Lighting a Candle for Someone Else, The Dividend of Being Nice

By | September 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
I chose these candles because the stones remind me of the ones on the Susquehanna River Bank in Lewisburg

I chose these candles because the stones remind me of the ones on the Susquehanna River Bank in Lewisburg

Recently, I received a gift certificate to Colonial Candlecrafters, in my wonderful home town, Lewisburg Pennsylvania.  I won the certificate helping to promote Colonial Candlecrafters through my social media which I did earnestly.  The owner of the shop, and online store, Pat Hess, has been widely recognized as a business leader in Pennsylvania and supporter of women’s enterprises.  Additionally, one of my strongest personal values is an appreciation of hand made items — so this good fortune represents alignment of many of my prioritie and reminded me that there is always a dividend to being nice.

Check out The Give and Take for More on the Power of Being Nice.   Also — please look to your right on this screen and be sure to subscribe for updates!

The flip side of being nice is being happy . . . watch this awesome YouTube Video about the science of happiness (done by Soul Pancake) how expressing gratitude makes you even happier! Let’s go people — thank you, thank me, thanks to everyone whom I don’t even know to thank!

Being nice is the best sort of recycling.  Being nice to people gives a buoyancy to the spirit and attracts niceness back.  On the other hand, being mean just sucks energy because you spread your meanness and then have to spend the time processing your angry feelings and they fester.

Paying It Forward ensures loyalty.  Evidence shows that time invested in individuals to cultivate and mentor talent has financial benefits for an organization.  It also keeps high performing individuals longer.  And, from a personal perspective, time invested in individuals results in terrific loyalty and potential down the road.  I have a meeting tonight with a former protégé whom I am considering a business opportunity with.

What is Nice?  In case you are not sure how to be nice without acting like a wimp:

  1. Ask someone how they are and listen to their answer compassionately
  2. How can I help?  When you see someone anywhere / any time who seems to be struggling, ask to help.
  3. Zip the Lip:  when you are interacting with someone who is not being nice – don’t engage with them.  Listen, resolve whatever issue is at hand and move on.  To engage a person or issue that is not with the best intentions is to validate it.  Even if you are arguing against it – you are choosing to invest your time in addressing it, meaning that it is taking your energy.
  4. Don’t stir the manure.  If someone is mean to you – leave it at that, don’t propagate the meanness by re-counting that act to others.  When you stir the manure, you spread the stink.
  5. Random Acts of Kindness – be known for a certain type of nice.  For  me, I send letters and cards to people.  I love to write them and people like to receive them.  Others always have a compliment, or are great at expressing their gratitude.  I aspire to do those things, but I do know that I am really good at note writing and people appreciate that.  (you should see my stationary box, it’s awesome!)

How to Be Nice Even When You Can’t Be Nice:  Sometimes we have to tell people they are under-performing, or deliver other bad news.   Here are three thoughts to consider:

  1. I am sorry to have to tell you this:  Here is the bad news.  However, I sincerely hope that there is good news or opportunity based on this bad news.  Understand and help others understand that the bad news may be a step towards good news.
  2. Address the future:  When addressing an issue or person that is unpleasant  — try to do so through the lens of what do I want this to be like in the future? This means tying feedback or discussion to a future possibility.  I think we should collaborate in the future to have a more competitive product.  To do that, I would like to ensure that we are respecting each other.  And from here you let the person know whatever not nice information you need to.
  3. Pick Your Battles:  You can choose to not let people who are not nice not bother you.  You can choose to not emotionally engage with a person altogether.   Keep a pleasant demeanor, but do not acknowledge, respond or react to their negativity.  Remember any engagement on your part requires an investment of your energy – save energy.

Find a Nice Person and Emulate: Teresa Hess is my living model of niceness.  In many ways in my days, I try to say WWTD – What Would Teresa Do?  And the answer is usually to listen to music and choose not to engage with negativity.   Even to seek out positivity as an antidote to negativity. The think about Teresa is that it is not like she is Suzy Sunshine all day long, but she always acts from a space of integrity with the goal of contributing positivity to the world.   I advise you all to find your own Teresa Hess!   So, Teresa Hess . . . even though I was scared of you in high school . . . now I am really grateful for you – thank you!

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