If someone displays these 9 subtle behaviors, they’re a really nice person

The world we live in today is often noisy, fast-paced, and not everybody is who they appear to be.

In front of others, people tend to put their best foot forward, only to use that foot to step on others to get what they want. That’s why it can be hard to trust people.

In work settings and relationships alike, knowing if someone is a truly nice person is essential. And if you’re reading this, you probably agree and are here to find out.

Without further ado, if someone displays these 9 subtle behaviors, they’re a really nice person.

1) They actually listen

When we are in a conversation with others, we often want to be the one speaking. It’s a back and forth exchange. 

Sometimes, however, we hear but we don’t really listen.

A nice person–someone good–truly listens. This is called active listening: the processing and understanding the meaning and intent of a person’s words. This is highly useful, especially when the speaker is upset.

When actively listening, a nice person isn’t silently crafting a response to the speaker.

Instead, they become fully present: they make eye contact, they use body language to show they’re engaged with the speaker, they ask open-ended questions, and repeat back what they heard.

Why is this important? When one actively listens, they acknowledge that it’s not about them, thereby giving importance to the other person. 

Because most of the time, people in distress don’t want to hear solutions to their problems; they just want to be heard.

Active listening helps the listener become more empathic and the speaker feel more valued, and it helps one form relationships with new people. 

2) They don’t flaunt kind gestures

Anyone can do something nice, but not everyone would choose to keep it on the down-low.

Humility is considered a positive trait, therefore, nice people generally tend to be humble.

Being humble has been associated with being meek or quiet, but that’s a total misconception. On the contrary, humble people are quite capable and confident in their abilities that they find fulfillment in helping others.

They don’t have the urge to boast or brag; they’d rather let their work speak for itself.

A Forbes.com writer, Jeff Boss phrased it as such: “To be humble is not to think less of oneself, but to think of oneself less.”

When a person is really nice, they don’t feel the need to make it known to everybody else that they did something good or performed an act of kindness. Again, a nice person focuses on the benefit of their action for the other person, rather than their own selves.

3) They keep their word

Another mark of a nice person is when they say one thing, and mean it.

They don’t make promises they can’t keep.

Keeping one’s word is a sign of integrity. This goes beyond honesty–it’s about following a code of ethics and the principles that a person stands by.

For instance, in a work setting, integrity is seen when employees take their work seriously.

When a person sticks to their word, they are communicating to whomever they’ve made promises to that they value them and that they can be trusted.

If someone has shown themselves to be there for others when they are needed the most, when they are accountable for their actions, or when they show that they are thankful for others, they may be a person of integrity.

4) They are generous

When I was much younger, they asked us in school what generosity meant to us. In my mind, a generous person was someone giving. And up to a point, I was right. 

The only problem is, I thought that generosity was only about giving material needs to the less fortunate, but that couldn’t be further from what it actually means.

As I got older, I realized that being generous extends to one’s time and talents. 

When a person lends their shoulder for a friend to cry on. When a person helps a stranger jumpstart their car. When they help a little girl put out flyers for her missing dog. 

There are a thousand little things that a person can do to be generous, and if there is someone in your life who gives of themselves, then they are likely to be a really nice person. 

5) They don’t backstab

I spent much of my adolescent life at an all-girls’ high school, and if you’ve ever watched Mean Girls, then I can tell you that it was only half-accurate. 

Disclaimer: This doesn’t apply to girls all over the world, but in my experience, girls can get nasty. Much like in Mean Girls, a clique in my junior year created a “Burn Book”, where they wrote insults about different girls at school.

A truly nice person would not talk about others behind their backs. They would not spread rumors or lies to get ahead or to be liked.

This negative behavior even has a name: relational aggression. This is a kind of bullying targeted at damaging personal relationships or social standing.

Some of the signs that point to this behavior include backstabbing, cyberbullying, excluding others, spreading rumors, participating in gossip, and forming a small circle that not everybody can easily join.

What’s sad is that sometimes, even people you consider “friends” can perpetrate this type of behavior.

Do you remember a time when someone you considered a friend talked smack about somebody else behind their back? They could easily be talking about you too when you’re not around. 

6) They stick up for their values

signs youre dealing with a genuinely good person according to psychology If someone displays these 9 subtle behaviors, they're a really nice person

A person who is actually nice is often authentic; that is, they are not trying to be somebody or something they’re not.

But because we live in a society that often pressures us to conform to the majority, remaining authentic is easier said than done.

Some of us even conform so much that we’ve convinced ourselves that who we have made ourselves become is who we really are.

We established earlier that a nice person has integrity, and part of that is having philosophies they live by.

Being authentic means not only being comfortable in one’s own skin, but facing up to societal pressure if it clashes against their values.

Authentic nice people are easy to like and easy to trust. They are able to build deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others.

7) They lift others up

One of the hallmarks of being a nice person is being kind. There are many ways by which a person can show kindness, and one of them is by lifting others up.

What does this really mean, though? Let’s think about it.

Look back on an instance at your workplace where you were feeling like you weren’t performing at a hundred percent.

Now how would you feel if, say, a coworker or the boss (or even a family member) comes up to you and tells you they appreciate all that you do? Wouldn’t that feel amazing? Wouldn’t that lift your spirits?

Simple acts like recognizing somebody’s value in your life, going out of one’s way to help someone in need, cheering others up when they feel low…all these are things anybody can do to lift others up.

If this reminds you of someone in your life, then they’re a really nice person. 

8) They’re kind to others regardless of status

This point is one I’ve seen proven time and again in real life.

One of the quickest ways to determine if a person is nice is by looking at how they treat people of different standing. By this, I mean restaurant servers, public vehicle drivers, cashiers, househelp, what-have-you. 

People who are not genuinely nice have no problem putting their best foot forward when it comes to someone they consider influential or who has power. 

But do they do the same for people of a lower economic or social standing? For people who have nothing material to offer them? My guess is no. 

9) They don’t judge others

In this age of social media, we often share a photo or a video, or put our thoughts down into words in a post just because we feel like it.

Sometimes we do it because it makes us happy. Other times, it’s something that we’re troubled over. Whatever the reason, there’s always one or a few people who seem to need to say something negative about it.

Instead of seeing the post for what it was intended to be, they judge the poster.

The most recent example of this that I’ve seen is actress Julia Roberts sharing a photo of herself with niece Emma Roberts playing a card game. What was meant to be a sweet moment turned vicious when people started commenting on the elder Roberts’ appearance.

All this to say, nice people think before they speak. They listen before responding. They listen without passing judgment on others.

The bottom line

It’s hard to tell these days if someone is a really nice person. Things like niceness–or goodness, for that matter–are hard to pin down, especially because we know that not everybody is as they seem.

But niceness is something that comes from a place within, and that part can’t be faked. While there are definitely more signs that a person is really nice, it is hoped that this list opens your eyes to people you can really trust.

Picture of Louise Logarta

Louise Logarta

Louise Nichole Logarta is a content writer by profession, with experience crafting feature articles, editorials, and news articles. She has been published in noted Philippine broadsheets Philippine Daily Inquirer and The Manila Times. Topics of interest she likes writing about include relationships, current affairs, health, and pop culture. Travel, journal notebooks, fiction books, and iced coffee are some of the things she enjoys.

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