The Joseph Group

Nice vs. Kind

December 15, 2023

To Inspire:


I had a conversation with a friend recently about deciding to be nice. Getting up in the morning and deliberately deciding to be nice. The pre-order scheduled to be picked up early isn’t ready? “No problem.” The repair tech scheduled and re-scheduled multiple times still isn’t going to be here today? “Okay, no biggie.” Things that could be upsetting, just let them roll off with no anger. I confess that this friend is better at this attitude than I am. It’s good to be nice, right? It is, but it turns out being kind is better.

Being nice involves being polite. Being pleasing to others. It can be – and feel – inauthentic. Whereas acting with kindness is less self-serving, more outward-focused. Being kind involves being generous without expecting anything in return. And kindness has purpose behind it – a kind person is acting out of compassion and is acting with intentionality.

But kindness not only puts all kinds of good into the world, it’s also good for you! Practicing kindness allows you to build deeper connections with others, and the more you do that, the easier it gets to relate to others and grow meaningful relationships.

Plus, when you act with kindness, the brain releases a hormone called oxytocin. Known as the “love hormone,” oxytocin is used to promote social connections with others. If you’ve ever noticed feeling good after helping others, that’s oxytocin at work. Bonus – oxytocin helps keep your heart healthy. The hormone releases nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure.

Being kind also releases serotonin in your brain, the chemical in charge of reward and pleasure. That’s why doing one kind act feels so good that you want to do another. Your brain also releases endorphins, the same hormones that cause the runner’s high. Endorphins promote pleasure and act as a pain reliever for physical and emotional pain.

Being kind gives the same health benefits whether you make a big, grand gesture or do something small. Surprise a friend with a visit, send a loving text, leave a big tip for your next server. Just do it with the intention of being kind and putting good into the world to get these health benefits.

Of course, as we are well into the holiday season, it’s probably a good idea to decide to be nice as well. It can’t hurt to compliment Aunt Linda’s Jell-O salad, whatever you may really think.





Written by Michelle O’Brien, Manager of Marketing & Communications