I don’t know what it is, maybe being in my mid-late twenties, but I have honestly become such a nicer person these days. I used to be so judgmental and snarky. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can still be those things if I feel you really, really deserve it, but overall I’ve really brought the stink eyes down to a minimum.
I’ll never forget meeting this girl in college; I will call her “Amanda”. She was all smiles all the time and came off as genuinely the nicest person in the whole entire world. I always thought how is that possible? She must be faking it. I was convinced she was a theater major and/or mentally unstable. Turns out, she wasn’t. She was a Business major and actually really smart. I guess “Amanda” was just blessed with good DNA; the girl doesn’t have a bitchy bone in her body. That’s 206 bones, you know, and not one single one is bitchy.
To this day, I’m still astounded by “Amanda”. If I was still friendly with her, I’d totally reach out to her, most likely via text message, and recommend that she drop everything in her life and start fresh at the Venice Beach Freak Show because she is truly an anomaly.
Step right up and feast your eyes on the most wholesome girl in the world. With just one flash of her pearly whites, she will make you feel like the proud new owner of the cutest Golden Retriever puppy you’ve ever seen. Please give a warm and welcoming round of applause to our newest freak, Amanda: The Nicest Girl in the World.
Now, if you are looking to channel your inner freak, then these tips and tricks are just what you need. Some of them are going to be painfully obvious but just consider this article to be a “friendly” slap across the face. It’s time you wake up and become a nice person! Unless of course, you are interacting with a person that really deserves a good old fashion eye-roll. Because believe me, you, those people still roam this earth. Now I’m just brainstorming here, but let’s just say a certain someone didn’t wish you a happy birthday, then that jerk definitely deserves an over exaggerated roll of the eyes.
1. Shut up and listen
Strange concept, right? Nope, not at all actually. This is some basic stuff people. They were teaching us this concept in kindergarten. If you want to be a nicer person you are going to have to zip it and put those listening ears on. I know sometimes it’s painful to have to listen to someone blubber on about a bunch of stuff you don’t really care about, but it is fundamental to being a nicer person, so you are just going to have to learn to get used to it. Really try to appreciate what they are saying too, even if you disagree with just about everything they say.
2. Smile (and nod)
Your parents didn’t spend a couple of G’s on your teeth for nothing. Approaching people with resting bitch-face is going to make you the least liked person in the world. Gloss up those lips, Crest white strip your chompers, and smile! I swear smiling instantly makes you nicer, or at the very least appear nicer.
Oh, and don’t be scared to nod. People love when you nod at them; it’s an instant confidence booster. Giving people confidence equals being the ultimate nice person.
3. Share stories
A good relationship is built on shared likes and dislikes, stories, and a whole lot of mutual respect. But for right now, let’s just focus on the story sharing part. Being nice means you actually care enough to share life experiences and funny stories with other people. I know the last thing you want to do is talk about yourself (insert sarcastic laugh here) but if you want to be nicer, you are just going to have to suck it up and do it. Ugh, fine, twist my arm.
4. Spend quality time with others
As much as you’d like to lock yourself in your room with your laptop and Netflix subscription, you are going to have to power down and spend some time with actual real-life human beings. Grab drinks with a new friend, coffee with an old, or get your nails done with your mom. Spending some quality face-to-face time really channels your inner “Amanda”. But the act of just being there isn’t necessarily enough, remember to smile, share stories, while being quiet and listening – all at the same time.
5. Don’t be quick to judge
Let’s be honest, some people are just down-right weird. There are always going to be those people in your life that dress terribly and/or try to awkwardly hug you. Or maybe they have the stankiest breath this side of the Mississippi and a hairstyle to screams 2003. Despite all that, you need to learn to not judge people for their idiosyncrasies. Not everyone can be as perfect, pretty, and funny as you (re-insert sarcastic laugh here).
Instead of judging them for their strange and unusual ways, suggest spending some quality time together at their next hair appointment, and by next, I mean make them a hair appointment and demand that they dye their hair, immediately. Or perhaps you can share a story about how you won the “best dressed” superlative in middle school while helping them spend all their hard earned money on clothes you think are more figure flattering.
6. Refrain from talking shit (unless absolutely necessary)
This one can be hard. I swear it’s all anyone does these days but try to make a conscious effort to stop. Instead of saying, “Did you see what she was wearing last night? I swear I could see through her leggings.” Say something like, “She is certainly fearless in her wardrobe choices these days.” Or “I think I might casually send her a few pinned outfits on Pinterest to help inspire her next one. Aren’t I the greatest?”
7. Be the bigger person in all situations
The most valuable lesson I ever learned from my mom was definitely this. I can still hear her in my head, “Erin, just be the bigger person.” I’ll be honest; when I was younger my reaction after hearing that was always very similar to that of Cher Horowitz’s. “As if, Mom. Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensembly challenged?” But the woman had a point and still does. Dang, moms are always right! How do they do it?
Someone might sass you, feed you bullshit excuses, or blame you for being the “mean one”, but instead of verbally assaulting them with one-liner insults that you confidently mastered in your bathroom mirror, you need to just laugh it off, excuse yourself from the situation, and decompress with a tall glass of wine. If I’ve taught you anything it’s that being the bigger person in the situation means chugging a bottle of Pinot Noir. I mean think about it, it’s going to be very challenging to bust out a good old fashion Yo Mamma! joke when you are funneling wine in the other room.