How To Be A Better Person, According To Science

how to be a better person

Nice people finish last. But do they really? Being nice is a trait that not everyone possesses, but a virtue everyone can develop. When you know how to be a better person and focus on self-improvement, life gets better.

We often consider nice people as weak, gullible and vulnerable as it is widely believed that they lack the ruthlessness to survive in this cut-throat world. However, being nice enables us to share positivity, compassion and kindness with the world. So if you want to be the best version of yourself, then here’s how to be a better person.

What Makes A Person Nice

Being your most authentic self and being concerned about the welfare of others makes someone nice. Nice people are self-assured and confident which makes them caring, compassionate, and kind towards others. They are sensitive towards others’ emotions and are pleasant to interact with. They are honest and truthful without offending others. They are also aware of their behavior, recognize their own flaws and insecurities, are responsible for their action and deliberately work on their self-improvement. They understand how to be a better person and deliberately work on improving themselves. In psychology, “niceness” is identified as agreeableness, which is one of the Big Five Personality Traits. Agreeableness is a personality trait that involves cooperation, warmth, sympathy, politeness and kindness.

Related: Bookworms Are Nicer, Kinder, And More Empathetic, According To Studies

However, contrary to popular belief being nice does not mean agreeing with everyone, suppressing your own needs & feelings and trying to please others. Kind people have a strong sense of self which empowers them to care for others without seeking any validation or approval. They openly express their emotions and needs without creating conflict or hurting anyone. Although the concept of “being nice” is subjective, people who know how to be a better person typically possess the following personality traits, according to psychology –

  • Politeness
  • Compassion
  • Empathy 
  • Altruism
  • Supportiveness
  • Kindness
  • Generosity
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Considerate
  • Sensitivity 
  • Fairness
How To Be A Better Person, According To Science
How To Be A Better Person, According To Science

How To Be A Better Person

If your goal in life is to thrive and succeed, then the key is to be your most authentic self as it can allow you to function well and feel good about yourself. And the truth is, we are all born as kind and caring individuals. Unfortunately, as we go through the trials and tribulations of life, we eventually become jaded and self-centered, which leads to stress, anxiety and unhappiness. Whether you are naturally a nice and kind person or not, we can always develop certain traits and characteristics that can enable us to improve our social and interpersonal interactions and be nicer to others.

If you want to be genuinely nice, but don’t know how to be a better person, then here are a few ways to get started based on scientific research:

1. Regulate negative emotions

Learning to manage difficult feelings is a crucial step in trying to be a nicer, kinder and better human being. Although negative emotions like anger, jealousy and depression are perfectly normal and natural, when we hold on to them for extended periods it can make us miserable & selfish. Emotions like hate, jealousy and anger can adversely affect our self-esteem, confidence and life satisfaction. Moreover, it can make us irritable and pessimistic, causing a downward spiral. It affects how we choose to express our emotions and interact with others – whether to respond or react. It can also make us a lot more aggressive, abusive and violent in our behavior towards our loved ones and strangers alike. However, when we become aware of such difficult emotions, we can learn to let go of all the negativity and behave more rationally.

Studies show that successful emotion regulation is a crucial aspect of psychosocial functioning, changes in relationships, conflicts with parents and finding supportive peer groups.The way we regulate our emotions has important implications for our well-being and our social relationships,” explains a 2020 study. Although letting go of hatred, uncontrolled anger and sadness may be extremely difficult, being aware of your triggers and knowing how to manage your emotions can enable you to better control how you react to people and situations.

Related: How to Stop Taking Things Personally: 8 Steps

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts