nice and having the “Live and let live” policy just makes everything so much better, and we will tend to be more relaxed and easy-going.

We will become more understanding and empathetic, and it won’t be hard to have conversations with others – thus opening us up a little more and helping us focus on other people.

Now that we’ve understood the benefits of being kind and nice, let’s move on to ways to become a nicer person.

33 ways to become a nicer person

1. Don’t overthink it

Just be nice.

Whenever you’re at a social event, don’t go into a frenzy of “What is he/she thinking of me?” Instead, just be yourself. Talk to people and make them feel welcome. Find common ground to talk about.

If you are at a birthday party – pay someone a compliment or ask them if they need anything.

When you constantly think of others and make others feel comfortable, you’re automatically being nice.

2. Be generous with your compliments

Be extremely generous with your compliments.

I don’t shy away from starting conversations with people.

I used to have terrible social anxiety, and I would clam up every time I was in a public setting -so this was difficult for me to get used to.

And as a person who’s mostly overcome it, I can tell you it gets easier with practice.

Every time you see something nice, be honest and compliment the person.

Some examples of compliments would be:

  • “I love your shoes! I’ve never seen that color before.”
  • “Your bangs are lovely! When did you cut your hair?”
  • “You play beautifully. Have you always loved music?”

Just be honest. It never hurts to be kind!

3. Ask people how they’re doing

The other day when my dog was not well, a neighbor noticed and asked me if she was doing alright.

It may have been a simple question, but I was touched, and we could bond over that a straightforward conversation starter.

Just ask people how they’re doing or how their kids are doing.

Most people are so used to dealing with their problems and not having anyone to share them with that it’s a lovely surprise when someone is genuinely interested in how they’re faring.

Be kind and go out of the way to ask how they’re doing.

You may just have brightened someone’s whole day or week.

4. Thank people for their service

Although it may seem like common courtesy, saying “thank you” isn’t very common.

People don’t hear it enough, and it’s about time we change that.

Say “Thank you” whenever you receive something – whether it’s a food delivery or someone just opened a door for you.

Little acts of kindness should never go unnoticed.

Just doing so much can make such a positive difference in the world.

5. Learn to let go of anger

As human beings, we are wired to get angry when we don’t get our way or feel that someone deliberately ticks us off.

It could be as simple as a person not delivering on their promise or our food order going wrong.

Yes, we all get angry.

But it’s how we react to that anger that defines who we are.

Every time someone cuts me off in traffic or someone pushes me in a queue, I take a deep breath and let it go.

I choose to believe that the person has some sort of emergency and is in dire need to get somewhere or is having a bad day.

Life is much easier if you have a positive attitude.

6. Never assume the worst

Do not jump to conclusions before you’ve understood the whole story.

It’s easy for us to become entrapped in the negativity cycle and directly assume the worst of people if something goes wrong or something doesn’t go our way.

But part of being nice is always assuming the best of people.

Give people the benefit of the doubt always.

7. Respect people’s time

Time is something a lot of people cherish.

And if you respect people’s time, it will give you an excellent first impression.

Always be on time, and if possible, make it 5-10 minutes early for any meeting, date, or event.

It’s one of the best ways to be a nice human being.

Being on time is something that people remember.

They will note that you are incredibly punctual, and they will enjoy inviting you to events because they know that they can count on you to be on time.

8. Own your mistakes

It’s tough to take the blame for something because it involves a lot of heavy lifting.

But there’s nothing more attractive than seeing a person take ownership of their mistakes.

It’s humbling and genuinely remarkable when a person apologizes and takes responsibility.

So, don’t hesitate to step up when you’ve slipped up. It happens, and it’s completely natural.

Just be honest.

9. Forgive and move on

It’s tough to forgive people who have hurt us.

It can be tempting to hold on to that grudge and never let go.

But what we don’t realize is that by harnessing all that negative energy, rage, and hurt, we are only hurting ourselves.

By choosing to let go and just focus on the present, we become happier and choose peace.

By “forgive and let go,” I don’t mean you should continue a relationship with the person and move on.

If the relationship has been severed completely, that’s fine, but let go and move on in your heart and mind.

It will bring you peace.

10. Listen

Listen to people and give them time.

Take a genuine interest in what people say when they’re talking to you.

It can make a world of difference to them.

Just by listening patiently, you tell them that they matter and that what they love or enjoy doing matters.

Ask them follow-up questions to show how genuinely interested you are.

Avoid your phone and give them your undivided attention when you’re listening. Learn to express open body language to show the person how attentive you are.

Doing this is not just a way to become a good listener, but it’s also a fantastic way to be a nice person.

11. Empathize

When people are telling you a sorrowful tale, or they’re lamenting over a loss, empathize.

Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, empathize.

Remember, we are all different, and we have other priorities. You may value your child at the same level another person might value their dog.

But it doesn’t mean that their love is any less than yours.

I have a friend raised by her grandmother, and she saw her grandmother as her parent.

I only visited my grandmother once a year, so my love for mine was nowhere near what she had for hers.

This was why she was devastated over her grandma’s passing, and I was able to empathize.

