If you want to be a nicer person, try these suggestions. I’m hardly an expert on niceness, but like the rest of you, I’ve seen my share of not-so-nice behavior. I hope these help!
- When you’re ignoring someone’s email or voicemail, let the person know why. For example: “Hi. I want you to know that I did receive your message of three weeks ago. Please don’t take my silence personally. It’s just that unlike you, I’m a super, super busy person, and I have far more important things to do than help you out.“
- When you’re incensed that your server still hasn’t refilled your glass of iced tea, turn to the other 100 people dining in the restaurant and say to them, “Excuse me! I want to apologize in advance. I’m about to make a huge scene by raking our waiter over the coals — that young man over there, who’s working for tips until he can find decent job to pay off his $75,000 in student loans. If my temper tantrum inconveniences you in any way, I’m sorry!“
- When you’ve had your own say and now you’re too impatient to listen to your friend prattle on about her life, don’t fidget in your seat, stare over her shoulder, check your phone, and look as though you’ve just been told that you need surgery on your hemorrhoids. Instead, be honest: “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but since your problems have absolutely nothing to do with me, I can’t even pretend to care. It’s not that I don’t wish you well. It’s just that I’m unwilling to lift a finger to make you feel even a little better.”
- When you’re stuck behind a bunch of people and get so tired of waiting that you simply have to cut in line, don’t turn and give everyone the finger. Instead, smile sheepishly, cock your head to the side, and hold your hands up in the air. That way, everyone will know that you’re one of the nicer jerks.
- When you’re a Trump supporter … oh, forget it.