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When you think of the ways you hope others see you, what comes to mind? Smart? Fun? How about nice? As social creatures, people want to have good interactions and relationships with others, and a part of that involves being nice. When you’re nice, socializing is easier, you find yourself with less conflict in your life and sometimes you even get what you want a little bit more than people who aren’t nice. It’s that catch-more-flies-with-honey thing. But, people have come to use the words “nice” and “kind” interchangeably, and it’s a problem.

Being nice and being kind are not the same thing. Being nice is something that ultimately has selfish intentions. It’s about wanting others to perceive you a certain way. In fact, research from Psych Tests reported on Cision PRWeb shows that people who are nice often desire approval from others. And it doesn’t take much to be nice – it’s all rather surface-level. If you don’t argue much, agree often, smile and nod, people think you’re nice.

Being kind, on the other hand, requires action and energy. And sometimes, in order to be kind, you have to do something that doesn’t seem nice on the surface. That’s because being kind is about doing things that are for the true betterment of other people. And sometimes that requires a little tough love, meaning people don’t think you’re nice – even if you just did them a favor. Here are examples of being nice vs. being kind.


Saying “It’s Okay” When It’s Not

Sometimes being nice means not letting someone know when they hurt your feelings or wronged you in some way. You say “It’s okay” to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. And then, you make the silent decision to distance yourself from this person. The kind thing would be to tell the person what they did wrong, so they have the chance to make things right, and continue to have a good relationship with you. Maybe they won’t try to fix things, but maybe they will, and they only get that chance if you do the “not nice” thing of telling them they messed up.

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