12. Be generous

Whenever you eat something, feel free to ask others in your group if they’d like a bite.

If you have a friend who constantly gives you gifts, please do the same for them.

Take a box of chocolates or essentials to a friend’s home whenever you visit them. Bake a small cake for your old parent or neighbor once in a while.

Carry a bottle of wine to your friend’s house right after she’s gone through a breakup.

13. Donate things you don’t use

Part of being kind is also being convenient.

And most kind people value experiences with people rather than possessions.

So, focus on living with what you need and let go of things that you don’t use and are just accumulating.

Adopt minimalism and declutter your home.

Donate it to people who will use it and people who require it.

It will help brighten up the world.

14. Smile

It’s warm and endearing.

And just a simple smile can brighten up someone’s day and make them feel happy.

So, smile. It’s free and doesn’t cost a thing!

15. Be patient in queues

It’s not easy to be patient.

Especially when we’re waiting for an outcome that’s giving us significant anxiety or rage.

But sometimes, there is nothing we can do except wait patiently.

And during those instances, it’s best to be patient.

Spend more time learning to wait or learning to distract yourself while you’re waiting.

This will help you become more patient and kinder.

16. Be patient with people

It’s easy to fly off the handle and just tell off people when they get under our skin.

But patience, on the other hand, is rare.

People in the service industry are generally patient because their job expects it from them.

And they are the best people to learn from.

Watch how a waitress reacts to a customer yelling at her for uncooked food or burned food.

It’s pretty obvious she hasn’t prepared it and doesn’t deserve the yelling, but her ability to ignore those comments and be kind to the customer is what we should appreciate and learn from!

So learn to be patient even if you’re dealing with an impatient person.

17. Be optimistic

Be optimistic.

There is something called toxic positivity, but we’re not talking about that.

However, it never hurts to have a positive outlook on things.

For instance, if someone goes through a nasty breakup, you don’t have to tell them that they’ll find love again.

They may not be at that stage to hear that statement. However, you can tell them they will be okay, and the sadness will eventually lift.

Give people hope, allow them to see that life will not always be harsh to them. And just by being sympathetic and positive, you can become a nicer person.

18. Be calm

We all have different levels and types of anxiety but very rarely does anxiety help us find problems to solutions.

Stay calm when you’re with someone and have been given bad news.

If you notice that the people in your group are anxious, try to reduce their anxiety by asking them to breathe.

Think of possible solutions and stay calm so that you can balance their nervousness.

Try to alleviate the mood by bringing up positive outlooks toward the situation.

Keeping a level head will help you become a better problem solver, and this will also help you make more friends.

19. Don’t complain

Yes, it can be very enticing to get it all off our chests and complain away to glory.

It’s alright to complain once in a while, especially if we have bad days.

But doing it regularly will give you a negative vibe.

And most people feel drained after listening to complaining for a long time.

So, instead of complaining, learn to solve your problems and make peace with them.

Figure out solutions and work towards goals that help you solve those problems.

20. Tone down the self-praise

When I was younger, and I’d praise myself, my mum would tease me, calling me “The fox who praised her bushy tail.”

If life has taught me anything, we have a lot to learn from others.

We aren’t perfect, and we can only strive to become somewhat better day by day.

So, never praise yourself. Be modest, be humble and always underpromise and overdeliver.

Let your actions speak for themselves.

21. Read body language

To be kind, it is essential to study people.

It’s the only way you’ll understand whether people are happy, comfortable, or just plain irritated.

Learn to read facial cues and body language.

This will help you modify your behavior accordingly.

For instance, if a person wants peace and quiet because they’re having a bad day, you’ll have to modify your behavior and give them that quiet time till they’re open to talking and being themselves.

22. Don’t take offense always

Most people who crack jokes either do it for fun or don’t mean anything by it. If they’re trying to put you down on the off chance, then their jokes reveal more about their character than yours.

It indicates a deep level of insecurity.

So, either way, there is no need to take offense.

Learn to laugh at yourself and take jokes with a pinch of salt.

The best way to become a nicer person is to change how you react to triggers that bother you.

23. Always keep your mind open

We are not aware of many things because, as human beings, it is quite impossible to learn everything about the world.

So, whenever you’re given a chance to learn, listen with an open mind.

Don’t jump to conclusions or get angry over something you don’t understand.

Choose love and kindness over hate and anger, always.

Understand what someone is telling you and listen with an open heart and mind.

24. Do not impose your beliefs on other people

No matter your beliefs, do not try to force your beliefs on other people.

Live by example.

You may choose to disagree with another person’s opinion, but that doesn’t mean you should ever disrespect them.

Being nice means respecting all people no matter what their beliefs are – unless they’re directly hurting someone. In which case, it’s okay to speak up.

25. Help in any way you can

Help people in any way you can.

Whether it’s holding the door open for someone or just passing someone a bowl of crisps when they’re trying to reach for it themselves – be proactive.

Understand people’s needs before they ask for them and try to help them in any way possible.

Make yourself super approachable, so people don’t ever hesitate to ask for your help.

For instance, if you are an expert on something, you can always tell people to come to you with questions so you can help them.

