What Does it Mean to Be Nice?


Nice (pronounced NEESS) means pleasant and agreeable in nature: a nice day; a nice dress. It also means showing courtesy and politeness: a nice smile; a nice gesture. It can also refer to something done with delicacy and skill: a nice shot of hockey. In psychology, nice is one of five broad personality traits psychologists call “agreeableness.” Being nice means that you tend to be kind and compassionate and show support for others. You have a good understanding of how other people feel, and you often put their needs before your own. You can easily accept criticism and take advice from others. People enjoy your company and trust you.

Nice people are generous, and they are willing to go out of their way for others. For example, if you see someone struggling to carry their groceries, you may offer to help them. You could also share a meal with a stranger or give your friend or neighbor some of your spare change. You might even put yourself out for a complete stranger by saying, “Good morning” to them when you greet them on the street or in a crowded mall.

While being nice is a good thing, it’s important to recognize your own limitations. Nice people tend to let their guard down with everyone, which can make it easy for toxic individuals to take advantage of them. In addition, they may not always follow through on their promises because they prioritize being nice over meeting expectations.

Being a nice person takes a lot of energy. This is especially true if you’re one of those people who are naturally outgoing and have a large social circle. It’s tempting to rely on niceness for social survival, but you must be careful not to use it as an excuse to avoid hard work or taking responsibility for mistakes.

People who are truly nice are open to learning and growing. They are not afraid of challenges and do not avoid them because they think they will be bad for their image. They also realize that not everyone will like them, but they accept others regardless of differences in values or beliefs.