What are nice people?

Nice people, we can all name a number of nice people from our environment, but if we have to give them a definition, it becomes more difficult. Yet nice people, who are sometimes mistaken for “wimps”, are back in fashion. As far as you can speak about that, of course. But what exactly are nice people and, above all, how do you recognize them?


Give it a definition. Everyone will interpret it according to what he or she experiences as nice. However, there are a number of characteristics of people that we generally experience as nice. Because nice people in the environment are pleasant, pleasant and friendliness is experienced as a great virtue. We even make commercials about it on television. After all, we all have to become kind again, do something for each other and banish (tendencies towards) aggressive behavior.


It sounds strange, but nice people can be recognized by a number of things. Consider:

  • Wanting to mean something to someone and that can express itself because someone wants to be around you so that they can mean something to you for a moment.
  • Little stress may sound strange, but stress eats away at someone and that can shift the focus. If you are relaxed, make a joke and laugh from within, this increases the process of wanting/being kind.
  • Complimenting is not in everyone’s nature, even if they appreciate what you do. It helps the other person but also yourself by saying it out loud or literally giving a pat on the back.
  • Following the big picture of people. This may sound like someone would have distance, but the opposite is the case. Even if you are not in the immediate vicinity of someone and you still follow them (for example in thoughts), that is part of the essence of a nice person. He/she is always busy with you whether you are around or not.
  • Showing your worth is a well-known thing, but not accepted by everyone. We all have an opinion and – at least the average Dutch person – does not hide it. When someone else’s opinion is completely outside our control, we often want to ignore it. But we could also keep asking questions, listen carefully to what someone says and respect what someone has to say.
  • Mirroring often comes naturally to nice people, because when you have someone really nice in front of you, it becomes difficult not to be nice. There is still some suspicion, because we are simply not used to much real kindness.

Snowball effect

Although we often don’t realize it, we can create a snowball effect through kindness. Because kindness is difficult to defy (and why should you) you are more likely to exhibit more of this behavior. If you do this often enough, you make it second nature and that means that you have that effect on other people.

Summer also contributes to it, because we are outside more and have a better mood because of the sun and light. And of course because we also meet more people and therefore make more contacts. Just think of the terrace, where you can be made cheerful by a cheerful and kind waitress. It’s even worth your money, because nine times out of ten the lady in question will get more tip.


We even call out the nicest BNers about it. Well, we already have an award for that. Apparently it is still remarkable that we are nice, otherwise everyone would be at the top. This award focuses on friendliness, relevance (does it benefit others), empathy and authenticity.

The latter in particular sometimes wants to throw a spanner in the works, because there is also plenty of pretending. That has more to do with image than with someone actually being nice.


Laughter helps and laughter is also good for yourself. It has a therapeutic effect (e.g. stress-reducing). You also produce endorphins and dopamine while laughing. These are a kind of pain-relieving substances that make you feel more comfortable. But a real smile is also contagious to others. It relaxes the atmosphere, increases the acceptance process and makes it clear to the other person that you mean no harm.


But everything depends on whether you allow kindness. Suspicious that it is not real, that someone is not what it seems now often says more about yourself (naturally or due to bad experience). But that doesn’t change the fact that everyone is bad, there are a lot of really nice people. You just have to let them in.