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Editorial: What’s the best way to be nice?

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More stories from Jacob Keenan

Many times, we say to ourselves that we are nice to everyone and are altogether a nice person. However, we rarely look inside to see how every single action affects other people. I tested myself and the Internet to see what people consider nice.  To do this, I used the website wikiHow and read what they recommended as far as being nice to others. I decided to test my version of being nice vs. the website’s version of being nice on two separate days. 

 

On Wednesday, I tested myself to see how hard it would be to go the whole day being nice to everyone according to my version of being nice. I believe that to be the nicest person you can be, you have to stop and think before you say something. Throughout the day I spoke to many people I normally don’t and was very cautious about what I said and the way I acted towards others. I found that a lot of people felt more comfortable around me and were also nice to me back. I think this is because if we aren’t mean to other people, they won’t be mean to us for no reason. I was very social with everyone throughout the day and noticed that they too were more social with me. 

 

On Thursday, I tried to be nice to everyone according to wikiHow’s suggestions. The site suggested calling people by their names, giving gifts, making small talk, and introducing yourself to new people. I decided to test out calling people by their names and giving gifts. I found that by doing this, it made many people confused as to why I kept calling them by their names when I talked to them and a few gave me puzzled looks. To give gifts I kept giving people gum, and it just made a lot of people suspicious and they all kept asking what I wanted in return for stuff.  

 

I think that being nice isn’t something that has guidelines, but instead something that is differently interpreted by everyone. Different people see kindness in different acts and ways than others may see kindness. Wednesday had more positive results. I believe this is because I treated people kind using ways I knew that they would appreciate. From now on I will stick to what feels right to me when being nice instead of following a list. 

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Editorial: What’s the best way to be nice?