Try being nice to people

with Don Fraser
Fraser Farm Finance

In this fast-paced life of endless issues and constant pressure, it seems many people resort to being sour and grumpy. It seems like an infection.

Many of us get pushed around in our businesses or at the workplace and the result is to go home grumpy, blaming everyone else – and it infects all those who surround you.

It’s like everyone has to drop to the lowest common denominator. I know when I took issues home to my wife, she told me: ‘Don’t tell me, tell them!’ and it works. If you’re feeling out of control or pushed around, verbalise it on the pushers. Tell the perpetrator and you’ll feel empowered and less grumpy.

And if you can muster up the energy and attitude, try being nice to people. Try saying something pleasant. The effect will amaze you. I was recently in a difficult and protracted negotiation and was having considerable difficulty getting the result I needed that was the best outcome for them. So I paused and said: ‘Do you realise you’re a very nice person who has everyone else’s interest in mind except your own?’ There was a long silence and I got the shift that was essential to the situation. People just want to be accepted and valued. They just want someone to say something nice to them, value them, accept them, talk to them, listen to them…the list goes on.

Living our beach lifestyle, we say ‘Hello’, smile and generally look out for everyone. When the 09ers arrive from Auckland that all ceases until they find their way back over the Bombay. Most don’t acknowledge you, let alone say ‘Hi’ and are generally downright grumpy. I’ve found in family negotiation or contract issues being nice and giving a little has remarkable outcomes. ‘Leave something in it for the next person,’ I say, instead of screwing every last cent out of the deal.

As a commercial landlord, I find the best painkiller for tenants, who you want to pay you money every month, is to be nice to them. Drop off a box of beer or take the girls in the office coffees when you get yours.

And dare I say, unhappy wives often live with grumpy husbands! Many learn being grumpy all the time gives them a measure of control, but it’s the wrong control and works in the short run, but not long term.

So, why not have a little talk to yourself and stop being grumpy and try being nice for a change? Watch people around you smile and become happier and more friendly. Try it in business or at the coffee shop. Most coffee barristers and retail assistants are on minimum wage and we treat them appallingly. Try being nice to them for a change, the results will amaze you.

Disclaimer – these are the opinions of Don Fraser of Fraser Farm Finance. Any decisions made should not be based on this article alone and appropriate professional assistance should be sought. Don Fraser is principal of Fraser Farm Finance and a consultant to the farming industry. Contact him on 0800 777 675 or 021 777 675. A disclosure document is available on request.


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