How nice are you? Webster’s Dictionary defines nice as polite, kind, a pleasing way.

October 5, 2022 is National Be Nice Day. I actually think we should be nice EVERY day. Most of us try to be nice on a regular basis but have you stopped to consider the many benefits of being nice?

What if I told you that being nice could be your superpower? And you wouldn’t even need a secret identity.

Running a small business, I don’t have many benefits to offer my employees and contractors. Yes, salary is important, but I focus on being nice, having and giving grace, and being flexible.

Giving grace means I don’t jump to a negative conclusion if someone is late, or they don’t respond to my email, or they seem rude. I consider they might be going through a difficult situation or were just distracted. I offer them kindness without the person realizing this effort on my part.

Being nice takes time and effort. Not everyone is nice in return. But, what if your superpower of being nice influences just one person, making a little bit of difference in your world.

Psychology Today has an article on the importance of being kind, which is another word for nice. Showing kindness towards others has a positive effect on our own emotional wellbeing. 

Think about your favorite workplace. Was it the work itself or the people? We gravitate towards nice and pleasant people and avoid negative people. I have seen many examples of decisions for promotions, invitations to important work projects, and staff reductions being influenced by how people get along with others.

The exact question isn’t “Are they nice?”, but rather that is the sentiment behind many decisions in the workplace. Being a helpful and positive team member often went further than some levels of expertise. Being willing to learn and do better are important workplace skills.

Consider your own family. Is there someone who isn’t particularly nice? How does everyone treat that person? We tend to reciprocate the behaviors around us. A version of pay it forward with our feelings.

What if that person was an introvert and disliked social interactions? Maybe they have an intellectual disability which influences their personality? In these situations, we would certainly give the person grace and show them kindness.

When we take care of our own mental health, our ability to give kindness to others expands. Having a healthy emotional intelligence means you understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

In other words, you can infuse being nice with being understanding of others’ needs. Less conflict could mean more time to devote to being nice to others. Your emotional bank account is fuller, and you can weather life’s ongoing challenges better.

I like the idea of being a superhero without having to worry about the cape. By being nice, I can do a small part in making the world around me a little better.