Nice: “Pleasing, agreeable, delightful.” Who doesn’t want to be delightful? Okay, okay, so I know a few people who get off on being jerks. *You* know who you are. But most of us realize being nice has its perks. The server doesn’t spit in your food. The nieces and nephews and puppies don’t groan when you want to give them hugs. The movie guy gives you the student discount…even when you haven’t been a student since he started high school. Plus, it kinda makes other people nicer, too, which has its own “Big Picture” perks.
So, as if you didn’t already have enough to do, here I am suggesting that if you’d like to add a few more things to your list, it probably wouldn’t kill you. I’m 99% confident of that. For those of you who would jump in front of a bus to save a cat, I can’t help you. I’m pretty sure your name is already on the list for spots reserved in heaven.
So if you have room on your list, here are a few simple things to consider taking up:
1. Make good use of “Please” and “Thank you.” On the Effort Scale, saying these three words in the context of being polite takes, oh, about zero effort. The use of “Please” implies that you’re hoping it would please them, whoever you’re being polite to, to do whatever it is that you’re asking. And the word “thank” is derived from “think.” So by saying “thank you,” you’re expressing your thoughtful acknowledgment of them and their kindness toward you.
2. Spend some time with The Big Guy Upstairs. If you think about all the good stuff The Big Guy has blessed us with, chances are you’re going to be grateful. And grateful people are usually nice people.
3. Spend some time with the A-hole at work. Every workplace has at least one. While it’s certainly beneficial to spend time with the nice, smart, funny people at work, it’s also good to spend time with the A-hole. That way, you get a clear picture of how *not* to be. Thank goodness for A-holes. Otherwise we wouldn’t know what to avoid, right?
4. Be honest. Now, don’t get me wrong. If your wife asks you if her dress makes her butt look big, and it *does*, don’t say that. Maybe say something along the lines of, “You know honey, I really love that blue dress you have. You know the one with the thingys right here” (and then point to your shoulders or something). I guess, more specifically, be honest with tact. It will win you brownie points and might even get you laid. Hey, just stating a fact.
5. Smile. Shocker, right? The medical benefits of smiling have been proven. When you smile, you flex your face muscles. And when you flex your face muscles, you burn calories. (Yes, I’m aware, not many, but still. You smile enough, you can have a York Peppermint Patty without having to run an extra fifteen minutes. As I’m a big fan of not having to add extra time on to my jogs, smiling seems like a nice alternative.)
Not only do you burn calories when you smile, you also encourage others to smile back. It’s a natural response. Maybe you’re saving someone from a heart attack (or extra minutes added on to their exercise routine) simply by smiling at them and having them smile back. Now, I’m aware it’s impossible to make someone else do something, but chances are good that if you smile at someone, they’ll smile back. It’s like magic. Try it.
Finally, smiling makes you *look* like a nicer person, and often times looking the part is half the battle.
So, while being nice probably won’t win you any awards, it certainly has its perks. Getting to eat dessert and getting laid are just a few. Those activities make people happy. Happy people earn places in the hearts of their friends and loved ones. That earns points with The Big Guy, and that, I’m quite certain, helps earn you a spot in heaven. Who knew it could be so easy?
**Photos courtesy of amandasummerlin.com, considerthisquote.com, zazzle.com, quizz.biz, s205.photobucket.com, and runningbarefootisbad.com.