Psychology: Why it’s good to be nice – no matter what others say

Nice is the little sister of … ? puff cake. According to this personality study, there are eight reasons why it’s good to be nice. You can find out what these are here.

In times when self care is preached and saying no has become socially acceptable – that’s great, don’t get me wrong – nice people suddenly do pretty badly. Sch***’s little sister is nice People Pleaser and no one can stand good people anymore. Show rough edges, don’t always be so soft, it’s often said.

They are actually two different pairs of shoes. A person can stand by their needs and set boundaries while still being kind. That niceness is actually a great quality that you and your fellow human beings have in terms of interpersonal makes it easier seems forgotten.

can someone be too nice

The so-called people pleaser wants to please everyone at all times and forgets to take care of himself. Of course, this is not healthy in the long run and can lead to overload in the long term. But as long as you keep an eye on your needs, both you and those around you will benefit from your nice nature. This was recently confirmed by a study dealing with personality psychology.

Imagine you offer to help a friend with a project. Then you do something good for her with your support, but you also learn something new yourself and expand your skills. In the best case, it’s also fun and brings you together. A classic win-win situation.

How is niceness evaluated in personality psychology?

In personality psychology, the factor niceness is translated into agreeableness – one of the five areas of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality. According to the FFM, compatibility describes “the personality trait geared towards helping others and building positive relationships with them“. Are you compatible, your adaptability is very pronounced and you get along with very different people. You are probably also quite open and willing to try new things.

That sounds pretty positive at first. In their study, the scientists Wilmot and Ones now investigated whether this tolerability or in other words that “being nice” has consequences that affect that person’s life, both positively and negatively.

How is the study structured?

The scientists developed a hierarchical model in which tolerability was divided into several sub-aspects: Trust, compassion, courtesy, helpfulness, straightforwardness and humility. The question the researchers now asked themselves was: To what extent do people with these characteristics lead better lives? To answer that, they surveyed around 1.9 million people about the above variables. The result: 93 percent of the properties that fall under compatibility bring additional benefits advantages for the respective person. The eight most striking characteristics that make nice people follow now.

According to the study: These 8 characteristics bring nice people with them – and are therefore happier

1. Self-transcendence

Nice people are often driven by a desire to grow as a person. They are very ambitious and motivated to pursue their goals. They have a high degree of self-reflection. Although they act purposefully, they would never forget their surroundings or advance as lone fighters.

2. Satisfaction

People accept their lives as they are and are good at adapting to new circumstances.

3. Interpersonal Relationships

You are interested in building and maintaining good relationships with other people.

4. Team players

Kind people have the empathic ability to align their own goals with those of others, making them great team players. The group goal is superimposed on your own goal.

5. Work Ethic

They are willing to roll up their sleeves and do their jobs diligently.

6. Norm orientation

Nice people tend to avoid breaking the rules and tend to behave prudently and according to the expectations of those around them. That’s why they don’t get into sticky situations as often.

7. Social integration

They have empathy and can thus integrate more easily into society. Social sensitivity enables nice people, for example, to stay longer in a job because they are valued by their colleagues.

8. Self-reflection

A well-balanced character makes her stand out. They are also good at putting themselves in other people’s shoes. This means that nice people not only have a large social network and are great listeners, but are also excellent at reflecting on themselves.

Sources: Psychology Today, Mental Health, Study: Wilmot, MP, & Ones, DS (2022). Agreeableness and its consequences: A quantitative review of meta-analytic findings. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 26(3), 242-280.


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