Just Be Nice Dammit. It’s Better for Everyone.

*I had a different post scheduled for the end of the day today, but then this happened and I felt compelled to share it…

Today I was going through my emails and I stumbled across a mass mailer from a PR company in New York. I had been receiving these periodically for months, and they didn’t really fit the scope of what I do for papernstitch. So, I wrote back a quick couple of sentences to the sender and asked to be removed from the list. She wrote me right back and said I had been removed, but that’s not what struck me. She actually thanked me..

Sorry about that Brittni.  Thank you for being so nice about it! You have been removed from the list.”

A thank you from a total stranger for being nice. It made me smile.

And you know what happened after that?

This is the part where you might think I am going to tell you that she wrote me back just hours later and told me that because of my kindness she wanted to repay the favor by doing x, y, and z for me. And how you should always be nice to people, especially when it comes to your business, because you just never know what it will get you in the future. Blah, blah, blah.

But that’s not what happened.

So you wanna know what actually happened?

Nothing. And that is exactly the point.

You should be kind to people in every situation. People you know and people you don’t know. Just because. Not in hopes that you can later get something “out of it”. Not because you never know what connections that person might have. Just because.

Just because it’s better for you. For the people around you. For the people you know. And for the ones that you have not yet met. And it makes you feel good to be kind to someone else.

So I am challenging you.

To make every attempt to simply be nice. To everyone that you talk to, virtually or in person. For just one week.

See how it makes you feel to continually be friendly and kind in uncomfortable situations and random occurrences. Watch how it makes other people feel when they encounter your compassion, your smile, your generally “nice” attitude, however seemingly small it may be. And then, after the week is over, I dare you to stop.

Bet you won’t.

Share your thoughts on this topic below. And if you know someone who needs to read this, send it to them…

image c/o Momo Prints

44 comments | Click here to reply

Thank you Katie and MM3 for leaving your thoughts. And Dianna, I think its wonderful that you try to instill this in your children.
-Brittni

papernstitch

I try to emphasize to my girls the importance of smiling and being nice daily. You never know what is going on in the lives of the people around you…the fact that you were kind might just have been the best part of their day : )

You are so right…*just because* is fantastic! *Just because* is is a huge reflection of a person’s character.
Thank you for the great post Brittni!

dianna

Amen. Wholeheartedly agree! What has happened to basic good manners?! To me, that is a substantial portion of “being nice”. Just use your good manners, for Pete’s sake.

MM3

I’m a big fan of this theory. It’s your life, you get to choose haw you live it. xo

Katie

“Not just niceness though, genuine kindness makes EVERYONE’S lives better!” That’s true Ansley.

For those that might have trouble getting to the genuine kindness level in difficult situations, I recommend the “fake it ’til you make it” approach. You’ll get there.
-Brittni

papernstitch

I agree with you completely. Not just niceness though, genuine kindness makes EVERYONE’S lives better!
I find that approaching potentially difficult situations (on the phone with the insurance company, etc) with an attitude of kindness not only makes the experience easier for all involved, but leaves me feeling even better than before!
Thanks for the affirmation!

Ansley

Yes! So true Blythe. A much better place. Side Notes: 1. Conan always has the best advice. 2. Your blog is awesome. I just checked it out via the link for the giveaway and I love it. Bookmarking for later.
-Brittni

papernstitch

Thank you for posting this! I agree heartily: the world could be a lot better of a place if everyone made an effort to be a little nicer in everyday interactions. Imagine.

Also, this reminds me of Conan’s advice:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/claylarsen/4298622715/in/photostream/

double also: i’m doing a quite nice thing and giving away $100 to Modcloth on my blog, if you’re interested (I promise that wasn’t the main point of my comment, but an afterthought):
http://blythehill.blogspot.com/2011/03/100-modcloth-giveaway.html

Blythe

Thank you Penelope.

papernstitch

I absolutely love this post. I value kindness above almost everything else.

Penelope

Sure, why not Lori. Kill away!

papernstitch

I like this thought/challenge! I shall participate. I have one question…can we kill them with kindness??? That’s always my motto when someone makes me super mad. I think it works, too. 🙂

Lori

Thank you Kathy, Kerry, and Brandi for stopping by. So glad that this post made you smile.
-Brittni

papernstitch

glad you shared this, made me smile too 🙂

brandi

I agree!!

Kerry

This post made me smile… I couldn’t agree more!

Kathy

“..but it’s also nice to myself. Leaves me with a good feeling.” EXACTLY Mervi. And that’s what we all can “get out of” being nice (if anyone needs a reason): Feeling good about the way we treat others. That’s huge!
-Brittni

papernstitch

I have this “bad” habit of chatting with strangers. Like when I’m buying something at some store I tend to chat with the salesperson. I mean, even the person behind the cashier, the one who’s just “taking my money” and hasn’t even helped me in any way. Sometimes they give me a crooked smile, as if I was interrupting their work or something, but quite often they seem really happy and chat with me as well.

It’s nice for the salesperson, but it’s also nice to myself. Leaves me with a good feeling. Usually other customers look at me as if I had gone nuts, but I don’t really care. 😀

Mervi

I can attest to the fact that you are nice to everyone Twiggs. You are always so kind when we chat and I hear lovely things about you sprinkled across internet land. Thanks for sharing your be nice story today!
-Brittni

papernstitch

i loved that nothing happened!!! you had me there!!! 🙂 i totally agree with you, i always try to be nice with everyone… even if a total stranger that wrote me or something. it is so common to meet unpleasant people that when you meet someone really nice, you feel delighted!!! it happened to me today when i went for a cup of coffee in a very well-known pastry next to home, that is also known for delicious pastries and not that nice people working there. and today the nicest boy appeared and made me change my mind about that place! hugs! twiggs

Twiggs
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