Today I find myself thinking about the benefits of being nice and how I have matured in my way of thinking about it. There is definitely an upside to being nice!
At work, being nice makes me a more approachable co-worker. Approachability at work can translate into some very real advantages. In particular: trust, knowledge and understanding. When people trust you, they listen to you and they often follow your lead. They also tell you things, keeping you informed about what is going on for them and within the organization. That knowledge (while keeping individual information confidential) gives you a deeper understanding of the culture of the organization. What’s going well, what is not going well and what people are REALLY thinking. Yes, nice has its advantages in the workplace.
In my personal life, I’ve found that niceness attracts niceness. I am married to a wonderfully nice man and I find myself hanging out with some really super duper awesomely nice people. This makes my life pretty darn easy most days! Hanging out with other like folks is fun, comfortable and comforting and there is little conflict to go around. Some people might find this boring, but I prefer to live by the lyrics of The Eagles, “I’ve got a peaceful easy feeling and I know you won’t let me down.”
Lastly, without overthinking it, nice often just plain ole feels good. The other day I was walking down the sidewalk heading into the office. A city worker was doing some work around one of the sidewalk planters and as I walked by I said, “Hi, how are you today?” He turned and looked at me with a big smile on his face and said, “Well, I am good now!” My soft hello smile, turned into a chuckle and big grin that I carried with me right up the elevator and into work. I still get a big smile on my face thinking about this small moment in time.
As a child when I was learning about right and wrong, nice and mean, what feels good and what hurts I think I always leaned toward nice, but also understood that being nice could keep me out of trouble. As a still learning adult I like to think of it now as karma. Being nice brings nice right back to me!