How to be nice.

Listen, guys. This is serious.

Lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of people just float around all day in a haze of self-centered arrogance. Maybe you’ve noticed too? Maybe you are a really nice person who goes out of your way every day to be kind to everyone? Hi! I’m happy you’re here, but, well, this post isn’t for you.

For the rest of you, I have something very important to say: YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS PLANET.  It’s true. Ask anyone.

Once you’ve let that soak in, keep reading for a little post life-altering-realization support.

You may be asking yourself “How should I react to these other humans?” Well, I’m so glad you asked! Humans love it when people are nice to them. They are usually sort of thrilled at the very idea of it. Imagine! A stranger! Being nice!

I believe that everyone should be nice all the time, even when you’d much rather just kick several people in the shins. Being nice is hard work. You have to walk around making eye-contact and smiling at strangers, making small-talk with bank tellers, and even letting other people on the elevator instead of pushing that magic door-closing button.  Ugh. I know. It’s difficult. But it’s worth it.

When you were a little one, you may have learned some of the basics of being nice, but you’ve probably forgotten them as  you’ve gotten older. There are some standard things, like holding doors open for strangers or letting people merge into your lane even when there is no way they didn’t see the “right lane merge” signs every fifty feet for the last two miles and they really should’ve just gotten over when the rest of us got over instead of riding up beside me now like they own the whole damn road. These things will come back with practice. That’s right–practice. You can’t just wake up one day and all of a sudden be super-dee-duper nice. You actually have to practice doing it, every day, all the time. Sometimes you may fail miserably, but that’s okay.

There are three important things to think about as you attempt to be a nicer person:

1. Think of what you are saying and whether or not you would like it if someone said that to you. If you would not like it, then you should not say it.

2. Think of all the things that other people have done/do that you appreciate and try to do those things for other people.

3. Don’t expect anything in return. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh no I di’int! Yes. I did. Seriously, you should not be nice to other people because you want people to notice you being nice to other people. Also, most people notice you trying to be noticed and they will think to themselves, “that guy is a tool.” (Which isn’t very nice, but you can prevent all of this by not being a tool.)

If you happen to know someone who isn’t very nice, please forward these tips to them. Maybe they don’t know that they aren’t the only person on the planet (Mothers and the Media may have convinced them otherwise) and it’s your duty as a nice person to open their eyes!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “How to be nice.

  1. Kelly

    I love your three simple rules… and the amazing humour with which you write!

  2. Wes

    Very true. Most of us sleepwalk through life. It takes a special kind of attitude to choose to live life deliberately. And to live deliberately nice for that matter. 🙂

  3. Jennifer

    I love this entry! It is so true, you have to be deliberately nice to people. I know it is easy for me to get caught up in my own world and not notice that others have greater needs than my own, and that me being nice might just make their day. So, sure sir, no, no don’t bother holding the door open for me(like your mother should have taught you) let me hold it open for you.

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