Let’s Talk Nice.
What happened to being nice? Lately there’s been an upsurge in degrading insults, pissed off rants and the absolute lack of respect or regard for any opinion that doesn’t mirror our own. And it’s not limited to political ideology, religion or social issues either. There is a stifling pervasive stench of nastiness. Intolerance and bullying are on the rise. To call it a pandemic might be an exaggeration. However, based on observations of posts and comments from various social and national media outlets, a fast growing number of folks think that “it’s OK to be mean”. Well, most of your mother’s would say “it’s not”. Somehow we need to regain our perspective on the bigger picture.
Reboot The Attitoot.
Here’s one suggestion. Let’s all take a big communal deep breath followed by a collective step back and regroup. Who can argue that showing compassion, respect and kindness toward your fellow human isn’t a good thing? But to be clear, being nice to others doesn’t mean being passive, weak or some kind of a cheap sunflower print doormat. Nice is about being understanding and empathetic yet assertive and strong. It’s about taking the stage while letting others bask in sharing the spotlight too. So, I’d like to offer up a few interesting but presently overlooked facts to the benefits of being NICE.
- Nice People Make More Money
According to Professor Dacher Keltner, a scientist at the University of California-Berkeley, compassionate people, especially those who are able to read other people’s emotions and clearly communicate their own are not only healthier and happier, but also more popular, and even more successful at work. Turns out, nice people get more raises and promotions.
- When It Comes To Love, Nice People Are Luckier
A study done at the University of Toronto found that people who are generally pleasant and friendly have one half the divorce rate of the general population.
- Nice People Are Healthier
Ervin Staub, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, found that nice people have fewer trips to the doctor. Also, a University of Michigan study found that older people who are charitable with their time have a 60 percent lower rate of pre-mature death than their selfish unhelpful peers (University of Michigan study). Live mean, die young. According to studies, everyone from the elderly to alcoholics saw their health improve if they did volunteer work.
- Showing Kindness Demonstrates Strength
It is much more difficult to hold your tongue and speak supportively toward others, especially those who have wronged or mistreated you. Being kind is more challenging and more honorable.
- Nice People Spend Less Time in Court
At the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, they found that doctors who have never been sued speak to their patients for an average of 3 minutes longer than physicians who have been sued twice or more. Just by being more empathetic, doctors might avoid malpractice suits altogether.
- Being Nice Feels Good
Brain scans consistently show that acts of kindness register more like eating chocolate than, say, fulfilling an obligation. The same pleasure centers light up when we receive a gift as when we donate to charity. Neuroscientists sometimes refer to it as “the warm glow” effect.
- It’s The Right Thing To Do
While being kind sometimes feels as though you are allowing meanness to go unnoticed or unchecked, it does not mean you’re allowing others to walk all over you. You are simply rising above in a different way.
- Being Mean Doesn’t Solve Anything.
Being nice can diffuse a tense situation. It doesn’t matter if nothing is solved, at least you know you didn’t make it worse.
- Being Nice Makes Others Happy (and you too!)
Maybe not right away, especially when the tip of your tongue is holding itself back from spewing your true feelings. At the end of the day, you can fall asleep easier knowing you didn’t say something you can’t take back. You’ll have peace of mind reflecting back on how you offered kindness instead of unnecessary meanness.
The Golden Rule Effect.
The way you act towards others is a reflection on yourself. Your words or actions can last forever on others. Sometimes it doesn’t feel permanent to you, but to the other person, it could be everlasting. Surveys have shown people prefer to be known for being nice rather than a complete a**hole. It’s up to you. No doubt, some will say, “Yeah, well, I really don’t care what people think of me”. To those people I’d say… “This world is already difficult enough to navigate. So, pause and think the next time you’re about to unleash a slew of negativity, contempt, disdain or whatever else upon the rest of us . Go get some therapy, smoke some weed or somethin’ to fix the tude, dude. If you’re not gettin’ paid to be mean stop workin’ for free.” Yep, that’s what I’d say, if I could. Wait…I guess I just did.