2. Be kind and helpful
There is no doubt that compassion is one of the most fundamental traits of being a nice person. According to a 2020 study, compassion is a virtue that allows us to feel the suffering of another and willingly relieve their suffering. It involves various attributes like deep awareness, sensitivity, respect, dignity, listening, understanding, involvement, connection, responding and altruism. It allows us to have an active empathic presence and practice random acts of kindness, like –
- Helping someone carry their groceries
- Assisting an elderly person cross the road
- Giving your seat to a pregnant lady on the subway
- Donating to charity
If you want to learn how to be a better person, then being helpful is the most obvious step. Every time I try being helpful at random, I feel nice and better about myself. In fact, research shows that altruistic emotions and behaviors are associated with happiness, health, greater well-being, longevity and self improvement. So if you want to improve yourself as a person, then make sure to give more than you receive.
3. Build healthier relationships
Studies reveal that the quantity and quality of our social relationships affect our mental health and behavior. Whether consciously or subconsciously, our relationships leave a strong impact on us. When we share positive and fulfilling relationships with our parents, siblings, partners, friends and coworkers, it can make us feel happy and inspire us to become better versions of ourselves. We strive harder to make our loved ones proud of us and inspire them like they inspire us. However, when we are entrapped in toxic, unhealthy and abusive relationships, we become extremely stressed, anxious, depressed and angry. All this inner dissatisfaction leads to low self-esteem and frustration which in turns leads to more conflict. “High quality close relationships contribute to mental and physical well-being; poor quality close relationships create stress and undermine health and well-being,” explains a 2011 study.
Hence, working on improving your relationships is a vital aspect of learning how to be a better person. Self improvement involves becoming a better family member, a better partner, a better parent and better friend. When you become someone your loved ones can rely on and the driving force of a relationship, you not only make your own life better, but also help your loved ones find happiness and satisfaction. And the best way to become that person is by learning ways to resolve conflicts, such as active listening, emotion regulation, having empathy etc. Moreover, healthy relationships can also help us develop conflict resolution skills which can help us grow as human beings. There is no doubt that strengthening our relationships can take us on an upward trajectory to becoming our authentic selves.
4. Choose yourself
In case you are unsure about what exactly choosing yourself means, it means doing things that makes you happy and saying “no” to things that make you unhappy. And no, it does not mean being selfish or ignoring others’ feelings. It means living the life you want to lead and focusing on the positive aspects while acknowledging the negative ones. Choosing yourself means being kind to yourself first. It means setting strong personal boundaries and walking away from toxic, abusive relationships. It means being committed to fulfilling your needs & wants and making yourself a priority while lending a helping hand to those in need.
It means making self-care a daily practice and making sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising regularly, learning new skills, pursuing your dreams & passions and working hard to achieve your goals. It means not making excuses about things that you need to get done. When you choose yourself, you love yourself and that love permeates through to create a positive impact on people around you. Loving yourself helps you shut your inner critic and engage in positive self-talk. Then you become deliberate about spreading this positivity to the world. Studies show that “Positively biased self-views are argued to be a key component of healthy psychological functioning, influencing self-esteem, motivation, and determination.” On the other hand, negative self-images are associated with low self-esteem and social anxiety, according to researchers.