3 Noble Qualities The Most Genuinely Nice People Always Have

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Despite her tender soul, Anna had school lunches by herself. No one wanted her, no matter how hard she tried to earn their affection. Rather than embrace her warm spirit, they avoided her, making fun of her cleft palate. Kids can be mean. Savages.

In the adult world, though, only a few insane folks would even fathom making fun of another human’s physical disability. Yet, we are brutal at social disabilities. Although we graduate from Kindergarten, our mean streak never leaves us. Our dark side remains embellished in our personalities, casting its shadow on our friendships and interactions.

We make dumb and cold-hearted gaffes, cross lines and step on people’s toes without realizing it. By the time the penny drops, it’s too late. Phone calls go unreturned. Promotions are swept from right under your feet. You’re sidelined by your mates or, worse, written off.

But genuinely nice people carry a bag of tricks that they use to set themselves apart in everyday interactions. They climb the social ladder rung by rung, increasing their influence while attracting a tribe of loyal friends. Curious about what’s in their bag of tricks? Read on.

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1. They Intentionally See No Bloopers

First, a story.

The ambiance was posh. Nothing could be heard but the clicking of cutlery and champagne flutes. Until…. a set of plates came crashing down. Shards of melamine sprawled everywhere. Gazes turned at the terribly embarrassed waitress as she struggled to find her balance and clean up the mess.

“Oops, that’s her last lunch.” Someone shouted from one corner. Then, a short bald man shamelessly yelled, “Butterfingers.”

The dark side of the seemingly charismatic diners was now floating to the surface — clearly, the mean child in us never dies. I digress. On the extreme right sat a middle-aged couple, so deeply engrossed in conversation they seemed oblivious to the unfoldings.

You didn’t need Albert Einstein to tell you they were cut from a different cloth. It’s impossible to say whether they were nice people. But, genuinely nice people behave like the said couple. In a crowd of people, they set themselves apart by what they do and avoid. It’s hard to miss them because they almost always do the opposite of everyone else.

Genuinely nice people know how to muzzle their dark beasts, especially when the beasts are fighting to come out. It’s not news that nobody likes to be reminded of their frailties. Don’t we have already have a bucketful of insecurities hinged on this?

People are drawn to folks who continually cut others some slack, intentionally ignoring their fumbles and slips. Next time someone mispronounces your name or gets your Starbucks order mixed up, let it slide. Stop and imagine yourself on the receiving end. Would you really want someone making a big deal out of a blunder?

The ability to think this way not only makes you a genuinely nice person, but it’s also a clear indication you’ve got heightened cognitive empathy. Psychologists describe cognitive empathy as having;

“more complete and accurate knowledge about the contents of another person’s mind, including how the person feels,”

It’s so easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes that many people don’t actually know how to. Yet, people rarely forget when you cover up their bloopers, and you never lose anything by making them feel human. It’s on such small sands that the castles of solid friendships are built.

2. They Rescue Storytellers From Sinking

Being a genuinely nice person is as much about mannerisms as it is about actions. In social settings, everybody aims to portray their positive side, but few are usually willing to help others shine. Genuinely nice people are masters at making others feel comfortable expressing themselves.

Let’s paint a quick picture:

You’re in the middle of weaving a tale when suddenly there’s an interruption. The phone rings. A toddler comes screaming into the room. The waiter approaches your table. Once the disruption is dealt with, how easy is it to get back to telling your story? Exactly.

With people generally losing attention after eight seconds, most people quickly move to the next thing. Once the focus has shifted, the storyteller and their juicy tale are left sinking like the titanic. Let’s now make you the listener.

If you want to come across as sensitive and considerate — two remarkable qualities of a genuinely nice person — you’ll rescue the storyteller before he sinks. Shift the focus back to him by saying, “Please, carry on, what happened afterward?”

Doing this throws them an anchor and helps them climb back to the center of attention. When you turn the focus toward a person, it makes them feel liked, valued, and appreciated.

3. They’re Straight-Shooters

A wise teacher once told me,

“The world goes around on favors. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Even animals know this.”

But let’s face it, whilst some folks have no qualms asking for favors. Some of us find it daunting because it makes us feel like we’re a burden or worse, emotionally weak. To avoid this, many people try to conceal their intentions by creating “situations” that compel the other person to step forth and extend them the favor.

But nothing screams hypocrisy like manipulated favors. The in-need-of-a-favor-but-shy-to-ask person ends up losing trust and credibility. Sure, they might get what they want, but it may cost them the relationship. It’s one of those win the war but lose the battle type of situations.

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Be a straight shooter. Lay your cards on the table upfront and let your favor-giver know how much you need their help. Being intentional about how you ask for a favor can influence your outcome greatly. To make it easier for you as well as the person you hope to get help from, consider using these three techniques:

  • Say: “I have a favor to ask you.” This gives the other person a few seconds to get their response ready.
  • State your reason for asking. When your ask is followed by the word because you have greater chances of receiving the favor. People respond positively to requests that include the term Because.
  • Let them know you respect their response either way. It eliminates the pressure and awkwardness should your favor-giver be unwilling. Also, it feels less like a command and more like a request.

You’ll be surprised by how many people bask in their ability to help. Allow them a chance to shine. It’s your reward to them.

This is a corollary of the above, but it’s worth mentioning. When someone agrees to do you a favor, please don’t pressurize them into doing it right away. Allow a day or two for them to relish the opportunity to help you. Busting their phone with calls can make them feel like a hostage.

Go with their flow, and remember, beggars can never be choosers.

Genuinely nice people excel at simple everyday interactions for specific reasons:

They cover the blunders of others and make them feel human by transcending the pettiness of social circles.

In social gatherings, they make others shine by helping them find their conversation balance.

They’re straight shooters when asking for favors, making it easy for the favor-giver to respond without guilt.

Genuinely nice people aren’t necessarily unique from you. What sets them apart are some key qualities that you, too, can easily develop. Start now.

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Leah Njoki writes about all things love and you can email her at ownyourspark@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @MbariaLeah.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.