Nice People Really do have More Fun

It has made me a happier person.
Photo by Kimson Doan

That’s the title of a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece written by Arthur C. Brooks. He says that while it may appear that the world today belongs to jerks, “…the best available research still clearly shows that in everyday life the nice people, not the creeps, do the best at work, in love and in happiness.” For disbelieving readers, he offers them this challenge: “Deliberately set out to be nice for a week and see how it makes you feel. I’m confident you’ll like the result.” Mr. Brooks said his father was always having cheerful interactions with total strangers like supermarket clerks, bellmen, bus drivers and so forth. When his father died, hundreds of people showed up at his funeral and everyone he spoke to said pretty much the same thing: “He was a truly nice man.” Mr. Brooks concluded that this was a pretty good legacy, so he set out to imitate his father by having his own cheerful interactions with total strangers. In his words, “It has made me a happier person.”

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