Nice is the French term for “pleasant” or “friendly.” People who are nice act in a friendly, ingratiating way towards others. They try to please others, and they may go out of their way to do so. They might treat everyone the same and make an effort to avoid discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender, sexuality, or religion. They often try to help people who are in need. They might offer to give someone directions or help them with their luggage. They might say hello to everyone they meet, even total strangers on the street. Nice people are polite and courteous, and they never say anything mean or hurtful to other people.
The word nice also has several other meanings, including “foolish” or “stupid.” The history of the word shows that its semantic development is quite varied, and any attempt to insist on a single sense as the only correct one would be difficult to sustain.
Generally, being nice requires a lot of empathy and selflessness. Nice people try to understand the world through the eyes of other people, and they are interested in other cultures. They are empathetic to people who are sad or sick, and they try to be helpful to them. They do not gossip or judge other people, and they try to resolve conflicts peacefully. They are aware of the importance of establishing healthy boundaries, and they set limits on their behavior to prevent exploitation.
In addition to being a kind person, it is important for nice people to be punctual. They respect other people’s time, and they try to arrive on time for meetings and appointments. They also try to be courteous, and they use phrases like “nice of you to come” when they receive a compliment. People who are nice often take the trouble to do small acts of kindness, such as helping someone cross the road or holding the door for them. They might even do things for strangers, such as buying them a coffee or sending them a card.
It is also important for nice people to be able to listen attentively and respectfully to other people’s opinions. They try to avoid interrupting or rushing into conversations, and they try to stay focused on the topic at hand. They also try to avoid judging other people, and they always treat everybody equally.
Being nice can have its downsides, however. If people are trying to be nice all the time, they can end up repressing their true feelings, which might explode in an emotional outburst at some point. In addition, if they are only being nice to certain people, it might seem artificial or hypocritical. They might also miss opportunities to be nice, because they are afraid of displeasing other people.