I do this with a lot of new doggy parents I meet. I make it known that I have two dogs, and if there’s anything they need, they can always ask me.

I helped a couple with their labrador because they needed a lot of help with their doubts. 2 months later, they told me that I could always ask them for a ride if I ever needed an emergency trip to the vet. I don’t have a car, and they offered to do this for me moved me.

This helps people find a friend in you because they know they can count on you for anything.

26. Never engage in gossip

As tempting it can sometimes be to gossip about others, refrain from doing so.

Gossip and negativity will seriously hamper your life and prevent you from emotional healing.

Avoid it at all costs.

And remember, the person who gossips with you about others won’t hesitate to do the same about you to everyone else.

So, avoid people who take pride in gossiping about others.

27. Honesty goes a long way

No matter how hard it is, just be honest.

Even if you messed up, be honest.

Don’t try to cover up your mistakes with small lies. Lies always catch up on you.

The world would be a much better place if we were honest with each other.

If you can’t make it for an event, be honest and tell the host you cannot.

Learn to say no politely without feeling guilty.

If you want to end a relationship with your partner, be honest and tell them exactly why you’re doing so.

Don’t drag it out or ghost them or cheat on them. Don’t.

You’re only going to make things worse for them and hurt them.

28. Be loyal

Loyalty is very similar to honesty.

But if you’re loyal to your family, your friends, and your partner, you are already a gem in today’s world.

It’s surprisingly rare to find an honest and loyal person.

29. Avoid revenge of any kind

No, you don’t get to teach people a lesson if they mess up.

No, you shouldn’t have to put them in their place with your words.

Choose the kind way.

Either talk to them gently or learn to cut off entirely if they’re a toxic friend.

You don’t need to associate with negativity and toxicity. Just let go and move on in silence.

But avoid the revenge at any cost.

Whether it’s getting back at an ex, who cheated on you or a friend who gossiped behind your back, learn to let go.

Be the bigger person and just move on.

It’s the only way to find happiness and peace – trust me.

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30. Remember the little things

To become a nicer person, be a person that remembers things that mean a lot to people.

For instance, if someone tells you they’re going through a bad time, remember to ask them about the situation the next time you meet them.

If a friend is telling you that they’re starting a new business, remember to ask them how their business is doing and if you can help in any way possible.

It matters a lot to people and shows people you genuinely care about them when you make a note of the little details in their lives.

31. Use a person’s name more

Use a person's name more so that you can bond with them.

People like it when you remember their name and use it in a sentence from time to time – especially when you’re having a heart-to-heart chat.

I love it when people are serious and say, “So, Angela…” or when someone calls me by my nickname saying, “Hey Ang!”

It makes me feel special.

It automatically helps you bond with the person, and they feel closer to you when you use their name frequently.

Make it a point to remember people’s names. You’d be surprised at how much people value it.

32. Greet people you know

If you see someone you know, always say hi or wave a friendly hello.

It’s a tiny gesture that will brighten up their day and yours!

Remember, we are all social creatures, and we all require a little validation in our day-to-day lives.

Even if it’s someone you don’t know personally but often see, like the bus driver who drops you to work every day or the barista who gives you your morning coffee, greet them! Ask them how their day is going and wish them a beautiful day ahead.

It will make you a much happier and nicer person.

33. Send voice notes to people

After the pandemic, I made it a point to check up on the people I love by sending them voice notes from time to time.

I’d do this with all my friends and family, and I honestly love when they reply. It doesn’t matter if they respond after a month or two; they’ll still know you care.

34. Reward kindness with more kindness

If someone has been kind to you, return the gesture.

Never forget when people have gone out of the way to do something for you – ever. Repay kindness with more kindness.

If your neighbor let you borrow their phone because yours died, do something nice in return like giving them a box of chocolates or a Christmas plum cake.

You can even send a thank you note!

This is the best way to show and receive love.

35. Give hugs

I will honestly admit that giving and receiving hugs took me many years to become comfortable with, as I just don’t like people touching me.

But I realized that the intention of the people who hug me is always pure and filled with love, and I learned to accept it.

I now give and receive hugs with glee.

The other day when a woman cried to me about her dog’s cancer, I knew there wasn’t much I could say to give her comfort. So, I asked her if I could hug her.

The hug lasted around 2 minutes, but she looked much better after the hug. She said she felt like the burden had been lifted because someone understood how she felt.

Hugs have a power that cannot be explained. It’s warm and empathetic and shows a person how much you care.

Greet your friends and loved ones with hugs. It breaks the ice and helps start very warm conversations.

Conclusion

It’s not easy to be nice.

And there will be days when you’ll just want to be in your shell and not interact with anyone because you’re having a rough day.

But the more you practice being kind and incorporating being nice into your daily routine, the easier it becomes.

You’ll find it very easy to start and continue conversations, and people will genuinely love being around you because your positivity will be contagious.

The world already has a lot of hate and negativity. So becoming nice to people and filling it with love will make the world better.

I hope this post helped you learn how to become a nicer person.

Has anyone been super nice to you recently that made you feel special? Leave a comment below!

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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